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SLA LETTER NOT BY SLA

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(@mike_r)
Posts: 838
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Topic starter
 

The Zodiac killer sent well over a dozen letters and greeting cards to the press. Most of these letters have visible and identifiable postmarks on them. It is one that has no visible postmark on it that is causing the most controversy as to both its author and origin.

I think that everyone can agree that the so-called "SLA" letter was received by the San Francisco Chronicle on February 14, 1974. That much we know. What we do not know is either when or from where it was sent. This is where Zodiac researcher Richard Grinnell comes in. Grinnell located an FBI document alleging that the envelope that contained the letter was postmarked in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles on February 3, 1974, a day before the famous kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst in Berkeley, nearly 400 miles to the north. From these facts, as well as by using a letter allegedly sent by an SLA member to Randolph Hearst, the father of Patty Hearst, Grinnell alleges that the SLA letter was not written by Zodiac but by a member of the SLA itself. After all, the final shootout between the SLA and the authorities took place in a suburb of Los Angeles, Compton, CA. So the group had definite ties to the Los Angeles area where the SLA letter was mailed in February 1974. Or did it? Maybe Grinnell has not done his homework.

Let’s take a look at what my research into this allegation has uncovered. I have been told that I have to accept that the SLA letter was, in fact, postmarked in Los Angeles in early February. This is despite the fact that there is no postmark whatsoever visible on the letter. I have also been told that this letter was sent by the SLA and that in attributing it to Zodiac I am "pushing a false agenda" that the Norse reference in that letter fits in with other Norse references in the Zodiac case, like Odin’s cross, slaves in the afterlife, etc.

Here are some facts and observations:

If the SLA letter was postmarked in Los Angeles, someone has to explain why it took 11 days to reach the Chronicle on February 14th. The current Postmaster General, Mr. De Joy, was not in charge of the postal service in those days and the mail did not move that slowly. There was also no pony express at that time that I know of. So why did it take so long to arrive?

Kathy Soliah, who was of Norwegian extraction, and who would be the most likely person associated with the SLA to have been familiar with Old Norse (Hey, try to ask her yourself if she wrote the SLA letter. I did last year, but sadly she never replied.), was not yet a member of the SLA in February 1974, according to a former SLA member, with whom I exchanged emails. She did not join until after five of the core members were killed in May 1974 in Compton, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles. And at any rate, Soliah was not from SoCal but from Berkeley. So once again, if not Soliah, who wrote the SLA letter?

Also according to this former member, the SLA HAD NO PRESENCE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA UNTIL MAY OF 1974. This is crucial to understand. So not only who from the SLA wrote the SLA letter, but who mailed it? Who from the SLA had ties to Los Angeles at that time? Apparently, nobody. This question is for people like Grinnell to contemplate.

All eight of the the non-incarcerated members of the SLA as of February 3, 1974 (DeFreeze, Atwood, Perry, Wolfe, the two Harrises, Hall and Mizmoon) were preparing to kidnap Patricia Hearst the next day, February 4th. My PRESUMPTION is that they were all in Berkeley planning the mission not mailing a letter in Los Angeles and then driving 400 miles to rejoin their comrades. So again, who from the SLA was even in Los Angeles? All eight members were, for all intents and purposes, accounted for.

I’ve learned through research that Patty Hearst was originally taken hostage in order to try to effect a "prisoner exchange" between the SLA and California officials, in order to get two imprisoned members, Russell Little and Joseph Remiro, freed from Vacaville. So why would the group want to write a snarky, smart-ass letter that served them no purpose by characterizing themselves as "a bunch of killers" (i.e., SLA means "kill" in Old Norse; killing is therefore synonymous with the SLA) and make the police and FBI redouble their efforts to free Hearst? (Note: The group had admittedly already killed School Chancellor Marcus Foster of Oakland in November 1973, so they were "killers." However, why call attention to that fact if you wanted to effect a prisoner swap? The situation had changed and the motives of the SLA had evolved by February 1974. Calling themselves "killers" would have been counterproductive to their own purposes at that point in time.)

On February 10, 1974, someone allegedly from the SLA sent a letter to Patty Hearst’s father expressing her alleged remorse over the kidnapping. That letter was, like the SLA letter of February 3rd, signed with "a friend." This supposedly seals the deal and proves that the SLA letter was penned by the group. However, signing an anonymous letter "a friend" is a very common way to end an anonymous missive. Also, the Hearst letter and envelope are typed. The SLA letter and envelope are hand printed. The Hearst letter is signed "A friend." The SLA "a friend." Had both been signed "ferocious flamboyant friend," or something else unique like that, then it might have meant something more. However, in light of the more important fact that nobody from the SLA can be placed in Los Angeles to mail the letter, the interest in the similar "friend" signatures on the letter pales in comparison.

My source from the SLA stated on August 18, 2020, "There is no connection between the SLA and the Zodiac killer." That pretty much sums it up. Whoever Zodiac was, he certainly was not a member of the SLA. The SLA was not formed until the end of the summer of 1973. They did not even exist in 1969 when letters started being sent by Zodiac. Of the male members, DeFreeze was black, Wolfe was only 17 in 1968 and living on the east coast, Remiro was 21 in 1968 and at any rate was imprisoned when the SLA letter was sent. Bill Harris was 23 in 1969 and arguably could have been Zodiac. I don’t know enough about him yet to say if he was in the Bay Area in 1968 when Zodiac claimed his first victims. Harris was likely in Berkeley on February 3, 1974. But if he was Zodiac, begin amassing the evidence against him and prove it!

Envelopes: This is where the rubber truly meets the road in this discussion and where we can see that it is unlikely that anyone but Zodiac wrote the SLA letter. When you look at the hand printing on the SLA letter in a vacuum, it certainly does not jump off the page to me that it was penned by Zodiac. But when you take a close look at the envelope, that is a different story.

Here are several envelopes from Zodiac letters:

http://www.zodiackiller.com/StineEnvelope.html

http://www.zodiackiller.com/340Envelope.html

http://www.zodiackiller.com/BombEnvelope.html

http://www.zodiackiller.com/JohnsEnvelope.html

and SLA:

http://www.zodiackiller.com/SLAEnvelope.html

It’s hard to look at these envelopes and not see the similarities. And note that the November 8, 1969 envelope contained a piece of Stine’s shirt, thus proving its authorship as being from Zodiac. So either all of these letters were written by Zodiac, or Zodiac was part of the SLA. Or someone from the SLA either copied the handwriting of Zodiac for the SLA letter for some unknown reason. But remember, the SLA was not in Los Angeles in February 1974. Furthermore, here is a quote from the ex-member: " You are correct. There is no connection between the SLA and the Zodiac killer. And the SLA had no connection to LA until after they left SF with Hearst."

There it is in black and white.

So the evidence seems to show that, regardless of the timing and his reason for being in Los Angeles on February 3, 1974 (assuming that the letter was posted from there on that date), it was, in fact, the Zodiac killer who sent the SLA letter, not the SLA itself, which, once again, would not have benefitted from its contents. Nor is there any reason why they would have benefitted from imitating Zodiac’s handwriting on the envelope but not attributing the enclosed later to him.

The fact that a letter took eleven days to get from Los Angeles to San Francisco is suspicious. Given the fact that there is no postmark on the SLA that is in the public domain, it is impossible to verify with the FBI said about it. Again, there was no SLA presence in Los Angeles in early February 1974. All of the members seem to have been accounted for in NorCal preparing for the kidnapping of Patty Hearst. The letter did not serve the ends of the SLA. It simply makes no sense that they would have and even could have sent it. I believe this is an example of an otherwise well-intentioned researcher not taking his research far enough, or speaking to the right people, to get to the facts that were necessary to better resolve the issue.

Again, nobody from the SLA was the Zodiac killer, and the SLA was not even L.A. in Feb. 1974. Period. The only other explanation for the SLA letter that might make sense is if Kathy Soliah, who had Norwegian roots, while not yet a member of the SLA in February 1974, and who began supporting the group on some unknown date, may have been in Los Angeles at the time (remember she was from Berkeley, 400 miles north) and wrote and sent the letter. But this would not explain why she would have made an effort to imitate the handwriting of the Zodiac killer on the envelope. So it seems an equally unlikely scenario until proven otherwise.

To summarize, the hand printing on the SLA matches the printing on other known Zodiac letters from well before the SLA was even formed. Kathy Soliah, according to someone who knew her, would not have written the SLA letter. There is not even a shred of proof that she was in Los Angeles in early February 1974. Zodiac was not a member of the SLA, according to someone who was a member of the group. Therefore, that leaves us with one logical conclusion to reach: The Zodiac killer wrote the SLA letter, and if it was posted in Los Angeles on February 3, 1974, he must have been there for a business meeting or some other function on that day. And if someone else from Los Angeles penned that letter, it is yet to be explained why he copied the handwriting of the Zodiac killer on the envelope without indicating anywhere in the letter, if his goal was to pin it on Zodiac, that the Zodiac killer was even the author of the SLA letter! The more obvious way to pin the SLA letter on Zodiac would have been to come out and say it was written by him in the letter or to at least put a crossed-circle signature on the letter, not to copy the handwriting on the envelope and expect someone to figure it out!

The SLA letter, therefore, seems to be exactly what it appears to be, a snarky letter from Zodiac once again trying to show everyone how smart he was and how dumb everyone else was. He knew something you didn’t. And what he knew was in Old Norse, which suggests the Zodiac had Norwegian roots. It was not, as some apparently believe, the SLA branding itself as a bunch of killers the day before they kidnapped Patty Hearst.

Finally, Grinnell found handwriting links between the envelope of the SLA letter and the Count Marco letter, saying that since the SLA letter was written by a member of the SLA that the Count Marco letter must also been written by someone from the SLA. However, my research has proven that the SLA letter was most likely written by the Zodiac Killer. Therefore, the Count Marco letter was also likely written by the Zodiac, as well.

I therefore am not the one pushing a "false agenda." In looking only at the Count Marco envelope but not comparing the SLA envelope to the earlier Zodiac envelopes seems to suggest an agenda of proving the SLA letter was written by someone other than Zodiac.

Again:

1)The SLA had absolutely no presence in Los Angeles in early February 1974.
2)A former member of the group says that the Zodiac Killer was not a member of the SLA. And in order for that to be true, based on the nearly identical handwriting that appeared on several envelopes, he would have had to have been Zodiac before the SLA even existed.

Mike

Mike Rodelli

Author, The Hunt for Zodiac; 3.9 stars on Amazon and
In The Shadow of Mt. Diablo: The Shocking True Identity of the Zodiac Killer, a second edition in print format. 4.3 Amazon stars and great Editorial reviews. Twitter:@mikerodelli

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 7:02 am
Richard Grinell
(@richard-grinell)
Posts: 717
Prominent Member
 

Zodiac resurfaces after nearly 3 years and extremely fortuitously composes a letter about the Symbionese Liberation Army the day before the SLA’s highest profile crime. He is then lucky enough to ditch his introduction of "This is the Zodiac Speaking", crosshairs and running victim total, while simultaneously introducing and ending his letter exactly the same as a Symbionese Liberation Army communication just seven days later. "A friend" may not be uncommon, but Zodiac was hardly polite, and mailed within seven days increases the significance. He has also miraculously learnt to spell, or ditched his impression of illiteracy. He then writes another banal letter to the chauvenistic Count Marco, known for his deriding of women, to demand the column be removed, despite making a career out of killing women. I won’t go into this extremely short communication from the aspect of handwriting, because a determination it was Zodiac or otherwise based on this limited scrawl, is nigh on impossible. However, if Zodiac, he again departs from the many early communications by using an address style he has not used before.

You stated you won’t believe the SLA postmark was February 3rd 1974 because you haven’t seen it with your own two eyes. Do you really want me to list everything in your book you state as fact (or universally accepted) that you haven’t seen with your own two eyes. The only logical alternative to the postmark not being February 3rd, is the people who examined the SLA envelope said "you know what Frank, this postmark is illegible, so lets just make up February 3rd. We also can’t see the postmark location, so let’s just pretend it’s Los Angeles, even though Zodiac had never posted a letter from this location before". There are millions of things I haven’t seen with my own two eyes, including the entire history of the world predating my existence, but I accept many things, as you do. You stated "My source from the SLA stated on August 18, 2020, "There is no connection between the SLA and the Zodiac killer." But I didn’t see your source say that with my own two eyes. I have no reason to disbelieve the information that you stated Alan Keel gave you, but I haven’t seen documentation to prove that the 1978 letter and one 1974 letter matched in DNA. Here, we have two original source FBI files explicitly stating Feb.3 913, but sadly that doesn’t appear enough.

In terms of placing the SLA in Los Angeles in February, they had many members, affiliates and sympathizers, including Soliah who could have mailed the letter. And each one has the free will to travel anywhere, at anytime, just as Zodiac had free will to start mailing letters and cards from anywhere but San Francisco. In fact, Kathleen Soliah not only had Norwegian-American parents, but was brought up in Palmdale, Los Angeles County, California, often frequenting the nearby census-designated area of Agua Dulce. Not being able to place a particular member or affiliate of the SLA in Los Angeles on February 2nd and 3rd (to mail this letter), is no different to not being able to place Kjell Qvale in Benicia, Vallejo or Napa on any given date or relevant date.

If the SLA letter was a snarky letter from Zodiac, who didn’t sign as Zodiac, then after nearly three years it is impeccable timing by soothsayer Zodiac, writing about the SLA. And no, I don’t believe Zodiac was in anyway related to the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Finally, there is no need for detailed explanations regarding the Old Norse meaning "Kill". Sla in Old Norse does mean "Kill". Sla in Old Norse can be inferred as "kill", to which the author of this communication claimed. Sla in Old Norse means "to strike" or "to smite". The archaic use of the word "smite" as shown by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, defines "smite" as to kill or severely injure. In Wiktionary it is shown as the ability to strike down or kill with deadly force. So (in archaic usage like Old Norse) "sla" means "smite", and "smite" is used as "kill".

I don’t need to push a false agenda – when I discovered that Feb 3 attribution and related material, I had to painstakingly correct the February 14th tag I had attributed on the inner pages of my website and correct numerous articles, because I realized I was wrong. However, I do concede it’s easier to change a website than rewrite a book. I reiterate, nothing would shift your position on Qvale, whether it be reasoned argument, logic, an FBI file or DNA for that matter. Like I’ve always said, if DNA was discovered straddling 10 confirmed Zodiac letters which matched, but didn’t match Qvale, the cogs would start churning and an explanation circumnavigating the inescapable truth would soon be offered up.

But I do agree, we’ll never agree. It’s up to others to draw their conclusions on the matter.

I offer you one last thing to consider. Imagine a scenario where we definitely found TV coverage, or proven documentation that Qvale was in England from February 6th 1974 to February 16th 1974. My guess, is your position would miraculously shift and you would say "you know what Rich, I’m coming around to the idea of that February 3rd mailing date".

https://www.zodiacciphers.com/

“I simply cannot accept that there are, on every story, two equal and logical sides to an argument.” Edward R. Murrow.

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 1:00 pm
(@coffee-time)
Posts: 624
Honorable Member
 

The postmark is barely visible in copies from the FBI files. Though still not legible.

The February 14th postmark is referenced in all official correspondences from 1978, so we know the Feb. 14th date didn’t come out of nowhere.

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 1:23 pm
Richard Grinell
(@richard-grinell)
Posts: 717
Prominent Member
 

I know exactly where the February 14th 1974 postmark reference came from, here.
But it states received not postmarked.

But it was incorrectly compiled in a later list as postmarked Feb 14. Just like the Badlands communication was incorrectly labelled May 6th.

We either go on subsequent lists compiled in error, or use original source documents stating February 3rd. The envelope you have shown is not the original, it is an nth grade copy. Notice the difference between the envelope you posted and the one on Tom’s site, which clearly shows how endless reproductions diminish the quality. I again ask the question: Are the people who typed Feb 3 and 913 in urgent need of a visit to Specsavers, or just making these dates and locations up for a laugh.

Unfortunately, a fixed narrative has been embedded into the Zodiac case, that has become widely accepted folklore. Anything that challenges an ideal we have accepted for decades is often seen as an uncomfortable truth. If people want to believe the SLA letter was postmarked on February 14th, it really doesn’t change the fact it wasn’t. Mike stated he wouldn’t accept February 3rd 1974 until he saw it with his own two eyes. He has never seen the postmark February 14th 1974 with his own two eyes either, but steadfastly argues for that position, because he labelled it as February 14th in his book.

https://www.zodiacciphers.com/

“I simply cannot accept that there are, on every story, two equal and logical sides to an argument.” Edward R. Murrow.

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 1:37 pm
Richard Grinell
(@richard-grinell)
Posts: 717
Prominent Member
 

Every author (including Mike) prides themselves in displaying their sources. This can include original source documentation, police reports, FBI files, autopsy reports and ballistic reports. Authors will often quote this material because it shows they are not basing their findings on rumour and speculation, but sourcing their information from first-hand accounts and material. Of course, except when it’s inconvenient first-hand material, such as the February 3rd postmark.

People often complain about Mark Hewitt’s first book, saying it’s just a replication of known facts retrieved from police reports, documents and FBI files. But you know what – he attributes the SLA letter as February 3rd 1974. So this isn’t anything new.

https://www.zodiacciphers.com/

“I simply cannot accept that there are, on every story, two equal and logical sides to an argument.” Edward R. Murrow.

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 2:32 pm
(@coffee-time)
Posts: 624
Honorable Member
 

I know exactly where the February 14th 1974 postmark reference came from, here.
But it states received not postmarked.

OK, that particular report isn’t in my copies of the files, but it does appear in the ones hosted on the FBI’s site. I didn’t realize there were such discrepancies between the various dumps out there. (The FBI’s copies don’t have the scans of the letters.) More confusion.

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 3:41 pm
Richard Grinell
(@richard-grinell)
Posts: 717
Prominent Member
 

I have expedited a FOIA request for a clearer image of the envelope.

Upon receipt of your FOIPA request number, you may check the status of your FOIPA request on the FBI’s electronic FOIA Library (The Vault) on the FBI’s public website, http://vault.fbi.gov by clicking on the ‘Check Status of Your FOI/PA Request tool’ link. Status updates are performed on a weekly basis. If you receive a comment that your FOIPA request number was not located in the database, please check back at a later date.

https://www.zodiacciphers.com/

“I simply cannot accept that there are, on every story, two equal and logical sides to an argument.” Edward R. Murrow.

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 5:14 pm
jacob
(@jacob)
Posts: 1266
Noble Member
 

Did law enforcement ever investigate Symbionese Liberation Army members for the Zodiac crimes? They were a violent group involved in murders and bank robberies.

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 5:33 pm
Richard Grinell
(@richard-grinell)
Posts: 717
Prominent Member
 

I’m not sure Jacob. I cannot see any link myself, but I’m sure they explored a lot of things we are not aware of.

https://www.zodiacciphers.com/

“I simply cannot accept that there are, on every story, two equal and logical sides to an argument.” Edward R. Murrow.

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 5:42 pm
(@mike_r)
Posts: 838
Prominent Member
Topic starter
 

Richard maybe you didn’t notice but I spoke to someone from the SLA and the location of the postmark is irrelevant now. Don’t you understand that the SLA had no presence in Los Angeles? The guy from the SLA said it was laughable to think that Soliah would have sent the SLA letter. I asked him that yesterday but I held it back because I knew that you would say Soliah wrote the letter. So try again.

The guy who is actually in the SLA, and the last time I checked you weren’t Richard, categorically denied that the SLA sent the letter and that copy sent the letter. So where and when it was postmarked is really irrelevant because the postmark doesn’t prove that the SLA sent the letter. You’re creating a false arguments that if the letter was sent on February 3rd from the Los Angeles area it therefore has to be sent by the SLA. And I found out that that’s not true. You’re also ignoring the handwriting on all the envelopes conveniently to push your theory. I think anyone who goes to the links that I provided it looks at all those envelopes together will see that they all resemble each other regardless of the hand printing or the signature on the SLA letter. My suspect happened to travel, he told me, about 85% of the year when I met him in 2006 so could have been in Los Angeles on February 3rd? You bet he could have. But the guy from the SLA is saying but it was not somebody from the SLA who sent that letter. And you can twist that however you want.

As for my book there’s almost 200 footnotes in it so I Source most of what I say. With regard to the norse references I look at them all collectively. I know it’s not a given that the cross circle is Odin’s Cross or that slaves from the afterlife has to come from Norse culture but when you put it together with the SLA letter, bumerker and other North references I think that’s the most logical explanation.

So fellow zodiac researchers don’t fall for the false equation is being set up that February 3rd in Los Angeles equals SLA and does not equal zodiac. I’ve been able to amass evidence from one of the people who actually was in the group saying that they would not have sent the letter and the Kathy soliah specifically would not have sent the letter. He called that notion laughable. The truth actually lies in comparing the handwriting on the envelopes not worrying about where and when it was mailed and wondering to yourself why the SLA would have wanted to imitate zodiac handwriting. But not specifically implicate him in the sending of the letter other than a handwriting comparison

Mike Rodelli

Author, The Hunt for Zodiac; 3.9 stars on Amazon and
In The Shadow of Mt. Diablo: The Shocking True Identity of the Zodiac Killer, a second edition in print format. 4.3 Amazon stars and great Editorial reviews. Twitter:@mikerodelli

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 7:31 pm
(@mike_r)
Posts: 838
Prominent Member
Topic starter
 

Did law enforcement ever investigate Symbionese Liberation Army members for the Zodiac crimes? They were a violent group involved in murders and bank robberies.

First of all if you read my post there was no SLA at the time of the zodiac murders in 1968. So you have to figure out which member of the SLA would have been zodiac and then prove it.

Mike Rodelli

Author, The Hunt for Zodiac; 3.9 stars on Amazon and
In The Shadow of Mt. Diablo: The Shocking True Identity of the Zodiac Killer, a second edition in print format. 4.3 Amazon stars and great Editorial reviews. Twitter:@mikerodelli

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 7:37 pm
(@druzer)
Posts: 229
Estimable Member
 

Mike, the equation is simple – if the SLA letter was sent the day before the Hearst kidnapping then clearly they sent it. Richard Grinell (one n) provided the documentation so the opinion of your anonymous source doesn’t really advance the discussion.

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 7:46 pm
Richard Grinell
(@richard-grinell)
Posts: 717
Prominent Member
 

The most important thing to remember regardless of whoever else may have sent it, is that at this time (Feb 3rd 1974) Zodiac had mailed a potential 27 communications, then mails a letter solely and exclusively designed around the Symbionese Liberation Army, the day before the SLA’s biggest crime. Coincidence does happen, but that is one hell of a lucky fluke. Thanks for the correction Druzer.

https://www.zodiacciphers.com/

“I simply cannot accept that there are, on every story, two equal and logical sides to an argument.” Edward R. Murrow.

 
Posted : August 20, 2020 10:48 pm
(@coffee-time)
Posts: 624
Honorable Member
 

Since the envelope was allegedly postmarked in L.A. (and I forgot to cancel my NP.com trial), I looked at the L.A. Times from Feb 3rd for possible inspiration. Page 1 is missing :? , but there was a relevant article on page 2.

The S.F. Examiner that day ran a feature story called "Shocking Rate of Murder Here."

I suppose another question is why the letter writer sent it to Zodiac’s favorite newspaper, instead of the the paper in the city where it was postmarked. Has anyone ever pulled the Chronicle for Feb 3rd?

 
Posted : August 21, 2020 2:14 am
Richard Grinell
(@richard-grinell)
Posts: 717
Prominent Member
 

The SLA were anti-capitalist with a distinct hatred for the Hearst Corporation, of which they focused on the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle. But basically the San Francisco newspapers and radio stations. In 1965, the Hearst Corporation began pursuing Joint Operating Agreements (JOA’s). It reached the first agreement with the DeYoung family, proprietors of the afternoon San Francisco Chronicle, which began to produce a joint Sunday edition with the Examiner.

https://www.zodiacciphers.com/

“I simply cannot accept that there are, on every story, two equal and logical sides to an argument.” Edward R. Murrow.

 
Posted : August 21, 2020 2:30 am
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