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4/30/67 The "Bates" Letters

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traveller1st
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No mystery about Cheri’s Dad getting a letter, either the letter writer knew where Cheri lived already,or looked her dad up in the phonebook. The person that mailed the letter to him was a cold person looking to torment her Dad

Or he got it from the bottom of the first page of ‘The Press’ published the afternoon of the 31st.

viewtopic.php?f=79&t=760&p=5401#p5401


I don’t know Chief, he’s very smart or very dumb.

 
Posted : July 30, 2013 5:02 pm
(@dag-maclugh)
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The RCC Desktop Poem was discovered in December, 1966. "The Confession", was typed, and the "BATES HAD TO DIE" notes scrawled with the non-dominant hand. Zodiac wanted to gloat publicly, but was aware his natural writing/printing might be matched to the "Poem," with its incriminating initials. After he departed for the Bay Area, he became confident he wouldn’t get caught, and reverted to normal writing/printing.

 
Posted : August 7, 2013 5:59 am
Tahoe27
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…Zodiac wanted to gloat publicly, but was aware his natural writing/printing might be matched to the "Poem," with its incriminating initials. After he departed for the Bay Area, he became confident he wouldn’t get caught, and reverted to normal writing/printing.

There is no question about that, but it got me thinking…

It would seem, mostly in the beginning of his letter writing (’69), he didn’t really gloat publicly. It was all to newspapers, but all he asked is his cipher be published. He does it again later asking the 340 be published on their front page. He calls out the cops in the bus-bomb letter, but only asks for a portion of it to be published–calling out the cops lousy police work.

Not until the end of April, 1970 does he want to scare folks by asking his bomb scheme to be published with all details in the paper.

Seems most of his bitching and moaning was just meant for the Editors.

While the Confession letter writer is asking for it to be published, they are stating to publish it because maybe it will keep the girls safe and off he streets–very much not Zodiac-like, imo. And the three that seem more Zodiac like, the Bates had to die letters, aren’t asking to be published at all. Plus, we have one to Dad and another to LE. Zodiac never did letter writing to LE or family…as far as we know. (KJ and Donna’s sister aside)


…they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs–other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac’s doorstep. L.A. Times, 1969

 
Posted : August 7, 2013 8:44 am
traveller1st
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His content MO was all over the place if you ask me.

As for bitching and moaning, I know it’s just a phrase but the parts that I see as that would be "…cops telling lies about me" and "rather unhappy with the people of the Bay area". Even at that, "rather" lol.

He even censored his own swears.

I know a lot of people don’t see Zodiac in the tone of the confession letter or the nature of the Bates letters. Explain it one way and I agree, it seems different but then look at it from a slightly different angle and it fits. It’s this weave, it leads you one way then it contradicts itself.

For me personally it was all about attention. I think he tried to imagine what effect saying certain things would have regarding that. When he started with the confession letter, for me, he was doing the same thing that he later attempted with the bus bomb in some ways. Publish this and it might keep them safe, find this and it might save the school kids. He’s trying to envisage not just what will be threatening but also compelling, what will capture people’s imagination. In the confession letter he almost romanticises the imagined victims in his descriptions so as to make it all the more personal to the readers.

Similarly in the bus threat. It’s not enough to say I’m going to shoot a bus full of kids, he has to paint the scenario in the readers minds and then adds that little cruel twist, a contradiction almost to the horror, with "bouncing out" implying the innocence and happy energy of young lives. Even when he switches tack and goes for the bomb, it’s not enough to say "I’ll blow the bus up instead", he has to have this complicated and (compelling) scenario.

The Bates letters obviously carry no such nuances but I see it all as part of an evolution in this attention seeking. To me he seemed to be testing a lot of waters to see which worked best for his purposes. Even at the end of his writing campaign (that we’re aware of) he changes tack again to writing apparently ‘normal’ letters but they aren’t really. I don’t doubt that even they had a purpose.


I don’t know Chief, he’s very smart or very dumb.

 
Posted : August 7, 2013 9:54 am
(@stitchmallone)
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Isn’t that our squiggly "Z" symbol again in the Joe Bates letter? Right there, overdrawn on the "E"?

That’s my take on it. The z in that letter doesn’t look much different in the other letters. It would almost appear as though he was trying to hide it. Like, maybe someone in the family could have recognized the way it was drawn had it been in the open like the other two letters.

I do believe this killer knew the family.

Soze

My POI was from Nebraska also like the Bates and too later moved to California and also has the RH Initials. Probably just coincidence I’m sure and Nebraska is a big state. Anyhow regardless of my POI I’m leaning towards Cheri’s killer like you may have known her.

 
Posted : September 1, 2013 11:41 pm
Tahoe27
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Isn’t that our squiggly "Z" symbol again in the Joe Bates letter? Right there, overdrawn on the "E"?

Speaking of that "E"…funny thing. I accidentally bought the wrong Ramona High 1965 year book. Still Southern California, but actually in Ramona.

This was written in the back and it caught my eye. The upper-right portion written (very tiny) – note the "E". Probably nothing more that a coincidence…


…they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs–other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac’s doorstep. L.A. Times, 1969

 
Posted : September 4, 2013 9:34 pm
Zamantha
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The E in friends looks also looks right on.
Looks like an E with a Z combined. Good find!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If Zodiac ever joined a Z forum, I’m sure he would have been banned for not following forum rules. Zam’s/Quote
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MODERATOR

 
Posted : September 4, 2013 10:31 pm
traveller1st
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note the "E". Probably nothing more that a coincidence…

Maybe, maybe not but what I find interesting is that you have found a precedent whereby that is a letter/character and not necessarily a symbol or a combo of characters. Great stuff T. :D


I don’t know Chief, he’s very smart or very dumb.

 
Posted : September 5, 2013 1:38 am
(@quagmire)
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Interesting. Any pictures of him in the yearbook, Tahoe?

 
Posted : September 5, 2013 1:54 am
traveller1st
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Aside from T’s excellent find there are other ‘similarities’ to the Bates letters and envelopes. Now before we go any further I stress similarities. At this point I don’t feel that this guy and the author of the Bates letters are the same person. The similarities though are enough to make me curious.

These are little things, less in your face than the E/Z combo but still there.

1. The B in Bill vs the B in Bates on the Joseph Bates Envelope.
This is rather interesting because the first thing was that they both had a little tail on the vertical dropping below the base of the curve. On overlay the bottom of both B’s are identical.

2. The J in Jeeps vs the J in Joseph.
The angle of the turn on the bottom of the J on both are very similar and the fact that both exhibit a turn at all.

3. The second E in Ever (Forever) vs the E in More.
A more minor one but despite a difference in form both have a disconnected base.

4. The l/c d in friends vs the u/c D in DIE.

A curious one this and not really comparable on form but there’s something similar about the construction and I’ve flipped them to show. That little crossover section.

Now…

No comps for this bit but (in RED) I’ve picked the M and a selection of R’s. These are some of the things that lean me towards it not being the same author.

1. The M’s. They are all of straight line construction and as such lack the saddle in the middle that is very indicative of both the author of the Bates letters and Zodiac. This section also drops to the baseline something that neither the Bates author nor Zodiac did.

2. The R’s.
Whilst there are vague similarities they bit that bothers me is the top of the leg. There’s a little loop there and even when it’s barely formed the turn is still quite pronounced and sharp which is in keeping with such a habit. Throughout the Bates letters I can’t find a hint of this in any of the R’s.

These are a few examples of fors and againsts I could probably find more of each. Whilst I don’t think at this point there’s a match, despite the creepy similarities, I do find those similarities very interesting. I’ve always wondered about something I’m going to call ‘proximity transference’ i.e picking up writing habits from other people through observance. "Oh I like how they do their Y’s, I might try that" to give an example.

In that respect I would be curious to work outward from this guy and look to see if he has any brothers, even his friends and teachers. Just some thoughts, hope it helps.


I don’t know Chief, he’s very smart or very dumb.

 
Posted : September 5, 2013 3:05 am
morf13
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Good catch Tahoe!

I checked this guy’s name out, and there are no records of him ever living in Northern CA, only Southern CA. He is not listed in the 1970 Vallejo directory, nor is anybody by his last name.

There is more than one way to lose your life to a killer

http://www.zodiackillersite.com/
http://zodiackillersite.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/Morf13ZKS

 
Posted : September 5, 2013 4:38 am
Quicktrader
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This letter was found together with a body in my area (Vienna)..

http://www.bmi.gv.at/cms/bk/_fahndung/f … 563646.jpg

..and did I discuss it with a friend. He made an interesting statement, he said that it is obvious that the letter had been written with the left hand (instead of the right). Someone could see it because of the ‘M’ in the word ‘Medical’.

Although not sure, I at least would agree with him so far that the writer had tried to change his handwriting. But what is even more compelling is that this letter immediately reminded me the Bates letters. Those are even worse and the longer I look at them, the more do I believe that the author had written them with his left hand although being right-handed.

This, if you agree, leads to two things:

1. Author being right-handed
2. Author trying to hide his handwriting for various reasons

This somhow indicates that the recipient, police, school or relatives would have been able to identify the handwriting, therefore the killer of CJB coming from her environment. Not that much knew as he had known various things about the Bates family, but it now seems to be true (some have said the killer could have known about Bates from the media) as otherwise there would not have been any need to write left- or opposite-handed.

QT

*ZODIACHRONOLOGY*

 
Posted : September 20, 2013 1:52 pm
traveller1st
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I’m not so sure either on that note QT. There are repeated patterns in it in the A’s , N’s, Y’s and several other letters. I don’t know about anyone else but I can barely write with my other hand nevermind maintain consistent patterns lol.

As for the Bates letters, Those I could believe may have been authored using the opposite hand and then faux traced or loosely traced from each other to complete the set.

The reasons for disguise I guess depends really on how you view the recipients, as you have said. That’s what makes it trickier because with such a mix the reason for the disguise becomes less clear and leads me to suspect it was a ‘blanket’ or ‘cover all bases’ move. The suspects handwriting being recognised by Joseph Bates is certainly a possibility but by sending it to the newspapers and the police, this creates other motives for the deception.

It could very well be that this is a fledgling killer, at least in the area of communication. Just trying a reasonably basic method, the barely recognisable scrawl. I think though, there’s an MO in this and that is – he wanted these letters to be seen. If that hadn’t been the case he may have only sent them to the police and possibly Joe Bates but he didn’t he sent them to the papers as well. A move that says to me he was thinking there was a good chance the police would sit on them and they wouldn’t see the light of day.

So, yes, I think there’s a very real chance he was concerned that his real handwriting would be recognised but not necessarily by Joe Bates but quite possibly by someone in the area once they were published by the press.

Whatever the reason, it worked. At least from the perspective of anyone with a real name failing to be identified through them. ;)


I don’t know Chief, he’s very smart or very dumb.

 
Posted : September 20, 2013 2:30 pm
 Wier
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Just FYI…..there was an example of Graysmith’s handwriting floating around one time…he wrote( at least in that example) his " E" in the very same fashion. Don’t know what that means, if anything.

Slightly off topic but related to the discussion on the author, perhaps thinking/believing, that his handwriting may be recognised and thus disguising same.

Is it not even more curious that the author of the confession went to so much trouble to disguise the make of typewriter by using multiple carbon copies. Personally I’m at least half surprised that the author would be aware that it was possible to trace a typrwriter at the time, but even that aside, does it not point to someone who thought that they might come under suspicion?
If this person was a complete outsider it would appear to be an unnecessary move ( unless he was really paranoid about covering every eventuality). Would it not also suggest that the author was unwilling or probably more so, unable, to dispose of the typewriter. Perhaps it was someone using a campus typewriter in some office and was fearful they could be connected to it. Something along those lines!
Just thoughts!

 
Posted : September 20, 2013 11:48 pm
(@dag-maclugh)
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Wier: I wonder if the library (or school) had students "sign out" typewriters? Or otherwise identify themselves as having used a particular typewriter?

 
Posted : September 21, 2013 4:31 am
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