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Descriptions by Riverside librarian and Lorrain DeGroat

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(@neonmaniac80)
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Barbara Van Tomme: Riverside College librarian described Ross Sullivan as “I have a picture of him in my mind…he was very quiet. I never (gasping slightly) I never felt at ease around him. He just wasn’t friendly. Asked whether he missed work directly after the Cheri Jo Bates murder: “We noticed that he wasn’t there and I… was there rumors or speculation? “The reference librarian, Jo Ann Bailey, she brought up Ross, wondering if Ross was a suspect. Do you know why she brought that name up? “I guess in her mind, he struck a nerve with her…because of his demeaner. Do you remember his attire? His typical clothing? How did he dress? “Like, an Army jacket. One of the longer, long Army jackets. Big Army boots. That’s how he dressed, mostly every day."

From the archived Riverside folders: “There are a half a dozen of us who agree on a suspect Ross Sullivan as the Riverside killer of Cheri Jo Bates.” Going forward, Ross is listed as “unsocial, didn’t talk to anyone…huge guy. He was not around the day after the murder. It wasn’t until a few weeks that he reappeared back at school, and he had on a totally new set of clothes.

As described by Lorraine Osuna DeGroat in mysterious and alleged encounter with who she thought was the Zodiac killer at Lake Herman Road:
“The Zodiac had already killed the couple in Berryessa and Blue Rock Springs by then,” she said. “We were all told to stay away from that place, but, we were 16, and we decided to drive out to Lake Herman Road at 10:30 or so at night.”

She and the boy, who later became her first husband, were in the back seat, while her cousin was driving with the girl he later married in the front passenger seat, DeGroat said.

“We knew we shouldn’t have been there. Had never been there before. It’s desolate,” she said. “The four of us were in the car, and we were a couple of miles in on that road, and there’s this guy in the middle of the road, in a big, bulky trench coat or army jacket that reached to his knees, and he’s in the middle of the road, waving his arms, trying to get us to stop.”

DeGroat said that having little choice short of hitting the man, her cousin, Henry, slowed as if preparing to stop.
The man approached the passenger side window which her cousin’s girlfriend began rolling down.
“He said ‘I need some help,’” DeGroat said. “‘I was out on the lake with my girlfriend and I can’t find her. I was hoping you’d help me find her.’”
DeGroat describes the man as in his middle-30s to early 40s, with blondish, short-cropped hair and horn-rimmed glasses. His pants were dark, and his shoes may also have been dark army boots, she said.

“I started kicking the back of his seat and whispering loudly, ‘No! Don’t!,” she said.
The man approached the passenger side window which her cousin’s girlfriend began rolling down.
“We knew this was trouble,” she said. “He was too calm and completely dry. So, Henry says, ‘OK,’ and makes like he’s going to pull over, eased around the guy and then took off like a bat out of hell.”

As they sped by, they saw a small car, possibly a Volkswagen, empty, on the side of the road about a half mile from where they’d encountered the man, DeGroat said. The group didn’t stop until they reached the Benicia Police Department, she said.

I mean, I’m as skeptical as the next man, but this seems to be a description of Ross Sullivan, as well as the car that he drove. I was a strong advocate of further research into Lawrence Kane (and still am) for quite some time based on a number of factors, but Ross Sullivan is just too difficult to ignore after reading or listening to these descriptions.

What do you think?

 
Posted : April 2, 2019 4:59 am
tupney, tupney and tupney reacted
 Khys
(@khys)
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What’s the source for these? Is there a link?

 
Posted : April 2, 2019 5:37 am
(@neonmaniac80)
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What’s the source for these? Is there a link?

Yes, the Riverside Librarian has been quoted numerous times, this in particular was from the History Channel special, "The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer." The second set of quotes is from this article. https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/11/ … -the-tale/

 
Posted : April 2, 2019 5:48 am
(@replaceablehead)
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DeGroat, that names new to me, I haven’t seen it before on the forum.

 
Posted : April 2, 2019 7:36 am
(@neonmaniac80)
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DeGroat, that names new to me, I haven’t seen it before on the forum.

This story was also featured on the Monster: Zodiac Killer podcast, episode "Copycat" if I’m remembering correctly.

If this story is true, and it seems to have been corroborated by at least 2-3 other people, then it could be a bombshell as it seems to be describing someone who looks very similar to Ross Sullivan, at the scene of a (very recent) past Zodiac crime, wearing the clothing that he was described as wearing almost as a uniform, and then the vehicle that he was purported to be driving at the scene as well and attempting to tell people absurd stories in order to get them to pull over and come with him in the darkness of night. Sketchy, at best.

Add to the already known fact that he can be placed at the Riverside library alongside Cheri Jo and that makes 2 crime scenes, if this was in fact Ross Sullivan.

That would seem to be quite significant and possibly enough for a detective at the time to do heavy insight into him.

 
Posted : April 2, 2019 3:18 pm
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(@neonmaniac80)
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DeGroat, that names new to me, I haven’t seen it before on the forum.

My question is whether she has ever been contacted and shown the picture of Ross Sullivan. I would certainly hope that at some point she has been, although judging by how this case seems to have been handled, would that be a reasonable assumption? She is still relatively young and psychologically healthy so there is still time to do so.

 
Posted : April 2, 2019 3:34 pm
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 Khys
(@khys)
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This is a pretty interesting. The stranger’s story has some similarity to how The Most Dangerous Game begins. I too would be interested in a photo line up put in front of her with Ross’s pic mixed in.

 
Posted : April 2, 2019 4:36 pm
jacob
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The trench coat is an interesting detail. Reminds me of the Columbine high school shooters. A juvenile way of looking intimidating.

 
Posted : April 2, 2019 5:37 pm
Chaucer
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Except Sullivan is well over 6′ and none of the eye witnesses describe him as "tall" or "huge". Also, didn’t Sullivan have alibis for both the CJB murder and Lake Berryessa?

“Murder will out, this my conclusion.”
– Geoffrey Chaucer

 
Posted : April 2, 2019 6:20 pm
(@neonmaniac80)
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The trench coat is an interesting detail. Reminds me of the Columbine high school shooters. A juvenile way of looking intimidating.

She has really only drawn images of an Army jacket to his knees, almost trench coat like, in multiple accounts. She is really emphasizing the length of the Army jacket. Possibly more than coincidence, this is exactly the jacket, dark clothing, and Army boots known to be worn by Ross Sullivan daily. Not to mention the large body description she has given, the hair style, color, glasses, and also type of car driven by Ross.

 
Posted : April 2, 2019 9:23 pm
tupney, tupney and tupney reacted
(@neonmaniac80)
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This is a pretty interesting. The stranger’s story has some similarity to how The Most Dangerous Game begins. I too would be interested in a photo line up put in front of her with Ross’s pic mixed in.

As would I. She doesn’t seem very difficult to reach, as I’ve discovered her address, bankruptcy history, etc with a simple search. I wonder if she would be receptive.

 
Posted : April 3, 2019 1:41 am
(@karborn)
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I think its a great post and very good and clear similarities between the two statements. Niceone.

 
Posted : April 3, 2019 2:53 am
(@bill-bailey-2)
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This is a pretty interesting. The stranger’s story has some similarity to how The Most Dangerous Game begins. I too would be interested in a photo line up put in front of her with Ross’s pic mixed in.

As would I. She doesn’t seem very difficult to reach, as I’ve discovered her address, bankruptcy history, etc with a simple search. I wonder if she would be receptive.

Why not just email her a picture with a small message – Sorry to bother you, but this is a man who was a suspect in the Zodiac killings. Does he look like the man you saw that night?

 
Posted : April 3, 2019 11:23 pm
tupney, tupney and tupney reacted
(@quagmire)
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The power of suggestion could massively influence a witness’s idea of who they saw. It would be far better if the witness saw a number of photos and was asked to pick out who she thought was the person that she saw (if any).

 
Posted : April 4, 2019 3:01 am
jacob
(@jacob)
Posts: 1266
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The trench coat is an interesting detail. Reminds me of the Columbine high school shooters. A juvenile way of looking intimidating.

She has really only drawn images of an Army jacket to his knees, almost trench coat like, in multiple accounts. She is really emphasizing the length of the Army jacket. Possibly more than coincidence, this is exactly the jacket, dark clothing, and Army boots known to be worn by Ross Sullivan daily. Not to mention the large body description she has given, the hair style, color, glasses, and also type of car driven by Ross.

Wearing an army jacket still seems embarrassingly tryhard to me.

 
Posted : April 4, 2019 3:10 am
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