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A Southern California city police chief at the time of the 1966 murder of a young woman said the murder may be related to the murders of the Zodiac killer that took place hundreds of miles away, according to a group that recently claimed to have uncovered the infamous killer. did. .

But the current stand of the police department is that there is no link between the killings.

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The Case Breakers, a group that included former police investigators, military intelligence analysts, and journalists, claimed to be Cherry Joe Bates in a letter dated October 20, 1969 from then-Riverside Police Chief Lambert “Curly” Kinkade to Napa County Sheriff Earl Randall. Murder was claimed. “MO similar to your zodiac sign” followed the suspect.

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Napa County was where college students Cecilia Shepard and Brian Hartnell were stabbed to death on September 27, 1969, while picnicking at Lake Berryissa. Shepard died of his wounds two days later, while Hartnell survived. In all, five deaths attributed to the Zodiac occurred between December 1968 and October 1969 in Northern California.

18-year-old Bates was murdered in October 1966 and found dead with multiple stab wounds in an alleyway on the Riverside City College campus. In the letter, Kinkade said that Bates left the college library and returned to her vehicle, which had been tampered with so it wouldn’t start.

Kinkade wrote in a letter to his counterpart in Napa County that he had been stabbed “several times” in the chest, stabbed once in the back, and slit his throat. He was also beaten up and strangled, they said.

Cheri Joe Bates.  A group of cold case investigators claim that Bates' murder is linked to the deaths of the Zodiac killer.

“Your murder and our challan 352-481 have many similarities [Bates case number],” he wrote. “I thought you should know that we are investigating a similar type of murder.”

After Bates’ murder, Riverside Police received a handwritten letter leading investigators to believe that the murder may have been linked to the Zodiac killer. In 2016, investigators found an anonymously typed letter from someone who admitted to writing an earlier note, saying it was a “sick joke.”

During his investigation, Kinkade states that he has received a letter from someone stating facts about the Bates case, something only the killer will know.

Riverside Police Chief Lambert "Curly" Kinkade led the Riverside Police Department from 1965–1972.

“There is no doubt that the person writing the confession is a suspect in our murder,” he wrote.

Kinkade also noted that the letter contained several misspelling and punctuation errors, similar to letters written by the Zodiac killer that were sent to law enforcement and the news media.

Case breakers believe they have identified the killer and say they have evidence of their suspect, an Air Force veteran killed in 2018 also Bates. Kinkade said the footprints found near his crime scene were military-style boots.

Riverside Police investigators do not believe that the Bates murder and the Zodiac murders are related.

“Our comment remains that our case is still unresolved and not related,” police spokesman Ryan Relsbach told Granthshala News.

In August, the department offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the killer.

Granthshala News has contacted the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.