Was the murderer
of Cheri Jo Bates
inspired by a similar crime?
Solar Pons, a
moderator at the internet forum http://zodiackillersite.com,
inquired about a crime which happened prior to the murder of
Cheri Jo Bates on October 30, 1966.
Solar Pons had read
the article about Cheri Jo Bates by John Montgomery from the January,
1969, issue of Inside Detective magazine (which is posted at Tom
About a year and a
half before Cheri Jo Bates was murdered, someone attempted to stab to
death a student at Riverside City College.
mentioned that this similar attack occurred sometime in April of 1965.
Project MK-ZODIAC has
previously investigated this similar attack.
Here are the
Rolland Lin Taft
stabbed [first name redacted] Atwood at Riverside City College on
Tuesday, April 13, 1965.
Atwood was 19 years
old and was a student at Riverside City College who attended classes in
Taft was 18 years old
and his father was a minister.
This crime occurred
near a different parking lot than the one which was near the alley
where Cheri Jo Bates was murdered over a year later.
Atwood was attacked
by Taft in the parking lot near Cutter Pool at Riverside City College.
Atwood was walking
through the parking lot because she was going to where she lived nearby.
Taft was in his car
and drove by Atwood.
Taft asked Atwood
repeatedly if she would like to go for a ride with him in the car and
Taft got out of the
car and followed Atwood to an area near the parking lot and then, after
a brief struggle, Taft stabbed Atwood in her stomach with a hunting
Taft ran away,
leaving the knife at the scene of the crime.
After the attack,
Atwood asked her neighbors to help her.
hospitalized at Riverside Community Hospital at 4445 Magnolia Avenue
which was close to where the attack occurred and where Atwood lived at
Atwood lived at 4510
Lemon Street (which happens to have been near the office of the
Press-Enterprise newspaper at 3512 14th Street).
Taft lived at 5033
Arlington Avenue (which happens to have been near Ramona High School at
7675 Magnolia Avenue and the home of Cheri Jo Bates at 4195 Via San
This crime was
investigated by Detective R. D. Yonkers of the Riverside Police
Department who would later investigate the murder of Cheri Jo Bates.
Taft was arraigned
for attempted murder on Wednesday, April 28, 1965, and later convicted.
Rolland Lin Taft was
born in the County of Los Angeles on September 21, 1946, and died in
the County of Los Angeles on April 20, 1974.
Taft was in jail when
Bates was killed, so it was not possible that Taft was the murderer.
Project MK-ZODIAC has
theorized that this crime may have inspired the murderer of Cheri Jo
Cheri Jo Bates was
stabbed to death with a knife in an alley near a parking lot at
Riverside City College on October 30, 1966.
The Riverside Police
Department has never commented publicly about whether or not there is
any evidence that Cheri Jo Bates knew either Atwood or Taft.
The Zodiac may or may
not have been the same person as the murderer of Cheri Jo Bates.
A few years later, on
September 27, 1969, the Zodiac would write the phrase "by knife" on the
car door at Lake Berryessa after the stabbing attack in which the
Zodiac wounded Bryan Hartnell and killed Cecelia Shepard.
* * *
If you have any
additional information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, in the event
that for any reason there is any discrepancy in this report, as a
courtesy, please advise.
* * *
There was a poem on a desk
in the library
at Riverside City College circa 1966
which may or may not have a connection
to this attempted murder by Taft.
To read about this theory
proposed by Project MK-ZODIAC,
* * *
return to the message to the Zodiac, click here.
* * *
of the Zodiac Killer
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