A Picture of Cheri Jo Bates in 1955
A Picture of Cheri Jo Bates in 1965
A Picture of Cheri Jo Bates in 1966
Cheri Jo Bates at the RCC Library
Note to Joseph Bates, Saying Cheri Jo Bates is at the Library
Cheri Jo Bates Crime Scene (Body Visible in Front)
Police Find the Killer's Watch
The Killer's Watch Up Close
"Bates Must Die" Letter
The Desktop Poem Found in the RCC Library
Cheri Josephine Bates
Born: February 4, 1948 in Omaha, Nebraska
Died: October 30, 1966 (Age: 18) outside the Riverside City College (RCC) Library in Riverside, California.
Cheri Jo Bates and her father were very close; the day she died, they had spent the morning together. But, her father had somewhere to go. He offered for her to tag along, but she declined, saying she had to work on her research paper. Her father left, and Cheri got on the phone with her friend Stephanie, seeing if she wanted to go to the RCC Library with her. Stephanie said she couldn't go, but they kept talking on the phone. After they hung up, Cheri got another call, but from whom, no one knows. They only know she was on the phone because her father tried to call her, and the line was busy. After she hung up from that call, Cheri left her house and went over to Stephanie's house. She left a note on the table for her Dad, where she always left him notes, saying she would be at the RCC Library. After a short visit with Stephanie, Cheri left for the Library. She met up with a group of friends, and they worked together. A librarian said she saw Cheri at about 9, 9:30 and she was perfectly fine.
Some people who lived in the near vicinity of the library heard screams, followed by a car driving away, between 10:15 and 10:45. No one who heard the screams called the police.
Joseph Bates, Cheri's father, returned home around midnight, to find the note he wrote to his daughter untouched. He figured she was still out with friends.
The next morning, Halloween of 1966, Joseph Bates awoke to find Cheri still not home. He was worried and called the police. Within 45 minutes of the call, the police knew where Cheri was. At 6:30 that morning, a RCC caretaker found Cheri's body, dead, in a driveway between two unoccupied houses. Her throat was slashed and there was one stab wound in her back.
Cheri was identified by papers in her bag, which was under her body. Neither robbery or rape was apparent, but it was obvious there was a struggle before she was killed. Footprints of the attacker could not be found. But, during the struggle, the attacker lost his watch, which was found about 10 feet from Cheri's body. The band was broken, but, unfortunately, there were no identifiable fingerprints. After a test, human hair and skin was found in Cheri's hand and under her nails, further proving that there had been a violent struggle.
Post the attack, 3 letters were received. One was sent, supposedly by the attacker, to Joseph Bates, Cheri's father. A copy of one of the letters is in a link above. Also, to further complicate things, a poem was found on a desk at the RCC library. It dealt with death and killing. A link to the picture is also above.