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 Betsy Aardsma Case Background

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AK Wilks
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PostSubject: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:03 am

Background info on the Betsy Aardsma murder.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betsy_aardsma

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09298/1008195-455.stm

http://www.pennlive.com/specialprojects/index.ssf/2008/12/dr_elmer_reed_at_ritenour.html
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:21 pm

So, was it Richard Haefner?
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:19 pm

RH is a valid suspect, and a long time researcher on the case, Derek, has found out some more interesting things about him.

But there is no clear evidence yet to show RH did it.

TK is also a suspect and a witness places him at the library the day before the murder.

And there are interesting matches between the college libray murder of Bates and the college library murder of Aardsma.

http://zodiackillersite.forummotion.com/ted-kaczynski-f26/similarities-between-the-college-library-murders-of-cheri-jo-bates-and-betsy-aardsma-t312.htm


But this is an unsolved case. Still.
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:27 pm

Thanks to Derek and Morf, we now know that the morbid and cryptic statement written/etched onto a wood chair arm at Penn State and thought by police to perhaps be linked to the murder of Betsy Aardsma said the following:


HERE SAT DEATH IN THE GUISE OF A MAN RSK

Given what I imagine to be the narrow width of the arm of a chair, it may have appeared more like this:

HERE SAT
DEATH IN
THE GUISE
OF A MAN
RSK


Could it be an anagram? A code? A reference from a book or movie? Or just a prank or red herring?

What does it mean?

Of course at the other college library murder, Cheri Bates in Riverside, CA, 10/30/66, there was a morbid and cryptic poem about death written/etched onto a wood desk. Just one of the many matches between these two cases.
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PostSubject: RSK   Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:12 am

From Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary:

So plain the advantages of machination
It constitutes a moral obligation,
And honest wolves who think upon't with loathing
Feel bound to don the sheep's deceptive clothing.
So prospers still the diplomatic art,
And Satan bows, with hand upon his heart.
R.S.K.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Who is RSK?
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AK Wilks
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:35 am

Deplorable at Best wrote:
From Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary:

So plain the advantages of machination
It constitutes a moral obligation,
And honest wolves who think upon't with loathing
Feel bound to don the sheep's deceptive clothing.
So prospers still the diplomatic art,
And Satan bows, with hand upon his heart.
R.S.K.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Who is RSK?

GOOD QUESTION!

That has "RSK", also "don the sheep's deceptive clothing", which is similar to "death in the GUISE of a man" - both are talking about disguise.

So what did Bierce - who vanished - mean by "RSK"?
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AK Wilks
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:53 am

MACHINATION, n. The method employed by one's opponents in baffling one's open and honorable efforts to do the right thing.

So plain the advantages of machination
It constitutes a moral obligation,
And honest wolves who think upon't with loathing
Feel bound to don the sheep's deceptive clothing.
So prospers still the diplomatic art,
And Satan bows, with hand upon his heart.
R.S.K.

That is the full quote from the Devil's Dictionary.

Sometimes Bierce quotes a real person and then gives their name or initials, but usually it seems it is him doing the writing, then he sometimes invents a fake or silly sounding name to take the credit.

So I don't know if "RSK" is fake or real.

But either way it does seem very possible to me that the writer of this statement at Penn State - who may be the killer of Aardsma - read this passage and was inspired by it. The book also has a bit about the Mikado in it:

SCIMETAR, n. A curved sword of exceeding keenness, in the conduct of which certain Orientals attain a surprising proficiency, as the incident here related will serve to show. The account is translated from the Japanese by Shusi Itama, a famous writer of the thirteenth century.

When the great Gichi-Kuktai was Mikado he condemned to decapitation Jijiji Ri, a high officer of the Court. Soon after the hour appointed for performance of the rite what was his Majesty's surprise to see calmly approaching the throne the man who should have been at that time ten minutes dead!
"Seventeen hundred impossible dragons!" shouted the enraged monarch. "Did I not sentence you to stand in the market-place and have your head struck off by the public executioner at three o'clock? And is it not now 3:10?"
"Son of a thousand illustrious deities," answered the condemned minister, "all that you say is so true that the truth is a lie in comparison. But your heavenly Majesty's sunny and vitalizing wishes have been pestilently disregarded. With joy I ran and placed my unworthy body in the market-place. The executioner appeared with his bare scimetar, ostentatiously whirled it in air, and then, tapping me lightly upon the neck, strode away, pelted by the populace, with whom I was ever a favorite. I am come to pray for justice upon his own dishonorable and treasonous head."
"To what regiment of executioners does the black-boweled caitiff belong?" asked the Mikado.
"To the gallant Ninety-eight Hundred and Thirty-seventh— I know the man. His name is Sakko-Samshi."
"Let him be brought before me," said the Mikado to an attendant, and a half-hour later the culprit stood in the Presence.
"Thou bastard son of a three-legged hunchback without thumbs!" roared the sovereign— "why didst thou but lightly tap the neck that it should have been thy pleasure to sever?"
"Lord of Cranes of Cherry Blooms," replied the executioner, unmoved, "command him to blow his nose with his fingers."
Being commanded, Jijiji Ri laid hold of his nose and trumpeted like an elephant, all expecting to see the severed head flung violently from him. Nothing occurred: the performance prospered peacefully to the close, without incident.
All eyes were now turned on the executioner, who had grown as white as the snows on the summit of Fujiama. His legs trembled and his breath came in gasps of terror.
"Several kinds of spike-tailed brass lions!" he cried; "I am a ruined and disgraced swordsman! I struck the villain feebly because in flourishing the scimetar I had accidentally passed it through my own neck! Father of the Moon, I resign my office."
So saying, he gasped his top-knot, lifted off his head, and advancing to the throne laid it humbly at the Mikado's feet.
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:41 pm

Deplorable at Best wrote:
From Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary:

So plain the advantages of machination
It constitutes a moral obligation,
And honest wolves who think upon't with loathing
Feel bound to don the sheep's deceptive clothing.
So prospers still the diplomatic art,
And Satan bows, with hand upon his heart.
R.S.K.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Who is RSK?

The quote is attributed to Ambrose Bierce himself, so it appears it may be the case that "RSK" is him, perhaps some alias or private joke.

I do think it possible that the Penn State writer got the "RSK" from this.

Good find, Deplorable!
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:38 am

I have to be clear, I dont even know for sure if the Trooper I talked to about this desk poem even knew with certainty that is was directly related to Aardsma's death.... I felt it was just worth pointing out since it was another Bates-like tidbit. If you searched desktops at various campuses, I have no doubt you would find many odd things on the desktops.
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:12 am

Right, I understand there is no way to be sure this odd message is from the killer. My guess is the police know at least a little more about it then they are telling - something about it and the circumstances around it must have made them think it COULD be from the killer.

And of course you have the fact that at both colleges that were the scene of the Bates and Aardsma murders, you have a cryptic and morbid poem or saying about death, signed with initials starting with "R", written/etched onto wood surfaces.

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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:55 am

New article on the case:

http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/299298
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:10 am

Article from 2009

http://www.statecollegemagazine.com/single/?tx_ttnews[swords]=betsy&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=50&tx_ttnews[backPid]=2&cHash=7480778bc2

and 2008

http://www.pennlive.com/specialprojects/index.ssf/2008/12/they_are_old_men_now.html
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:06 am

tracers wrote:
New article on the case:

http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/299298

Tracers, thanks for posting that.

I am happy to have supplied the photo of Haefner (the suspect) used in the article. I looked at the Aardsma case quite a bit over the past couple years, and was able to find out alot about Haefner. I even found out that Haefner (initials R.H.) was in Calif during the mid- late 60's, and wondered if he could have been Zodiac. Interestingcly ,perhaps more coincidentally, he also had done research work in RED LODGE, MT.

The Aardsma case had some strong paralells to the Bates case, even a desktop poem etched into a desk, and an anonymous taunting letter. In the end, I lean towards this case being non-zodiac related, but there are some really spooky paralells, and conincidences.
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:20 pm

The website devoted to Betsy that was down last year is now back up:

http://whokilledbetsy.org/
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:55 pm





http://www.whokilledbetsy.org/haefner.html

"He (Richard Charles Haefner ) wore glasses at times but did not need them all of the time, and later switched to contact lenses."


Last edited by Theforeigner on Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:23 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:10 pm

wow--what a match!
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:45 pm

This is my analysis of the possible links between the college library murders of Betsy Aardsma and Cheri Jo Bates:

http://zodiackillersite.forummotion.com/ted-kaczynski-f26/similarities-between-the-college-library-murders-of-cheri-jo-bates-and-betsy-aardsma-t312.htm

I have been interested in Richard Haefner as a suspect. Along with Morf, I passed along some info on him to the PA state trooper investigating the Aardsma case. I have also spoken with Derek, who has done a good job investigating this case. The PA state trooper was very dismissive as Haefner as a suspect, consistent with the attitudes expressed here in this new article by the PA state police.

I think Haefner deserves a serious look. More than what PA is giving him. He is violent. He seems to have known Betsy at least casually. There is some circumstantial evidence against him. His initials are "RH" - found at the bottom of the Riverside desktop poem. Morf has explored some interesting things on Haefner as well.

But I have yet to see anything showing Haefner capable of murder. It is not clear that he "dated " Aardsma - he may have gone out for coffee with her once or twice.

Also, based on the info in this new article he seems to have the same primary sexual orientation as Arther Leigh Allen - an interest in young boys. It seems Haefner is a homosexual pedophile. That is not generally consistent with a stalker and killer of young women.

I hope they get touch DNA from the clothes of Aardsma. The trooper says it is a long shot, but the FBI is trying. If they get anything, they should compare it to the DNA (if they have it) of Richard Haefner, Ted Kaczynski, Ted Bundy and the possible Zodiac DNA.

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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:15 am

I know this case somewhat mirrors the Bates murder, and there was an anonymous taunting letter mailed in several years later in the case. The trooper said that I may be able to have a look one day at the writing on that letter if I was in her neck of the woods, but I have been out of contact with her.Also, that the crime happened in between known Zodiac activity. But beyond that, its Zyncronicity I think...but who knows, in the Z case, nothing would surprise me.
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:34 am

I agree. There are some very eerie connections, to be sure. But, given that this murder occurred at the height of Zodiac's public visibility and given that Z wanted publicity and seemed to want to show how smart he was and capable he was at holding an entire city in terror, why wouldn't he have put his identifying crosshair symbol on something to take credit for this murder clear across the country? If he was the murderer, surely Z would boast how he not only was holding the Bay Area in terror but the entire country. Why not put a crosshair on the letter or armchair or somewhere in the message on the library floor during the 1994 candlelight visit (supposing it was the killer and not a prank)?

Then again, one could argue the opposite as well. Perhaps Z was so spooked after the Stine debacle that he high-tailed it out of the Bay Area and didn't stop until he got to the East Coast. Perhaps he didn't take credit for this murder because he was seen and could be identified. The connections between this case and the Bates murder are pretty eerie. Who knows. Like Morf said, nothing would surprise me anymore when it comes to Z.
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:13 am

rand wrote:
I agree. There are some very eerie connections, to be sure. But, given that this murder occurred at the height of Zodiac's public visibility and given that Z wanted publicity and seemed to want to show how smart he was and capable he was at holding an entire city in terror, why wouldn't he have put his identifying crosshair symbol on something to take credit for this murder clear across the country? If he was the murderer, surely Z would boast how he not only was holding the Bay Area in terror but the entire country. Why not put a crosshair on the letter or armchair or somewhere in the message on the library floor during the 1994 candlelight visit (supposing it was the killer and not a prank)?

Then again, one could argue the opposite as well. Perhaps Z was so spooked after the Stine debacle that he high-tailed it out of the Bay Area and didn't stop until he got to the East Coast. Perhaps he didn't take credit for this murder because he was seen and could be identified. The connections between this case and the Bates murder are pretty eerie. Who knows. Like Morf said, nothing would surprise me anymore when it comes to Z.

Again, to me, odds are that this crime was not Z, BUT, if it was somehow Z ,or if any other east coast crimes (or crimes anywhere else outside of CA)were the work of Z, the answer is quite clear to me- he wouldnt have used the crosshair logo out of CA, because it would make it much easier for cops to track him. Think about it, if you moved to PA, and started killing, & sending letters with crosshair symbols on it, and police conclusively linked it as being from Z, then cops would have a much easier time tracking people that had moved from CA, and would probably eventually zero in on him. A prime example of this case, that to this day I think COULD be the work of Zodiac, is the mid 1970's Lindy Sue Biechler case from Lancaster PA. (see the text of the letter at: http://www.lindyandchristy.com/articlesstories12.html anyone that doesnt think that was written by a person very well versed in the Z case, or written by Z himself, needs glasses) Her case is somewhat similar to Lass, in that there is evidence that she made it home to her apartment where she was attacked. She was stabbed with a smallish pocket knife- style knife (like Bates), and also stabbed with a knife from her own home. She was not raped or robbed. She told people before she was murdered, she thought she was being stalked.On the one year anniversary of her murder, someone vandalised her gravestone, and then sent a letter to thepolice asking to be published in the Friday paper, and that they would "confess". The writer described themselves as being 5'10", and 205 lbs (this was close to the overall description of Z, as well as aprox weight). I could go on, but the similarities are easy enough to see. Anyhow, police chose not to publish the letter, and the writer didnt write back. (Imagine if the papers ignored Z's request to be published, they might never have started such an open dialogue)

One other Penn State case, which was pretty similar, was the 1987 murder of Dana Bailey. She was a Penn State student. Like Biechler, she was murdered in her apartment with a knife from her apartment. Police feel she was stalked. She was not raped or robbed, but was tied (Berryessa) in a sexual 'pose', if you will. On the 3 year anniversary, her Father received an anonymous letter (like Cheri Jo's Father). The letter was from a 'concerned citizen'. The letter stated the name of someone police should look at as a suspect. The man named, was a cop himself. Police launched a full investigation into the cop, but cleared him of any wrong doing. It was a dead-end. Was this some "busy work" or a "false clew" to mess with police?
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:18 pm

This post was done by THEFOREIGNER:

Interesting that thise two, possibly suspected Zodiac victims, were both killed at Thanksgiving, November 28, exactly 12 years apart & they were very much lookalikes:

Betsy Ruth Aardsma, Penn State College, PA Student, Jul 11, 1947 -November 28 1969, Killed at Thanksgiving

Joan Lucinda Webster, Harvard Universety, Ma Student, Aug 19,1956 -Novemeber 28 1981, Killed at Thanksgiving





http://joanwebstermurder.yolasite.com/ Joan Lucinda Webster case info

http://www.whokilledbetsy.org/what.html Betsy Ruth Aardsma case info

http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98028 Betsy Ruth Aardsma case info
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:50 pm

AK Wilks wrote:
This post was done by THEFOREIGNER:

Interesting that thise two, possibly suspected Zodiac victims, were both killed at Thanksgiving, November 28, exactly 12 years apart & they were very much lookalikes:

Betsy Ruth Aardsma, Penn State College, PA Student, Jul 11, 1947 -November 28 1969, Killed at Thanksgiving

Joan Lucinda Webster, Harvard Universety, Ma Student, Aug 19,1956 -Novemeber 28 1981, Killed at Thanksgiving





http://joanwebstermurder.yolasite.com/ Joan Lucinda Webster case info

http://www.whokilledbetsy.org/what.html Betsy Ruth Aardsma case info

http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98028 Betsy Ruth Aardsma case info

I received an advance copy from Derek Sherwood, of the book he has written about Aardsma. It does indeed mention the Zodiac similarities, but it also focuses on a far more likely suspect, Richard Haefner. The book is called 'WHO KILLED BETSY', and I believe it is available(or soon will be)on Amazon.
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:54 pm

Cool. Good for him. And maybe it will bring more publicity to the case.

Does he mention the terrible Teds at all - Ted Bundy and Ted Kaczynski, both named as suspects in the case?

Does he give a fair presentation of the Zodiac tie-ins, or is he just dismissive?

Final question, anything new and major on Haefner?

I will order this when available. I spoke on the phone to Derek about the Haefner, Zodiac and TK theories.
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:35 pm

AK Wilks wrote:
Cool. Good for him. And maybe it will bring more publicity to the case.

Does he mention the terrible Teds at all - Ted Bundy and Ted Kaczynski, both named as suspects in the case?

Does he give a fair presentation of the Zodiac tie-ins, or is he just dismissive?

Final question, anything new and major on Haefner?

I will order this when available. I spoke on the phone to Derek about the Haefner, Zodiac and TK theories.

He does mention TedK and the Zodiac, etc. He does not simply shoot them down, but states exactly what makes them unlikely suspects, and makes Haefner more of a logical suspect. He does have some new tidbits about Haefner, but I think he wants them kept under wraps until the book is officially available.
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PostSubject: Re: Betsy Aardsma Case Background   Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:49 pm

OK, thanks. I will definitely read it.

I will have to see what he presents. I think it very possible there are ties between Bates, Aardsma and maybe Webster.

I told Trooper Barrows about Haefner, the "RH" connection and other evidence against Haefner, how me might have known Betsy, etc., but she was very dismissive. Unless she was trying to mislead me, she gave the impression she didn't think much of Haefner as a suspect. But who knows she could be wrong.

Derek told me about some of his new evidence on the phone, including a family member of Haefner who had very incriminating things to say.
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