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 Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70

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PostSubject: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:02 pm

In the button letter from june 26,1970, there is the 32-cipher but there is also another hidden code. In this part of the letter the Zodiac says he killed a man with a .38.

Question: Who was it?



Answer: Follow the Zodiac cross lines.



It is clearly written “a cop”. Which cop was it?



He was from the SFPD.

I think it is clear now that the Zodiac was talking about the murder of Sergeant Richard Radetich.

The Times-Standard 01/12/71


Now the question becomes: did he really kill Sgt. Radetich? Or was it simply to "inflate" his victims count?
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:08 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:35 am

For Gaik fans, here's an interesting article from the Good Times that suggests that the guy(s) LE pinned for the murder were not the murderers; that, instead, this was an inside job. I think it was Z.

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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:39 am

Pretty interesting, thanks RAND. Myself, i am Really up in the air on this one being Z related. Zodiac provided very basic/generic details on the Radetich murder.
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:42 am

What strikes me as VERY strange about this case is that the "murderers" got something like 4 years in jail for KILLING A COP! Something was up with that.
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:47 am

rand wrote:
What strikes me as VERY strange about this case is that the "murderers" got something like 4 years in jail for KILLING A COP! Something was up with that.

Yes, that is not what you would expect
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:55 am

Sorry, I got that wrong. It was Eric Zelms's murderers. They got 8-10 years. Here's the link: http://www.odmp.org/officer/14665-officer-eric-a.-zelms
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Thu May 26, 2011 10:06 am

SF Chronicle article

Mystery Gunman Kills SF Officer- SF Chronicle 6/20/70

A 25 year-old policeman died last night nearly 15 hours after he was shot while seated in his patrol car, writing a citation for an illegally licensed auto in the Haight Ashbury District. Officer Richard Radetich- who never in his life wanted anything more than being a policeman- was shot once through the left temple. He died at 8:02 p.m. in San Francisco General Hospital some time after undergoing six hours of brain surgery that required more than ten pints of blood transfusions.

The reason for the attack on young Radetich- who showed an early desire for a police career- is unknown. He was alone in his patrol car checking autos parked on the 600 block of Waller street between Scott and Pierce streets about 5:30 a.m., double parked by a 1964 Oldsmobile that did not bear a 1970 license tag. The spotlight on the patrol cars was turned on the Olds and Radetich’s citation was timed 5:25 a.m.

SHOTS Three minutes later, at 5:28 a.m., residents of the area heard three shots in rapid succession and the sound of an auto racing away immediately police received the first of several phone calls saying there had been a shooting and an officer might be involved. Patrolmen Robert Martinez and John Currie were the first on the scene. Ignoring warning cries from terrified residents of the area that the gunman might still be in the area, the two officers rushed to Radetich’s car. They found him crumpled across the front seat, the microphone of his police radio still in hand. His service revolver was still in its holster and buried under him.

Swarms of police, led by Chief Alfred Nelder, Deputy Chief Donald Scott and other high ranking officers descended on the area and began a door to door search of the block. They found no suspects and heard a babbling of conflicting stories. No one in the immediate area had seen the gunman’s car. Some reported they had heard what sounded like the hum of a small car. Some said they heard what sounded like the roar of a heavy car. A gas station attendant at Oak and Divisadero streets told officers that moments after the shooting he had seen a white Cadillac racing east on Oak street after having turned in from Divisadero.

CASING The only solid clue police could find was the casing of a .38 caliber bullet lying outside the smashed window of Radetich’s car. The Oldsmobile cited for not having a 1970 license tag was registered to Lena B. Pulley, who lives with her 12 year-old daughter at 660 Waller street. Mrs. Pulley, unemployed(?), said she had the 1970 tag but because she didn’t know how to affix it to the license plate, had left it on her mantle. She said her car was not operative because of a dead battery and since she was driving her brother’s auto, she didn’t bother to have the 1970 tag put in place. “I didn’t know you had to put a license tag on a deactivated, parked car”, she said.

CITATION Just five minutes before tagging the Oldsmobile, Radetich’s book showed he had written a citation for a car parked at a fireplug at Scott and Haight streets. Survived by his wife Nancy and an eight month-old daughter, Jeanine, Radetich joined the police force four years ago. He was the first “graduate” of the Police Athletic League athletic training program to become a cadet and the first to become an officer. “He never wanted to be anything but a policeman” fellow officers said.

He became as a volunteer training officer in the PAL two years ago and Sergeant Stephen Spellman, executive vice president of the organization, said he worked diligently to help high school boys complete the three year course. Chief Nelder, who issued a statement of deepest sympathy, said of him “I knew him personally, he was a tremendous young man. He always wanted to be a policeman”. A native of San Francisco, Radetich was graduated from Balboa High School in 1962, attended City College for six months, and for a brief time worked as an assistant gardener for the city. The family home is in Novato. FOURTH Patrolman Radetich is the fourth San Francisco policeman killed in the last 13 months. Officer Joseph Brodnik and Eric Zelms were shot to death and Sergeant Brian McDonnell died in the bombing of Park Street Police Station on February 16. Brodnik died on May 1, 1969 and Zelms on New Year’s Day. Additionally, Officer Radetich’s death is the city’s ??? homicide this year. There were 143 homicides this year.
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Thu May 26, 2011 10:38 am

I am curious, is this somehow linked to the Joe Stine thread? I saw you mentioned the whote caddy over in that thread. This is a good article by the way.
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Thu May 26, 2011 10:54 am

Morf, you know many pictures are not showing up here, some kind of techno glich hopefully that will be fixed very soon. Maybe Ted was right about these computers...

But I swear I was reading a thread where someone, I think it was you, said Radetich was writing a ticket, so maybe there was a witness. And I posted "No it was just a parking ticket, no witnesses."

I don't know what happened!!!???

Can we get our pictures back?
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:38 pm

This is very interesting for one big reason - the fact that there was a .38 casing outside the car. Typically and most commonly, .38 is a revolver round (.38m S&W Special). That would imply the killer removed the casing from the cylinder and left it there. This would fit in with the Zodiac then claiming he shot a man with a .38. But why didn't he say he shot a cop in a parked car? Alternatively, the casing was from a .38 ACP cartridge which I understand would be quite rare - the main (and only self ejecting automatic) firearm that was chambered for this round that I can think of was the Colt Model 1900 - the precursor to the M1911 which of course was .45 ACP. Interestingly, the Model 1900 would fit the description of what Hartnell described at LB. If that's the case, the firearm is not common and surely it would have provided LE with a much better focus on who the perpetrator was?
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:26 pm

Luke68 wrote:
This is very interesting for one big reason - the fact that there was a .38 casing outside the car. Typically and most commonly, .38 is a revolver round (.38m S&W Special). That would imply the killer removed the casing from the cylinder and left it there. This would fit in with the Zodiac then claiming he shot a man with a .38. But why didn't he say he shot a cop in a parked car? Alternatively, the casing was from a .38 ACP cartridge which I understand would be quite rare - the main (and only self ejecting automatic) firearm that was chambered for this round that I can think of was the Colt Model 1900 - the precursor to the M1911 which of course was .45 ACP. Interestingly, the Model 1900 would fit the description of what Hartnell described at LB. If that's the case, the firearm is not common and surely it would have provided LE with a much better focus on who the perpetrator was?

I do not know what casings (if any) were found at the scene of the Radetich murder, but if it was from a .38 special, it would have been a revolver and the killer would have had to have either extractred and discarded a single casing (time consuming) or would have had to have dropped a casing on the ground from his pocket. If he planted a casing in this manner, it could have come from any gun.

The Colt .38 ACP round which you mention would be a more likely candidate if a single casing was found at the scene. It was actually a little more common than you think. While it is true that it began as a round for the Colt model 1900, it was also the round for quite a number of pistols prior to introduction of their Government model 1911 in .45 ACP. Colt did not discontinue the .38 ACP with the advent of the .45 ACP, however. In fact, they marketed a commercial model of the 1911 pistol from the early 1920's until the early 1970's which they called the Colt Super .38.

It would appear from the various different crime scenes, that Zodiac was a fan of the automatic pistol. He used a Harrington and Richardson or Sears .22 at one scene, two different 1935 Browning Hi Power pistols in 9mm at two other places, and at Lake Barryessa it is said that he carried an automatic pistol which resembled a Colt model 1911 .45. A Colt Super .38 would look exactly like a 1911.


Last edited by Richard on Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:59 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:32 pm

Richard wrote:
Luke68 wrote:
This is very interesting for one big reason - the fact that there was a .38 casing outside the car. Typically and most commonly, .38 is a revolver round (.38m S&W Special). That would imply the killer removed the casing from the cylinder and left it there. This would fit in with the Zodiac then claiming he shot a man with a .38. But why didn't he say he shot a cop in a parked car? Alternatively, the casing was from a .38 ACP cartridge which I understand would be quite rare - the main (and only self ejecting automatic) firearm that was chambered for this round that I can think of was the Colt Model 1900 - the precursor to the M1911 which of course was .45 ACP. Interestingly, the Model 1900 would fit the description of what Hartnell described at LB. If that's the case, the firearm is not common and surely it would have provided LE with a much better focus on who the perpetrator was?

I do not know what casings (if any) were found at the scene of the Radetich murder, but if it was from a .38 special, it would have been a revolver and the killer would have had to have either extractred and discarded a single casing (time consuming) or would have had to have dropped a casing on the ground from his pocket. If he planted a casing in this manner, it couled have come from any gun.

The Cold .38 acp round which you mintion would be a more likely candidate if a single casing was found at the scene. It was actually a little more common than you think. While it is true that it began as a round for the Colt model 1900, it was also the round for quite a number of pistols prior to introduction of their Government model 1911 in .45 acp. Colt did not discontinue the .38 acp with the advent of the .45 acp, however. In fact, they marketed a commercial model of the 1911 pistol from the early 1920's until the early 1970's which they called the Colt Super .38.

It would appear from the various different crime scenes, that Zodiac was a fan of the automatic pistol. He used a Harrington and Richardson or Sears .22 at one scene, two different 1935 Browning Hi Power pistols in 9mm at two other places, and at Lake Barryessa it is said that he carried an automatic pistol which resembled a Colt model 1911 .45. A Colt Super .38 would look exactly like a 1911.

According to the SF Chronicle article posted by AK above, a single casing was found. Thanks for the info on the .38 - very comprehensive and informative.
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:14 pm

[quote="Luke68 ... According to the SF Chronicle article posted by AK above, a single casing was found. Thanks for the info on the .38 - very comprehensive and informative.[/quote]

The newspaper article states that three shots were fired in rapid succession, but only mentions one shell casing being found. It does not state exactly what kind of ".38" round it was from.

It would be nice if police would release some specific information regarding the type of gun used. Obviously there was a bullet or bullets recovered which (along with the casing) could have identified the type of gun used.

The fact that three shots were fired quickly, and a car raced away immediately afterward would indicate to me that the gun was an automatic pistol rather than a revolver. It would not make any sense for a killer to eject the casings (and remaining live rounds) from a revolver, select one to throw out the window and then race away. It is possible that only one casing was ejected out of the car while the other two ejected into the car's interior.

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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:10 am

Good stuff Richard. Like you say, it would be handy if there was more info on the casing but your theory is sound. Thinking back to Hartnell's description of the pistol and cartridge in his statement to LE, a Model 1900 seems to fit the bill nicely.
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:57 am

This is a perfect example of hiding in plain sight. The alphabet characters spell the name of the victim who happens to be a Police Officer Sgt. Richard Radetich.

His name is 8 alphabet characters long. I used the “32” characters from the cipher’s 2 rows 4 character from the top and 4 characters from the bottom to spell “Radetich”.

The reason I posted this, is because how the remaining characters are in symmetry when I removed these 8 alphabet characters that spell “Radetich”.

6 from the top and 6 below = 12 which matches the total amount of non alphabet characters=12 with this name “Radetich” and the statement “I shot a man sitting in a parked car with a .38” could be important.

Sgt. Radetich could be a Zodiac victim and this is another way how the Zodiac taunts and misdirects.

There could be more to the remaining 12 characters and I’ll go over the characters and letter for more clues

Daniel…
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PostSubject: Man in parked car   Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:54 pm

Very well done, thank you. I felt that this could be a zodiac murder. ( But then I think he is responsible for a lot more than he has claimed.)
Remember the bullet hole found at the Lake Herman rd killing ? It was a thought to be a 38. Maybe LE should compare that bullet to officer Radetich's and the one from Lake Herman rd ?
I don't remember if they recovered that bullet which was fired at the rear of D.F.'s car, but I would hope they found it . It would be very much like the Zodiac, to use a gun that could tie him to another murder, as a taunt.
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:22 pm

Howard has Sgt. Radetich's autopsy report on his site. I will post all seven articles I have as soon as I crop them.

http://www.thezodiacmansonconnection.com/autop_radetich.html
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:57 pm

Here are the SF Chronicle articles written at the time of Sgt. Radetich's murder. I am including the articles about the suspect, even though he was later cleared, to emphasize how well publicized the hunt for this suspect really was and show that Zodiac took a big risk in claiming to have killed a man in a car with a .38 if he was referring to Sgt. Radetich.

Here is a link to an article written in 2007 that does show the case is still open and the suspect Johnson was cleared.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/1967-71-a-bloody-period-for-S-F-police-2654263.php

















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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:50 am

Great articles, Seagull!

I wasn't aware that there was already a suspect in custody at the time Z wrote about "killing a man with a .38" on June 26th, 1970. I'm still of the opinion that Z gleaned the information about the .38 from the "Mystery Gunman" article and I still believe he was very likely implicitly taking credit for killing Radetich. The timing, however, is really interesting though, isn't it? A suspect is named several days after the murder and several days before Z's letter. The suspect then escapes the day before Z mails his letter about killing a man with a .38.

Was this claim from Z really to take responsibility for the crime or possibly just to add to the growing paranoia of S.F.P.D., who could no longer work alone due to the number of random attacks on them at the time? It does seem that Z was taking a big risk with this claim when a suspect had already been named but he was also vague enough for the claim to have plausible deniability.

Either that or Z killed Radetich and just wanted to keep police guessing but I still think that is far less likely.
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:39 am

Great articles as ever S., thanks.
It's now easy to understand why the SFPD appeared so sure that Radetich was shot by this guy, at least. They had what they thought was a believable eye witness putting him at the scene, (he "swore that was the man he saw" ), and a description that "a second man was in the car" and the car identified (we can presume) as "his" blue Camaro. Amazing.
I'm sure I've read elsewhere of a white Cadlilac leaving the scene?
If only Officer Radetich had been given the time to write down that licence plate.....

Oh, and he has a shoot-out with police during an armed robbery, but walks out of the hospital while the officer guarding him is in the toilet? *sigh*
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:44 am

The articles show why the cops thought Z wasnt the killer of Radetich, but then again, the case against this suspect fell apart, so maybe...just maybe, Z was not lying

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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:09 am

Great articles Seagull. Hope you're not getting these off the microfiche machine, gives me motion sickness. pale

I'm still perplexed by three shots fired and one casing left at the scene. A .38 revolver would have left none and an auto all three, right? What does that leave, a purpose plant to verify Z's claim? I'll ask again, could the bullet caliber be determined from just the slugs?
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:09 pm

If a black man was seen and a suspect, it's no wonder they didn't consider Zodiac.

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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:14 pm

Just a couple of comments:

It is well established that Zodiac liked to taunt the police with his letters, codes, messages, etc. And many believe that he liked to claim (or hint at) responsibility for crimes that he did not commit - perhaps just another way of messing with the police and their investigations.

In this case, Sgt Radetich was shot, and in a later shoot-out with police, a suspect is wounded and apprehended. Now that guy is no "Innocent Lamb". He very likely was the one who shot Sgt. Radetich, regardless of what police managed to put together as evidence for court.

Hard to say what Zodiac (the letter writer) actually knew of the shooting and the suspect and exactly when he knew it. But IF he knew that the suspect had escaped from the hospital before he drafted his letter, he could possibly have been setting the guy up as a Zodiac Suspect. Here the guy is a strong suspect and already identified as such in the papers (which we know Zodiac read), he escapes police custody and is the subject of a well publicised and large man hunt. What better way to mess with the police than to try to get them to think that they actually HAD Zodiac and that he escaped from them? Talk about "Rubbing their noses in their Boo Boos."

In regard to bullet identification, ballistics experts can usually tell the caliber of any bullet if it has not been too badly deformed. I am surprised that they did not come out and actually state whether it was a revolver or automatic pistol - or perhaps one of each.

Revolver bullets back then were usually made of lead and had rings around them for lubricant. They were usually flat nosed "wad cutters", or semi-wadcutters, but sometimes were roundnosed. Only military revolver bullets had copper jackets around the bullet itself.

Revolver cartridge brass casings were usually of the "rimmed" type which were meant to stay in the cylinder of the revolver after being fired. They would later be manually ejected, along with all other rounds; both fired and unfired. If someone were to fire three rounds and then eject them, he would have five or six cartridges/spent casings in his hand to either pocket or discard. It is highly unlikely that he would have done that at the scene of a shooting. You just don't empty your cylinder when you still have a few rounds in it, and someone might start shooting at you any moment.

If it were an automatic pistol, each brass shell casing would have been ejected immediately after being fired. Bullets for automatic pistols back then were usually fully covered with a copper jacket and had a rounded nose. If an automatic pistol was fired from inside a vehicle, it is possible that one or more of the casings might have remained inside the vehicle. That might explain how only one was found.

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