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 Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70

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smithy
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:27 pm

Ah, the white Cadillac is mentioned in that article. Ahem. Embarassed

Yeah - three shots fired, one casing - a .38 revolver, and an automatic, probably(?)
Radetich didn't fire any shots - in his car and had no chance to return fire I believe. (Would have had his trusty S&W revolver, yes?)
The patrol car window was closed, so....
Nice high-res photo's out there (this one's not so good). Multiple shots through the glass, quarter-light missing(?) Two shooters? Don't know.



PS: "The Zodiac was black!" would be a fab new revelation - and there's a book in it. Wink
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Richard
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:47 pm

smithy wrote:
....Yeah - three shots fired, one casing - a .38 revolver, and an automatic, probably(?)
Radetich didn't fire any shots - in his car and had no chance to return fire I believe. (Would have had his trusty S&W revolver, yes?) ...

Radetich was murdered in cold blood with his assailant simply approaching him and shooting. It is highly likely that it was just one killer and less likely that it was two.

If, in fact, the one casing came from an automatic pistol and one or more bullets came from a revolver, then it is very likely that one killer fired both weapons; one a revolver and one an automatic.

How hard would it be for police to state exactly what the evidence is? I can understand wanting to keep certain things back during an investigation, but at this point -40 plus years later - how would keeping that information from the public be of any benefit?

On the contrary, if they were to come out and specify the types of pistol or pistols used, someone might come forward and say, "I know someone who had just exactly what you describe....."
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entropy
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:06 pm

Richard wrote:
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.

Richard, this is exactly why I think the SF Chronicle articles Seagull has been posting are really intriguing and informative. I agree that there is no doubt that Zodiac read the newspapers, particular the SF Chronicle, to keep abreast of the public reaction to his crimes and the Zodiac investigation. Much of the 11/9/69 letter, for instance, is a direct rebuttal of this article, calling him a liar, "clumsy criminal" and latent homosexual.

http://zodiackillersite.forummotion.com/t1420-sf-chronicle-oct-18-1969-zodiac-portrait-of-the-killer

In the Radetich case (presuming that's what he was alluding to with the "shot a man with a .38 comment), he offers no proof whatsoever to back up this implicit claim other than parroting the one piece of forensic evidence cited in the newspaper (that a .38 shell casing was found). Given that intense interest and wide media coverage, I have to believe that he continued to read the SF Chronicle over the next several days and would have known that a suspect was being sought and captured. I was mistaken, by the way, in the last post in thinking that the suspect had escaped the day before Z's letter. In reading more closely, this was a reference to a previous escape but I do think Z was probably well aware of the state of the investigation and any suspicion of new victims, as it was represented in the local newspapers. I honestly think all of the letters (confirmed and questionable) should be evaluated in the context of what was being discussed in the media at the time.

I doubt, however, that Z was attempting to frame the suspect as being Zodiac. Yes, the initial dispatcher report from the Stine scene described a black male but it was pretty obvious at this time that Z was a white male.
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:25 pm

entropy wrote:
I doubt, however, that Z was attempting to frame the suspect as being Zodiac. Yes, the initial dispatcher report from the Stine scene described a black male but it was pretty obvious at this time that Z was a white male.

I don't know....all those darn wigs n'make-up! Suspect Smile

If LE truly believed that Johnson guy was the killer of Radetich...even with lack of evidence...I think Zodiac would be easily dismissed.

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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:32 pm

Richard wrote:

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.


Thanks for the bullet info Richard. I had considered that perhaps just one ejected auto casing made it out the shooter's car window, and it is a possibility if the gun was held by the driver right at open passenger window. Pity we don't have any details from the casings or the slugs.

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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:33 pm

I know there is an article out there from the time that Johnson was cleared but since I don't know when he was located it's slow going in finding the article. What I do remember though is that Johnson was found in Ohio, he had gone there after his escape from the hospital. He had an iron clad alibi, being out of the state, for Radetich's murder. I will look to see if I can find the article online from a paper other than the Chronicle.
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:14 pm

Baby steps! I found an article from when Johnson was arrested in Ohio Nov. 1970,much later than I would have guessed. I have not found the article clearing him yet but the November date gives me a starting point. Johnson's name in this article is Wesley Allen Johnson, not Joe!

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smithy
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:53 am

Thanks S.
"Shot in the head three times" - the reporting just gets worse!
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tracers
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:34 pm

If he was out of state, how did he become a suspect in the first place?
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:24 pm

tracers wrote:
If he was out of state, how did he become a suspect in the first place?

Maybe he fled?

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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:52 pm

The suspect was named because an "eyewitness" identified him and his car as being in the immediate area at the time of the shooting. In fact Johnson had fled to Ohio after escaping police custody while in a SF hospital the previous December. Those articles are on page two of this thread. The June 24th and 25th, 1970 articles.

SFPD later said there were no witnesses to the killing.
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tracers
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:35 pm

So first there was an eyewitness and later there wasn't? odd
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Seagull
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PostSubject: Re: Sgt. Radetich 06/19/70   Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:52 pm

The eyewitness that claimed to have seen Johnson and his car was obviously lying. Johnson was placed in Ohio at the time of the shooting. I guess SFPD had to go back and re-evaluate the eyewitness and came to the conclusion that there were no eyewitnesses.
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