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October 15 , 2011

Corroborating Evidence III

A True Crime Story
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In this newly revised and expanded third edition of “Corroborating Evidence,” William Rasmussen, author of three previous true-crime books, continues his investigation into famous, unsolved criminal cases by focusing on two separate, unrelated stories. The first zeroes in on the Cleveland Torso Murders committed between 1934 and 1938, where someone killed and expertly dismembered at least twelve victims in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1938, a letter by someone claiming to be the Torso Killer was mailed from Los Angeles to Cleveland’s Chief of Police Matowitz. Approximately eight years later on January 7, 1946, six-year-old Suzanne Degnan was killed and expertly dismembered in Chicago. A seventeen-year-old by the name of William Heirens eventually pled guilty to the Degnan murder and two other murders. In July, 1946, Elizabeth Short (the Black Dahlia) was in Chicago “terribly preoccupied with the details of the Degnan murder.” Less than six months later the Black Dahlia was killed and expertly severed in Los Angeles. Was the Cleveland Torso Killer also responsible for the murders of Suzanne Degnan and the Black Dahlia? “If so, then is William Heirens wrongly incarcerated for crimes he did not commit?” the author asks. “I think he was.” The second investigation turns the spotlight on the Zodiac Killer, who was responsible for at least six murders in California between 1966 and 1969. On October 30, 1966, eighteen-year-old Cheri Jo Bates was brutally murdered in Riverside, California. On December 20, 1968, sixteen-year-old Betty Lou Jensen and seventeen-year-old David Arthur Faraday were killed near Vallejo, north of San Francisco. Someone who identified himself as the “Zodiac” claimed to be the killer. He sent taunting letters, notes, greeting cards, codes, secret messages and hidden clues to newspapers and the police, and the killings continued. To this day the identity and location of the Zodiac remain unknown. The author says, “I think there is a high probability that the Zodiac is still alive and currently incarcerated for some other crime.” In this edition Rasmussen presents further evidence that may link the Zodiac Killer to other famous unsolved murders. The fascinating and highly documented information contained in this new illustrated third edition of the book could well be a significant development in the Zodiac case as well as the Torso Murders of the 1930s. WILLIAM T. RASMUSSEN, attorney at law, was born and raised in northern Michigan. He graduated from Central Michigan University and the Detroit College of Law. After graduating from law school, he attended George Washington University in Washington, DC.
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