The Beatles and the Desktop Poem

“…if not unintelligible, it has to be vague: and if neither unintelligible nor vague, it has to be unverifiable….”

Eric Hoffer, from The True Believer

The Beatles song ‘Yes It Is’ was released on April 9th, 1965, as the flip side of their hit single: ‘She’s Got a Ticket to Ride:

“If you wear red tonight, remember what I said tonight,
For red is the colour that my baby wore, and what’s more

It’s true
Yes it is

Scarlet were the clothes she wore, everybody knows I’m sure,
I would remember all the things we planned, understand

It’s true
Yes it is
It’s true
Yes it is

I could be happy with you by my side, if I could forget her

But alright yes it is, yes it is
Oh yes it is, yeah

Please don’t wear red tonight, this is what I said tonight,
For red is the colour that will make me blue, in spite of you

It’s true
Yes it is….”

Songwriters: Lennon John Winston, Mccartney Paul James.

There’s more but these are what I feel to be the relevant verses, as you’ll see.

At Riverside Campus just a few days later, April 13th, 1965, a young lady was stabbed in a parking lot at Riverside College campus, not far from where 18 y.o. Cheri (red?) Joe Bates was murdered on October 30th, 1966. 19 y.o. Miss Atwood was stabbed in the stomach and seriously wounded, but she survived. Whether she was wearing a red dress at the time has not been determined so far by any Zodiophiles. The perpetrator was caught on April 28th, 1965. See Grinell’s site for at least 2 articles on the attack/poem.

The infamous desktop poem, discovered in storage at the College library, December 1966, (after the murder of Cheri Jo Bates), could have been written by perpetrator Rolland Taft between April 13th, and April 28th, 1965. A post from the website Project MK-Zodiac show the connection between the poem and a headline in a local newspaper: Clean-cut youth sought in stabbing. See how ‘clean’ and ‘cut’ are used in the poem. Kudos to MK-Zodiac’s Ricardo Gomez for his discovery. It would indicate that at least part of the poem was written between April 17th, 1965, the date of the headline, and April 28th, 1965, the date of Rolland Taft’s capture. Very mysterious, and disturbing really, that Taft only served 2-1/2 years of a 20 year sentence. And that he was married in August of 65, before his sentencing to 20 years for attempted murder.

Let’s check out the structure of the poem now, with the above discussion in mind:

Notice how the size of the lettering and handwriting changes after ‘she won’t die’. Note the strict geometry of the piece before these words which then loosens. And the words are not carved as deeply into the plywood as the text above it. (with the exception of the word ‘time’). Though, note, even the word ‘die’ has a ‘d’ that looks much different than the ‘d’ of die in the title above.

It appears to me that someone else has completed the poem, perhaps around the time of CJ Bate’s murder. Could this have been the Zodiac? To what end? To try and take credit for the Taft attack?

But the Beatles song “Yes It Is’ similarities with the poem: was Taft trying to link it to a murder to dirty the Beatles rep in America, thinking that his poem would be discovered much sooner? Recall how the Beatles songs ‘Helter Skelter’ and Little Piggies, was linked to the Manson Family Murders 4+ years after the release of ‘Yes it Is’, (a mostly Lennon ballad), August 8th, 1969. It’s a suspected CHAOS-like connection for me, and the whole thing, poem and murders, may indicate that Taft and the ‘Zodiac 4’ knew each other.

Later on, The Blue Meanies of the Beatles film ‘Yellow Submarine’: some of them were called ‘Turks’. Joe Karadanis was Anatolian Greek, his father from Turkey. ‘Blue Meanies’ was used in one of Zodiac’s letters, in reference to police at the Stine cabbie murder. Since the Greeks were pretty much thrown out of Turkey by Muslim Turks, or murdered, these Meanies might have made quite an impression on Karadanis.

Yellow Submarine- 1968. Poster from

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