An unidentified serial killer terrorized the San Francisco area between January 1974 and September 1975. The Doodler is believed to be responsible for up to sixteen murders, and three assaults of men. This serial killer, in particular, was nicknamed The Doodler because prior to the murders he would sketch his victims.
According to the DailyMail, The Doodler is believed to be the most prolific murderer of gay men in the United States modern history. He would stalk his victims at gay bars and diners before luring them away, and suggesting they go somewhere quieter.
The Doodler stabbed his victims and beat them before then dumping their bodies at beaches around the San Francisco-Bay Area, according to DailyMail.
In a report released by the Associated Press, police revealed they had identified a suspect, but he was not charged because three survivors, including a well-known entertainer, and a diplomat were reluctant “to come out” to testify against the suspect.
The Doodler’s first known victims was 50-year-old Gerald Cavanaugh, a 27-year-old drag queen named Joseph Stevens and 31-year-old Klaus Christmann.
According to DailyMail, police described The Doodler as an African-American male who is about 5 feet 11 inches tall, and was likely in his twenties.
The murders are still unsolved to this day, and no suspect has been publicly identified. Police have offered a $100,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
According to People Magazine, an eight part podcast by the San Francisco Chronicle sheds light on the police investigation and conducts their own inquiry into the long-forgotten slayings in hopes of identifying the killer.
“Victims were really forgotten in history. Everyone deserves attention and sympathy and justice, these five guys were just swept under the waves totally. One of the goals of this project has been to illuminate who they were,” Chronicle reporter Kevin Fagan told People Magazine.
San Francisco Police Department investigator Dan Cunningham was put in charge of the department’s cold case unit, and is leading the investigation into the murders, according to SF Gate.
Cunningham told CNN that he has sent DNA samples from two crime scenes to the lab. They believe that they are starting to “connect the dots” on the unsolved cases.
Anyone with information regarding the case can call the San Francisco Police at 1-415-575-4444.