San Francisco police on Wednesday released a sketch of a serial killer dubbed the “Doodler” who terrorized San Francisco’s gay community over 40 years ago.
The sketch is “age-progressed” and shows what the man might look like today. They also announced a $100,000 reward for details leading to his capture.
Police believe the killer stabbed at least five men to death from early 1974 to late 1975.
He became known as the “Doodler” after a victim who survived an attack told police the man was doodling while they talked at a late-night diner and said he was a cartoonist
“In the 1970s, this was gripping the gay community and San Francisco,” police Commander Greg McEachern told the news conference, saying authorities were releasing the new sketch in hopes of bringing justice to victims of the “horrendous homicides.”
It’s one of several cold cases, particularly serial crimes, being re-examined after the capture last year of the notorious “Golden State Killer” through DNA analysis, McEachern said. Police have submitted DNA samples from some of the 1970s crime scenes in the Doodler case and were waiting for results from a lab.
Police described the killer as an African-American male, about 5 feet, 11 inches tall with a lanky build who was likely in his early 20s during the attacks.
The killer targeted white men he met at after-hours gay clubs and restaurants in San Francisco. He usually sketched them before having sex and stabbing them.
The bodies of four men were found along the beach. Another stabbing victim was found in Golden Gate Park.
Witness at that time were able to give investigators a description of the suspect, leading to a man being detained in 1976 but never charged.
Police have interviewed the man since returning to the case and he remains a person of interest. His name was not released .
An AP story from 1977 quotes police as saying the suspect at the time could not be charged because three survivors, including a “well-known entertainer” and a diplomat were reluctant to “come out of the closet” to testify against him.