Have Info on the 'Doodler'? Reward Just Got Even Bigger

Police in San Francisco up the pot to $250K, release new sketch in search for '70s serial killer
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2022 12:15 AM CST
Updated Jan 26, 2023 6:09 AM CST
6th Victim Added to Tally of 1970s 'Doodler' Serial Killer
This pair of sketches provided by the San Francisco Police Department in 2019 shows what the serial killer known as the 'Doodler' might have looked like in the 1970s, and closer to today.   (San Francisco Police Department via AP)
UPDATE Jan 26, 2023 6:09 AM CST

Last year, police upped the reward in their search for the "Doodler," a serial killer from the '70s who went after gay men. Now, they've increased the pot even more, this time from $200,000 to $250,000, and released a new sketch of the suspect, reports Fox News. The "age progression" sketch is an update from the initial ones that were drawn based on a survivor's description in 1975. A year after that, cops did ID a "strong person of interest" in the Bay Area—an individual who's still alive, per KTVU—but they haven't been able to collect enough evidence to bring charges. Investigators want to sit down with people who called when the first sketches came out, including a woman who called twice without divulging her name.

Jan 28, 2022 12:15 AM CST

The "Doodler" is still out there, but police in San Francisco say they're closer than ever to catching the 1970s serial killer who targeted gay men. On Thursday, the SFPD confirmed a sixth victim—52-year-old attorney Warren Andrews, reports SFGate. Warren was savagely beaten in the city's Lands End park in 1975 and died from his injuries weeks later without ever having regained consciousness. Police initially didn't connect his killing to five others that occurred in the city from 1974 to '75, but renewed interest in the case—particularly a San Francisco Chronicle series and podcast on the killings—prompted investigators to take a new look.

The Doodler had a well-established pattern. He would seeks out victims—typically gay white men—in a bar, then make a sketch of them as a way of striking up a conversation, explains CNN. They'd leave the bar, go to a secluded site, have a sexual encounter, and then the Doodler would stab them. (Andrews is an anomaly in that he wasn't stabbed, but police now believe he fought back and perhaps caused his assailant to lose his knife down a nearby cliff.) Some of the Doodler's victims' survived—they say he claimed to be a cartoonist or an aspiring artist—and police were able to create a sketch.

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In fact, police were even able to interview a suspect, who remains unidentified. The case, however, went nowhere, in part because survivors were reluctant to testify in court in an age when being publicly identified as homosexual could wreck their lives. That same suspect remains the primary person of interest and was reinterviewed recently, per SFGate. "We've come a long way in this investigation, and I think we're closer than ever to solving it—but we just need a bit more information," lead investigator Dan Cunningham tells the Chronicle. Police also doubled the reward for information leading to an arrest to $200,000 on Thursday, exactly 48 years after the killer's first victim was discovered. (More serial killers stories.)

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