Case File #0106
The Black Doodler
The San Francisco Serial Murder Case
"The city had become nightmarishly dangerous for gay men"
In January 1974, the body of an unidentified man was found with numerous stab wounds, lying face-up on Ocean Beach in San Francisco, California. It would be the first such murder attributed to a serial killer who was active until September 1975, and is believed by some to have claimed upwards of fourteen victims. The suspect would cruise gay bars, clubs and restaurants looking for intended victims, sometimes approaching men after drawing their likeness. The men were then led to secluded areas for a brief sexual encounter, after which the killer would stab and slash his victims to death. In the early stages of the investigation it was suspected there were as many as three different perpetrators who selected their victims from different areas of the city, however it soon became apparent the police were looking for a single suspect. The newspapers referred to the killer as the Doodler, because of his curious habit of sketching his victims before murdering them. Three survivors came forward with information, but refused to help the investigation further for fear of their sexual orientation becoming public knowledge. As a result, the case remains unsolved and the Doodler has never been publicly identified.
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