The Doodler

The Doodler

The Doodler

CATEGORY: Society & Culture
The Golden State Killer. The Unabomber. Ted Bundy. You’re probably familiar with these serial killers. But in the mid-1970s, another monster terrorized San Francisco’s gay community. He was coined “The Doodler,” and he may have been responsible for as many victims as the Zodiac Killer, yet you’ve probably never heard of him. Plagued by a complicated investigation, a frightened public, and the hesitation of many to come forward, the case went cold, and a killer walked free. Nearly 50 years later, a renewed hunt for a forgotten serial killer seeks to change that. Follow the story on “The Doodler” podcast, debuting in March 2021. Have a tip? Email thedoodlerline@gmail.com, call (415) 570-9299, or visit thedoodlerpod.com.
  1. June 24, 2021
    5 min
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    Introducing: I Am Rama
    Rama was a spiritual teacher in the 80s and 90s who inspired many of his students while helming what many of his detractors would describe as a cult. He defied society’s archetypal vision of a New Age leader, e…
  2. May 24, 2021
    8 min
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    Introducing: Cheat!
    Have you ever wondered about those people in life who don’t play by the rules? Maybe it was the person who looked over your shoulder in that exam. The person who got the job instead of you because they lied on…
  3. April 27, 2021
    42 min
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    8. Rays of Hope
    Since the reactivation of the Doodler case in 2018, Dan Cunningham has been eyeing a key person of interest. Cunningham met with him and even got a sample of his DNA. The SFPD is comparing that DNA with blood f…
  4. April 20, 2021
    33 min
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    7. The Man in the Sketch
    After the publication of the composite sketch, leads begin to pour in. SFPD receives a call from a psychiatrist’s office. The doctor claims the man in the sketch might be their patient. Homicide investigators a…
  5. April 13, 2021
    25 min
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    6. A Sketch for the Street Cops
    In the Fall of 1975, a composite sketch of The Doodler is published in the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Sentinel, and tips begin to roll in. Street cops are on high alert for anyone matching th…
  6. April 06, 2021
    35 min
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    5. An Actor and a Diplomat Walk into a Bar
    At the end of 1975, The Doodler murders Harald Gullberg, the fifth and final suspected fatality that investigators have tied to this case. The Doodler’s sixth victim actually survives a brutal knife attack. Inv…
  7. April 01, 2021
    6 min
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    Introducing: Spy Affair
    A charismatic Russian woman arrives in the US on a mission to improve relations between the two countries, and she soon makes some powerful friends. But who is Maria Butina? And who is she working for? As Maria…
  8. March 30, 2021
    31 min
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    4. Gilford and Sanders
    More than a year after the murder of Gerald Cavanagh, the SFPD finally assigns a dedicated team of investigators to The Doodler case. Turns out Rotea Gilford and Earl Sanders, the first Black homicide investiga…
  9. March 23, 2021
    26 min
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    3. The Zebra Diversion
    Kevin and Mike dig deeper into the lives of the first three Doodler victims, and a clear pattern begins to emerge around the method and location of these deaths: brutal stabbings in remote hookup spots. Did SFP…
  10. March 16, 2021
    35 min
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    2. Murder, Mistrust, and the SFPD
    The Doodler’s second known victim is an up-and-coming San Francisco drag queen named Jae Stevens. In the present, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Kevin Fagan recruits private investigator and former Chronicle col…
  11. March 16, 2021
    32 min
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    1. The Coldest Case in San Francisco
    You’ve probably heard of the Zodiac Killer but not The Doodler. Why not? Between 1974 and ‘75 he killed at least 5 gay men in San Francisco and got away with it. But ever since, the case has been mostly overloo…
  12. March 02, 2021
    3 min
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    Trailer: Introducing The Doodler
    San Francisco was a haven for queer people in the 1970s, but it was also home to a little-known serial killer called the Doodler. It might sound like a silly name, by his body count is as high as the Zodiac's.…
  13. October 15, 2020
    1 min
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    Help Us Find a Serial Killer: The Doodler
    The Golden State Killer. The Unabomber. Ted Bundy. Serial killers you’ll be familiar with. But between 1974 and 1975, there was another ruthless serial killer at large, terrorizing San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ commun…

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