The Doodler
COMPOSITEProgressed to 63-69
Sex Male
Race Black
Location San Francisco, California
Active January 1974 - September 1975
Unidentified for 46 years
Age approximation 19-25
Height approximation 6'
Weight approximation Unknown, but slender
Offense Murder, sexual assault

1975 composite accompanying the original frontal sketch.

This case contains graphic content that may not be suitable for all readers.

"The Doodler" is a suspected serial killer active between 1974 and 1975 in the San Francisco, California area. The unidentified male selected LGBTQ men as targets, killing at least five. He also committed several sexual assaults.

The case was reopened in 2018. Evidence is being retested, and authorities may choose to use genetic genealogy in efforts to identify the suspect.


The Doodler is believed to have begun his span of killings on January 27, 1974, or the preceding night. Five men, between the ages of 27 and 66 are considered probable victims, although there may be a total of sixteen cases. Most, if not all, were killed by sharp-force trauma.

At least three witnesses survived, but they refused to publicly identify themselves to avoid backlash from coming out as LGBTQ, which was common during the time.

The suspect is thought to have met his victims in LGBTQ-friendly establishments in the San Francisco area, often requesting to sketch a potential victim before killing them. Two of the confirmed victims were born in European countries, and another was a known drag performer at a nightclub. All of the men were Caucasian.

Potential identities

As a result of the lack of witness' cooperation, a suspect believed by police to be the "right man" was released from custody, eliminating the possibility of a trial.

Two men were interviewed in the Riverside County region of California in 1977. Both were accused of up to 28 murders with a similar modus operandi for targets. Little information is available regarding the outcome of both investigations.


  • A drama series is currently in development by a British production company.


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