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There may be a sixth victim linked to the infamous 1970s San Francisco serial killer known as ‘The Doodler,’ as authorities doubled reward money to $200,000 to try and solve the long-term cold case.
The unidentified man, who struck terror in the Bay Area’s gay community four decades ago between January 1974 and June 1975, earned his moniker because a surviving victim remembered him drawing caricatures at an all-night San Francisco diner.
Police announced Thursday that a potential sixth victim was tied to The Doodler after an investigative series in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2020.
The series followed cold case detectives Dan Cunningham and Dan Dedet as they investigated the death of a man named Warren Andrews.
The San Francisco police confirmed Thursday that they now believe Andrews is connected to The Doodler killings.
This pair of sketches provided by the San Francisco Police Department, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, shows what a serial killer might look like now in a cold case involving at least five stabbing deaths of gay men in the mid-1970s
The original, over-40-year-old police sketches of the killer
San Francisco police have increased their reward from $100,000 to $200,000
Prior to this discovery, five gay white men were believed slain by the ‘Doodler’ between January 1974 and June 1975, all of the victims sustaining stab wounds to the upper chest and back from a similar weapon, police say.
Two gay white men, who were attacked in July 1975 but survived, were also thought to be victims of the same assailant.
‘On April 27, 1975, Andrews was a victim of an assault at Land’s End,’ the department said in a statement. ‘Andrews was found unconscious and never regained consciousness dying several weeks later.’
While the other victims were stabbed to death, Andrews was struck with a rock and a tree branch.
Cunningham said that the location, which was near Golden Gate Park where some of the other murders had taken place, and the time period made him reconsider the case.
Cold case detectives Dan Cunningham and Dan Dedet been attempting to solve The Doodler killings in recent years
The Doodler’s first victim was Gerald Cavanagh, a 50-year-old mattress factory worker
The Doodler’s second victim was 27-year-old drag queen named Joseph Stevens
The Doodler’s third alleged victim was 31-year-old Klaus Christmann
‘I’d be a fool not to consider him as a Doodler victim,’ he said.
The Doodler’s first victim was then-50-year-old Gerald Cavanagh, who was found stabbed 17 times on Jan. 27, 1974.
His second victim was Joseph Stevens, a 27-year-old drag queen; his third was Klaus Christmann, 31.
It was believed that The Doodler frequented gay bars in the Castro and in the Polk Gulch districts of San Francisco.
‘He’d pick a guy somewhere at the bar, he’d sit at the table, he’d sketch them, he was a good artist, so then he would walk up to the guy and say like my doodle?’ said San Francisco Chronicle reporter Kevin Fagan
Police released a sketch of what they think the killer looks like, in addition to what they believe 40 years of aging would make him look like, a couple of years ago.
The grave of Gerald Cavanagh at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in California
It was believed that The Doodler frequented gay bars in the Castro and in the Polk Gulch districts of San Francisco
The sketches are based on the descriptions given by two men who survived the assaults in July 1975, both stabbed with knives. They suffered similar injuries to the other victims.
No suspect has ever been charged in the case. One person was detained in connection with the murders in 1976.
Detectives in the 1970s believed they’d found a lead in the case after a Bay Area psychologist responded to wanted ads by saying he believed he’d interviewed the killer but couldn’t solidify their case.
Cunningham said he’d interviewed that man and calls him a ‘person of interest.’
Police doubled their reward to go along with the announcement Thursday.
‘The SFPD has increased the reward from $100,000 to $200,000 for information leading to the identification, apprehension, and conviction of the serial homicide suspect,’ police added in their statement Thursday.