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Feb 07 2019
Black Doodler Cold Case Gets A Fresh Look: Killer Wanted In Deaths Of 5 Gay Men In The '70s Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 12.44.17 PMCold cases really turn us on as a culture. I hope it's because we share a desire for justice to be served, and bad guys to get their just desserts, more than sheer, empty titillation.

Case in point: San Francisco police have released a new sketch in the case of a suspected serial killer of gay men who was active 40 years ago. His name? The Black Doodler ... suspect then, and how he could appear now (Image via San Francisco Police Dept.)

The so-called Black Doodler got his name by telling a victim — who escaped — that he was a cartoonist. They met in a diner, where the suspect, who was black, was sketching.

Via NBC Bay Area:

Police described the killer as an African-American male, about 5 feet, 11 inches tall with a lanky build who was likely in his early 20s at the time of the attacks.

The Black Doodler is wanted in the slayings of at least five gay, white men between January 1974 and June 1975, when he apparently stopped. He would meet the men in gay hot spots, often had sex with them, then attacked. The first known victim was Gerald Cavanaugh, and the person who reported the body is considered to be a possible suspect.

Four bodies in all were found on the beach, and a fifth was found in Golden Gate Park.

Cleve Jones, the internationally known activist, was in the city at that time and remembers:

There was terror. [The media was] very reluctant to cover what was going on in the gay community at that time, and when the coverage did occur, it was very lurid and very sensational and not very helpful.

Tantalizingly there were allegedly three survivors who refused to come forward to police about having survived attacks, one of them a famous entertainer. Wonder if any of them are still alive? They were scared to come forward back then because it was still a felony to have gay sex ... but later?

There is a new $100,000 reward for information on the case.

Via press release:

The SFPD Homicide Detail is actively working this cold case. Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD 24 hour tip line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.

h/t NBC News