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"The Doodler": a serial killer of gay men in San Frisco in the 70s

Here's an interesting story about a series of murders of gay men that took place in San Francisco in 1974 and 1975. The killer was an African-American man who was known as The Doodler, because he would go to gay bars and catch the eye of his victims by drawing caricatures of them. Then he'd take them to a secluded spot and stab them to death.

The Doodler, who killed at least five men and injured at least three more, was never caught, though a number of suspects were investigated. The case is still considered open.

The most intriguing gossip tidbit in the piece is about two of the three victims who survived. One was "a well-known San Francisco figure." The other was a "nationally known" entertainer:

[quote] I asked Randall Alfred, the Sentinel’s news editor in 1975, who the entertainer might have been. “Was it Johnnie Ray? Was it Rock Hudson? Richard Chamberlain?” he said. “It was a time of very cheap airfare from L.A. to San Francisco.”

[quote] Of the three, only Chamberlin is still alive. “No comment,” said his manager.

Does anyone remember these killings? Or know the identities of the entertainer or the well-known San Francisco figure?

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by Anonymousreply 23December 22, 2018 12:58 PM

This one was odd -- the LA media covered everyone but him, it seems. I never heard about him until he was mentioned in "Tales of the City."

by Anonymousreply 1December 12, 2014 1:28 PM

It was Bill Cosby.

by Anonymousreply 2December 12, 2014 1:42 PM

The Diddler

by Anonymousreply 3December 12, 2014 1:43 PM

I bet it was Ike Mazzard.

by Anonymousreply 4December 12, 2014 1:43 PM


by Anonymousreply 5December 12, 2014 6:19 PM

It's unusual for a serial killer to be African American.

by Anonymousreply 6December 12, 2014 6:36 PM

Was The Doodler in Tales? I know the Zodiac was in the form of a killer called The Tooth Fairy, but he was taken out of the story when Maupin re-edited it for publication as a book.

by Anonymousreply 7December 12, 2014 6:40 PM

I definitely would have fallen for someone who had drawn a caricature of me. Cute and quirky. Good thing I wasn't born yet.

by Anonymousreply 8December 12, 2014 6:45 PM

This investigation was doomed for failure the moment they christened him with the title 'The Doodler'. It neither strikes fear or mystery. It's actually comical. It sounds like a Batman villain. And yes I know it's based on the fact that he drew pictures of his victims but still. They ought to have chosen another name if they were at all serious.

by Anonymousreply 9December 12, 2014 6:49 PM

Perhaps he was inspired by this production number from "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

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by Anonymousreply 10December 12, 2014 8:46 PM

Might make a good movie.

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by Anonymousreply 11December 12, 2014 10:19 PM

I've had my share of hookups where later I thought, gee, I should have told someone where I was going -- just in case.

It could happen so easily to any of us.

by Anonymousreply 12December 12, 2014 10:23 PM

Growing up, my parents called mine and my sisters breasts our "doodles". I wonder if they're somehow mixed up in this.

by Anonymousreply 13December 12, 2014 10:24 PM

Maupin just described the Doodler's M.O. in passing, as one of the dangers Michael felt he faced in the Castro.

by Anonymousreply 14December 13, 2014 4:51 AM


by Anonymousreply 15December 13, 2014 4:55 PM

San Frisco?!

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by Anonymousreply 16December 13, 2014 5:05 PM

Actually, R6, it's not unusual for a serial killer to be African-American. According to one study, 20 percent of serial killers are African-American. The most famous serial killers (Bundy, Dahmer, Zodiac, etc.) are all white guys, but they are plenty who are not white (or not even guys!). But we as a society pay more attention to white victims, and most serial killers murder people of their own race. Therefore the white serial killers tend to get more attention.

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by Anonymousreply 17December 14, 2014 1:28 AM

Should have called him "The Sketcher."

by Anonymousreply 18December 14, 2014 1:42 AM

What kills me(ugh) is that at the time it was more important to protect someone who was in the closet than to protect other gays who might become a victim. It's a pretty intriguing case. I'm betting on Rock Hudson.

by Anonymousreply 19December 14, 2014 2:06 AM

Randy Steven Kraft was white and racked up way more deaths than this "Doodler".

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by Anonymousreply 20December 14, 2014 2:11 AM

no one cares

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by Anonymousreply 21December 22, 2018 12:55 PM

he gets a pass

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by Anonymousreply 22December 22, 2018 12:57 PM

Gays would much rather talk about Trump then something that actually affected their past and may make themselves wonder where their values are

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by Anonymousreply 23December 22, 2018 12:58 PM
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