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San Francisco Police Say They're Close To Solving 1970s 'Doodler' Serial Killer Case

San Francisco Police have identified lawyer Warren Andrews as a possible sixth victim of the "Doodler" serial killer, a murderer who preyed upon gay men in the 1970s.

By Gina Tron
8 Facts About ‘The Doodler’ Serial Killer

Police in San Francisco say they are “closer than ever” to figuring out who the elusive “Doodler” serial killer — an apparent cartoonist who preyed upon gay men in the 1970s — is.

On Thursday, the San Francisco Police Department announced that they have increased their reward from $100,000 to $200,000 “for information leading to the identification, apprehension and conviction of the serial homicide suspect.”

Thursday also marked the grim 47th anniversary of the first “Doodler” murder.

The unknown serial killer has been linked to the murders of five white gay men, all of whom were killed between January 1974 and June 1975 in San Francisco's Ocean Beach area. All their bodies were found riddled with stab wounds.

In Thursday’s press release, police identified a sixth possible victim: a 52-year-old lawyer named Warren Andrews, who was found unconscious in the city’s Land’s End area — just north of Ocean Beach — and died weeks later. He was beaten to death with both a rock and tree branch.

“I think we’re closer than ever to solving it — but we just need a bit more information,” Dan Cunningham told The San Francisco Chronicle in a recent interview.

He said that, while Andrews was not killed with a knife, other similarities point to him as a “Doodler” victim.

“The location, the time period, the victimology — it all makes me think that it might be connected,” he said. “I’d be a fool not to consider him as a Doodler victim.”

 Police believe the killer was a lanky, young Black man with an affinity for drawing.

“At least one of the victims provided information to police that the suspect said he was a cartoonist and the suspect was doodling while conversing with the victim in a late-night diner,” police have noted.

A 2020 San Francisco Chronicle-produced podcast, called “The Doodler,” generated dozens of promising tips, according to the Chronicle. The podcast’s website cited a “flawed investigation, a frightened public and hesitation from victims’ friends and associates,” as reasons for the case going cold and remaining out of the public consciousness.

The San Francisco Police Department had released an updated sketch of the “Doodler” as well as a $100,000 reward for detail leading to his capture in 2019.