‘Doodler’ Back in Limelight Despite No Updates to Case

Police still haven't connected the five 1970s murders of gay men in the Castro to the 'Doodler' but everyone else has.

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The arrest of the suspected Golden State Killer has everyone — journalists included — quite excited about the possibility of solving the decades-long mysteries of other serial killers.

This week, it was centered on the Doodler after CNN reported that investigators have a suspect in the case 40 years after five gay men were found murdered at Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park. That led San Francisco police to clarify on Thursday that a connection has not yet been made between the Doodler and those five homicides — but they did offer a small update later in the day.

“Contrary to rumors this morning, there are NO new developments and there is NO press conference scheduled,” said police spokesperson Officer Michael Andraychak Thursday morning.

For those in the dark: three gay men were violently assaulted by a man who described himself as a cartoonist, police said on Thursday. One of the victims said he was doodling while talking to him in a late-night diner and gave a description, leading to the 1975 forensic sketch.

A suspect was detained but not charged in 1976 and is the same suspect investigators in the CNN article was referring to, San Francisco police said on Thursday.

Around the same time, one unknown suspect was connected to the homicide of five men without witnesses to give a description, according to police. Investigators are still working to make that connection despite the connection already made by the public.

Police do have a new forensic sketch showing an “age progression” but are not releasing it to the public just yet. If alive, he would be in his early 60s.

The murder suspect commonly known as the Doodler joins California’s cold homicide cases of the Zodiac Killer and Golden State Killer in renewed attention. In April, Sacramento Police arrested a 72-year-old Joseph DeAngelo connected to as many as 12 murders and 50 rapes by a suspect known as the Golden State Killer, East Area Rapist, and Original Night Stalker for 40 years.

The same DNA match from public genealogy site that led to DeAngelo’s arrest is the same that could solve the mystery of the Zodiac Killer, investigators told the Sacramento Bee. That doesn’t appear to be a factor in the Doodler case but police are asking anyone with information to call the tip line at 415-575-4444 or text ‘SFPD’ to TIP411. Anonymity is an option. 

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