|Number of victims:||17 (14 dead, three survived)|
|Span of killings:||January, 1974–September, 1975|
“The Doodler” (aka “The Black Doodler“) refers to an unidentified serial killer believed responsible for 14 slayings and three assaults of men in San Francisco’s gay community between January 1974 and September 1975. The nickname was given due to the perpetrator’s habit of sketching his victims prior to having sex with them and then stabbing them to death. The perpetrator met his victims at after-hours gay clubs, bars and restaurants.
Police had developed a prime suspect in the case, identified by two of his survivors, but authorities could not proceed with an arrest as the surviving victims refused to “out” themselves by way of testifying (one was an entertainer, the other a diplomat). Meanwhile, the suspect spoke freely with police, although he did not admit the slayings.
At the time, Harvey Milk publicly expressed his empathy for the victims who refused to speak, stating “I understand their position. I respect the pressure society has put on them.”
To date, the suspect has never been publicly named or apprehended, and the slayings have faded into obscurity; very little information is currently available about these crimes.
- July 8, 1977: Murder suspect free because gays silent from Associated Press
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