‘Doodler’ serial killer who left ‘animal cartoons’ at crime scene had freezing ‘urges’, ex-FBI agent says

At least six men were stabbed to death by a serial killer who became known as “The Doodler” in California in the 1970s.

The case remains mysterious nearly 50 years later as police have not released the attacker’s name and made no arrests.

San Francisco police officers have released a sketch of what they believe is a suspect "Doodler Killer"


San Francisco cops have released a sketch of a suspect they believe is the ‘Doodler Killer’.Photo credit: San Francisco Police Department
Warren Andrews' body was found by a hiker in Lands End in April 1975


Warren Andrews’ body was found by a hiker in Lands End in April 1975Photo credit: Getty

Former FBI agent Jennifer Coffinaffer told The US Sun that the abuser may have been able to “control his urges” over the decade-long hiatus.

The crime spree is believed to have taken place across San Francisco between January 1974 and June 1975.

The victims were killed after meeting the attacker in gay nightclubs, bars and restaurants.

Police believe the men were stabbed before they were found dead.

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And at least three men were assaulted during the wave of violence.

A surviving victim reportedly told police that the man drew animal sketches on the backs of napkins, earning him the nickname “The Doodler.”

The detail helped cops release a sketched image of a potential suspect.

More than 49 years have passed since the first victim – Gerald Cavanaugh – was found dead on Ocean Beach.

Coffinaffer still believes the police can solve the mystery of the Doodler killer.

She said: There is a serial killer out there and we don’t know if they have committed other crimes or not.

“But I think this will motivate law enforcement to solve this crime. And I think it will be resolved.”

Coffinaffer speculated that the killer either continued his crime spree outside of California, was imprisoned, or was able to control his “urges.”

She said: “Serial killers kill for different reasons. There was a sexual component to these types of murders.

“It’s something that lasted with this person before it stopped for some reason. There’s a reason it stopped.”

Coffinaffer noted that notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was able to “control his urges.”

And she revealed that for years, notorious BTK serial killer Dennis Rader was able to do the same.

There’s a serial killer out there and we don’t know if he’s committed other crimes or not

Jennifer Coffinaffer, former FBI agent

Rader’s first crime was in January 1974 when he killed four members of the Otero family in Wichita, Kansas.

He killed another six people over the age of 17.

By 2004, the case went cold, but Rader was arrested a year later after an anniversary article reignited interest in the case and prompted him to send derisive letters to the police.

Rader was often described as “polite and well-mannered” by those close to him.

There are six known victims of the Doodler killer’s crime spree, but the number of victims could be as high as 16.

Canadian-American immigrant Cavanaugh, a factory worker, died after being stabbed.

In June 1974, the remains of Joseph “Jae” Stevens were found by a lake.

Stevens was spotted leaving a San Francisco club the night before his death.

The drag performer had been stabbed three times and there was blood in his mouth and nose, according to The Awl.

Malignant bites

Klaus Christmann was seen in a gay nightclub the night before his body was found in July 1974.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that he had been stabbed 15 times.

Inspector David Toschi told The Sentinel that Christmann’s murder was “one of the most vicious stabbings he had ever witnessed”.

Police at the time believed there were similarities between Cavanaugh’s and Christmann’s deaths.

Frederick Capin, who had served in the Vietnam War, was only 32 when his body was found in May 1975.

The body of Harald Gullberg, 66, was found in San Francisco’s Lincoln Park in June 1975 – weeks after his death.

The killer reportedly said to each of his victims, “You are all the same.”

In January last year, police identified a sixth person they believe was a victim of The Doodler.

Warren Andrews, 52, was reportedly attacked in April 1975 before dying weeks later. His body was found by a hiker in Land’s End.

Two men were attacked by a block of flats in July 1975, only a few weeks apart.

The victims lived on the same floor but did not know each other.

Cops believe there is a “connection” between the two attacks and the victims found on or near Ocean Beach.

Two victims who survived the attacks were an entertainer and a diplomat.

It is believed they did not want to come forward because they feared being linked to gay assaults.

There was a fear that gay men would not be given justice by the police.


Police have not released the name of a potential suspect – a move Lt. Paul Belli of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office called it “not surprising”.

He said: “Cops would undermine an investigation if they get to a point where they name someone but don’t have all the evidence.

“That would be very damaging to the case and goes against all belief in the judiciary.”

The San Francisco Police Department recently increased the reward to $250,000 for any information leading to the identification and conviction of the attacker.

Coffinaffer welcomed the move, saying, “Rewards are so important because they reinvigorate the community to get involved with the cause.”

However, she acknowledged that it was “disappointing” when the public was only motivated by money.

Belli hopes the increased reward will help spur people to take action with information.

He said, “You just never know when you’re going to get that one piece of information that’s going to blow the case over the edge.”

The fact is that technologies have improved over time.

Lieutenant Paul Belli (retired).

Both Belli and Coffinaffer are optimistic that the Doodler case can be solved thanks to technological developments – despite the time frame.

Belli said that time was investigators’ “friend” during her investigation of the Golden State Killer.

The Golden State Killer terrorized California in the 1970s and 1980s.

Joseph James DeAngelo was sentenced to life in prison in 2020 after committing at least 13 murders, dozens of rapes and hundreds of burglaries.

He said: “The fact is that technologies have improved over time.

“The idea of ​​potentially using genealogy or forensically finding out who a suspect might be related to was still in its infancy a decade ago.”

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However, he cautioned that the timeframe poses challenges in terms of obtaining records.

Belli added, “If you’re trying to rebuild the community where the suspect was insulted, it’s almost impossible to go back to the 1970s to get a billing or utility record.”

In 2018, police released an updated sketch when asking the public for information


In 2018, police released an updated sketch when asking the public for informationPhoto credit: AP:Associated Press

https://www.the-sun.com/news/7271424/doodler-serial-killer-california-chilling-urges/ ‘Doodler’ serial killer who left ‘animal cartoons’ at crime scene had freezing ‘urges’, ex-FBI agent says


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