San Francisco police increase reward for 1970s 'Doodler' serial killer who targeted gay men

San Francisco authorities have once again increased the reward for information leading to the arrest, apprehension and conviction of a suspected 1970s serial killer dubbed the "Doodler," who targeted White, gay men, in a series of cold case homicides, police said Tuesday.

The San Francisco Police Department increased the reward from $200,000 to $250,000 and released a forensic sketch showing the "age progression" of the suspect.

Authorities said one of the victims who survived provided them with an initial sketch of the suspect in 1975. The Doodler's victims were killed during an 18-month span and their bodies were discovered in remote locations around the city.

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San Francisco cold case killer
An "age progression" sketch of the "Doodler," a suspected 1970s-era serial killer who is believed to have killed six gay men.

The killer would meet his victims at after-hours gay clubs or restaurants, lure them out for sex and then stab them to death in "rage killing" attacks, police said. He got this name because one victim who survived said the killer was a cartoonist and was doodling while conversing with the victim during a late-night diner.

The first known victim, 50-year-old Gerald Cavanaugh, was found in the Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park area on Jan. 27, 1974. Three other bodies were discovered along the beach and another was located in Golden Gate Park.

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"In the 1970s, this was gripping the gay community and San Francisco," police Commander Greg McEachern said at a February 2019 news conference.

Investigators initially believed the Doodler killed five victims. Another man, Warren Andrews, may be the sixth, police said. Andrews was assaulted on April 27, 1975 and was found unconscious at Land’s End, a waterfront park.

San Francisco serial killer
The Doodler, described as a Black male between 19 and 25 years old, attacked White, gay men in the 1970s. (SFPD)

He was hospitalized and died several weeks later, authorities said.

Other victims included Fred Capin, a decorated Vietnam veteran who worked as a nurse and Joe Stevens, a 27-year-old female impersonator and cabaret performer, Fox San Francisco reported.

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Police identified a person of interest in 1976 but did not have enough evidence to bring charges. Last year, they said that man is "still the focus" of their investigation. But due to a lack of evidence, they declined to release his name.

Fox News' Mike Ruiz contributed to this report.