In the 1970s, a serial killer terrorized the gay community in San Francisco. He drew portraits of his victims before murdering them, which led to his nickname “The Doodler”.
Almost five decades later, he was never caught. A suspect wasn’t even named. However, a new podcast called “The Doodler” from the San Francisco Chronicle hopes to change that.
“I made it my business to work with talented investigators and with the help of people involved in the case to get to the bottom of these murders,” said Kevin Fagan, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, in a news release Tuesday.
It is Fagan’s latest attempt at solutions journalism aimed at directly influencing politics and making concrete changes. He has received the National James Aronson Award for Social Justice and the National Excellence in Urban Journalism Award.
He started delving into the case when detectives reopened it in 2018.
The series will introduce the anonymous killer, go through the investigation and, after a few episodes, re-investigate the case and conduct its own investigation. Fagan and co-host Michael Taylor, who was a long time reporter for The Chronicle, will speak to those directly and indirectly involved in the case. Fellow Chronicle Reporter King Kaufman will also help.
“With the help of our audience, we want to solve this puzzle once and for all while shedding light on the plight of The Doodler’s victims,” said Fagan.
“The Doodler” is actively seeking information that could be linked to the case. As part of their investigation, the production team created an anonymous notice line for everyone with information. Tips can be sent to 415-570-9299.
The podcast, which now has two episodes, was produced by the San Francisco Chronicle with Ugly Duckling Films and Sony Music Entertainment.