13 episodes

The Golden State Killer. The Unabomber. Ted Bundy. You’re probably familiar with these serial killers. But in the mid-1970s, another monster terrorized San Francisco’s gay community. He was coined “The Doodler,” and he may have been responsible for as many victims as the Zodiac Killer, yet you’ve probably never heard of him. Plagued by a complicated investigation, a frightened public, and the hesitation of many to come forward, the case went cold, and a killer walked free. Nearly 50 years later, a renewed hunt for a forgotten serial killer seeks to change that. Follow the story on “The Doodler” podcast, debuting in March 2021. Have a tip? Email thedoodlerline@gmail.com, call (415) 570-9299, or visit thedoodlerpod.com.

The Doodler SF Chronicle, Ugly Duckling Films, Neon Hum Media

    • True Crime
    • 4.1 • 37 Ratings

The Golden State Killer. The Unabomber. Ted Bundy. You’re probably familiar with these serial killers. But in the mid-1970s, another monster terrorized San Francisco’s gay community. He was coined “The Doodler,” and he may have been responsible for as many victims as the Zodiac Killer, yet you’ve probably never heard of him. Plagued by a complicated investigation, a frightened public, and the hesitation of many to come forward, the case went cold, and a killer walked free. Nearly 50 years later, a renewed hunt for a forgotten serial killer seeks to change that. Follow the story on “The Doodler” podcast, debuting in March 2021. Have a tip? Email thedoodlerline@gmail.com, call (415) 570-9299, or visit thedoodlerpod.com.

    Introducing: I Am Rama

    Introducing: I Am Rama

    Rama was a spiritual teacher in the 80s and 90s who inspired many of his students while helming what many of his detractors would describe as a cult. He defied society’s archetypal vision of a New Age leader, eschewing minimalism for wealth and celebrity. He was also a man ahead of his time, encouraging his students to develop careers in computer science before that was mainstream.

    For some, following Rama's lead worked out spiritually, and financially too. But for others, Rama's actions contradicted his cool persona; some eventually came forward with accusations of abuse, others vanished, whistleblowers went to the media, and the group began to shrink and splinter.



    In this 10-part investigative series, Jonathan Hirsch explores the life, death and impact of Rama.
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    • 5 min
    Introducing: Cheat!

    Introducing: Cheat!

    Have you ever wondered about those people in life who don’t play by the rules? Maybe it was the person who looked over your shoulder in that exam. The person who got the job instead of you because they lied on their application or the nice fella on the phone who said he was from the bank and ended up taking all your money. We have a name for these people. We call them cheats. People who cheat the system, largescale cheats, social media cheats. We are fascinated by them. We read about them in paper. Or watch news stories about them on TV. We marvel at their rise and take a weird pleasure in their fall. But do we ever ask what makes these cheats actually do the bad things they do? What makes them cheat? From Somethin’ Else, makers of ‘Power: The Maxwells’ and ‘The Fault Line: Bush, Blair and Iraq’, hosted by storyteller Alzo Slade, ‘Cheat!’ tells the inside stories behind some of the biggest scandals in contemporary history and the flawed protagonists at their heart: controversial and contentious figures from the world of pop culture, business, sport, music, politics. Why do people cheat? Is it ever justifiable? And most importantly are cheats – these people we think of as the dregs of our society – actually not so different from ourselves? A Somethin' Else production.
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    • 8 min
    6. A Sketch for the Street Cops

    6. A Sketch for the Street Cops

    In the Fall of 1975, a composite sketch of The Doodler is published in the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Sentinel, and tips begin to roll in. Street cops are on high alert for anyone matching the description. Inspectors Rotea Gilford and Earl Sanders round up several suspects for interrogation. Kevin and Mike uncover more details about a psychiatrist and secretary who claim their patient is The Doodler.
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    • 25 min
    5. An Actor and a Diplomat Walk into a Bar

    5. An Actor and a Diplomat Walk into a Bar

    At the end of 1975, The Doodler murders Harald Gullberg, the fifth and final suspected fatality that investigators have tied to this case. The Doodler’s sixth victim actually survives a brutal knife attack. Investigating today, Kevin is desperate to talk to an eyewitness, but investigator Dan Cunningham says the man wants to put the events of 1975 behind him. Private investigator Mike Taylor looks into rumors that this surviving victim may have been a Swedish diplomat, and some new leads emerge.
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    • 35 min
    Introducing: Spy Affair

    Introducing: Spy Affair

    A charismatic Russian woman arrives in the US on a mission to improve relations between the two countries, and she soon makes some powerful friends. But who is Maria Butina? And who is she working for? As Maria gets closer to the rich and connected she also attracts the attention of the FBI. In the politically charged world of US-Russia relations, everyone has secrets and almost nothing is what it seems. From Wondery, the makers of The Shrink Next Door and Dr. Death comes SPY AFFAIR a story about deception, appearances and betrayal. Hosted by Celia Aniskovich.



    Listen today at wondery.fm/SATheDoodler
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    • 6 min
    4. Gilford and Sanders

    4. Gilford and Sanders

    More than a year after the murder of Gerald Cavanagh, the SFPD finally assigns a dedicated team of investigators to The Doodler case. Turns out Rotea Gilford and Earl Sanders, the first Black homicide investigators in the SFPD, are perfectly suited for the job. Around this time, The Doodler claims his fourth victim - a nurse named Fredrick Capin. Now, Kevin and Mike try to learn what they can about the circumstances around his death.
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    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

Chrisco32 ,

Finally, the story of the Doodler in proper detail after 50 years!

Highly recommend this podcast! This crazy true crime story should be made into a Netflix series one day. San Francisco Chronicle journalist Kevin Fagan is the first person to delve into this under told case in detail. The only other information you will usually find on the Doodler (great name for a queer serial killer in our community, right? 😂) are some short Youtube amateur docos and a short book called “Young, Queer and Dead”. That short book only restates what we already know from media articles. Kevin Fagan however delves depp into the case; interviewing family members of the victims (who are finally being heard after 50 years of silence) and regretful police who worked on the case. 👏 🏳️‍🌈 A well made, gripping podcast!

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