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 San Francisco Chronicle

    • True Crime
    • 3.8 • 732 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
    8. Rays of Hope

    8. Rays of Hope

    Since the reactivation of the Doodler case in 2018, Dan Cunningham has been eyeing a key person of interest. Cunningham met with him and even got a sample of his DNA. The SFPD is comparing that DNA with blood from the original crime scenes. Kevin and Mike convince Cunningham that another unsolved murder from 1975 may be the work of the Doodler, and they uncover the likely identity of “Dr. Priest,” too. With several avenues opening up for the SFPD to investigate, Kevin and Mike ask: What could this mean for the victim’s families, the queer community, and for justice in the Doodler case?
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    • 42 min
    7. The Man in the Sketch

    7. The Man in the Sketch

    After the publication of the composite sketch, leads begin to pour in. SFPD receives a call from a psychiatrist’s office. The doctor claims the man in the sketch might be their patient. Homicide investigators act on the tip and question the man. But today there’s little information about what they learned and the psychiatrist can’t be found. So Kevin and Mike are left wondering why the patient was never arrested.
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    • 33 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

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5
732 Ratings

732 Ratings

Rosseauxx ,

The serial killer you never heard about

Kudos to the host for picking up a cold case that nobody else seemed to care about. The episodes are brief and packed with information and the host provides access to survivors and other witnesses to the original events. He contextualizes the historical and political issues of the era including racism, homophobia, and problematic issues about policing that resonate today. His reporting is sensitive, informed, and passionate—exactly the spirit needed by journalists who want to make a positive different in a cold case. I await the final few episodes.

wilfulgreen ,

Silliness

To say that a person doesn’t create their life is foolish
& to compare a killing as more or less dramatic
No way can these out do children’s destruction, children who have not created a life by their choices

Jra4776 ,

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Great Podcast. Definitely recommend

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