'Doodler killer' cold case has renewed interest in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, California -- It's been 40 years since a serial killer terrorized gay men in San Francisco.

He was known to sketch strangers in bars before leaving with them and attacking them with a knife.

Now police have a suspect who they think may be "The Doodler."

In the mid-1970s, police found four dead bodies on Ocean Beach and one in Golden State Park. Authorities believe all five men were victims of the same suspect.

The case went cold, but now the San Francisco Police Department is back on track, KRON reported.

"We're going back trying to locate victims, following up on evidence, trying to locate potential witnesses," said Sgt. Michael Andraychak with San Francisco PD.

There were an additional three men who survived violent attacks. Authorities won't go into details about how the men were hurt, or if a weapon was used.

But they have reason to believe there may be a connection between those attacks and the serial killer case.

"We have not established a definite connection, but we're actively working those cases to locate the suspect, bring that person to justice, get justice for the victims," Andraychak said.

At least one victim recounted meeting the suspect in an all-night diner in the city.

"(The suspect) claimed he was a cartoon artist or some type of cartoon artist. And during their conversation, the suspect was doodling something on napkins. And so that's how we dubbed this crime series as 'The Doodler,'" Andraychak said.

A suspect who matched the description was detained in 1976, but he was never charged.

The case is now back in the spotlight, after the Golden State Killer case led to Joseph DeAngelo's arrest in April.

DeAngelo's DNA has been linked to robberies, rapes and murders in the 70s and 80s.

Investigators are hoping DNA may also help solve the Doodler case.

Police don't know how many people the Doodler killed. They said it may be as many as 14.