Police link possible 6th victim to 1970s serial killer as reward for info doubles

The San Francisco Police Department has increased its reward to $200,000.

Nearly 50 years after the suspected serial killer dubbed "The Doodler" terrorized San Francisco's gay community, police believe they have identified another murder victim -- and have doubled their reward for information leading to a conviction in the cold case.

Five homicides were previously linked to The Doodler in the mid-1970s, with the first known killing occurring on Jan. 27, 1974, police said. The five victims had suffered similar injuries, including stab wounds to the upper chest and back, officials said.

On Wednesday, San Francisco police said they believe another man may be a sixth victim "as a result of a new investigation." Warren Andrews, who died several weeks after he was found unconscious in a park on April 27, 1975, was a victim of assault and battery, police said.

All six victims are believed to be gay white men, police said.

The suspect was nicknamed The Doodler after one victim who survived his attack said that when he met the suspect at a diner, he was drawing animal figures on a napkin.

In 1975, that victim helped develop a forensic sketch of the suspect, who was previously described by officials as an African American man between the ages of 19 to 25.

The San Francisco Police Department has since created a progression sketch of what the suspect may look like in recent years that it released in 2019.

Police also announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case in 2019. They've now doubled the reward to $200,000.

A person of interest interviewed by police in 1976 remains a "focus of our investigation in 2022," the San Francisco Police Department said in a new crime bulletin posted Thursday.

The case was the focus of a recent San Francisco Chronicle podcast called "The Doodler" that dug up new witnesses and clues in the mystery.

On Wednesday, the Chronicle reporter behind the eight-part podcast, Kevin Fagan, reported that police believe they're "closer than ever" to solving the case and have increased the reward in hopes of encouraging people to come forward.

"We believe there are other persons who may have survived attacks by this same suspect or may have information regarding this suspect and these attacks," the San Francisco Police Department said in its new bulletin.

Anyone with information is asked to call 415-575-4444 or text TIP411 and begin the message with "SFPD."

ABC News' Emily Shapiro and Alex Stone contributed to this report.