KGOV’s List of Gay Mass Murderers

* The List of Homosexual Mass Murderers: First published a decade ago, and then updated and broadcast again in 2019, this topic is self-censored by the media and western universities. Worse, a visiting Hollander told Bob Enyart, who compiled the horrifying data, „Such a list would be against the law in my country. Sadly, a far longer list, of more than 34,400 terrorist killings since 9/11 committed by adherents to the religion of peace in the name of Allah, is available over at  and a shocking number of the high-profile crimes that helped to tear America apart were committed by potheads as documented at . But here we present KGOV’s list of homosexual mass murderers. (Please email updates or corrections to .)

Gay Jeffrey Dahmer: raped, murdered, and ate 17 young men and boysGay Adam Lanza: murdered 28Sandy Hook Elementary School Luis Garavito: rapist, torturer, and murderer of more than 147Gay Omar Mateen: murdered 49Gay John Wayne Gacy: Chicago, killed 33 boys and buried them in his house and Jim Jones: killed 917  Mohamed Bouhlel: killed 84 in Nice, France including 10 California Freeway Killer William G. Bonin: murdered 14 boys ages 12 to 19, sexually molested them, tortured, mutilated, strangled & dumped their naked bodies. One was stabbed 70 times. Another had an ice pick in his head. Others had cigarette burns. 1969 convicted of assaulting five boys, sentenced to five years. 1975 imprisoned for another rape. Paroled in 10-78 & began his homo rape & murder spree immediately. Police caught him while he was sexually assaulting a 15-yr-old boy in his van. AP 2-23-96 „WGB said the death penalty „sends the wrong message“ to America’s youth. Universal Press Syndicate 960507 Gambit Weekly, New Orleans. He had been on death row for 14 years for 1979?80 murders. Executed 2-23-96 during BEL broadcast; studio lights Patrick Kearney: murdered 32, cutting boys up and putting them into trash bags dumped along LA Thomas Hamilton: murdered 16; Scotland’s mass murderer liked little boys in various states of undress. Called Mr. Creepie by some of Dunblane’s children. Got even by killing 16 kindergarten children and their teacher and then himself on March 3, 13. Known by police to be „a risk to children,“ -USA Today 19990721, page Andrew Cunanan: murderer of Zgianni Versace, fashion designer. This male prostitute was wanted in connection with four other murders Orville Lynn Majors: 60 murderers, charged with six. BEL listener Barbera Brown of Madisonville KY called on the air to say that she was a relative of Majors, and that he was a known homosexual. 6 counts of murder… One patient died every 156 hours at Vermillion County Hospital in Indiana during his shifts. He was charged with six deaths but is believed to have murdered 60 Charles Manson: a prostitute’s illegitimate son, spent most of his early life in institutions for offences including theft, pimping, multiple homosexual offenses while incarcerated, and homosexual rape. When released in 1967, aged 32, he used his criminal contacts to buy drugs and seduce enough young middle-class women to create The Donald Harvey: murdered dozens in a Kentucky hospital, between 37 and as many as 70Gay Bruce Davis: Charles Manson accomplice who appears on the Associated Press list of the Worst U.S. Serial Killers, who molested and murdered 27 young men and boys in Nathaniel Bar-Jonah: homosexual cannibal Bar-Jonah sexually molested boys in Massachusetts and Montana and butchered at least one, a ten year old in Great Falls named Zachary Corll, Henley & Brooks: Dean Arnold Corll’s sex ring with Elmer Wayne Henley and David Owen Brooks murdered and tortured 29 men and boys in Juan Corona: murdered 25 migrant workers and even molested their Richard Speck: murdered 8 nursing students, bragged about it on videotape showing him having sex with an inmate and bragging about the many inmates he had sodomized. Died of a heart attack in Bruce McArthur: A landscaper and well-known homosexual will be eligible to apply for parole in the year 2219 A.D., exactly two centuries after being sentenced for murderering and dismembering eight men whose remains he then mixed into the soil for potted plantsGay Wayne Williams: in Atlanta from 1979-1981 killed black boys, thought to be a racist, but turned out to be a black Henry Lee Lucas: murdered thee people including his mother and falsely confessed to many others. According to transvestite Ottis Toole, they were homosexual partners, as reported by American Justice, „Myth of a Serial killer: The Henry Lee Lucas Story“, episode Ottis Toole: a transvestite according to American Justice (episode 150) and he was a partner of Henry Lee Lucas, and bragged about murders in interviews. Toole was a rapist and a claimed cannibal, convicted for 3 murders and confessed to 4 others before his death, and he was still a suspectGay Frank Davis: killed two youths on a camping trip with an ax in 1983 and almost killed two others, had his death sentence commuted to a 120-year prison term. Murders in Kingsford Heights. „Davis killed the teens after sexually molesting them. Darrin Reed, 14 and Jeffrey Lopez, 15 were killed and two others were left for dead but survived… Davis argued he was sexually abused as an adolescent at Beatty mental hospital… he was forced to perform homosexual acts, as an adolescent, with the older inmates… This ‘affected Davis‘ sexual identity,‘ his lawyers said.“ Of course, homosexual men reproduce by molesting Stephen Port killed at least four young men raping them as they were dying and sexually assaulted at least seven other  : serial rapist executed at Leavenworth confessed to sodomizing and murdering many boys and Aileen Wuornos: the prostitute who murdered sevenGay Black Doodler: murdered five and possibly 11 more, homosexuals he picked up in San Francisco John Joubert: former Boy Scout leader said he enjoyed the „power and domination“ of killing. He was executed in the electric chair early July 17, 1996 for murdering two boys in 1983. Joubert repeatedly stabbed and slashed Danny Jo Eberle, 13, and Christopher Walden, 12. He also was convicted of stabbing and strangling a boy in Maine. -South Bend Tribune, IN wire report, p. A6

* The Pink Swastika: On a related program, Pink Swastika. That research-driven book provides extensive, carefully documented evidence from many primary sources and mainstream secondary historical sources that many of those running Nazi Germany, including Hitler, were homosexuals. Of course, those in rebellion against God have an easy way (for now) of just dismissing the truth. In this case, even primary historical sources are irrelevant to them, just as they dismiss the NAZI’s own testimony regarding the centrality of the theory of evolution to their views. Instead, even though the German National Socialists tried to take Christ out of Christmas, unbelievers who reject the Darwinist and homosexual influence on the NAZIs instead insist that they were Christians. Right.

* Homosexual Serial Killers: In America, the FBI defines a mass murderer as someone who kills four or more people and a serial killer as someone who kills three or more. So likewise in England, the media refers to:- Gay Steven Grieveson: as the „Gay serial killer“ who murdered three teenage boys- Gay Allan Grimson: the British homosexual convicted of murdering two men and suspected of killing up to possibly 20 others.

* Dishonorable Mentions- Gay Niels Hoegel: „Nurse kills 100 patients“ say the headlines. From the known demographics of such crimes, we immediately presume that the nurse is a male and a homosexual. The evidence that Niels Hoegel is a homosexual is that the media has reported nothing of his personal life. Of course, if he were a leader in his church, that would be in the headlines. But if he’s a homosexual (or a Muslim for that matter) that detail would be buried or not at all reported.- Gay Anthony Morley: A gay chef murdered his partner, cut out part of his leg, seasoned it with herbs and fried it, a British court heard. Anthony Morley, 35, chewed one of the pieces before throwing it into his kitchen trash. Morley is a former holder of the Mr. Gay UK title- Gay Aaron McKinney was being pimped alongside Matthew Shephard, with whom he occasionally had unnatural physical relations, before he and Russell Henderson murdered Shepherd over drugs, a crime that was not the homophobic attack that McKinney played it as and was then recklessly promoted worldwide by the media.- The Doodler: Five San Francisco homosexuals were murdered and others assaulted in 1974 by a man known as „The Doodler“ who will, with high likelihood, turn out to be himself a homosexual.- Gay Cop Killer Matthew Riehl: Colorado’s pot-smoking homosexual Matthew Riehl tried to kill five but shot four and killed one officer.

Newsweek’s Lisa Miller was caught red-handed intentionally misrepresenting the Bible and claiming that it does not speak out against lesbianism. Bob Enyart confronted Miller on air and then she was likewise confronted in person when speaking in New York City at Dinesh D’souza’s King’s College during the Q&A by a student and BEL listener.

New Testament: 1 Timothy 1:9-10 „the law is not made for a righteous person, but for… the unholy and profane, for murderers… for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers [„Thou shall not bear false witness“]…

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 „.. unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God… Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous [lusting for what you must not have], nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners…“

Romans 1:26-27 „.. passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful…“

And as Jesus taught in Mark 10:6 and quoting Genesis, that „from the beginning of the creation, God ‚made them male and female.'“ And in Mark 7:21 „out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual immorality, murders…“ And Matthew 23:23 „Woe to you… for you… have neglected the weightier matters of the law“ [and the lesser] and in Matthew 5:18 „Not one jot or one tittle [dotting an i or crossing a t] will pass from the law till all is fulfilled.“

Old Testament: Leviticus 18:22 „You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.“

Leviticus 20:13 „If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood  upon them.“ [Tragically, 35 million human beings have died tortured deaths from just one disease out of the many that are the normal consequences of homosexual behavior. Acceptance of homosexual became a curse to these people and their loved ones, though many are in denial about this.]

Genesis 19:4-5 „.. men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.“ The New Testament draws the lesson from God’s destruction of that city. Jude 1:7 „Sodom and Gomorrah… having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.“

Genesis 2:24 „Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.“ As naturally as could be, this verse from the time of the beginning of creation very naturally affirms the two sexes (male and female, father and mother) indicating that a man has both a mother and father, not two fathers or two mothers, providing the natural, healthy context for the Scripture’s future disgust with and condemnation of homosexuality. 

* Expert on Breast Cancer Abortion Risk: Karen Malec of AbortionBreatCancer.comstartling press release* Palin Defends Chemical Abortions: The CBS transcript of Sarah Palin showsPalin: „absolutely“ will fight global warmingPalin: evolution „should be taught as an accepted principle“Palin: God’s hand in creation should not be part of state policy or the curriculumPalin: „as for homosexuality“ „I don’t know what prayers are worthy of being prayed… I am not going to judge… adult personal relationships“Palin: personally against the Morning After Pill but it should not be illegalPalin: on abortion for rape, she would ‚counsel‘ for life, but never support jailPalin: a pro-life vice president doesn’t make laws, so her beliefs are not relevant* McCain Lies to Christians, Kills Kids: Please see American Right To Life’s powerful press release about Dr. Dobson violating his pledge made invoking God! John McCain funds the killing of countless children for example by voting to allocate monies on Oct. 27, 2005 for tax-funded surgical abortion if the baby’s father is a criminal, that is, a rapist. See McCain’s Yea vote to authorized funding for surgical abortion to kill an unborn child whose father is a criminal, „if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.“ Also he votes millions to foreign and domestic abortion providers including Planned Parenthood and one week after Rudi Giuliani dropped out of the race, Republicans for Choice endorsed McCain.

Watch Bob quickly unravel Terry’s red herring claim, that homosexuals can be righteous Christians. In the BEL or download), see a series of startling, and then heart warming phone calls, Terry is lead to the Lord shortly before his death from AIDS.

Gay Priest Werewolf Movie: Swallow (2014)

Oh yeah, this is a thing. Unfortunately, the werewolf minimovie is currently not in circulation; it was shown at various film festivals around the globe through the Halloween season this year, –with any luck we’ll see it on YouTube at some point.

There’s gay romance, suspicion, clergy –it’s all there, –even the oppressive Christian nosey neighbors. Secrets. Big gay ones. And werewolves…. big gay… angry werewolves! Rawr! I now what I’m putting on my Christmas wishlist.

Gay Priest Werewolf Movie: Swallow (2014)

7 Must-Read Gay Werewolf Books

Anyone who regularly reads paranormal and werewolf romances knows there are a lot of common tropes. The Fated Mate trope (one of my favorites), Forbidden Romance trope, the Alpha Male trope—too many to list. And tropes can get old after awhile, right? Especially if there isn’t a twist to them. Well, sometimes. A trope isn’t old when used by a community that doesn’t generally get to participate in the story type. To them, it’s still new. So here, I looked at gay werewolf books in romance, especially those stories written by members of the LGBTQ+ community.

I’ll be honest, it was a bit of a struggle. A lot of these story types are written by straight women (that I haven’t been able to confirm as queer). Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but, well, it’s nice to hear a story about people like you coming from someone who has lived experiences like yours. Why most of the gay werewolf romances I came across were written by straight-presenting women I don’t know. It could be a variety of reasons, like this just being a niche taste and hasn’t had the chance to be inundated with queer writers yet.

Maybe, as #PublishingPaidMe showed, queer writers just aren’t getting the publishing resources needed and so these stories are currently shelved, waiting to find a home. Maybe other reasons that I’m not gonna list here because there’s a lot of them, but I digress. Here’s some of the best gay werewolf books for romance readers that I’ve come across.

7 Must-Read Gay Werewolf Books

Lesbian Vampire Killers vs Gay Lycans

They’re all too busy doing each other to fight… I’m in favor of Werewolves…

Yeah,the lesbian vampires take werewolves would probably be like German Shepard’s in heat.

Aw, gay werewolves? alright…Werewolves, regardless of sexuality, they’ve still got their wicked skills.

so um are they lesbian vampires or lesbians that kill vampires?

 Lesbian Vampire Killers vs Gay Lycans


Centuries ago, Baron Wolfgang MacLaren vanquished the Vampire Queen Carmilla in the remote Cragwich; however, before decapitating the evil vampire, she curses the locals and descendants of the baron, swearing that every woman would turn into a lesbian vampire on the eighteenth birthday. On the present days, the clumsy and naive cuckold Jimmy is dumped again by his girlfriend Judy and misses her. His best friend Fletch is fired in his job of clown after hitting an annoying boy. The two friends are broken and decide to camp in the countryside to forget their problems, and Jimmy throws a dart in a map in a pub to decide where they should go. They head to Cragwich and when they arrive in the bar Baron’s Rest, they see four hot girls leaving the place in a Kombi. The innkeeper offers the old Mircalla cottage in the woods for them, the same place the girls will lodge. Meanwhile, Lotte, Heide, Anke and Trudi have trouble with their van and Jimmy and Fletch reach them in the forest and they … Written byClaudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


User Reviews

Beyond the obviously ridiculous title, this little British b-movie is quite above the norm. It’s first and foremost a comedy with some horror elements. It has been compared to Shaun of the Dead because it’s a British horror comedy yet also a buddy movie. Although Lesbian Vampire Killers (LBK) is not as good, clever or critical of society, it remains quite entertaining. I was pleasantly surprised and had a very good time watching it. LBK seems to mix in a Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) style of directing (alternating sped up fragments of actions and slow-motion) with „Heroes“-like captions and comic book like transitions. I found this quite dynamic and visually appealing. You don’t usually notice lighting but in this one I did and found it very well done, atmospheric and at times inspired. Same thing for the musical score where it was even appropriately epic sometimes. I’m difficult yet found the script and situations more amusing than director knows his genre trappings. Sometimes, he revels in the clichés (funny though), sometimes he subverts them. The dialogue although not the cleverest out there was fine and did the job. I was disappointed that the very well introduced „country“ girls vanished so quickly from the movie (except one), yet their respective exits were surprising and funny. I liked the hapless buddies/reluctant heroes, especially the big guy who was juvenile-minded yet comically egotistical and self-conscious. His performance seemed a bit forced sometimes though (witness his laugh in the grave). The stand-out for me though was the vicar who had the required gravitas, perfect diction and an impressive presence. Of course, one should not forget the lesbian vampires who looked and acted the part although none were really developed psychologically… A few french kisses, a couple of breasts (in the flashbacks mostly), lots of diaphanous dresses but nothing extreme or even soft-core (fortunately or not depending on your tastes :). As for gore, it’s mostly white goop instead of red blood and played for (slightly) disgusting comical effect. LBK is the perfect b-movie to rent and watch with a couple of like-minded friends. It delivers everything the title promises and more. The production values and directing are also better than you might expect from such a low-budget 7.5 out of 10 (Very good)

Murderous rage. A string of victims. A tumultuous time in San Francisco. More than 45 years ago, a serial killer called the Doodler sketched gay men in bars before stabbing them. We set out to untangle the unsolved mystery

The call came in just before 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 27, 1974.

“I believe there might be a dead person … on the beach … across from Ulloa Street, if you follow the street right down to the water,” the caller told a San Francisco police dispatcher. Didn’t give his name, just hung up.

Cops rushed down to Ocean Beach. Sprawled at the water’s edge, about to be washed out by the waves, was a man’s body. They dragged him back onto dry sand and took a close look. Seemed to be about 50 years old. Balding, heavy-set. Seventeen stab wounds, front and back, including on his hands — he’d tried to fight off his killer.

Wolfsong by TJ Klune

TJ Klune is well known for his books with queer representation, and that reputation is safe with Wolfsong. We follow Ox, our main character, as he grows up from a young adult with an abusive father to an adult who is what his pack needs but also his own person. Love interest Joe is well rounded as well, with his own story and needs, and the story lets both of them come together (and part at one point) naturally and in a human way that seems fitting for gay werewolf books. Content warning for this one though: there are some gore/violence scenes, mentions of abuse, and a rape threat (though it never happens).

The Alpha’s Warlock by Eliot Grayson

This book is filled to the brim with snark and dry humor and enemies-to-lovers chemistry between the two love interests. They’re your stereotypical chatty mage and growly alpha wolf, but done in an interesting way that keeps you reading, especially since it starts right off on the first page throwing you into the deep end, with no slow introduction to the story at all. The romance carries your standard “if you two would just TALK to each other” frustration that we all love to have, and is definitely one I recommend picking up as a fun read and distraction.

If you’ve read through these gay werewolf books, and still have an itch to scratch, check out our list of 50 werewolf romances here, and 50 gay romance novels here.

About this project

Chronicle reporter Kevin Fagan spent nearly three years investigating the unsolved murders of gay men in 1974 and ’75 by a serial killer dubbed the Doodler by San Francisco police. The Doodler podcast, narrated by Fagan and produced in partnership with Ugly Duckling Films and Neon Hum Media, is available on your favorite podcast app.

Where the Doodler hunted and where victims were found

Map: Alex K. Fong / The Chronicle • Source: Chronicle Reporting • Note: Locations are inexact.

There have been serial killers before and since. But this one wasn’t like the others. The Doodler snared his victims with his sketches.

By all accounts a good-looking young man with real artistic skills, he’d stroll into one of the scores of gay bars in Polk Gulch, the Tenderloin and the Castro. Pick a mark. Knock out a quick sketch of a man. Show him the “doodle” — flatter him, suggest they peel away for sex.

Next day, the victim turns up dead on a beach or in a park. Savagely knifed and slashed, over and over. Rage killings. Always in spots known for clandestine gay hookups.

Despite the efforts of two famous San Francisco homicide detectives, he was never caught.

But then, two years ago, Cunningham joined the cold case unit after a career as an active-case homicide inspector. He’d retired not long before, but missed the hunt. One of the first cases he looked into was the Doodler. He was stunned.

So many gay men killed, so long ago, at such a tumultuous time for LGBTQ people seeking justice and freedom.

“It just struck me,” said Cunningham, a man of succinct words. “It needed to be looked into.”

So he reopened it. That call to The Chronicle was one of his first steps. Cunningham, who’s 62, was searching for the last reporter alive who’d covered the Doodler case. That would be Peter Kuehl. Police records on the 40-plus-year-old murder case were thin. And Cunningham hoped Kuehl had saved his notes from the 1970s — might be something there.

I found Kuehl in a coma in a San Francisco hospital from lung cancer. He never woke up. That ended Cunningham’s hopes for his memories or notes.

Ever since that call, I’ve been on a deep dive into the mystery of a killer long forgotten. But maybe still alive.

Usually reporters document the hunt for a killer from the sidelines, but this time it’s different. Because the Doodler case is so confounding — and because it deserves the kind of deep look it didn’t get in its own time — I wondered if a journalist could figure out what happened in ways that might not occur to a detective.

This was going to be a heavy lift, and I would need some help. So I called Mike Taylor, who retired as a reporter from The Chronicle in 2009. Mike and I teamed up to cover the Unabomber and Polly Klaas killings. Today he’s a private investigator. He knows how to find people.

And Cunningham knows how to make sense of threads long since gone cold.

“He’s one of our best,” San Francisco Police Commander Teresa Ewins, the SFPD’s highest-ranking LGBTQ officer, told me. “You don’t want him coming after you if you’re a criminal. Do I think he’ll solve this one? Yes, I do.”

Those poor five souls the Doodler is confirmed to have killed — and others who may have felt his blade — got no justice.

And one of the loneliest of all was that man found washing into the waves in January 1974. It took a few days for the cops to figure out who he was: Gerald Cavanagh.

A furniture finisher, possibly at a mattress factory. Supposedly from Canada. That was about the extent of the known facts.

I called all the local mattress factories I could find. No records of Cavanagh. We searched all the old clippings. Nothing beyond the basics. Then we found a web page devoted to grave sites that said Cavanagh was buried not in Canada, but at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, just down the freeway in Colma.

Cavanagh’s grave marker is a weathered stone plate set flat in a windswept field of grass. You get a lonely feeling just looking at it — seemed like nobody ever visited. The cemetery office had no information on the occupant. Back to square one.

Genealogy sites finally did the trick. We tracked Cavanagh’s lineage to Montreal, found he was born there in 1923. We hired a freelance researcher in Canada who knocked on doors of relatives who wouldn’t answer our letters and calls.

The researcher finally found a niece who didn’t want to be named but led us to other relatives, and finally the picture started to color in.

Cavanagh had left home young and did a 21-month hitch with the U.S. Army at the end of World War II. He wound up in the Haight-Ashbury by the 1970s — presumably to immerse himself in the sexual freedom blossoming there and the nearby Castro.

If he was out about being gay, his family wasn’t in on it. He went home once a year to visit his mother until she died in 1967. After that, he never returned.

“I sort of put two and two together and, well, I have a pretty good idea why he was in San Francisco,” said Cavanagh’s great-nephew, Greg Chin.

He’s the only relative who would talk beyond a few clipped comments. And he was born 10 years after his great-uncle was killed. But he’d heard plenty of stories. A murder in the family stands out.

The family “was fairly Catholic,” Chin said, so living openly gay “would have definitely been problematic.” For Cavanagh, planting himself on the West Coast made sense.

“I’m presuming … he was a queer man … was trying to live, I guess what I’d imagine a semi-private lifestyle in San Francisco,” Chin said.

Eager for a sense of connection and belonging in a new place. Apart from his family. At a time when gay men were being bashed and killed with stultifying regularity.

It was relatively easy for the killer to go hunting in the mid-1970s.

There was little mainstream press coverage of LGBTQ murder victims. A few short pieces appeared when the Doodler bodies turned up. A couple of longer pieces later, when it became clear gay men were being stabbed to death at an alarming rate.

“The Sado Murder Horror” was the splashy headline of a story in a January 1976 edition of The Chronicle — six months after the last recorded Doodler attack.

As for Cavanagh? He got three paragraphs in The Chronicle that never mentioned the word “gay.” Yet that report was followed quickly by a little-noticed homicide squad bulletin that said Cavanagh appeared to have had “homosexual propensities,” and that fact eventually made it into the scanty coverage — done better in the city’s small gay press.

In the end, it just wasn’t big news, even though LGBTQ life was pushing out of the closet and into the public consciousness.

Granted, the ’70s were off the charts with headline-grabbing depravity.

The Zebra Killers were offing people all over San Francisco. The Zodiac Killer was sending taunting letters to The Chronicle. The Symbionese Liberation Army snatched Patty Hearst out of her Berkeley apartment. These events sucked the wind out of everything else going on in California.

But anti-gay bigotry, even in unusually tolerant San Francisco, added a layer of disregard.

Cops were still busting gay people in bars, bushes and alleys for violating the sodomy laws that weren’t repealed in California until 1976. So many gangs of young men took delight in gay-bashing that activists, including pioneering LGBTQ champion Harvey Milk, started handing out whistles so victims could call for aid. Police were seen as more hassle than help.

“People were getting mugged. People were getting harassed, people getting beaten,” Ron Huberman told me. He came to San Francisco as a young man in the 1970s looking for freedom and later became the first openly gay investigator for the city’s district attorney.

“And the Doodler took it to another level,” he said, “in that he was killing people and getting away with it — because, first of all, the police didn’t — to be honest with you — care.”

I asked former Mayor Art Agnos, who represented parts of San Francisco in the state Assembly in the 1970s, to look back at those times of violence and anti-gay bigotry. He called them “Neanderthal.” Agnos knows more than most. A onetime social worker, he was shot in December 1973 by the Zebra Killers.

With LGBTQ people shoved so firmly to the margins, they were easy marks.

“We all thought we were in a Mecca — like, San Francisco was the place to be because there was acceptance,” said Anne Kronenberg, campaign manager in the 1970s for Milk’s successful run for the Board of Supervisors.

But the acceptance had limits, she said. Milk didn’t make it out of the decade — famously assassinated inside City Hall in ’78.

“Not from the establishment, and certainly not from the police department because you could not trust that the police were going to stand up for you if you were having an issue in the street and you were a gay person,” Kronenberg said. “They were terrible times in some ways.

“And if you were gay, you were vulnerable. The Doodler seemed to know that.”

Nobody took Cavanagh home after his murder. He lies beneath that weathered gravestone in Colma, 3,000 miles from Montreal. His nephew, Chin, said Cavanagh’s sister came to San Francisco to identify his body.

“Apparently he was so badly mutilated from his defensive wounds that he wasn’t even identifiable,” he said.

Through the years Chin asked for more information about his great-uncle. Nobody said much.

Police records show Cavanagh had been stopped by police, suspected of having sex in the restrooms known for gay hookups near the foot of Ulloa Street at Ocean Beach. His body was found in the sand a few steps away. The anonymous call to police dispatch that morning — the one that tipped the cops to Cavanagh’s body — came from a pay phone at those restrooms.

It was the only such call police got on the Doodler case. And the cops never figured out if the caller was just a passerby. These were the days before surveillance cameras, before DNA swabs, even before people dialed 9-1-1 to report something terrible.

Cunningham and I drove to Ocean Beach in October to see where Cavanagh died. First time for both of us. Maybe there was something — anything — all these years later that could help explain what happened.

“It’s just horrific that a person can come out here not knowing they’re going to be killed and getting brought down into deep water by somebody, so to speak, and end up getting murdered in a spot like this,” Cunningham said, staring hard at the sand.

With his tight-cropped, white hair and a practiced poker face, he’s not a sentimental guy. He’s a careful, just-the-facts kind of cop. But this case has gotten to him. His lips tightened as he chose his words.

“Potentially, when all you did was you wanted to be who you were,” Cunningham said. “In those days, that was the way people met each other to express themselves, to bond with other people. Have sex. And I don’t think he should be murdered for it. Nobody should be murdered, ever. But these were horrific.”

The word he used was “these.” We were about to look into another murder.

Jae Stevens did a terrific Julie Andrews. And he was funny as hell.

In 1974, he was a rising San Francisco drag queen, wowing crowds at the *PS Lounge in Polk Gulch and world-famous Finnochio’s in North Beach.

“Jae Stevens was this bright young — I would guess in his early 20s — pretty boy,” said Kirk Frederick, longtime assistant to drag star Charles Pierce and a chronicler of those days. “Charming kid. … With makeup and hair and costumes and, you know, the fake corsets and all that, he was a strikingly beautiful woman.”

Looks weren’t all, though. Stevens was a triple threat on stage — great singer, dancer and, as Frederick said, “a really good stand-up comic in a dress.” The late Bay Area Reporter columnist Don McLean wrote that Stevens had “a face that launched a thousand sailors.” High cheekbones, long wavy hair the color of straw and eyes like a doe.

“For somebody as open and gregarious and funny onstage … he was really very soft-spoken,” Frederick said. “Very quiet, very demure, very modest. You would give him a compliment and he would almost turn away in embarrassment.”

That all ended on June 25, 1974. His given name was Joseph, and that’s how he was listed on the police report when his body was found beside a tree at Spreckels Lake by a woman out for an early-morning stroll in Golden Gate Park. He’d last been seen at the Cabaret Club in North Beach, where he’d once again wowed the crowds with his wisecracks, singing and dancing.

Like Cavanagh, he’d been savagely stabbed. Front and back. Beaten so badly that his family was barely able to recognize his corpse.

Where was the family all these years later? Cunningham had hit a dead end.

Stevens was the only Doodler victim to grow up in the Bay Area, so he was a little easier to research. Still, there wasn’t much to go on.

The Sentinel gay paper had run some homages to his career and described the anguish his death caused the LGBTQ community. But The Chronicle ran only a short story inside the paper, with no details beyond the basic murder outline.

We went back to the genealogical sites, and tried the mortuary in Walnut Creek that handled his body and the graveyard in Concord where he’s buried. Nothing. No leads to living relatives. Just another lonely gravestone set flat in the grass.

Then we got a hit on a niece of Stevens’ in Holland. And she had her own horror story.

Turned out, Stevens had a sister, Alma Teresa Stevens, who thought evil spirits had emerged from his murder. Three months after his death, she dismembered their mother and burned her in the family fireplace in Concord. Then took a sledgehammer to a sister’s head.

The sister survived. Alma ended up in an institution for the criminally insane. While there, she had a daughter. That daughter was the niece we found — in Europe.

The niece asked not to be named. We’d come to expect this by now. Anguish, fear — even after all these years.

We asked her to connect us with family over here. There were several names we’d seen in clippings from 45-plus years ago, but none of them had led anywhere. Where was the sister who survived the sledgehammer?

The niece contacted a brother of Stevens. He didn’t want to talk — but the brother contacted the sister. And that’s when we finally got an email. The sister’s name was Melissa Stevens Honrath. And the story got even more twisted.

Soon after the sledgehammer attack, and after Alma Stevens was arrested, their father burned to death in an office fire. Alma’s institutionalization process was involved and stressful, the trauma eventually driving Honrath away from the Bay Area. She came back only after her murderess sister died in 2004.

We found Honrath living in Sebastopol, 70 years old. Hadn’t talked about her brother in decades. Hadn’t talked to police since that day she IDd the body. But when I sat on her patio to peel back the past, she lit up.

Yes, Stevens did a terrific Julie Andrews. But he did a lot more. Not lip-syncing, either. His voice was electric honey. Sometimes Stevens did comedy solo, sometimes in a trio. If he’d lived, “the sky would have been his limit,” she said.

“He was very talented. Very, very talented. And again, gorgeous,” said Honrath, who calls her brother Joe — Jae was his stage name. “Oh, my, we had such fun together, making up little shows while he was growing up and then later on in the clubs. I mean, he was a fantastic actor. And, oh, could he sing.

In fact, Honrath sang and danced with her brother and a comedian named Steve Miller, who was well-known at the time. Called themselves “The Wonder Sisters.” She was “the female relief,” she said with a laugh, before singing a snippet of “Baby, Let the Good Times Roll.”

They were getting ready to leave for a gig in Boston when her brother was killed. She eventually became a nurse.

“I miss him to this day,” she said. “I’ve had a good life, but I would like to have Joe’s case solved. I think it was just pushed aside, you know, another gay, unworthy person murdered, you know?”

She pursed her lips. “What’s with this guy?” Honrath asked. “Is he around? Is he alive? This Doodler guy?”

Little did she know — and me as well, at least then — the answer to that question was probably yes.

Our journey was just beginning. We still needed to find relatives of victims in Washington state, Sweden and Germany. They might have clues.

We needed to pinpoint survivors of the Doodler’s attacks — and there were indeed survivors.

Will we find the Doodler himself? That remains to be seen.

For now, I can say we found many unexpected things, including a ripple from that half-century-old cluster of murders — a ghost.

At least that’s what the couple who live in the Concord house where Jae Stevens’ mother was killed by her daughter says. The fireplace where her body was burned is still there. Bob and Pat Johnson bought the house from the Stevens family after the murders. They were among the first people I talked to when I was trying to find Stevens’ survivors.

“We know what happened in this house, and I’m sad for that family, but it doesn’t bother us to live here,” Bob Johnson, a cheery and quite sane man, told me. “The mother’s ghost is still here. Doesn’t freak us out. She’s a shadow that appears every once in a while.

“When I leave the house, I say, ‘Take care of everything,’ and she’s always been good. Never bothered us.”

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There was no immediate ID on the dead man. And no one had any idea who the caller might have been, though he sounded young. Maybe he was just a witness, maybe he was something more.

Nobody knew it that morning, but San Francisco had a new serial killer.

Something else was unknown in these early moments: The beginning to the end of this anonymous man’s life had probably come just a few hours before, in one of the city’s many gay bars.

A lithe, handsome young man might have sidled up to him with a sketch — a portrait — he’d just drawn of him. It was good. The young man may have said something to the effect of: “Hey, let’s get out of here.”

Down to the beach they went — a common spot then for hookups. It was late at night.

Out came the knife. What with the waves, the sheltering sand dunes and the time of night, nobody heard the struggle. Or the screams. If there were any.

Forty-four years later — May 2018 — I’m at my desk in The Chronicle newsroom when my phone rings. Cold case investigator Dan Cunningham, San Francisco police homicide division, on the line. Wants to know if I can find a long-retired Chronicle reporter, Peter Kuehl.

Naturally, I begin digging into them. I find myself consumed with what is probably the biggest, most notorious unsolved serial killing of gay men in California history. If not the nation.

The murderer is called the Doodler. He stabbed to death at least five gay men in San Francisco over 18 months in the mid-1970s. Though the toll might have gone as high as 14.