The Boston Strangler

One day in July, 1962, the Boston Herald screamed from its front page, “Mad Strangler Kills Four Women In Boston!” It was a case that gripped the public’s imagination and its resolution may turn out to be  no resolution at all.

Between 1962 and 1964, thirteen women ranging in age from nineteen to eighty-five were  murdered in the Boston area. All were strangled with silk stockings; nearly all were sexually assaulted; and there was never any sign of forced entry into their homes. In October 1964, a man who had been arrested for raping a woman in her own house Albert DeSalvo confessed in detail to the killings, and was convicted.

DeSalvo was able to describe details of the crime scenes which had not been made public, but inexplicably, he also got many of these details wrong. At the time of his confession, he was an inmate in a mental institution, and was subsequently sentenced to life in prison. But the inconsistencies of his confession inaccurate times of death, method of strangulation, and so on were never addressed. More alarmingly, police had always been of the opinion that the murders were likely the work of more than one person and indeed,

DNA evidence has exonerated DeSalvo of one of the killings to which he had confessed.
John E. Douglas, an FBI agent who worked on the case and one of the first-ever criminal profilers, has stated that based on DeSalvo’s profile he is unlikely to have committed the murders, but very likely to have wanted to claim credit for them. Which means that even though the murders are more than forty years old, the possibility exists that one of the most notorious serial killers in history is still out there.

Tom Lori Published by Tom Lori

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