Today, we're discussing the shocking true story of “The Boston Strangler” the name given to Albert Henry Desalvo, who murdered 13 women in Boston
Albert Henry Desalvo (The Boston Strangler) was born in Chelsea Massachusetts on September 3rd, 1931. His childhood was filled with violence beginning with physical abuse from his father Frank who was a misuser of alcohol. The younger Desalvo frequently witnessed his father beat his mother and hire sex workers. In one particularly heinous incident, Frank knocked out his wife's teeth and broke all of her fingers. Soon after that incident Charlotte and Frank divorced. The family never saw Frank again.
Desalvo started committing crimes at a young age. After being arrested for battery and robbery at 12 he was sent to the Lyman school. For boys, he was paroled after a year but stole a car and ended up back at reform school in 1948. A 17-year-old Desalvo enlisted in the U.S army. There he really found himself always a hard worker when he was stationed in Germany he met and married Earm guard back. The couple moved back to the States settling down in New Jersey in 1955.
Desalvo was accused of abusing a girl in her home but the charges were dropped. He was honorably discharged for the second time and eventually moved to Massachusetts. Desalvo was discharged from the army and returned to Boston with his wife to start a family. Around this times, a series of sex-related crimes were reported by women who said a man pretending to work for a modeling agency came to their homes and took their measurements.
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He would ask that she'd gone in Leotard. So that he could take her measurements which were in those days very much a part of the Hura suggesting an attractive woman. In march 1960, Desalvo was arrested for breaking and entering a woman's home and shocked the police by confessing to being the measurements man. Desalvo was diagnosed as a sociopath and sent to prison.
He was from jail after serving 11 months of his 18-month sentence. Desalvo then began another crime spree. His sentence was just 11 months in April 1962 Albert was once again a free man. The Silk Stocking murders from June 1962 to 1964, 13 women in and around Boston Massachusetts were killed in their homes. Almost all of the victims were sexually assaulted and strangled. Most were using their own Nylon stockings.
The first was 56 years old seamstress Anna Sleazers who was found dead in her Boston Apartment on June 14, 1962. The killer had strangled her with the belt on her bathrobe foreshadowing his signature five elderly victims followed in late June and August.
According to a report, 85 years old Mary Mullen died of a heart attack while being attacked, and physiotherapist Nina Nicholas and nurse Helen Blake were strangled with their own nylon stockings. The body of Beacon Hill resident, Ida Erga and night nurse Jane Sullivan have discovered just days apart it.
In December, there was an apparent change in the killer's victimology when Sophie Clark was found on the fifth and Patricia Bessette on New Year's Eve both were students in their 20s and Clark was African-American,a significant deviation from elderly Caucasian women. She just didn't move. Residents realized that any woman could be the next victim, there was an increase in sales of alarm systems, deadbolt locks, guns and guard dogs.
Everyone got guns, weapons, locks on houses, alarm systems. There was a genuine terror in the city. Also during this time, Boston Record American reporters Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole took it upon themselves to conduct their own investigation into the elusive killer, whom they dubbed the Boston Strangler. The murders continued the following year, although they were more spread out. On March 6, 69-year-old Mary Brown was
discovered in her Lawrence, Massachusetts residence.
Like most of the other victims, she had been sexually assaulted and strangled with stockings but also stabbed. Boston University graduate student Beverly Simmons, another young woman in her 20s, was found with stockings and scarves knotted around her neck,
but it was determined that she had been stabbed to death. As the number of victims grew, police became more and more frustrated.No woman felt safe.
Two more murders occurred before the end of the year. The body of 58-year-old Mary Corbyn was found by a friend on September 8. And on November,22-year-old Sunday school teacher Joanne Graff was found after she wasn't seen for days and friends called the police. On January 4, 1964, the final as well as the youngest victim, 19-year-old Mary Sullivan, was found by her roommates. Months went by. There was no more strangling. There were all kinds of speculation.
So, the questions were arising, Had he died? Had he been arrested? Had he moved over the state? Was he in another country?
The Green Man Confesses throughout the investigation, police reportedly interviewed thousands of suspects. But the man who wasn't on their radar was Albert De Salvo. He was arrested, however, in October 1964, after matching the description of a man who reportedly restrained and sexually assaulted a woman in her home before suddenly apologizing and fleeing.
He admitted to the Green Man crimes a string of sexual assaults throughout New England. Police estimated that De Salvo, as the Green Man, may have committed hundreds of assaults. De Salvo was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for psychiatric assessment, where he met a convicted murderer George Nasser and allegedly confessed to being the Boston Strangler.
Nasser shared the shocking confession with his lawyer, F. Lee Bailey, who decided to represent De Salvo.De Salvo formally confessed, revealing intimate knowledge of the crimes. Bailey checked Albert's answers with the Boston police, who told him Albert had passed the test with flying colors. But there was no physical evidence tying him to the crime scenes.
He was never charged with the murders, instead receiving a life sentence for the Green Man assaults. But there was no physical evidence linking de Salvo to the crimes. And defense lawyer Bailey had secured a commitment that the confessions could not be used against him in court.
In February 1967, he and two other inmates escaped, but he turned himself in after three days of freedom.I asked him his name, he said it was de Salvo and I put the cuffs on him. He was then transferred to Walpole State Prison to finish serving his life sentence. But in November 1973, he was stabbed to death by another prisoner. Two men, Richard Devlin and Robert Wilson, were charged and tried for his murder.
But the trial ended with a deadlocked jury.No one was ever convicted of his murder. A break in the case in the early Two thousand s, Mary Sullivan's sister Diane and Desalvo's brother Richard worked together to get the case reopened.
Since neither of them believed Albert was. The Strangler, I think Albert confessed solely had to do with money. However, the Sullivan and Desalvo families wouldn't get any answers until July 2013, when Boston law enforcement officials announced they were able to establish a connection using DNA evidence.
After exhuming De Salvo's remains and using his nephew's DNA for a familial match, it was confirmed that Desalvo's seminal fluid was at the Sullivan crime scene. From that, a DNA match was made for the first time confirming Albert de Salvo, Sullivan's killer with 99.9% certainty.
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Many experts, officers, authors and relatives still have their doubts over whether de Salvo killed all the victims attributed to the Strangler. The inconsistent victimology that crosses age and racial lines was considered unusual and unlikely. Others have argued that de Salvo was incorrect about some details of the crimes, like the time and killing methods.
It is very interesting to me that Albert's confession reproduces the misinformation that appeared in the newspapers. Nasser, the man De Salvo confessed to, has also been suspected of being the Strangler. Some have theorized that he had promised to split the reward money with De Salvo, which De Salvo may have intended for his wife and two children, or that De Salvo just really wanted to be famous. He wanted to be world-renowned.