Albert DeSalvo, ‘Boston Strangler’ suspect, to be exhumed for DNA testing

Albert DeSalvo is best known for having confessed to the Boston Strangler serial killings– however, he was never actually convicted of them. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the “Green Man” rapes. He was stabbed to death in prison in 1973, before any charges could be brought against him.

However, about a year ago, some DNA evidence left on the last victim, 19 year old Mary Sullivan was found to be a “familial” DNA match, and investigators are now about to exhume DeSalvo’s body for conclusive proof it was him.


Mary Sullivan, the Boston Strangler’s last victim

Oddly, however, in 2001, a “semen-like” substance found on Sullivan’s body was concluded to not be a match, so this could get interesting.

DeSalvo reportedly confessed to the Boston Strangler murders to his cellmate, George Nassar, who then reported it to attorney F. Lee Bailey, who later defended DeSalvo in court. He also confessed to the crimes under hypnosis. Nassar is also considered to be a suspect in the murders, with those who suspect him believing that he told DeSalvo the details of the murder and is far more devious and psychopathic than DeSalvo was.

Creepy tidbit of information– while DeSalvo was in prison, he often sent jewelry and leather goods he made to Bailey’s family and wrote them all letters.

The crimes that Albert DeSalvo was actually convicted for– armed robberies and sexual assaults- had a very different MO when compared to the Boston Strangler killings. Also, police never really thought that all the crimes attributed to the Boston Strangler were committed by the same person, because the age range was so varied.

The first wave of these crimes were perpetrated exclusively against older women, ages 55-85, in the second, the victims varied in age, ranging from 19-69. Some were strangled with nylon stockings, some without, one was stabbed… it would just be extremely unusual for a serial killer to have that varied of an MO. Robert Ressler, the father of criminal profiling– whom I am slightly obsessed with– did not believe they were all committed by a single person.

It is likely that DeSalvo’s DNA will be a match for the DNA found on Mary Sullivan’s body– whether or not he committed the rest of the murders associated with the Boston Strangler, we may never know.