Date of murders: 1962 - 1964
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Between June 14, 1962 and January 4, 1964, a vicious killer held the city of Boston, Massachusetts in a grip of fear. Thirteen women would fall prey to the unnamed fiend. All of the victims were raped and strangled to death in their own homes, with some of the bodies bizarrely and explicitly posed.
Despite the brazen nature of the crimes, the police had no solid clues until a man named Albert De Salvo, being held on separate charges, confessed. De Salvo was well known to police as a burglar. He had also committed two unusual series of sex crimes. In one series, he posed as the representative of a model agency and offered women modelling work if they would allow him to take their measurements. In the other, he gained access to his victims’ homes by pretending to be a handyman. Once inside, he tied them up and fondled them before fleeing.
De Salvo seemed to have some insider knowledge of the Strangler crimes. Yet despite his confession, police had no evidence that linked him to the murders. Then De Salvo’s attorney offered a deal. De Salvo would plead guilty to sexual assault and accept a life sentence, if the D.A. did not pursue murder charges against him. Desperate to get the Strangler off the streets, the D.A. agreed.
De Salvo was sentenced to life in prison on January 9, 1967. Less than seven years later, on November 25, 1973, he was stabbed to death by a fellow inmate.
But was De Salvo really the Boston Strangler? Most experts do not think so, and there is a substantial body of evidence to suggest that they are right. The story of the Boston Strangler remains one of the enduring mysteries of American crime.