The Boston Strangler first struck on June 14, 1962 — nearly 50 years ago — and the panic that gripped the city lasted until after the last victim died on Jan. 4, 1964. The fear led to a run on door locks and other security measures, and many women were reported to stop venturing out at night and to fear staying alone. Thirteen women were murdered, most of them sexually assaulted and strangled. No one was ever convicted of the crimes, but one man confessed. Albert DeSalvo, already in custody for robbery and sexual assault, claimed to be the Strangler. Serving his sentence in Bridgewater State Hospital for his other crimes, DeSalvo escaped with two other inmates and triggered a massive manhunt. He was captured the next day, Feb. 25, 1967. DeSalvo was stabbed to death in his sleep in Walpole State Prison on Nov. 26, 1973. The grisly crimes inspired several books and films, and even the Rolling Stones’ song “Midnight Rambler.”
This photo is from Sept. 3, 1962. Boston police detectives worked through the night trying to solve the Strangler case after Jane Sullivan, 67, was discovered on Aug. 30, 1962, throttled to death in her apartment. She was believed to be the sixth victim. On this night, news stories reported police were searching for a 56-year-old Brookline man who had been arrested more than once for trying to choke women. This suspect had a history of mental illness and had worked as a practical nurse in at least seven hospitals in the city, getting the jobs through false documentation. A common thread with five victims was that they had some connection with hospitals or medical clinics. Jane Sullivan had worked as a night-shift nurse at Longwood Hospital.
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