The mystery of the Boston Strangler

New evidence ties self-confessed serial killer Albert DeSalvo to one of the Strangler's killings.

Albert DeSalvo


In 1967, Albert DeSalvo confessed to being the “Boston Strangler" and committing 13 murders in an 18-month period in the early 1960s. DeSalvo was never prosecuted for the crimes under a deal negotiated with then-Attorney General Edward Brooke and DeSalvo's attorney. Questions arose through the years about whether or not DeSalvo was the real killer. But new DNA evidence ties DeSalvo to the final victim of the alleged Strangler, more firmly linking the self-confessed killer to the killings.

From the Archives | June 14, 2012

//[1]--90x90.jpg 50 years later, Boston Strangler case still captures fascination

Memories are still vivid and uncertainties linger a half-century after the start of the murderous reign.

From the Archives | June 13, 2002

Victims of the Boston Strangler

Thirteen victims of the Boston Strangler were found in Eastern Massachusetts between 1962 and 1964.

From the archives | Jan. 13, 1967

// Albert DeSalvo is ‘Boston Strangler’

Sensation followed sensation in a crowded Middlesex Superior Courtroom as DeSalvo’s lawyer and a psychiatrist said the defendant had told them of committing 13 murders in an 18-month period.

From the Archives | June 15, 1962

Woman slain in Back Bay Home

Mrs. Anna Slesers, 55, was found strangled in her third-floor apartment in the Back Bay. At the time, it was unknown that this incident was the first slaying for the serial murderer known as the Boston Strangler.

From the archives | July 9, 1999

// Police hope DNA science will tell if DeSalvo was Boston Strangler

A story from the Globe archives chronicles police efforts to use DNA to confirm the identity of the Strangler.

DNA links Albert DeSalvo to 1964 ‘Strangler’ slaying

A definitive DNA match has been made from the remains of Albert DeSalvo, the confessed Boston Strangler, to crime scene evidence from a 1964 slaying that was part of the Strangler’s murder spree, a law enforcement official familiar with the case said today.

// Confessed Boston Strangler’s body exhumed

Pathologists will soon remove a sample of Albert DeSalvo’s DNA and seek a genetic match with new evidence, in hope of linking him to the last of the killings.

Family of Albert DeSalvo outraged by police tactics

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley defended investigators’ use of clandestine tactics to obtain a DNA sample from a relative of Albert DeSalvo, who police now believe with new certainty was responsible for at least one of the Boston Strangler murders.

// ‘Boston Strangler’ detective would be pleased, daughter says

“He would be dancing in the streets right now,” Jeanne Elliott, 64, said of her father, Andrew Tuney Jr., who led a task force on the Boston Strangler case.

Trying to close ‘Boston Strangler’ case

One of the nation’s most notorious mysteries is on the brink of being solved, state and local officials said Thursday, as they revealed DNA evidence directly linking Albert DeSalvo to the last of the 11 murders committed by the Boston Strangler during a reign of terror that stretched across the region from 1962 to 1964.

// In ‘Boston Strangler’ case, patience was key

The Boston Police crime lab stored “Strangler” samples after they were discovered in the ’90s, waiting for technology to improve.

// Boston mysteries coming to a close

With Albert DeSalvo close to being officially the Boston Strangler, and James “Whitey” Bulger on trial, Boston riddles are being solved.