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From the Archives | June 15, 1962

Woman slain in Back Bay Home

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in The Boston Globe on June 15, 1962. At the time, it was unknown that this incident was the first slaying for the serial murderer known as the Boston Strangler. The Strangler killings would continue, 13 in total, until the last victim died on Jan. 4, 1964.

An attractive divorcee was found strangled in her third-floor apartment at 77 Gainsboro Street, Back Bay, at 7:45 last night.

Her son found Mrs. Anna Slesers, 55, on the kitchen floor when he came to take her to church. A housecoat, her only clothing, had been ripped open. The cord was tightly knotted around her neck.


A preliminary examination showed she had been beaten before her slayer had choked her to death.

The possibility of rape will have to be determined by an autopsy this morning.

Her son, Juris, 23, who holds a master of science degree from the Univeristy of Michiganm is an employee of the Lincoln Laboratory in Bedford and lives on Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington.

Mrs. Slesers, a seamstress for a downtown decorating firm, was seen by neighbors entering her apartment alone between 5:30 and 6, when she came home from work.

The neat, three-room apartment showed no signs of a struggle.

Police discovered one possible means of access to the Slesers apartment from the roof. This was a painter’s scaffold which hung outside the third floor. It could have been reached from above.

The scaffold was just outside the woman’s front window which was closed but not locked.

Workmen have been cleaning the outside brickwork, but have not been on the job since last Friday because of the weather.

The son said he moved his mother into the apartment about June 1. She had been living at 100 Conwell Avenue, Somerville.

He said he came with her to this country in 1950 from Latvia.