The murders of 11 women between 1962 and 1964 by the suspected Boston Strangler could never be accurately described as cold cases. The murders have long smoldered in the minds of the public, amid doubts about the confessions of laborer Albert DeSalvo. In 1973, DeSalvo was murdered in prison, where he was serving time on an unrelated rape charge.
The desire to solve the Strangler mystery burned brightly in the crime lab of the Boston Police Department, where civilian director Donald Hayes read extensively about the murders and rooted around in old evidence bins and archives. There he discovered DNA evidence on a blanket from the home of 19-year-old Mary Sullivan, who is believed to be the last of the Strangler’s murder victims.