Best Known For
Alberto DeSalvo is best known for confessing to be the "Boston Strangler," who killed 13 women in Boston in the early 1960s.
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She had been sexually assaulted. The apartment looked as though it had been ransacked, with Anna's purse and contents strewn on the floor. Despite what appeared to be a robbery, a gold watch and pieces of jewelry were left behind. The police settled on the hypothesis that is was a botched burglary.
Just under three weeks later on June 28, 1962,
85-year-old Mary Mullen was also found murdered in her home. Two days later the body of 68-year-old Nina Nichols was also discovered in the Brighton area of Boston. Again, it appeared to be a burglary despite valuable silver that appeared untouched. The ransacking didn't seem to make sense to detectives.
Nichols was also found in a state of undress, her legs wide open and her stocking tops tied in a bow. Was this the trademark of the same killer?
Then, on the same day, a second body was discovered a few miles north of Boston, in the suburb of Lynn. Helen Blake was a 65-year-old divorcee. Her murder was more gruesome. She had suffered lacerations to her vagina and anus. Again the bow trademark was evident; this time made from tying her bra around her neck. Like the previous crimes, the scene appeared to be a burglary.
After this brutal slaying, it was clear that Boston had in its midst a psychotic serial killer. Police Commissioner Edmund McNamara cancelled all police leave due to the severity of the situation, and a warning went out via the media to Boston's female population. Women were advised to lock their doors and be cautious of strangers.
Police profiling had already decided that in all probability they were looking for a psychopath, whose hatred of older women, may actually be linked to his own relationship with his mother.
It wasn't long before McNamara's fears were realized. A fourth brutal slaying took place at 7 Grove Garden in Boston's West End on August 19. The victim was 75-year-old widow Ida Irga. Again she had been strangled. She lay on her back on the floor wearing a brown nightdress, which was ripped and exposed her body. Her legs were apart and resting on two chairs and a cushion had been placed under her buttocks. Again there was no sign of forced entry.
Less than 24 hours later the body of Jane Sullivan was found not far from the previous victim at 435 Columbia Rd in Dorchester. The 65-year-old nurse had been murdered a week before and was found dead in the bathroom. She had been strangled by her own nylons.
Terror spread throughout Boston as the city feared another attack, but it was three months before the Strangler struck again. This time the victim was young.
Twenty-one-year-old Sophie Clark was an African-American student who was very mindful of her safety, and rarely dated. Her body was found on December 5, 1962, a few blocks away from the first victim, Anna Sleser. Sophie was found nude and had been sexually assaulted. She had been strangled by her own stockings and semen was discovered for the first time. Somehow, despite Sophie's precautions, she had still let in the murderer.
Although Sophie did not fit the same profile as the other victims, the police were sure it was the work of the same killer.
profile name: Albert De Salvo profile occupation:
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Many of the most horrifying acts of violence are committed by serial killers. Always looking for next victim, these murderers kill again and again, never fully satisfied by their bloody deeds. Their twisted motivations—and even more twisted techniques—land the people in this group among the most frightening criminals in history.
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