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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The attorney was shocked to hear DeSalvo describe the murders in incredible detail, right down to the furniture in the apartments of his victims.
DeSalvo had it all worked out. He believed he could convince the psychiatric board that he was insane and then remain in prison for the rest of his life. Bailey could then write up his story and make much needed money to support his family. In his book The Defense Never Rests,
Bailey explains how it was that DeSalvo managed to avoid detection. DeSalvo was Dr Jekyll; the police were looking for Mr. Hyde.
After a second visit and listening to DeSalvo describe in grisly detail the murder of 75-year-old Ida Irga, Bailey was convinced his client was the Boston Strangler. When he asked DeSalvo why he chose a victim of such an age, the man coolly replied that "attractiveness had nothing to do with it."
After many hours of questioning and going into minute detail of what the victims wore or how their apartments looked, both Bailey and the police were convinced that they had the killer. One disturbing revelation was when DeSalvo described an aborted attack on a Danish girl. As he was strangling her he caught sight of himself in the mirror. Horrified by the ghastly vision of what he was doing he released her and begged her not to tell the police before fleeing.
DeSalvo was incarcerated in what is now known as the MCI-Cedar Junction prison in Massachusetts. In November 1973, he got word to his doctor that he needed to see him urgently; DeSalvo had something important to say about the Boston Strangler murders. The night before they were to meet, however, DeSalvo was stabbed to death in prison.
Because of the level of security in the prison, it is assumed that the killing had been planned with a degree of co-operation between employees and prisoners. Whatever the case, and though there were no more murders by the Strangler after DeSalvo had been arrested, the Strangler case was never closed.
In 2001, DeSalvo's body was exhumed and DNA tests were taken and compared to evidence taken from the last Strangler victim, Mary Sullivan. There was no match. Though this only proved that DeSalvo had not sexually assaulted Sullivan, it did not rule out his involvement in her murder.
In July 2013, it was announced that DeSalvo's body would be exhumed yet again for re-evaluation using new forensic testing, with reports speculating that this new analysis could finally provide concrete proof of the Boston Strangler's identity.
The family of DeSalvo and a nephew of Mary Sullivan continue to believe in Albert DeSalvo's innocence of the 13 murders to which he confessed; they remain convinced that the killer is still alive.
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