The Boston Strangler

By: Ren King & Violet Hirman

*Warning: This article contains descriptions of murder and rape.

He who strikes in broad daylight.

It was a seemingly normal day, a woman after having just stepped out of the shower heard a knock on her apartment door. The plumber, though a bit early, she let him in quickly with a smile saying:

“I do hope you forgive my appearance, wait here and I’ll change quickly.”

She closed the front door, turning her back to the man in a heedless ignorance to his dangers. Her neighbors heard nothing of what came next, not of the screams, the terror in her voice as she pleaded for mercy, nor the strangled sounds of a woman dying.

In a few minutes, she was dead.

In a few hours, she was found with her bathrobe tied around her neck in a bow. So tight, that when they touched her head, it fell off.

Anna Slesers, 55 years old. The first victim of the Boston Strangler.

From June 14, 1962 to January 4, 1964, this serial killer plagued the streets of Boston. It was like a curse had been cast over the city, people lived in fear. The streets were silent, eyes turning to every stranger one would see on the street. Women locked their doors, hid their children.

Yet, this didn’t stop the murders from happening.

13 women of the police’s knowledge, many more that were unconfirmed to have been the Boston Strangler’s victims. Most were sexually assaulted, some had been stabbed or shot before they were strangled. Nonetheless, they all had one feature in common. They were found with a meticulously done bow wrapped around their neck.

Always so tight that if not handled properly, the head would fall off.

Over ten years later, a man of the name Albert DeSalvo was arrested for charges of sexual assault and breaking and entering. While he was in custody, another inmate, George Nasser recalled their conversations.

“He’s mad is what he is, sick and twisted beyond my own belief. Which is hard to believe since I shot a man, but true all the more. He says that he wishes to be as famous as the Boston Strangler himself, but a lot of the time I’m afraid that he actually is.” The exact words, according to the locals of Boston.

DeSalvo was taken into questioning about the crimes of the Boston Strangler. At first, he denied having any ties with the serial killer other than adoring remarks about his good work.

F. Lee Bailey, after two full days of interrogation, emerged with a tape of recordings from DeSalvo. Words that the police insisted were those only the Boston Strangler would know.

So, they had finally caught the Boston Strangler.

Or so they thought.

Dr. Robey was skeptical of DeSalvo’s complete guilt. He knew that the man had photographic memory, and had a track record for breaking and entering. He suspected that DeSalvo had come to the crime scenes days after the events occured to study them. That he confessed to the crimes of the Strangler in order to be sentenced to a mental hospital instead of a prison.

Alas, the evidence was too strong in DeSalvo’s favor and all investigations of the Boston Strangler were shut down.

Not before they discovered, from an eyewitness, from one of the murders, that she did not recognize DeSalvo, but instead George Nasser. Along with this, testimony that several people were seen coming out of the apartment.

Though they studied the scenes thoroughly, there was no other sign that it was a case involving multiple people other than the witness statement. Therefore, they had to believe that DeSalvo truly was the Boston Strangler.

DeSalvo was sentenced to life in prison, but not for the crimes of the Strangler. He was never actually tried for the serial killer’s crimes, only named it.

On November 26, 1973, DeSalvo told his psychiatrist that it was finally time to reveal the true crimes of the Boston Strangler.

The same day, he was found stabbed to death in his prison cell before he could say a word.

Through more recent DNA testing and closer scrutiny into the case, it was shown that unidentified DNA was found at several of the crime scenes. None of it matching to DeSalvo’s. Along with that, a painting crew was seen at the site of the first victim’s house. Two weeks later, the same crew was seen at the third victim’s.

Was it a coincidence? Or was it a clue?

To this day, no one knows the true story of the Boston Strangler. Despite countless reasons that the real killer, or killers, are still out there, further investigation cannot be taken due to DeSalvo’s confession.

So, if you’re home alone and you hear a small clicking sound. You turn around, but nothing is behind you. It may very well be…the sound of the Strangler’s walker because if they were still alive right now they would be well into old age.

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