ALBERT DESALVO, THE BOSTON STRANGLER

By Tim Lambert

Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler murdered women in Boston, Massachusetts in the early 1960s. A man named Albert DeSalvo confessed to the murders but its not certain if he was responsible for all of them. There may have been more than one person responsible for the crimes. Albert DeSalvo was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts on 3 September 1931. Albert claimed his father was a bully. However his mother divorced his father in 1944. Albert DeSalvo served in the army and while stationed in Germany he married a woman named Irmgard. When he was discharged from the army DeSalvo moved back to Boston where he worked as a handyman. In 1960 he was sentenced to 2 years in prison for breaking into an apartment. He was released after 10 months.

Albert DeSalvo murdered his first victim in 1962. She was a 55 year old woman called Ann Slesers. On 14 June 1962 DeSalvo sexually assaulted her with an object then strangled her with her dressing gown cord. Her son found her body in her apartment the next day. Two weeks later an 85 year old woman named Mary Mullen was attacked. She died of a heart attack. On 30 June 1962 2 women were murdered by DeSalvo. They were 68 year old Nina Nicols and 65 year old Helen Blake. Both were sexually assaulted then strangled with their own nylon stockings.

The next victim of Albert DeSalvo was a 75 year old woman named Ida Irga. She was killed on 19 August 1962. The Strangler then posed the body with her legs wide apart on 2 chairs. The next day he killed a 67 year old woman named Jane Sullivan. So far old women had been murdered but then changed young women became victims. On 5 December 1962 a 20 year old girl called Sophie Clark was strangled by DeSalvo. On 31 December 1962 DeSalvo strangled a 23 year old woman named Patricia Bissette in her apartment. From then on both old and young women were victims. On 9 March 1963 DeSalvo beat, stabbed and strangled a 69 year old woman called Mary Brown. The next victim was 23 year old Beverley Samans. DeSalvo stabbed her to death in her apartment on 6 May 1963. On 8 September 1963 DeSalvo strangled 58 year old Evelyn Corbin .

Then on 23 November 1963 DeSalvo murdered 23 year old Joann Graff. The last victim of the Boston Strangler was 19 year old Mary Sullivan. She was strangled with a stocking on 4 January 1964. Grotesquely a New Years card was placed between her feet.

On 27 October 1964 a woman was raped in her apartment. The police arrested Albert DeSalvo for the crime but at first they did not link him to the Boston Strangler murders. DeSalvo confessed to a lawyer then to the police but there was no physical evidence to link him to the crimes. Nevertheless in 1967 Albert DeSalvo was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape. However he was stabbed to death in prison on 26 November 1973. For a time there was some doubt about whether DeSalvo was really the Boston Strangler but in 2013 DNA evidence proved that he killed Mary Sullivan, the last victim.

Charlotte Bryant

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Jerry BrudosA History of Boston

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