MA MA - ALBERT DESALVO, The Boston Strangler, 1960's

Susan Kelly

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The de-escalation is a oddity and certainly not common in serial killers. However, it was generally never believed that they were married men living "normal" lives when they weren't committing murders either, except BTK and Gary Ridgeway shot that theory all to heck.

I just fail to see how DNA is not conclusive evidence that DeSalvo was the killer. I haven't gotten to the Mary Sullivan chapter yet, but I assume the prime suspect was known to her on some level? But DeSalvo was not. So, how on earth was his DNA there?

That is just a bit too much coincidence for me. The DNA of the guy who confessed to 13 murders, including Mary Sullivan, is found at the murder scene. He did not know her socially. What other possible explanation is there?

He has to be the killer of Mary. Given that, and given the various profiles of his victims in the sex crimes, that do not seem to be disputed, it stands to reason he was the Boston Strangler.

Prior to the DNA, for years and years, I was convinced he was not the strangler. I hate it when my theories get shot to heck. This is the second big theory I held onto for as long as I could, and finally had to give up but I really don't see any other conclusion on this one. At least I was right on Sam Sheppard.

Of course, that doesn't mean he killed all of them, although I am also leaning to him being the killer of Sophie Clark. I realize he described her shoes incorrectly but the high heels could have been part of his fantasy. Obviously he really was nuts. I had previously held her death as one of the ones that really made no sense with her being African American and, of course, the first young viticm. But I really don't think that is relevent in this particular case.

In spite of what the OJ jury tought, IMO, DNA does not lie.

Again, good questions. It's true DNA doesn't lie. But it doesn't always prove culpability or innocence. A sample of DNA not belonging to DeSalvo was taken from Ms. Sullivan's body. It DID match that of the prime suspect in the case. (He had been introduced to her a day or so before the murder; but told police he had heard of her while she lived on the Cape.) Foreign DNA not belonging to the suspect and also not belonging to DeSalvo was also found on her underwear. So that's two DNAs independent of DeSalvo's that have to be factored into the equation.

The young women living in the apartment had numerous male visitors, day and night, so DNA belonging to those guys would have been present on the premises. And it doesn't mean they're guilty...or innocent.

Another factor is that there was never any other physical evidence nor eyewitness testimony to link DeSalvo to any of the crimes.

If DeSalvo's DNA had been found on Mary's body, I'd agree with you. I am not altogether sure how it got on the blanket. Ten years ago, the state crime lab said the blanket was untestable for DNA.
 

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The assertion that DeSalvo visited the crime scenes was made long before the DNA finding. It was originally given as one of the reasons that, in his confessions, DeSalvo seemed to know more about the said scenes than had been released to the public.
 

chlban

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The assertion that DeSalvo visited the crime scenes was made long before the DNA finding. It was originally given as one of the reasons that, in his confessions, DeSalvo seemed to know more about the said scenes than had been released to the public.

I am now 100% convinced that he visited them as well, because he was the Strangler. That does not mean that I think all victims attributed to the Strangler were part of the Strangler killings. There are at least 2 that stand out (and possibly 3), as being unrelated with a possible attempt to copy the Strangler. But I do believe the majority of them were victims of the Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo.
 

Susan Kelly

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I am now 100% convinced that he visited them as well, because he was the Strangler. That does not mean that I think all victims attributed to the Strangler were part of the Strangler killings. There are at least 2 that stand out (and possibly 3), as being unrelated with a possible attempt to copy the Strangler. But I do believe the majority of them were victims of the Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo.

But how do you account for the fact that there was never any other physical evidence or eyewitness testimony to tie DeSalvo to the killings? Or the fact that male DNA not belonging to DeSalvo was found in Mary Sullivan's pubic area, according to the autopsy and forensic examinations in 2000-2001? And bear in mind that there were very good suspects in the other murders. Beverly Samans was almost certainly murdered by the guy who confessed to doing so.
 

chlban

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But how do you account for the fact that there was never any other physical evidence or eyewitness testimony to tie DeSalvo to the killings? Or the fact that male DNA not belonging to DeSalvo was found in Mary Sullivan's pubic area, according to the autopsy and forensic examinations in 2000-2001? And bear in mind that there were very good suspects in the other murders. Beverly Samans was almost certainly murdered by the guy who confessed to doing so.

How do you account for Albert DeSalvo's DNA being found? My assumption would be she had consensual sex with someone, which explains the other DNA. Are you assuming she had consensual sex with De Salvo and then the other guy killed her? Because that sure seems like a stretch to me.

As far as no other physical evidence, in my world DNA trumps all other physical evidence. We all know how reliable eyewitness testimony is.

As for Beverly Samans, that is one of the murders that I thought was not committed by the Strangler, so I agree DeSalvo did not kill her. The other was Patricia, whose last name I now cannot recall and the woman that was found in the motel after having checked in the night before with a guy that gave a false name. Sorry, I don't have the names off the top of my head.

None of those struck me as part of the same killings, but that in the case of Patricia and, to a lesser degree, Beverly, maybe after the murder the killer tried to match it up with the Strangler. I couldn't even figure out how the third one got lumped in with the only similarity I saw was her being strangled.
 

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The assertion that DeSalvo visited the crime scenes was made long before the DNA finding. It was originally given as one of the reasons that, in his confessions, DeSalvo seemed to know more about the said scenes than had been released to the public.

The other reasons given were that, he was guilty or that he was being fed information either by the police or by the real killer.
 

Susan Kelly

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How do you account for Albert DeSalvo's DNA being found? My assumption would be she had consensual sex with someone, which explains the other DNA. Are you assuming she had consensual sex with De Salvo and then the other guy killed her? Because that sure seems like a stretch to me.

As far as no other physical evidence, in my world DNA trumps all other physical evidence. We all know how reliable eyewitness testimony is.

As for Beverly Samans, that is one of the murders that I thought was not committed by the Strangler, so I agree DeSalvo did not kill her. The other was Patricia, whose last name I now cannot recall and the woman that was found in the motel after having checked in the night before with a guy that gave a false name. Sorry, I don't have the names off the top of my head.

None of those struck me as part of the same killings, but that in the case of Patricia and, to a lesser degree, Beverly, maybe after the murder the killer tried to match it up with the Strangler. I couldn't even figure out how the third one got lumped in with the only similarity I saw was her being strangled.


Well, bear in mind the fact that the person whose DNA was found on Mary's body also flunked lie detector tests, the results of which were examined by two independent examiners, both of whom concluded that he was involved in the murder. And it's important to bear in mind that some time later, this person made a threatening phone call to one of the surviving roommates, saying that he was going to do to her what he did to Mary. As for the blanket DNA, it could have gotten there in a number of ways.

Another curious fact is that the crime lab also already had samples of DeSalvo's DNA, from the knife that had been used to kill him at Walpole.

But please, ask me any other questions you like.
 

Susan Kelly

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The other reasons given were that, he was guilty or that he was being fed information either by the police or by the real killer.

There were in fact four suspects in the various murders incarcerated at Bridgewater with DeSalvo, whom he talked with in the months before he started confessing, or hinting that he was the Strangler.
 

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Including Nassar as well, who I don't think was a suspect for Boston S. at the time.
 

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The other reasons given were that, he was guilty or that he was being fed information either by the police or by the real killer.

Police had a need to "solve" the case whether the solution was legitimate or not.
 

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The charge can always be made that evidence is illegitimate whether by error or fraud.
 

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Tomorrow, September 29, is the 50th anniversary for Nassar's murder of Irvin Hilton.
 

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I wonder how Nassar and DeSalvo got to be such buds in the can.
 

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The serial killer club I suppose.
 

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Edward Brooke, the Attorney General who was involved in the investigation of this case, just died January 3 of this year at age 95. He later went on to become a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.
 

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Edward Brooke, the Attorney General who was involved in the investigation of this case, just died January 3 of this year at age 95. He later went on to become a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.

I wonder how many principals in the case are still living.
 

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F. Lee Bailey and Nassar are both still alive but they weren't involved when the murders were ongoing.
 

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I'm sure many of Desalvo's Green Man and Measuring Man victims are still alive.
 
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