For nearly two years during the early 1960s, Boston, Massachusetts was witness to a killing spree that mystified police detectives. The period saw 13 women, ranging in age from 19 to 85, all murdered in similar circumstances, with the victims being first sexually assaulted and then strangled with items of their own clothing.
Detectives were convinced that the crimes had been committed by the same man; a mysterious figure that came be known by the public as the ‘Boston Strangler’. They were however unable to identify the killer. On 27th October 1964, Albert DeSalvo was arrested in connection with an unrelated rape – at the time he wasn’t considered a suspect in the ‘Strangler’ case but then, after his conviction for that original crime, he gave a remarkable confession, whilst under hypnosis, revealing himself as the Boston Strangler and giving details of each of the murders.
Police had their doubts as to the authenticity of his claims – there was no physical evidence to support them – and decided to try him for a number of other crimes, including theft and sexual assault.
Whether or not he truly was the ‘Strangler’ is a question that remains unanswered but, in any case, on this day in 1967, DeSalvo was convicted and given a life sentence.
The public, at least, felt they had got their man...