Boston Strangler


Boston Strangler
the name given by newspapers, etc. to Albert DeSalvo, a US man who attacked and killed 13 women in Boston, Massachusetts, between 1962 and 1964. He killed the women by strangling them (= squeezing their throat tightly). He was sent to prison for his crimes and was killed by another prisoner.

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American serial killer who murdered at least 11 and as many as 13 women in the Boston area between 1962 and 1964.

The killer's first victim, a 55-year-old woman, was sexually assaulted and strangled in her apartment on June 14, 1962. During the following months, several other elderly women were murdered in similar circumstances, though subsequent victims included young women. In 1965 Albert DeSalvo, an inmate at a state mental hospital, confessed to the murders. Although never charged with the killings because no physical evidence tied him to the murder scenes, he was convicted on separate counts of sexual assault and sentenced to life imprisonment. DeSalvo's guilt remains controversial, in part because his confessions demonstrated ignorance of many aspects of the crimes. DNA tests in 2001 confirmed that it was all but impossible that DeSalvo was guilty of the last of the murders, though it was one of the crimes to which he had confessed.

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▪ American serial killer
      American serial killer who murdered at least 11 women in the Boston area between 1962 and 1964. His crimes were the subject of numerous books and a film, though the exact number of victims—as well as his identity—remains a matter of controversy.

      The Boston Strangler's first victim, a 55-year-old woman, was sexually assaulted and strangled in her ransacked apartment on June 14, 1962. During the following months, several other women, ranging in age from 65 to 85 years, were murdered in similar circumstances, news of which engulfed the city in panic. The Boston police chief transferred nearly all his department's resources to the search for the so-called “mother killer.” Then, in December, a young woman was killed, and three weeks later a 23-year-old woman was found strangled. Subsequent victims included women of a range of ages. By January 1964, 13 women were dead, and the Massachusetts attorney general had taken charge of the investigation personally.

      In 1965 Albert DeSalvo, an inmate at a state mental hospital who had a history of burglary dating from the 1950s, confessed to the murders. Although never actually charged with the killings (there was no physical evidence linking him to the murder scenes), DeSalvo was convicted on charges of sexual assault and sentenced to life imprisonment. The case and DeSalvo's life were portrayed in the 1968 film The Boston Strangler. DeSalvo was murdered in Walpole State Prison in 1973.

      DeSalvo was viewed as a textbook case of a sexually motivated serial murderer, a seemingly ordinary man who was nevertheless capable of outbursts of savage violence. Yet DeSalvo's guilt was controversial at the time and has remained so in the decades after his death. His original confessions, for example, demonstrated ignorance of many aspects of the crimes. Although he would later describe details that only the actual killer could have known, his testimony, according to some observers, could have been based on information provided to him by police. Furthermore, several victims who survived did not believe he was their attacker. In 2001, DNA tests confirmed that DeSalvo could not have been guilty of the last of the murders commonly attributed to the Boston Strangler, though this was one of the crimes to which he had confessed.

John Philip Jenkins
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Boston Strangler — Boston Strangler, the the name newspapers used to describe Albert DeSalvo (1931 73), a man who raped and strangled 13 women aged between 19 and 85 in Boston, US, between June 1962 and January 1964 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Boston Strangler — For the 1968 film, see The Boston Strangler (film). Albert DeSalvo Background information Also known as Boston Strangler, The Green Man, The Measuring Man Born September 3, 1931 Chelsea, Massachusetts Died …   Wikipedia

  • The Boston Strangler — L Étrangleur de Boston L Étrangleur de Boston (The Boston Strangler) est un film américain réalisé par Richard Fleischer, sorti en 1968. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Boston Strangler (film) — The Boston Strangler is a 1968 film based on the true story of the Boston Strangler. It was directed by Richard Fleischer, and stars Tony Curtis as Albert DeSalvo, the strangler, and Henry Fonda as John S. Bottomly, the chief detective now famed… …   Wikipedia

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  • (the) Boston Strangler — the Boston Strangler [the Boston Strangler] the name given by newspapers, etc. to Albert DeSalvo, a US man who attacked and killed 13 women in ↑Boston, Massachusetts, between 1962 and 1964. He killed the women by strangling them (= squeezing… …   Useful english dictionary

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