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Boston Strangler(s) Revealed?

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  • Boston Strangler(s) Revealed?

    Casey Sherman's 2003 book A Rose For Mary revealed the heretofore unknown information that the same paint crew was working on the apartments of the first and second victims. This information plus the fact the second victim was killed, the same day as the third, in the morning, the third in the afternoon, makes me think we have our original Boston Stranglers, the ones who started all the killings.

    Unsolved Mysteries with Dennis Farina reported that the whereabouts, at the times of the murders, of two painters on the crew could not be accounted for....TBS researches might remember there was a chair stationed in the hallway of the first victim.

    Some of the copycats were already easily identified but, until Sherman's book, no one had any idea who the original Strangler was. Sherman is the nephew of the last victim, Mary Sullivan.

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing this.

    I can tell you...from the first hand knowledge and account from someone who was in the same prison at the same time as the bigmouth DeSalvo was... that during the time DeSalvo was in Walpole, that no one liked him, that his date with the Grim Reaper was just a matter of time and that it would be hard to find one person in that prison who believed DeSalvo was the Strangler.

    Its great that Mr. Sherman investigated the murders...and I have seen a program a few years back which he appeared on...but without the mention of the paint crew. Thanks especially for telling us about that,Arthur.
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    • #3
      A Rose For Mary is excerpted on Google Books and the reference to the painting crew is on page 21. The painting company had two full-time painters, both Caucasian. Unsolved Mysteries depicts the suspects as two white men.

      My long-held suspect, a 22 year old who was in the same hospital with DeSalvo where he was when he confessed, is no longer a viable candidate.


      • #4
        My feeling is that:

        DeSalvo was responsible for the death of one of the older (55-85 y.o.) women but no others.

        That the rest of the older victims were murdered by a single killer who was The Boston Strangler. This would make his total at or near 7.

        And, that the younger (19-23 y.o.) victims were slain by one or more murderers unrelated to the attacker of the older women. There were at or near 5 of these.

        Possibly, that DeSalvo was murdered by the real Strangler.


        • #5
          Stan, I think you're right about the first three. DeSalvo did confess to causing the death of Mary Mullen two days before the second Boston Strangler killing. He gave her a heart attack when he broke into her house. Her death was considered natural causes, I believe, until he confessed. The older women would have been killed by the original strangler, based on original M.O., the younger ones by at least 3 or 4 copycats.

          To correct my first post, the painting crew was at the apartments of the first two murders. The second murder was in Lynn 10 miles from Boston. Helen Blake was killed in Lynn between 8 and 10 in the morning, when the painters would have started work. The third victim, Nina Nichols, was killed the same day around 5 in the afternoon, back in the Brighton area of Boston, not far from the Back Bay area of the first murder. Same M.O.


          • #6
            Speaking of Unsolved Mysteries, I see that Karl Malden died today at age 97. He was the first regular host after Raymond Burr did the pilot. The current Dennis Farina hosted programs are just reordered versions of the Robert Stack show with some updates, as far as I can tell. Hopefully, they will eventually produce some original programs since it was the best show that was ever on television in my opinion.


            • #7

              When DeSalvo was killed, the guards unanimously had turned their collective heads....because DeSalvo was ready to roll over on someone inside the prison over a drug related issue. It was some sort of plea-bargaining attempt made by the greaseball that got into the wind and eventually the ear of the person(s) who he was intending to roll over on.

              Some guy..I've told this story Texas back in the early 1970's pushed a bill through the Texas legislature with a rider attached to the bill declaring a certain day ( forget which calendar day it was ) "Albert DeSalvo Day' to demonstrate that bills can get passed with ridiculous riders attached such as an Albert DeSalvo day proposal.
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              • #8
                If you strike Mullen off the list, then the age range for the "real" Strangler would have been cut down to 55-75. The first victim, Slesers would have been the youngest with, the fourth prey (excluding Mullen), Irga being the opposite extreme.

                In this scenario, the series would run from 1962 June 14 - 1963 September 8. The pattern has an early flurry with a tapering off as time progresses. One explanation would have been extra care to avoid capture.


                • #9
                  DeSalvo called his psychiatrist, Ames Robey, the night before he died. I think he knew he was going to get killed and wanted to do anything to get out, including withdraw his confession.
                  DeSalvo's shrink was the one who put me on my chosen suspect. Every book I read said he was 100% sure it one guy and then I saw him on Unsolved Mysteries talking about how George Nassar fits the profile. That was after all the evidence that came from him turned out to be weak, at best. I could have gone through the TV.

                  Speaking of evidence, I thought I'd post an image of the 'supposed' Strangler's knot. Most books called it a 'half-hitch' or a 'double half-hitch'. Notice what it looks like?
                  (Too bad it turns out the knot was likely just a simple square knot.)
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stan Reid View Post
                    If you strike Mullen off the list, then the age range for the "real" Strangler would have been cut down to 55-75.
                    In this scenario, the series would run from 1962 June 14 - 1963 September 8.
                    The pattern may also suggest a student on summer holidays, perhaps working a summer job (such as house painting?).
                    The age range also suggests a young person. Younger men target older women generally.

                    The square knot is also known as a Surgeon's Knot. I use it all the time now because it reduces slippage.
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Notice what it looks like---Arthur

                      Yeah...a thread on the Boston Strangler or DeSalvo being entwined ( a rope joke...) in the hidden secrets of the Vesica Pieplate in the making.
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                      • #12
                        I don't actually have a "favorite" suspect in this case nor do I eliminate any of the serious candidates including DeSalvo.


                        • #13
                          I had a favorite suspect for a long time, based on what I thought was definitive evidence. The evidence even pointed to him being involved in the Michigan Co-Ed Murders.

                          One author said that all the bodies of the Michigan victims were found along a street that had the same name as him. This was untrue. Compared to some authors of American unsolved True Crime, I find authors like Ivor Edwards, Tony Williams and Stephen Knight positively reliable.

                          TBS authors couldn't get the type of knot straight. The movie got it right but made it seem like you had to be a surgeon or an eagle scout to tie it. It may be called a surgeon's knot but all you have to do is put the end in the loop an extra time.


                          • #14
                            Hi Arthur,

                            By movie, do you mean the Curtis film? Perhaps I've forgotten but I don't remember any great deal of attention paid to the knot in that release. When this production was out first run, my wife at the time and I went to see it at the theater. The place was literally packed to capacity and people were being turned away.

                            I haven't counted up lately but I believe there are about 4 "dramatic" movies out based on this case.


                            • #15
                              I know there was a 2006 version that I haven't seen but I don't know the other ones, unless you're speaking of fictionalized versions. I was referring to the 1968 version directed by Richard Fleischer with Tony Curtis as DeSalvo. Here's the quote about the knot:
                              Sgt. Frank McAfee: So the women were strangled with a double square knot.
                              Sgt. Frank McAfee: What are you trying to tell us, that it was a doctor or an Eagle Scout?

                              There is also a scene where the crazy Harvard student dressed as Othello ties his laces with a Strangler's knot at the police station. I believe it was his psychiatrist who reported him doing the knot but again the knot is simple. The real clue was the clothing around the neck tied in a bow.
                              Fleischer took a lot of liberties by making DeSalvo a dual personality who suddenly remembers what he did but the director had to find a way to make the DeSalvo scenario make sense, at least dramatically.

                              I always thought it interesting that Boston is derived from St. Botolph like the church in Whitechapel.