Albert DeSalvo, buried 40 years ago, confessed to 11 of the serial killings attributed to the Boston Strangler prior to his death. Thanks to advances in DNA technology, on July 11, forensic experts linked DeSalvo’s DNA to Mary Sullivan, the last victim attributed to the Boston Strangler in that string of murders that terrorized Boston during the early 1960s.
On Friday, July 12, Albert DeSalvo’s remains were exhumed from his final resting place in Peabody, Mass. in an effort to confirm the DNA that linked DeSalvo to Sullivan, according to NBC News.
Mary Sullivan, the last victim to be murdered by the Boston Strangler, was strangled with stockings in her apartment in 1964.
Semen discovered on a blanket in Sullivan’s apartment had been saved by police since 1964. The DNA from that semen was matched “to DNA left on a discarded water bottle in the present day by a nephew of DeSalvo.”
Authorities said it was a “familial match,” good for 99.9 percent accuracy, because of the Y-chromosomes that men pass down the family tree.
But they said they needed DeSalvo’s body to be sure.
DeSalvo, born in Chelsea, Mass., was stabbed to death while serving a prison sentence for a series of convicted rapes.
In total, the murders of 13 women were attributed to the Boston Strangler during the early 1960s.
For more on the remains of Albert DeSalvo being exhumed, see the video accompanying this article.
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