A break in The Boston Strangler case, body to be exhumed

By: Melissa Toupin


After nearly 50 years there is new proof linking The Boston Strangler to his last victim. DNA evidence left behind on a water bottle gave police what they needed to tie long time suspect Albert DeSalvo to the 1964 murder of Mary Sullivan.

While in prison for a series of armed robberies a sexual assaults DeSalvo claimed he was the Boston Strangler, but authorities had no forensic evidence to charge him. That was until they matched DNA from the scene to that water bottle.

Sullivan's nephew says he's grateful investigators never gave up looking for the killer.

“I just wanna say that I've lived
with Mary's memory every day, my whole life, and I didn't know, nor did my
mother know that other people were living with her memory as well. And it's
amazing to me, today to understand that people really did care about what
happened to my aunt,” said Casey Sherman.

DeSalvo was killed in prison in 1973, but not before he recanted his confession. His family is now outraged police followed DeSalvo's nephew to collect DNA samples for new tests. The family's attorney says there is reasonable doubt DeSalvo killed the last victim even if forensic evidence links him. They say private tests show other male DNA was present.

The District Attorney says he expects to find an exact match when the evidence is compared to DeSalvo's DNA. His body, buried in a Peabody cemetery, is expected to be exhumed Friday afternoon.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013