Have you ever caught the Boston Strangler? All about the killer.

The new movie boston strangler, available to stream on Hulu and Disney+ documents the true murders that took place in Boston in the 1960s. The film, starring Keira Knightly and Carrie Coon, follows the journalists who covered the story of the serial killings in the city and the hysteria surrounding the case, particularly for women living in Boston at the time.

Although there is a solid suspect in the infamous murders, there is still much speculation as to whether the man allegedly responsible actually murdered all of the women connected to the Boston Strangler case.

women health collected everything there was to know about the Boston Strangler case, from what happened to who might be responsible.

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What did the strangler do?

The “Boston Strangler” refers to the brutal murders of 11 single women between the ages of 19 and 85 in Boston, per abc news (other sources report 13 murders). The murders, which occurred over the course of nearly two years, were believed to have been committed by the same person because of the many similarities between them.

All of the women who were then dubbed “The Silk Stocking Murders,” per The Crime Museum, were raped and left naked with the murder weapon — a stocking or pillowcase — tied decoratively around their necks like a bow tie. Their bodies were found “on display as if for a pornographic snapshot,” according to The Crime Museum. Mary Sullivan, the last woman to be killed in the Boston Strangler murders, was found with a Happy New Year card on her foot.

Many believed that the women willingly allowed the killer to enter their homes because either they knew them or the killer had disguised himself as a craftsman or delivery boy.

Albert DeSalvo confessed to the murders.

Albert DeSalvo was a well-known criminal in the Boston area in the 1960s. A few years before the Boston Strangler murders, DeSalvo confessed to being the “Measuring Man,” a man who went to women’s shelters claiming to be from a modeling agency, and sexually abused women while taking their measurements.

DeSalvo was also linked to and arrested for a series of crimes committed by someone believed to be “The Green Man” for wearing green while breaking into houses, according to The Crime Library. After being arrested on those charges, DeSalvo admitted to breaking into more than 400 homes and assaulting 300 women in a four-state area.

Shortly after his confession, DeSalvo was taken to a mental hospital for psychiatric observation. There he met George Nassar. Allegedly, DeSalvo told Nassar that he was responsible for the Boston Strangler murders. Nassar briefed his attorney, F. Lee Bailey, on DeSalvo’s confession.

There has been speculation about DeSalvo’s confession.

According to the Crime Museum and other sources, many believed DeSalvo’s confession was planned between Nassar and DeSalvo, or simply by Nassar for the reward money.

However, DeSalvo was able to detail the women he allegedly killed, per Crime Library. At the time of his confession, investigators could not physically connect DeSalvo to the Boston Strangler murders.

While DeSalvo’s wife was “not surprised” by the other crimes he was accused of, she didn’t believe he was capable of the Boston Strangler murders, according to the Crime Library. Gertrude Gruen, an attack survivor by the man believed to be the Boston Strangler, doubted that DeSalvo was the killer but felt “something chillingly familiar” about George Nassar, according to The Crime Museum.

DeSalvo was never actually charged in the Boston Strangler case, but was jailed for life for his crimes in “The Green Man” case, according to The Crime Museum.

Where is DeSalvo now?

DeSalvo was sent to MCI-Walpole to serve his life sentence in 1967, according to The Crime Museum. Six years later, in 1973, he was stabbed to death in his cell. Officials believed DeSalvo’s death was due to his connection to a prison drug operation, according to the Crime Library.

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The case remained unsolved for almost 50 years.

The case was not linked to DeSalvo until 2013, when police were able to test DNA from DeSalvo’s nephew, Tim DeSalvo. The DNA on a water bottle used by Tim DeSalvo matched the DNA of Mary Sullivan, the last woman to be killed in the Boston Strangler murders abc news.

Police said they could link DeSalvo to the Boston Strangler murders with “99.9 percent certainty.” abc news.

After matching DNA to DeSalvo’s nephew, investigators extracted DNA from DeSalvo’s body — including his femur and teeth. The DNA matched DNA left by Mary Sullivan, according to The Crime Museum.

You can stream the movie Boston strangler on Hulu or Disney+ on March 17th.

Headshot by Olivia Evans

Newsroom Assistant

Olivia Evans (she/she) is an editorial assistant at women health. Her work has previously appeared in The cut And Teen Vogue. She loves to cover topics where culture and wellness intersect. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, running, and watching rom-coms.

Have you ever caught the Boston Strangler? All about the killer.

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