Confessed Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo, is having his remains exhumed by police in order to conduct crucial DNA tests that may solve the case once and for all. Digging began Friday at a cemetery in Massachusetts, where DeSalvo was buried years ago.
Law enforcement have reason to believe they have acquired new forensic evidence this week that could lead to a crack in the decades old case.
The new evidence? A water bottle used by DeSalvo’s nephew. Collected in secret, the bottle was tested against old DNA evidence from the case.
Experts say that, after conducting the tests, they’ve found a “familial match,” CBS News reports. This match, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley says this excludes 99.9 percent of suspects.
Now, Conley believes all that remains is to test the buried DeSalvo to compare DNA, for final confirmation. If and when the tests show positive, DeSalvo will be officially declared the man dubbed the Boston Strangler.
Why is a case from the early 1960s still a source of mystery and interest? For two long years, a series of vicious rapes and murders in the Boston area terrified locals.
Many believed the incidents, which involved at least 11 slayings, were being committed by a singular individual. The nickname Boston Strangler became popular, as the perpetrator had a pattern of raping then brutally strangling his victims, typically young women.
DeSalvo confessed to being the Boston Strangler years ago, but before being murdered in prison, recanted these claims. He was originally serving a life sentence for other crimes including armed bank robbery, reports Boston.com.
On Friday his remains were carried by a six-car motorcade to Boston where DeSalvo’s recovered remains will be tested for DNA.
The test will compare his DNA with evidence recovered from the Boston Strangler’s final victim, Mary Sullivan, which her relatives say they hope “can bring some closure” to her tragic death.
Others, however, remain skeptical that this can close the case. Some believe that DeSalvo, though he may have been responsible for Sullivan’s death, might not be for the other ten murders. The Boston Strangler, argue some, may have actually been multiple people.
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