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Boston Strangler

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  • mtq1st
    That night was back in the early 70s, when I was young and idealistic and dumb as dirt. I was a student at Boston University when the guards went on strike at
    Message 1 of 109 , Oct 2, 2000
      That night was back in the early '70s, when I was
      young and idealistic and dumb as dirt. I was a student
      at Boston University when the guards went on strike
      at Walpole prison, Massachusetts's infamous
      maximum-security joint. With the guards gone and the National
      Guard waiting outside, poised for trouble, I, along
      with a dozen or so other do-gooders, volunteered to go
      inside the prison one night as "civilian observers."
      <br><br>In other words, I was locked inside the state's most
      notorious penitentiary with nobody to protect me from
      hundreds of the state's most vicious felons. Good Lord,
      what was I thinking? <br><br>Fortunately, the
      prisoners, hoping to win public sympathy, were on their best
      behavior. I was chatting with a couple of cons when a short
      guy with curly black hair and a big nose walked up.
      <br><br>"Hi," he said, "I'm Albert DeSalvo, the Boston
      Strangler." <br><br>I shook the hand of the man who'd
      confessed to killing 13 women in the infamous Boston
      Strangler slayings of the early '60s, thus inspiring a
      best-selling book and a movie starring Tony Curtis. <br><br>He
      reached out and pulled my shirt collar open and mimed a
      studious appraisal of my throat. "Nice neck," he said.
      <br><br>Everybody laughed and then DeSalvo and I chatted. He told
      me he was running a lucrative business making
      "choker necklaces" and selling them in the prison gift
      shop. Occasionally, women came to the prison for
      dances, he said, and he enjoyed waltzing them across the
      floor, then handing them a card that read:
      "Congratulations! You have just danced with the Boston Strangler."
      <br><br>He got a kick out of being an infamous killer and I
      got a kick out of telling the story of my chat with
      him, particularly after he was murdered in prison in
      1973. But now Talk magazine has published a piece by
      veteran crime reporter Gerald Posner that makes a
      convincing case that DeSalvo might not have been the
      Strangler. <br><br>There was always some doubt about
      DeSalvo's story because he was never tried for the
      Strangler murders. He was a serial rapist serving a life
      sentence when he confessed to being the Strangler. The
      cops interviewed him, concluded that he knew details
      about the crimes that only the murderer would know, and
      then declared the case closed. <br><br>But last
      spring, DeSalvo's family and the family of one of the
      Strangler's victims petitioned the state to reopen the case.
      That inspired Posner to investigate. He interviewed
      dozens of people and obtained thousands of pages of
      files on the case as well as one of DeSalvo's taped
      confessions. He concludes that the original investigation was
      "badly botched" and that there are "serious questions"
      about whether DeSalvo committed all--or any--of the 13
      murders. <br><br>"The vast majority of [the information
      in] DeSalvo's confessions could easily have come from
      other sources," he writes. "Of those things that only
      the murderer could know, DeSalvo was wrong more often
      than he was right." <br><br>Posner does not try to
      push his conclusions further than the evidence allows.
      But he suggests that DeSalvo's prison buddy,
      convicted murderer George Nassar, might be the real
      Strangler. In a rather chilling interview, Nassar denies the
      charge. <br><br>Why would DeSalvo confess to heinous
      crimes he didn't commit? One reason was money: He hoped
      to get rich off the book, although his lawyer, F.
      Lee Bailey, took DeSalvo's $ 15,000 cut for legal
      expenses. Another reason was fame: "He really did like
      being the Strangler," says his brother Richard. "He
      needed to be the center of attention." <br><br>That
      jibes with the DeSalvo I met. And now it looks as if my
      encounter with an infamous psycho killer might have been
      merely a brief chat with a demented wannabe.
      <br><br><br>-Peter Carlson
    • billionofus
      Celebrate the victory! Visit Boston and make sure you see some live comedy and sports events!!
      Message 109 of 109 , Feb 6, 2002
        Celebrate the victory! Visit Boston and make sure you see some live comedy and sports events!!
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