NEW YORK (PIX11) – The world believed Albert DeSalvo was the Boston Strangler – because he told police that he was, indeed, the Boston Strangler.
“That confession has been the subject of skepticism and controversy from almost the moment is was given. There was no forensic evidence to link Mary Sullivan’s murder to DeSalvo, until today,” said Suffolk D.A. Dan Conley.
In the end, forensic science, not flawed statements – squarely refocused the spotlight on DeSalvo.
It’s a conclusion Hollywood was never able to script.
The big break comes nearly 50 years after the Boston Strangler terrorized the city between 1962 and 1964.
Detectives working the murder case of Mary Sullivan – who is believed to be the Boston Strangler’s last victim – actually saved semen samples collected from the crime scene back in 1964.
Fast forward to the 21st century.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis reveals a team of his detectives have recently been following DeSalvo’s surviving relatives and managed to recover a water bottle one of his nephews threw away.
A confirmed DNA match between the suspect semen sample and DeSalvo family saliva found on that water bottle.
John Jay College forensic science professor Dr. Lawrence Kobilinski says tracking DeSalvo’s nephew was no accident.
“From a familial match, we just know that it could be any relative – any male relative of DeSalvo. I think law enforcement would like to see a better match with higher probability so that they could close the matter,” Dr. Kobilinski told PIX11.
To rule out the unlikely possibility the Boston Strangler was one of DeSalvo’s relatives a judge has signed an order allowing investigators to exhume DeSalvo’s remains in order to seek out a 100% DNA match to Sullivan.
“Advances in the sensitivity of DNA testing have allowed us to make a familial match between biological evidence recovered from the crime scene, and the suspect in Mary Sullivan’s room. That suspect is Albert DeSalvo,” said Conley.