In June, 1962, Anna Slessers was found strangled and sexually assaulted in her apartment. So began an 18-month killing spree that would brutally claim the lives of 12 more women in the Boston area. The ensuing investigation involved multiple police jurisdictions, scores of detectives and hundreds of suspects. Yet investigators came up empty. Then the murders stopped.

In the winter of 1965, Albert DeSalvo, imprisoned for rape, unexpectedly confessed to being the Boston Strangler. His recounting of each murder was stunningly detailed, convincing authorities of his guilt yet some detectives and researchers were not so sure, pointing to crucial mistakes in his confessions.

As the years passed, public opinion swung away from the idea that Albert DeSalvo was the Boston Strangler. In 2000, an independent DNA test indicated that he was not the murderer of at least one of the victims, 19-year-old Mary Sullivan, the final victim of the Boston Strangler. However in 2013, Massachusetts authorities shocked the world by announcing that a recently conducted DNA test concluded that Albert DeSalvo was, in fact, Mary Sullivan's killer. A 50-year-old murder had suddenly been solved, but in its wake a series of new questions arose. Was DeSalvo the Boston Strangler or merely a copycat killer?

This two-hour documentary special delves into the dark recesses of a killer's mind, and how the power of storytelling can change the course of history.


Now showing