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Surviving the War to Be Murdered

I don’t know how many of you remember the terrible days of the notorious Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo. He terrorized the city of Boston, Massachusetts between 1962 and 1964. At that time I was still a child and living in New York City. However later on when I saw the movie “The Boston Strangler” starring Tony Curtis what caught my attention was that the very first woman he strangled was Latvian.

Albert DeSalvo had an awful upbringing. He was raised in a family where his father would bring home prostitutes and have sex with them in front of the family. Afterward, he would brutally beat his wife and children. He witnessed many awful things and finally, his father sold him, along with two of his sisters as farm laborers.

As a young man in the late 1950s, DeSalvo would knock on the doors of young women telling them he represented a modeling agency. He told them that he needed to take their measurements and while doing so would fondle them. I guess women were very trusting in those days. He was given the nickname “Measuring Man”, arrested in March of 1960 and spent a year in jail.

It was an angry DeSalvo who came out of jail, spending the next two years breaking into apartments in New England. He tied up women and sexually assaulted them. Since at this time he wore green handyman clothes he was called the “Green Man”. Then in 1962, DeSalvo began killing his victims. His very first strangling victim was a woman named Anna Slesers. She was strangled with her own housecoat and the ends were tied with a bow. This would become the Boston Stranglers trademark. Slesers was a Latvian immigrant who like many Latvians now in the U.S. had fled her homeland Latvia, survived the horrors of WW II and finally started a new life in Boston only to become the first victim of this horrid strangler.

In the summer of 1967 DeSalvo raped and killed elderly women in Boston but in the winter began attacking younger women. He always left the rope or cord he used for strangling tied in a bow. His last victim was Mary Sullivan and this time he left a card that read Happy New Year propped against her foot. He was caught when in October of 1964 while raping a young woman he suddenly stopped and for some reason did not kill her. It was her description of her attacker that had the police arresting DeSalvo. Altogether he had raped and killed 13 women.

In his jail cell, he confessed his murders to his cellmate, who in turn told the story to an attorney. Even though DeSalvo was never charged or convicted of the Boston Strangler murders, he was given a life sentence for the Green Man rapes. One way or another justice was served when DeSalvo was stabbed to death by an unidentified inmate at Walpole State Prison in 1973.

  • Question of

    Do you remember hearing about the Boston Strangler?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Are there such criminals in your country?

    • Yes
    • No

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