Cold Cases, DNA, and the Boston Strangler

NIJ funding helped the Boston Police Department solve a rape and murder case almost 50 years later.

Albert DeSalvo — known as the "Boston Strangler" — had confessed to raping and killing Mary Sullivan in 1964, but he later recanted, leaving lingering doubts that the real assailant had eluded capture. In 2009 and 2012, the city of Boston received competitive grants under NIJ’s Solving Cold Cases With DNA program, and its cold case squad used some of the funding to further investigate the Sullivan case.

A new NIJ Journal article looks at how NIJ funding and the latest Y-STR research helped the Boston Police Department link DeSalvo to the crime and solve the case almost 50 years after Sullivan’s death.

You can read the article here.

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Forensic Podiatry (Part Two of Two)

THE DISCIPLINE of forensic podiatry—or, in other words, the examination of pedal evidence—has progressed significantly over the past ten years. It is no longer a question of “What can you do with a footprint?” but rather, “Who can we use to evaluate the footprint?” Cases involving pedal evidence, especially bloody footprints and issues of determining shoe sizing or fit issues compared to questioned footwear, have become more common over the past two or three years.