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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Item of Interest

The language barrier between English-speaking investigators and Spanish-speaking witnesses is a growing problem. (Updated 28 February 2011)

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