boston victim


The Boston Strangler

In a short period of time between June 1962 and January 1964, a series of grisly murders took place in Boston. All the victims were women who had been strangled to death.

In every case, the victims had been raped, sometimes with foreign objects, and their bodies laid out nude, as if on display.

Death was always due to strangulation, though the killer sometimes also used a knife. A stocking or pillowcase was usually left around the victim’s neck, tied into a bow. This series of crimes was often referred to as “The Silk Stocking Murders” and the sought after attacker became known as the “Boston Strangler.”

In total, 11 women (this number is often disputed) were murdered in cold blood by a serial killer, in a case that went unsolved for years. It baffled the five separate District Attorney’s offices investigating the murders because of the spread-out locations of the victims. Then, Albert DeSalvo, a convicted rapist, made a jailhouse confession claiming that he was the Boston Strangler and provided details on the 11 murdered women.

DeSalvo was never charged in the case and was found dead in his cell under mysterious circumstances at Walpole state prison in 1973.

In July 2013, it was announced that DeSalvo’s body would be exhumed for re-evaluation using new forensic testing, with reports speculating that this new analysis could finally provide concrete proof of the Boston Strangler’s identity.

A murder victim who is found with something such as a blanket covering their face or pulled up over their body often reflects a sense of guilt or remorse in the killer.

Albert DeSalvo’s “The Boston Strangler” seventh victim, Patricia Bissette was found lying face up on her bed, her legs together and covered by a bedspread snugly drawn up to her chin. Later DeSalvo said:

“She was different, I didn’t want to see her like that, naked and… She talked to me like a man, she treated me like a man.”


The 13 victims of a perpetrator dubbed the Boston Strangler, who terrorized Massachusetts in the early 1960s. All of them were female, the majority of them being elderly women. Only five victims were between the age of 19 and 23. Except for two of them, all of them were strangled to death with articles of their clothing, preferably with  their own nylon stockings. Beverly Samans, 23, was stabbed to death and 85-year old Mary Mullen died from a heart attack resulting from the attack before the perpetrator could kill her. All of them had been sexually assaulted prior to their death.

Although the murders were attributed to Albert Henry DeSalvo, who had confessed to them initially, subsequent investigations have suggested that the murders were committed by more than one person. On November 25, 1973, DeSalvo was found stabbed to death in the prison infirmary of a maximum security prison formerly known as MCI-Walpole. The night before he was murdered, he made a phone call to his psychiatrist, asking him to meet him as soon as possible, and to bring a reporter with him. According to his doctor, DeSalvo, who appeared very frightened, wanted to reveal the true identity of the ‘Boston Strangler’. They never met. Nobody has been convicted for DeSalvo’s death to this day.

A victim is sometimes posed to send some kind of message to the world - a victims body might be flung beside a No Dumping sign, or as in the case of Henry Lee Lucas, near the gates of a prison. Danny Rolling, the Gainesville Ripper left the head of one of his victims on a fireplace mantel, facing the door. Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler, left his victims posed in positions exposing their genitals toward the door. The intention in both cases was to shock whoever found the bodies. William Lester Suff, convicted of killing thirteen women between 1988 and 1991, mostly street prostitute in Riverside, California, left some of the bodies next to dumpsters with their arms turned outward to expose needle track marks, clearly a message on the worth of victims.

Boston honors marathon bombing victims

NBC News: A year after two explosions and the events after killed 4 and injured more than 260 in Boston, mourners gathered at the bombing sites to remember the victims and give thanks to the first responders and average citizens who aided rescue efforts.

A memorial service is being held nearby, with Vice President Joe Biden in attendance.

After the service, attendees and others will gather at the Boston Marathon finish line for a moment of silence at 2:49 pm ET, the exact moment the explosions occurred.

Watch live video and see more updates at Breaking News.

Photo: A Boston firehouse that lost two of its own in a fire last month pay tribute to the marathon victims on April 15. (Jim Seida/NBC News)


Obit of the Day: The Man Who Put Seinfeld in Jail

John Pinette had a small, but vital, role on the last episode of Seinfeld. The stand up comedian from Boston played the victim of a carjacking. It was that carjacking, caught on tape by Kramer while Jerry, Elaine, and George traded barbs about the victim, that landed the foursome in jail at the end of the episode. More than 76 million people watched the series finale, giving Mr. Pinette a place in pop culture history.

Originally an accountant, Mr. Pinette’s comedy talent was obvious to his co-workers who encouraged him to try out comedy. He earned his first big break when he opened for Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas. Sinatra later took him on tour.

Winner of the 1999 Stand-Up of the Year at the American Comedy Awards, Mr. Pinette had a recurring role on the show Parker Lewis Can’t Lose and appeared in several films including JuniorThe Punisher, and Revenge of the Nerds III and IV. He also played Edna Turnblad in the Broadway production of Hairspray in 2006.

Using his size as a source of much of his material, Mr. Pinette weighed nearly 450 pounds before deciding to have gastric bypass surgery. Still a big man he insisted that he didn’t tell “fat jokes” but instead talked “about the trials and tribulations of a large mammal in our society.”

In 2013, Mr. Pinette entered a rehabilitation program for drug abuse. He had just begun to start performing again when he died on April 5, 2014 at the age of 50.

Sources: NY Times and IMDB

(Video of Mr. Pinette performing at the Toronto Just For Laughs Festival from June 2009. It is copyright of Just For Laughs through their YouTube account.)