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DNA Confirms DeSalvo Connection To Strangler Murder

Authorities say DNA taken from the body of longtime Boston Strangler suspect Albert DeSalvo confirms his connection to the 1964 rape and murder of Mary Sullivan.

Albert DeSalvo, 35, is surrounded by police after his capture in Lynn on Feb. 25, 1967. (AP)
Albert DeSalvo, 35, is surrounded by police after his capture in Lynn on Feb. 25, 1967. (AP)

DeSalvo's body was exhumed from a Peabody cemetery last week after authorities announced DNA from the scene of the 19-year-old's murder produced a "familial match" to DeSalvo.

With the new match, from his body, "DNA specialists calculated the odds that a white male other than DeSalvo contributed the crime scene evidence at one in 220 billion," according to a joint statement from Boston Police, the Attorney General's Office and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.

"I hope this brings some measure of finality to Mary Sullivan’s family,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said in the statement. "This leaves no doubt that Albert DeSalvo was responsible for the brutal murder of Mary Sullivan, and most likely that he was responsible for the horrific murders of the other women he confessed to killing."

DeSalvo confessed to killing Sullivan and the 10 other Boston Strangler victims, but was never convicted. He later recanted that confession and was killed in prison in 1973 while serving a life sentence on other charges.

Sullivan was found dead in her Beacon Hill apartment in January 1964, just days after she had moved there from her Cape Cod home. She has long been considered the Strangler's final victim.

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This program aired on July 19, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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