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A breakthrough in DNA technology has linked Alberto DeSalvo, the man who confessed to being the Boston Strangler, to the last of the 1960s murders attributed to the notorious serial killer.
The remains of Albert DeSalvo, who confessed to the Boston Strangler murders but was never convicted, will be exhumed for DNA testing that Massachusetts officials are confident will link him to the 1964 murder of Mary Sullivan.
DeSalvo, widely thought to have raped and murdered 11 women between June 1962 and January 1964, was stabbed to death in prison in 1973 while serving a life sentence for rape and other offences.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said investigators had matched DNA from a relative of DeSalvo to DNA found at the crime scene of 19-year-old Sullivan, found strangled in her Boston apartment after being sexually assaulted.
She had long been considered the strangler's last victim, the Guardian wrote.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said:
"We may have just solved one of the nation's most notorious serial killings," .
Meanwhile, Boston.com wrote that DeSalvo's family was furious that Boston police had secretly followed one of his nephews to obtain the DNA.
The family's attorney said the DeSalvos would have provided the sample without hesitation had they been asked.
Speaking about the reaction of Timothy DeSalvo, the son of Richard DeSalvo, Albert’s brother, attorney Elaine Whitfield Sharp told the Globe:
"Obviously, he was shocked, disgusted, angry and offended. The family is not happy with this secret surveillance of Tim DeSalvo. It was unnecessary, creepy.’’
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said a DNA sample was retrieved from a plastic water bottle discarded by the DeSalvo relative.