Boston television producer Sherman, nephew of the last woman killed by the Boston Strangler, finds Albert DeSalvo’s confession too politically expedient to be convincing.
DeSalvo was never even tried for the murders, the author reminds readers, yet his guilt was given official sanction by the state attorney general as well as DeSalvo's lawyer, the high-profile F. Lee Bailey. Sherman suggests that in addition to the political motives involved—attorney general Edward Brooke was eyeing a Senate seat, and tying up the case would be a nice feather in his campaign hat—financial considerations also played a part: there was publishing and movie money to be made from the Boston Strangler’s story, money that would pay hefty legal fees. The author has been digging into the circumstances of his aunt's death for ten years and by now believes he knows who is lying, who is giving him the story to the best of their knowledge. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts consistently stonewalled his efforts; as an early investigator in the case explained to Sherman, “Son, this isn't just about the Boston Strangler. Oh, sure it's the biggest case of them all. But what about the would-be Albert DeSalvos out there? The suspects who were pressured to confess to a crime they didn't commit.” Many people did give the author valuable information, and his own detective work turned up serious faults in the state’s handling of the case. He believes he has located his aunt's killer, a man “guarded twenty-four hours a day by a conscience that would not let him forget.” It would be nice to think that Sherman's substantial legwork will force Massachusetts to allow reinvestigations into the Strangler deaths.
Despite the author’s closeness to the case—or maybe because of it—he offers valuable insights into the 13 murders that rocked the city. (26 illustrations, not seen)