Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Boston Strangler


Surprisingly little remains in print about the Boston Strangler. There are two books devoted to the subject, only two of which are currently in print, and several chapters of another book that are recommended by The Crime Library.

Susan Kelly's Boston Stranglers: The Wrongful Conviction of Albert Desalvo and the True Story of Eleven Shocking Murders (Carol Publishing Group, 1995) makes a persuasive argument that Albert DeSalvo was not the Strangler. She argues that there were at least two and possibly many more copycat murderers. Index and bibliography.

A&E Biography Video: The Boston Strangler

Larry Maneness has just published a novel called Strangler (Presidio, 1998)

The "official" book on the story, authorized by DeSalvo and F. Lee Bailey is Gerold Frank's book The Boston Strangler (New American Library, 1966). This book makes an equally persuasive case that DeSalvo was the Strangler, even though nobody wanted to believe it at the time. This book is out of print and may be difficult to find.

F. Lee Bailey in his book Defense Never Rests (Penguin Books paperback; Stein and Day hardcover, 1971) devotes several chapters to the Strangler case. He also takes the position that DeSalvo was the Strangler. This book also contains chapters on the Sam Sheppard case in which he represented Sheppard successfully in his bid to the Supreme Court for a new trial in the murder of his wife.

Boston newspapers are an excellent source of contemporary information on the murders as they happened and their impact upon the people of the city. The Boston Globe, Boston Herald and Record American had the most extensive coverage.

A major feature film The Boston Strangler premiered in 1968, starring Tony Curtis and Henry Fonda. It is not distinguished by its accuracy.


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