Officials announced "scientific certainty" that the confessed Boston Strangler, Albert H. DeSalvo, was the source of seminal fluid evidence found at the murder scene of Mary Sullivan in 1964, according to a press release from Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley's office Friday.
Officials exhumed DeSalvo's body July 12 after investigators announced a major break in the 5-decade-old cold case July 11. They'd taken a sample from a water bottle DeSalvo's nephew drank from and were able to match this with the DeSalvo Y chromosome. The sample from the bottle was matched with a sample of seminal fluid taken from blankets at the scene of Sullivan's murder.
Conley said at the July 11 press conference a match to DeSalvo was "99.9 percent" certain. With the evidence match to DeSalvo's remains, officials have raised that percentage to 100.
“We now have an unprecedented level of certainty that Albert DeSalvo raped and murdered Mary Sullivan,” Conley said in a press statement Friday. “We now have to look very closely at the possibility that he also committed at least some of the other sexual homicides to which he confessed. Questions that Mary’s family asked for almost 50 years have finally been answered. They, and the families of all homicide victims, should know that we will never stop working to find justice, accountability, and closure on their behalf.”
Sullivan, 19, was sexually assaulted and strangled to death in her Charles Street apartment sometime on the afternoon of Jan. 4, 1964. DeSalvo later confessed to that crime and about a dozen other murders, but recanted his admissions and was never convicted of any of them.
Slides containing the evidence from Sullivan’s remains were sent to Bode Technology, while cuttings from the blanket were sent to Orchid Cellmark, according to the press statement. Separate technicians at those separate laboratories were able to extract DNA profiles from both sets of samples, and those DNA profiles matched one another.
The DNA profile was uploaded to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, which contains DNA profiles from millions of known offenders. There was no “hit,” ruling out at least one man who had earlier been an unofficial suspect in Sullivan’s homicide.
More Coverage of Boston Strangler Developments:
- Officials Exhume DeSalvo's Body
- Prosecutor's Son Says DeSalvo Development Vindicates Father's Work
- Where Was Mary Sullivan Killed?
- Where Did Suspected Boston Strangler Live in Malden?
- Cops Will Dig Up Suspected Strangler's Grave
- Map of Boston Strangler Killings
- Police Protect DeSalvo Grave After Boston Strangler News