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Stranglers

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Location:

United States

Networks:

Earwolf

Description:

From June, 1962 through January, 1964, women in the city of Boston lived in fear of the infamous Strangler. Over those 19 months, he committed 13 known murders-crimes that included vicious sexual assaults and bizarre stagings of the victims’ bodies. After the largest police investigation in Massachusetts history, handyman Albert DeSalvo confessed and went to prison. Despite DeSalvo’s full confession and imprisonment, authorities would never put him on trial for the actual murders. And more than 50 years later, significant doubts continue to surround the case. Was DeSalvo really the killer? Was there more than one Strangler? And did the Boston PD and the FBI do everything necessary to find and stop the murderer? Stranglers, an original 12-part weekly documentary podcast from Earwolf and Northern Light Productions, is a fascinating, contemporary audio investigation of the Boston Strangler story. Using never-before-heard voices, interviews with actual suspects, extensive original research and new conversations with the victims’ family members, host Portland Helmich will introduce you to every facet of the case, from the reporters who originally covered it to the police who worked furiously to solve it, as well as terrified witnesses who claim to have met the Strangler himself.

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 12: Memorial

2/15/2017
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55 years after the Boston Strangler murders first began, and despite decades of investigation, the search for answers continues. Although we may never know the truth about what happened to these women, we can draw some conclusions about the likely killers, and we can reach a new understanding about how crimes like this occur. In our final episode, Adele Roof, once nearly a victim herself, joins host Portland Helmich on a touching, thought-provoking journey back to Boston. This episode is...

Duration: 00:56:43


Episode 11: Digging Up the Past

2/8/2017
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Doubts and confusion about the identity of the Boston Strangler didn’t end with the death of lead suspect Albert DeSalvo. In fact, a small but determined group of family members and journalists continued to investigate the many unresolved questions surrounding the case--including the chilling possibility that some stranglers continued to live freely. In this episode, host Portland Helmich talks to Casey Sherman, nephew of victim Mary Sullivan (profiled in Episode 1) about his unlikely...

Duration: 00:51:42


Episode 10: Fame and Consequences

2/1/2017
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Boston is gripped by fear once again after Albert DeSalvo escapes from Bridgewater State Hospital. But imprisonment never stops the man most people believed to be the Boston Strangler from communicating with—and attempting to manipulate—those outside. In this episode, we get an exclusive glimpse of DeSalvo’s extensive correspondence with his pursuer, Detective Phil DiNatale. DeSalvo never left prison again, but host Portland Helmich follows Phil DiNatale to Hollywood, where he became an...

Duration: 00:44:14


Episode 9: Testimony

1/25/2017
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Albert Desalvo said he committed all the Strangler murders, but he would never be tried for those crimes. Instead, he would stand trial for his crimes as the Green Man. DeSalvo’s wily lawyer, F. Lee Bailey, used DeSalvo’s violent history and his reputation as the Boston Strangler to assert that his client was not guilty by reason of legal insanity. In this episode, we’ll follow the prosecution and defense as they attempt to sway the jury, and we'll hear chilling trial excerpts. We’ll also...

Duration: 00:50:21


Episode 8: Confessions

1/18/2017
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In 1965, a series of swift maneuvers by Albert DeSalvo’s attorney, F. Lee Bailey, blocked investigators from closing in on their prime Strangler suspect. DeSalvo was more than ready to talk: he had given investigators nearly 60 hours of recorded confessions. But before fully understanding the crimes DeSalvo had committed, the State of Massachusetts agreed that DeSalvo’s testimony about the murders couldn’t be used against him in court. Bailey leads host Portland Helmich through his legal...

Duration: 00:50:11


Episode 7: Bridgewater

1/11/2017
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By November, 1964, detective Phil DiNatale was closing in on a prime suspect, Albert DeSalvo, who had a long record of sexual assaults. DeSalvo was already in custody, in fact, at Bridgewater State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where he was undergoing psychiatric evaluation. But while the police were gathering evidence, DeSalvo was confessing to a fellow inmate, George Nassar, that HE was the Boston Strangler. In this episode, host Portland Helmich visits George Nassar in prison to...

Duration: 00:44:29


Mid-Season Preview

1/4/2017
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With 2016 behind us, we want to take a quick minute to thank you all for supporting this podcast. The Atlantic listed us at #7 in their top 50 podcasts of 2016, and we were first in GQ Magazine’s list of the 7 best new podcasts to check out. We’re very proud of the recognition and very grateful to all of you for listening, for subscribing, for telling your friends about Stranglers, and for all your comments online (even the criticisms...we read those too!). On behalf of the Stranglers...

Duration: 00:04:51


Episode 6: Measuring Man

12/21/2016
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In 1963 and 1964, several more Strangler murders drive the city of Boston and the state of Massachusetts to take extraordinary measures. Attorney General Edward Brooke creates a special task force to coordinate police work across the state, but the killer continues to elude his pursuers. Desperate, the police even fly in a psychic. One dogged investigator, detective Phil DiNatale, finds a clue that he believes will lead him to the Strangler. His lead: the mysterious “measuring man,” who...

Duration: 00:43:24


Episode 5: Gotham Strangler

12/14/2016
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Two more murders in Boston bring the total to 7. The Strangler continues to elude investigators through the winter and spring of 1963. Then, in June, New York police find the body of sixty-two-year-old Zenovia Clegg in a Times Square hotel. She had been strangled, using a scarf tied in the Strangler’s signature bow. The NYPD quickly catches Clegg’s killer, a drifter from Maine named Charles Terry, and one legendary detective there, Tom Cavanagh, begins to suspect that he has arrested the...

Duration: 00:41:58


Episode 4: Abnormal Psychology

12/7/2016
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On December 29, 1962, twenty-three-year old Patricia Bissette was found strangled in her Boston apartment. She was second young victim, and the seventh overall attributed to The Boston Strangler. But there were some who weren't so sure Bissette was a victim of THE Strangler. There was legitimate suspicion that Bissette’s boss—a married man with a motive for keeping his affair with Bissette quiet—had killed her. In this episode, host Portland Helmich reveals how one significant detail,...

Duration: 00:42:41


Episode 3: Dead Ends and Copycats

11/30/2016
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Three months with no new deaths: investigators were beginning to believe that the Boston Strangler’s killing spree had ended. Then, on December 5, 1962, a roommate found the body of 20 year old Sophie Clark, and the case took a terrifying new turn. Had the killer changed his M.O.? Were two or more Boston Stranglers at large? Host Portland Helmich digs into the details surrounding Clark’s murder, and learns much more about the obsessive patterns serial killers usually follow. She also talks...

Duration: 00:33:35


Episode 2: Fear in Boston

11/23/2016
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Two more murders bring the total to five, terrorizing the city. As the police come up short in their attempt to protect the city, women take desperate measures to protect themselves. In this episode, host Portland Helmich meets a granddaughter of the Strangler’s fourth victim, and she follows the Boston police as they launch and attempt to control one of the largest manhunts the city had ever known. We’ll hear the voice of the late detective Phil DiNatale, meet his son, John, and explore...

Duration: 00:43:42


Episode 1: Sisters in Death

11/16/2016
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In 1964, 19-year-old Mary Sullivan was strangled to death in her apartment, the 13th victim of a killing spree that had terrorized Boston for 18 months. Her death remained unsolved for nearly 50 years. The same is true for a dozen more deaths attributed to the Boston Strangler. In our first episode, we meet Mary, as well as the killer’s first victims, and begin to explore the many unanswered questions that continue to haunt the victims’ families, the police who worked on the case, and the...

Duration: 00:41:15