Is [HULU] Boston Strangler a True Story?

The new thriller Boston Strangler is available on Hulu. It takes up a serial murderer cold case that has fascinated true crime fans for decades. The new British Keira Knightley thriller Boston Strangler has already been turned into a film – Tony Curtis starred in The Boston Strangler in 1968. Boston Strangler, written and directed by Matt Ruskin in 2023, focuses less on solving the mystery and more on celebrating the two ladies who broke the story. By highlighting not only the 13 women, aged 19 to 85, who were killed in the Boston region between 1962 and 1964 but also the two female reporters who broke the story when the police couldn’t or wouldn’t. If the movie’s relatable tone has led you to ponder if it’s based on a real event, then the following information is important for you to know. Let’s find out the answer at tvacute.

Is [HULU] Boston Strangler a True Story?

Yes, Boston Strangler is based on a True Story. It is centered on two real-life investigative journalists, Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley) and Jean Cole (Carrie Coon), who published a four-part series about the serial killer in the Record American in 1963, earning him the moniker “The Boston Strangler.” Being a real crime enthusiast, Ruskin knew it was crucial to avoid romanticizing the Boston Strangler in favor of two women whose exploits had been largely forgotten. He had to conduct his own research because not much has been written regarding McLaughlin and Cole’s involvement in these well-known murder cases. Ruskin was forced to conduct his own research as a result

Thirteen women in the Boston region were found sexually raped and strangled to death with their own garments between June 1962 and January 1964. There were 19 women in all who were killed: Anna Elsa lesers, Mary Mullen, Helen Blake, Nina Nichols, Ida Irga, Jane Sullivan, Sophie Clark, Patricia Bissette, Mary Brown, Beverly Samans, Evelyn Corbin, and Joann Graff. They were all killed by the same person, who became known as the Boston Strangler.  You may be questioning what happened in real life as you watch the film. Perhaps you’re wondering exactly what you’re in for even before seeing the film. We’ve got you covered, so relax. In this article, you will discover the truth regarding the killings committed by the Boston Strangler.

Who was the Boston Strangler?

Over those two years, women in Boston were always on edge. Both staying in and venturing out of the house caused undue stress. Since there was never any evidence of a forceful entry, it was clear the killer was employing a ruse to get close to his victims. Actually, he could be anyone at all.  Although he was never convicted of any of the murders, the name 34-year-old, Albert DeSalvo is most synonymous with the Boston Strangler crimes.

boston strangler true story

DeSalvo confessed to police that he was “The Measuring Man” after his arrest for burglary in March 1960. This was the name given to a serial killer who pretended to be a modeling scout and went door-to-door in Cambridge, stealing children. After gaining entry to their homes, he would molest them under the guise of a “measurement tape” visit. He received an 18-month sentence but only served 11, thus he was released in 1962. He conducted a string of sexual assaults and became known as the “Green Man” during his second crime spree, named for the color he wore. One of DeSalvo’s victims went to the police after being assaulted and gave a detailed description of the suspect. From there, he was taken in for observation at Bridgewater State Hospital.

He eventually admitted to being the Boston Strangler, but at the time, there was no hard proof linking him to the crimes. The women who had survived the Strangler attacks did not recognize him. His DNA wasn’t found on the final Strangler victim, Mary Sullivan, until July 2013. It has been determined by the Boston Police Department’s cold case unit and the attorney general’s office that DeSalvo is the person responsible for the rape and murder of Sullivan, albeit it is not yet known whether or not he is responsible for the other crimes associated with the Strangler. As a result of his involvement in the “Green Man” crimes, DeSalvo was incarcerated. In 1973, he died of a stabbing inside his cell at Walpole Prison.

Who is George Nassar?

DeSalvo admitted to becoming the Boston Strangler to a cellmate while incarcerated at Bridgewater. George Nassar, a double murderer convicted, shared this cell with me. He had been given a life sentence for the 1948 murder of Dominic Kirmil, but in 1961 he was granted parole. Four years later, Nassar was found guilty of killing Irvin Hilton, the proprietor of a Texaco station in Andover, Massachusetts, and received a death sentence that was eventually commuted to life in prison.

Interestingly, Nassar was no longer incarcerated when the Boston Strangler killings started. Two of the survivors who were asked to identify the Strangler said Nassar, not DeSalvo, had attacked them. According to rumors, DeSalvo and Nassar planned to use DeSalvo’s confession to obtain the $10,000 reward for naming the Strangler. Nassar was still incarcerated as of 2018. F. Lee Bailey met DeSalvo through George Nassar, another client.

Who was the real Boston Strangler?

One of DeSalvo’s cellmates at Bridgewater Correctional Facility and a former romantic interest of one of the victims is presented in the film as a possible second suspect by the name of Daniel Marsh (played by Ryan Winkles). Marsh relocated to Ann Arbor, Michigan in the years that followed. A 2013 DNA analysis conclusively connected DeSalvo to the killing of Mary Sullivan, the final and youngest victim connected to the Boston Strangler case, forty years after DeSalvo’s passing. DeSalvo may or may not be responsible for the remaining 12 homicides; this is unknown. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley was quoted in the New York Times as noting that DeSalvo’s confession had “been the subject of doubt and dispute from nearly the minute it was offered” at the time of the positive DNA identification in 2013.

Although we may don’t ever be 100% certain, the hypothesis that numerous people, including Albert DeSalvo, were responsible for the murders appears to be the most plausible explanation. This is the idea that will be supported by the Boston Strangler movie that will be released in 2023, as well as the concept that Matt Ruskin claims he truly believes.

How true to the original is the 2023 Boston Strangler movie?

Ruskin claimed that several of the elements of Boston Strangler are accurate to reality, even to the headlines at the top of McLaughlin and Cole’s articles, despite certain adjustments made to the true narrative to produce a more effective and interesting Hollywood film. According to Matt Ruskin, “All of their stories about the Boston Strangler were online”,  “So I was able to read everything I was able to read stories they did before and stories they did after. It was incredibly instructive, hearing their voice—how they wrote how they characterized what they were discovering”. In order to improve the tale, the director also made a few changes, the most significant of which concerned the character of Detective Conley, played by Alessandro Nivola. The character of Conley is not based on a single real-life detective; rather, he is a combination of numerous different detectives who worked on the investigation of the Boston Strangler.

Who were Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole? Are they Based on a Real Boston Reporter?

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Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilson is the senior news writer for TV Acute. She spends too much money on collectables and is enamored with movies, comics, and television series. She loves binge-watching and can spend hours talking about movies and TV shows. She can immerse herself into a good story no matter the genre or form and only come out from it when she's had her fill. When she's not writing, she's probably cooking or exploring new places. You can follow her daily exploits on Twitter and Facebook.

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