The ending of The Boston Strangler may raise more questions than it answers about the real story that inspired the film. The new true crime film tracks two “girl reporters” who broke the story of a serial killer who murdered mostly single elderly women living alone in Boston in the early 1960s. As more women are killed, the case becomes more complicated, with some breaking the killer’s initial pattern. Boston Strangler eventually theorizes that the crimes were committed by numerous killers.
Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightly) and Jean Cole (Carrie Coon) are the two women who chronicle the Boston Strangler true crime story for the Boston Record American newspaper. After Albert DeSalvo confesses to the crimes, their job appears to be completed, but not every detail adds up. DeSalvo is murdered in jail shortly after agreeing to meet with Loretta. She then produces one final article, “Boston Stranglers,” in which she suggests that DeSalvo was not the only murderer. Loretta looks pensive as she drinks in a bar with Jean after The Boston Strangler, leaving many questions for the audience to ponder.
#1. Were Loretta’s Boston Strangler Articles Real?
The real women who broke the news of the Boston Strangler in the Record American were Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole, and it was McLaughlin who coined the name of the Boston Strangler — a name that would inspire other “strangler” serial killer names in real life and fiction. Most of the stories McLaughlin and Cole appeared in Hulu’s Boston Strangler, including “Two Girl Reporters Analyze Strangler,” were true. McLaughlin’s final “Boston Stranglers” piece, on the other hand, appears to have been made up to create a more dramatic conclusion.
Other Record American reporters, such as Eddie Corsetti, reported the Boston Strangler stories, and Jean Cole wrote some of her own. McLaughlin departed the Record American in the 1960s, but Cole continued to cover DeSalvo’s life until at least 1967. During DeSalvo’s brief escape from prison, she penned “Girls: Keep Doors Shut ‘Til DeSalvo Again in Custody,” which was not included in Boston Strangler.
#2. The Michigan Murders Were Not Linked.
The film Boston Strangler begins with a homicide in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1965, before flashing back to 1962 Boston. Later, the true crime story of the Michigan killings is revisited, with Detective DeLine (Rory Cochrane of CSI: Miami) contacting Loretta about a potential link to the Boston Strangler. This appears to be in allusion to the so-called Michigan Murders, which occurred between 1967 and 1969.
Source: The National
Even though Boston Strangler draws parallels between the Michigan Murders and the Boston Strangler murders, there is no documented link between them. There are some parallels, such as the use of stockings to strangle some of the victims, but the Michigan Murders were perpetrated by John Norman Collins. The Boston Strangler only used the Michigan Murders to demonstrate that comparable crimes have and will continue to occur.
#3. George Nassar Still In Prison.
As mentioned before the Boston Strangler ending credits, George Nassar is still in prison in Massachusetts, having been convicted of the 1948 murder of Dominic Kirmil. In the true crime film, a friend of one of the victims suspects Nassar rather than DeSalvo. Though it is claimed that Nassar was in jail during the murders and thus could not be the Boston Strangler, he was actually out on parole from 1961 to 1964, during some of the murders.
In 1964, Nassar was released and murdered Texaco station proprietor Irvin Hilton. Following this, he and DeSalvo were imprisoned together. Nassar received a life sentence in prison in 1967 and is presently incarcerated at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Shirley. He has requested a new trial several times but has been refused each time. He is one of the few people still alive who is linked to the Boston Strangler murders, and he is presently 90 years old.
#4. The Boston Strangler Never Caught.
The Boston Strangler case remains unsolved, with numerous hypotheses. Albert DeSalvo confessed to the killings, but his confession was questioned. There were inconsistencies, and Boston Strangler speculates that Nassar and Daniel Marsh may have taught him. Marsh is a prominent candidate in Boston Strangler, but there were many others. According to the conclusion of the Boston Strangler article, the murders could have been committed by several individuals. However, no one was ever convicted of the murders, and no significant suspects have been identified since the 1960s. However, DNA evidence connected DeSalvo to the murder of Mary Anne Sullivan in 2013.
#5. 12 Boston Strangler Murders.
Source: Serial Killers Info
Sullivan’s murder is deemed solved thanks to DNA evidence, but the other 12 official Boston Strangler murders remain unsolved. As Boston Strangler implies, DeSalvo (David Dastmalchian) may have committed more, but no one knows because he was murdered in prison in 1973. Anna Sellers, Mary Mullen, Nina Nichols, Helen Blake, Ida Irga, Jane Sullivan, Sophie Clark, Patricia Bissette, Mary Ann Brown, Beverly Samans, Marie Corbin, and Joann Graff were the other 12 victims of the Boston Strangler. Other true crime cases were initially linked to the Boston Strangler but were later proven to be unconnected.
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