The Boston stranglings, in which eleven women in eastern Massachusetts were horribly murdered between June 1962 and January 1964, made front-page headlines around the world. "It was," says a woman who lived through the terror, "as if Jack the Ripper had come back from the dead to stalk Boston." And indeed, the Phantom Fiend, as the newspapers christened him, would go down in crime history as one of the world's most notorious and feared killers. The Boston murders have long been thought to be the work of one man, a construction worker named Albert Henry DeSalvo, who was represented by high-profile defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey. This belief, the author now reveals, is not true. The slayings were, in fact, the work of at least eight - and possibly as many as eleven - individuals, none of whom was the luckless DeSalvo. The Boston Stranglers examines the entire case, demonstrating convincingly that DeSalvo was manipulated into confessing. The book describes the motives of those who convinced DeSalvo to confess. And they found a willing victim in DeSalvo, who had a desperate, perhaps even pathological, lust for celebrity. The book does not simply exonerate DeSalvo and expose those who put into gear the machinery of this giant hoax. It sets out to solve the murders to which he so willingly, if falsely, confessed. Sources for this book include court records, trial transcripts, police reports, crime-scene photos, and numerous interviews with the surviving principals in the case, many of whom speak for the record here for the first time. Also included is the never-before-published "confession" of Albert DeSalvo.
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