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DNA in Boston Strangler case sparks controversy

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Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley defended investigators’ use of clandestine tactics to obtain a DNA sample from a relative of Albert DeSalvo, who police now believe with new certainty was responsible for at least one of the Boston Strangler murders.

A half-century after the spree of killings stuck fear in the Boston area, authorities have now been able to match biological evidence from the Beacon Hill scene of the murder of 19-year-old Mary Sullivan to a member of the DeSalvo family. DeSalvo died in prison in 1973, serving a sentence for another crime. The DNA came from DeSalvo’s nephew, who was tailed for days earlier this year by police who confiscated an empty water that he threw into a garbage can.

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