14 episodes

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 Stitcher 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.

Stranglers Stitcher

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 176 Ratings

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 Stitcher 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.

    Witness Docs Presents: The Atlas Obscura Podcast

    Witness Docs Presents: The Atlas Obscura Podcast

    Atlas Obscura's mission is to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. Atlas Obscura co-founder and host Dylan Thuras is here to guide you on an audio journey to discover new and hidden places; perhaps on the other side of the world, or perhaps in your own backyard. Once there, you’ll hear stories and history from the incredible people who make these places special.

    Visit ​atlasobscura.com/podcast​ or follow the show in your favorite podcast app! New episodes are available every day, Monday through Thursday.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 7 min
    Episode 12: Memorial

    Episode 12: Memorial

    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.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 51 min
    Episode 11: Digging Up the Past

    Episode 11: Digging Up the Past

    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 effort to exonerate DeSalvo. We learn about the existence of new forensic evidence, and about the strange, post-Strangler career of another major suspect: he moved to Michigan, and—perhaps coincidentally—a new series of murders began.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 51 min
    Episode 10: Fame and Consequences

    Episode 10: Fame and Consequences

    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 official advisor and major character in the very successful 1968 film, The Boston Strangler. While the movie solidified many of the publicly accepted myths about the stranglings, DeSalvo’s mysterious death in prison only adds to the confusion surrounding the Strangler’s identity.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 43 min
    Episode 9: Testimony

    Episode 9: Testimony

    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 learn how one popular '50s television sitcom may have given Albert DeSalvo the rationale he needed to invade the homes of hundreds—perhaps thousands—of women.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 49 min
    Episode 8: Confessions

    Episode 8: Confessions

    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 maneuvers as he battles to keep DeSalvo out of the electric chair. We also hear chilling details about the Strangler murders in excerpts from DeSalvo’s recorded confessions. Despite DeSalvo’s astonishing recall of the 13 stranglings, he gets the most important detail wrong. Could he in fact be lying?

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
176 Ratings

176 Ratings

PetuniaGardenhouse ,

Better Late Than Never

On my regular Covid confinement walks I’ve discovered podcasts and this is one my favorites. Well put together, great narration and a very compelling story. I know it’s a few years old but so glad to have found it. Keep up the good work.

just ? ,

Stranglers

I loved this podcast.
I loved your emphasis on the women themselves. The final episode was very moving.
Hearing the information and interviews about how this case affected so many showed how devastating crimes can be!
The justice system is a crazy world & F. Lee Bailey is or any crack defence attorney or prosecutor are almost as scary as the criminal.
Of course Intriguing , frightening & compelling but the loss of human life and the devastation to those left behind is so sad.
V

chetchelios ,

Great pod cast

Great pod cast, beautifully narrated. While listening you can visually see what is being said.

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