DNA doesn't prove Boston Strangler link, lawyer says

Albert DeSalvo, the man who confessed to committing the Boston Strangler killings but was never convicted, stands in jail for an unrelated crime in this undated picture. Getty Images

BOSTON The family of a deceased man suspected of being the Boston Strangler is outraged police secretly followed his nephew to collect DNA for new tests.

Attorney Elaine Sharp says Albert DeSalvo's family also believes there's still reasonable doubt he killed the Strangler's last supposed victim, even if additional DNA tests show a 100 percent match.

Authorities said Thursday new tests led them to conclude DeSalvo is a 99.9 percent match to DNA found on Mary Sullivan's body. They've obtained a court order to exhume his body for further testing.

Sharp says private tests show other male DNA was present that didn't match DeSalvo. But authorities say their evidence was preserved in a lab, while evidence used in private testing was questionable.

DeSalvo confessed to the killings but recanted before dying in prison in 1973.

Attorney F. Lee Bailey, who helped to obtain the confession from DeSalvo, said the announcement of the DNA link will probably help put to rest speculation over the Boston Strangler's identity, CBS Boston reported.

Bailey had been representing another inmate who informed the attorney that DeSalvo knew details of the crimes. Bailey went to police with the information, and he said DeSalvo, who was already in prison for other crimes, demonstrated that he knew details that only the killer would know.

Bailey would later represent DeSalvo.

"It was a very challenging case," said Bailey, who lives in Yarmouth, Maine. "My thought was if we can get through the legal thicket and get this guy examined by a team of the best specialists in the country, we might learn something about serial killers so we could spot them before others."

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