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I-Team: George Nassar, Boston Strangler's Cellmate, Recalls Albert DeSalvo's Confession

BOSTON (CBS) - Albert DeSalvo confessed to the murders in the Boston Strangler case, but, DNA has only linked him to one of the killings. At the time, DeSalvo first confessed to fellow prisoner George Nassar about the stranglings.

Nassar is an inmate at MCI Shirley. Now 86 years old and suffering from terminal cancer, he is speaking out about DeSalvo and why some still question if he had a role in the stranglings.

In an exclusive jail house interview Nassar talked about his former cellmate and how he became a suspect himself.

George Nassar
George Nassar. (WBZ-TV)

The grisly headline grabbing crimes had some comparing the Boston Strangler to Jack the Ripper. Thirteen women sexually assaulted, some raped and all strangled with a piece of their own clothing in the Boston area between 1962 and 1964.

Albert DeSalvo admitted he was the killer, first telling fellow prisoner, George Nassar the details.

"He convinced me by the description. He was getting it off his chest. I was the first person, apparently, to who he had really spoken about specifics of each crime," Nassar told WBZ-TV.

Nassar is serving a life sentence for unrelated murder that he says he didn't commit. In a rare television interview, Nassar told the I-Team he met DeSalvo at Bridgewater State Hospital in 1965. Both men were sent there for mental health evaluation after being arrested. Nassar, who at the time was represented by F. Lee Bailey, got the famed defense attorney to take DeSalvo's case, according to Nassar.

Albert DeSalvo
Albert DeSalvo (WBZ-TV file image)

"We were setting it all up, saying Al you're going to confess, you're going to trial, you're going to do your book, we're going to take care of your family and he was saying ok, ok, ok." Nassar said.

But that wouldn't be the end of it. News reports from that time suggested because there were so many different victims, DeSalvo may not have been the only strangler.

Some investigators began to think of Nassar as a possible suspect.

Nassar told the I-Team he had nothing to do with the killings.

"If I was or had been, theoretically, on a score with Al and, I found out that he was murdering women and getting away with it, I'd have given him a quick and painless death right there," he told WBZ.

Nassar claimed DeSalvo desperately wanted to be famous and although he was never even charged with the stranglings, Nassar says, he has no doubt DeSalvo was the strangler.

DeSalvo appeared to relish his notoriety. The I-Team obtained never before seen photos of DeSalvo and video of the leather bags and jewelry he made in prison.

"He got into necklaces, he called them chokers. And everyone had a big laugh. I didn't find that funny at all," Nassar said.

Albert Desalvo chokers
One of the chokers made by Albert DeSalvo in prison, according to George Nassar. (WBZ-TV)

DeSalvo was murdered in prison in 1973. No one was ever convicted in his death.

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