GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2004-02 > 1077921109
Subject: [DNA] mtDNA and the Boston Strangler case
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 17:31:49 EST
This abstract from the journal "Medicine, Science, and the Law" appeared at
PubMed this week. I haven't seen the full text, but it sounds as if only mtDNA
could be analyzed, as is typical for ancient DNA studies.
Med Sci Law. 2004 Jan;44(1):47-54.
In search of the Boston Strangler: genetic evidence from the exhumation of
Foran DR, Starrs JE.
Forensic Science Program, School of Criminal Justice and Department of
560 Baker Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.
The Boston Strangler was one of the United States' most notorious serial
killers, raping and strangling with decorative ligatures thirteen woman in
Boston during the early 1960s. Albert DeSalvo, never a suspect in the
confessed in prison (where he was later murdered) to being the Boston
and the investigation largely ended. Mary Sullivan was the last victim of the
Boston Strangler, found sexually assaulted and strangled in her Boston
in 1964. Recently, a team of forensic scientists undertook the exhumation and
subsequent scientific analysis of Mary Sullivan's remains, in hope of finding
consistencies or inconsistencies between DeSalvo's confessed description of
murder and any evidence left behind. Included in these analyses was extensive
DNA testing of all UV fluorescent material associated with the body. The
majority of results were negative, however, fluorescent material located on
underwear and entwined in her pubic hair generated two human mitochondrial
sequences. Neither of these matched the victim nor members of the forensic
who worked on the evidence. Most importantly, neither DNA sequence could have
originated from Albert DeSalvo.