Boston Strangler ending explained: Who was the Boston Strangler?

The Boston Strangler from 20th Century Fox
The Boston Strangler from 20th Century Fox /

Boston Strangler made its debut Friday, March 17 on Hulu. The film starring Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon, as Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole, takes viewers back to the ’60s when Boston was dealing with a serial killer who targeted women.

The murderer had a sick ritual he stuck to but how he selected his victims changed over time. At first his targets were elderly women who lived alone. Then he switched to younger women who also lived by themselves. When consulting a professional psychologist, Loretta was told that such a transition was too sudden and unlikely to happen as serial killers tend to stick to their “types.”

How they select their victims is often derived from a specific trauma or obsession that doesn’t divert from its pattern. Despite this, those trying to solve the mystery of who the Boston Strangler was still believed the killings were done by a singular man.

The killer in question was thought to be Albert DeSalvo, a convicted rapist who went by the pseudonyms “The Measuring Man” and “The Green Man. He’d prey on women by posing as a modeling scout or a maintenance man in a green work suit. However, as the film showed with its ending, the question of the Boston Strangler’s identity was more complicated than was comfortable.

Who was the Boston Strangler?

Though Albert DeSalvo is the man these crimes are associated with in real life, and decades later his DNA did match what was collected during the investigation of the 13th victim, he wasn’t the sole killer at large and there was a working theory that multiple men committed these horrific crimes hence why the criteria for a victim to be selected changed seemingly without reason.

In the film, this is represented by Paul Dempsey who killed the elderly women at the start of the murder spree, DeSalvo who killed some of the younger women after being coached by George Nassar and Daniel Marsh, Gordon Neilson who took the life of his pregnant mistress/employee, and Marsh who murdered his ex-girlfriend and later killed other women in Michigan.

So in Boston Strangler, the serial killer is actually more than one man who took advantage of the media circus around the murders to camouflage their own wrong doings for personal gain, potential profit, or compulsion.

dark. Next. Where was Boston Strangler filmed: Is it really in Boston?

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