F. Lee Bailey defended the notorious “Boston Strangler”. This was a long time ago, more than 30 years before the O.J. Simpson trial, which he would also participate in. His strategy in the Albert DeSalvo case was to convince the members of the jury that his client was the “Boston Strangler”, and that he was so completely guilty that he must be insane. F. Lee Bailey was actually defending him an unrelated trial about sexual assaults, and this confession came out to try to help him get off on an insanity plea. So, F. Lee Bailey did not actually defend him in his murder cases.
F. Lee Bailey was an attorney for his cell mate, George Nasser, and George Nasser had told him about Albert DeSalvo’s confession. When Bailey was going to meet him, he thought hew as going to meet a monster, but it turned out he discovered a married man with a couple of kids. When Bailey first met him, he said that he would like to write a book about his experiences, and he wanted other people to know about his story. He thought that tests could maybe be performed on him so that everyone could find out why he was like this. He was seeking understanding, help, and recovery. This was not the monster that Bailey had expected to meet. That’s probably partially the reason that Bailey took the case.
When DeSalvo first confessed to Bailey, Bailey had no way of knowing whether or not DeSalvo was telling the truth. He thought he might have been crazy, fantasizing, or just making things up from the newspaper reports.
F. Lee Bailey struck a deal with the state that would allow his client to be spared from the detah penalty, and he would get in life in prison instead. No one wanted DeSalvo on the street, including DeSalvo himself, so that he could be studied and people could figure out why he was like the way he was.
After just shy of four hours of deliberation, the jury came to their conclusion that DeSalvo was guilty on eight criminal counts. His insanity defense didn’t fly. He got life in prison. He was being sent to prison for being the “Boston Strangler” because it was a much more serious sentence than what one would get on a normal sex charge.
DeSalvo would later die in prison, and he would never get to be studied for science. It was a bad outcome for DeSalvo, but at least he was spared the death penalty. That didn’t help him much when he was stabbed to death in prison though.
Here’s a little background on Albert DeSalvo, and why he was such a high-profile case for F. Lee Bailey.
Albert DeSalvo was referred to as the Boston Strangler, Phantom Strangler, The Green Man, and other names. F. Lee Bailey took on his case. The Boston Strangler is the name given to the murderer, or group of murderers, of many females in Boston, Massachusetts in the early ‘60s. Albert DeSalvo was said to have committed the crimes once he confessed to the killings during a different case in court. Experts investigating the case, however, suggested that the murders must have been committed by multiple people.
The initial name for the murderer was “The Mad Strangler of Boston”. He was referred to by many names during that time. He was called “The Phantom Strangler”, for instance, because of his amazing ability to coax women into allowing the man into their dwellings. When his confession was finally let out in open court, the nickname “The Boston Strangler” became crime history.
There were several victims in the case. There was the first stage in 1962, and the second stage from 1962-1964. In the first stage, he killed seven women. In the second stage, he killed seven women. To go into his murders would be gruesome and tiresome. Suffice to say, that they were brutally murdered. His murders garnered him international infamy.
To go into a quick summation, though, between 1962 and 1964, there were more than two dozen single females between the ages of about 20 and 85 who where murdered in Boston. Thus, he got the moniker, “The Boston Strangler”. There was no sign of someone forcing entry into their apartments, and the women were thought to have known him or to have just let him into their house of their own accord. They might have thought he was service man, delivery man, or apartment maintenance man. He got a ton of media publicity that should have discouraged females from letting strangers inside their houses after the first couple of murders. However, the attacks just continued. The murders frightened and panicked many young women in the Boston area at the time.
In 1964, a man that wore the disguise of a detective went into a woman’s home, tied her to the bed, sexually molested her, and then just left and said he was sorry. The assailant was pointed to as Albert DeSalvo. When his photograph was published, a lot of women soon pinpointed him as the person who had attacked them. He initially spilled an elaborate confession of his Boston Strangler activities. He first confessed to an inmate, and then he confessed to F. Lee Bailey, his attorney. The police were very much impressed with the crime scene depictions. There were a few inconsistencies, but he was able to give details which were not made public.
DeSalvo got a life prison sentence in 1967, and he escaped later that year, and it triggered a full-scale manhunt. A note was discovered on his bunk. In it, he wrote that he had gotten out in order to bring a focus to the hospital conditions and his own plight. He turned himself in the next day. After the escape, he was sent to a maximum security prison, and he was discovered killed six years later. No one ever knew who his killer was.