Disney Plus’s ‘Boston Strangler’ dives into the investigation of a series of murders that took place in Boston between 1962 to 1964. Loretta McLaughlin, a reporter for Record American, discovers the link between different murders and realizes that they are committed by the same person. Things get heated as more people die, and the cops are nowhere close to figuring out who the killer is. Loretta and Jean Cole explore several avenues to figure out who killed thirteen women in Boston. While several names pop up in between, no one influences the series of events like George Nassar. If you are wondering whether he is based on a real person and if he could have been the Boston Strangler, then here’s what you need to know about him.
Was George Nassar the Boston Strangler?
When Albert DeSalvo confessed to being the Boston Strangler, it looked like the case was closed. But a closer look at the details revealed that some creases weren’t ironed out. Two women, one of whom survived the attack, claimed to have seen the Strangler’s face. When DeSalvo was brought in front of them in a lineup, they pointed at George Nassar instead of pointing at him.
At that point, Nassar was serving a life sentence. Because of his mental health, he was sent to Bridgewater, where he met Albert DeSalvo in 1965. Allegedly, DeSalvo confessed to Nassar about how he had killed several women and identified himself as the Boston Strangler. In an interview with WBZ-TV, Nassar revealed: “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.”
Knowing there was prize money for catching the killer, Nassar contacted his lawyer, F. Lee Bailey. The plan was to get DeSalvo to confess. They convinced him by promising him a book deal, which would mean enough money to sustain his family. “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. While DeSalvo confessed, he couldn’t be tried for the crime due to lack of evidence. There was no book deal, and Nassar never got the prize money.
Later, it was claimed that Nassar had coached DeSalvo about the confession. Some theorized that Nassar was the real Boston Strangler and was using DeSalvo as the scapegoat. He had been out on parole at the time during which the Boston Strangler was active. His history of violence also added to the arguments against him. Despite the claims and theories, no concrete evidence could link Nassar to the murders. One of the things that set apart the Boston murders is the modus operandi. The killer strangulated people. On the other hand, Nassar used guns when he murdered his victims. In addition, he didn’t have a history of sexual assault, which didn’t fit with the profile of the Strangler. Even when two women identified him, their statements weren’t bulletproof, so there was no ground for this theory.
Where is George Nassar Now?
George Nassar is an inmate at Massachusetts Correctional Institution Shirley. Now in his 90s, he was reported to have been inflicted with terminal cancer. He is serving the life sentence he received for murdering Dominic Kirmil in 1948. He was out on parole in 1961 and was again charged with murder in 1964. Nassar shot a gas station attendant Irvin Hilton. He received another life imprisonment in 1967. Over the years, his appeals have been repeatedly denied.
Talking about the allegations of being the Boston Strangler, Nassar claimed innocence. He said: “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 has no doubt that DeSalvo was the Boston Strangler and said he “desperately wanted to be famous.”