Home » Episodes » Episode 4 – Boston, MA (Veggie Tales: Murder Edition)

Completely coincidentally, both Emily and Rachel travel to Boston, Massachusetts this week. Emily covers the infamous, horrific and technically unsolved Boston Strangler case, then Rachel dives into the Kennedy curse and all of the horrible things that happened to America’s favorite family up through 1987. Hopefully you’re horrified!

Content/Trigger Warnings: Sexual assault


Rachel 0:14
Welcome to horrible history. I’m Rachel Everett Lozon.

Emily 0:17
And I’m Emily Barlean, if you haven’t met us yet, Hello, thank you for joining us. Rachel and I are co hosts are obsessed with true crime and all things horrible. Probably because we are anxiety ridden overachievers that want to be able to plan for anything and everything.

Rachel 0:36
And we love traveling, and we love history, especially when you can combine them into their cities around the world. But no matter how many travel brochures we read, they never seem to share the stories we want to hear about, you know, the murders and called said horrible natural disasters. Oh, my.

Emily 0:56
Yes, so we’re gonna just go ahead and take it upon ourselves to dig right on into the horrible histories of cities all around the world. And our brains must be connected, which we know they are because we’re the same person. Because we’re both traveling essentially to the same place. Boston, Massachusetts lost in wicked awesome.

Rachel 1:16
I mean, I lived in New Hampshire for six years. So I, I could probably tap into the Boston but not so much. I just now you go with your friend Sarah to get into her car. Ca, that’s all I got. Yeah, if it ends in an A, it has to be an R. And if it ends in an R, it has to be an A. So like, I’m picking up my friend Sarah and my car. Got it. But I’m wicked late. Technically. I’m headed all around Massachusetts. But I am starting in Boston. And it’s our podcast. So we do what we want. Speaking of this week, we are doing a bit of a format change, because we are such overachievers. And we’ve realized that our research has gotten pretty intensive and the episodes are getting longer. And as much as we love talking to each other we know that you guys are our morbid curious audience are here for the horrible. So instead of the small talk, we’re gonna start just diving right in.

Emily 2:14
Yes, but if you do want more of the chitchat, if you want to get to know us better, you can do two things, you can catch our lighter, tiny episodes, which are called terrible today and they drop on Tuesdays, we’re also going to be launching something very exciting called Happy Hour with horrible history. And that will be for our $5 patrons which will be a little bit more of a loose format. So immediately after this episode, you’ll be able to join us as we you know, grab a drink, theorize wildly, you know, discuss all the shit that we didn’t want to get into in our stories that week. So this week, we’re going to be sharing happy hour with horrible history. I just want to call it like four h honestly, or quadruple h four h the before each cruise probably not gonna like that. But something else. So we’re going to share it this week on the main channel, you know, for free for everyone so you can get a taste and then it’ll move over to Patreon after that.

Rachel 3:15
Yeah, consider it an appetizer. That’s what they do with happy hour. Hello, appetizer. appetizer. appetizer. All right. Let’s get to the horrible. Yeah, let’s do it. Okay. Are you ready? I think so. I mean, I’m not I’m literally connected to my laptop. I can’t go anywhere.

Emily 3:39
So I have like a heavy hitter this week. And it’s very dark and deep and so like, I felt like I need to I need to like, like shake it off a little bit. But okay, let’s dive right in. Yeah, Rachel, Emily, before the Yorkshire Ripper before Ted Bundy. Before john Wayne Gacy, before dahmer, Manson or even the Zodiac Killer. There was a serial killer that terrorized women in the northeast. This man was one of the first serial killers to be sensationalized by the media and turned into a celebrity. In fact, reporter Eddie Corsetti which is a fantastic freakin name, reported and said, Every time you pick up a newspaper, there’s a story we just kept at it. There were hawkers on street corners yelling, extra killer strikes again. I don’t know if that was the Boston accent, but we’re gonna go with it. Lucy’s accent and I’m here for it. People were scared. deadbolts and watchdogs were sold out around town because of the killer that was dubbed the Phantom fiend and then the Phantom strangler, then the Mad strangler. And finally, as we know him today, the Boston Strangler Ah, okay. Today, I’m going to tell you about the terror that was rained down upon the city of Boston, Massachusetts, from 1962 through 1964. Get excited, but not

Rachel 5:14
I’m just processing because that doesn’t feel like that long before everything else. But he’s like, intro to serial killers. He’s before everybody else.

Emily 5:23
Yeah, it was like 70s and maybe early 80s were like the height of the serial killer world and oh, yeah, you really kicked it off. So it’s soon as I said, Did you say Let’s get it on?

Rachel 5:37
Listen. I was going to say “let’s take off” I don’t know what I was trying to say. I was gonna be like, let’s start it off with the strangler and I was thinking so much about my accent that I just like, and are apparently like, Barry fucking white. Now. What am I doing?

Emily 5:58
anywho Okay, this story is super intense. And so before we really dive into the the super heavy stuff, I wanted to just ask like the light question, of course, have Have you ever been to Boston?

Rachel 6:09
I have. I actually went recently. I went to Boston last May in 2019. Not this past May. Because actually, my granny passed last year and wanted to have her funeral in New Hampshire, which is where she’s from. And so we decided after we get the funeral, enough family stuff that Robert and the kids and I would say a night in Boston, because we had to fly through the airport. And we did the aquarium, which was so much fun. Little kids night, so much Baby Shark so much. Oh, my God, I bet. Have you been to Boston?

Emily 6:45
I’ve only been to Boston one time. And it was for a conference for work. And so although it was like a five day conference, and they had downtime and stuff where you could like go out. I think I saw mostly like the insides of restaurants and conference halls. And you know, it rained a lot. And I remember walking, they’re really cute, like little cobblestone streets somewhere. Wow, this is just such a different vibe than you know, West Coast or even the Midwest. It’s it’s very old. It feels older. Yeah, because it is, you know, but um, yeah, it was. It’s super cute. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, I’ve delayed us long enough. Okay, let’s take the dive in. Okay, there are a lot of layers and theories and terrible stories to this whole Boston Strangler situation. But before we really get into the theories, and even before we talk about the strangler himself, I’m going to start by walking us through the murders chronologically, like, how they went down, because 13 women died at his hand, and I kind of want to try to focus on them first, if possible. There’s actually not a ton of information out there about each woman specifically, you know, details about who they were. But I have as much as I found in here. Sometimes it’s just a name and a occupation and an age. But, you know, it is what it is reporting in the 60s. Yeah.

Rachel 8:15
And just to throw it out there like even if it feels repetitive or redundant to words that actually ironically mean the same thing. We get it. And also, it’s so important to us, because we’re talking about horrible things and history and true crime to do the victims as much justice as we can. And yeah, we’d like to laugh at shit as you guys probably can tell. And we don’t ever want to make light of the fact that people died or in any way hurt feelings of people who have been victims we we want to be advocates to the best of our ability.

Emily 8:51
Absolutely, very well stated. I also will add the caveat that this is really horrific, like this is especially the chronological detailings of what happened is definitely the deepest and most like skin crawly creepy story that I’ve done, you know, in our best Yeah, for now, but

Rachel 9:13
it’s the most intensive before.

Emily 9:15
I know but but so, um, you know, that’s, of course why we’re all here. But even in brevity, what happened to these women is very sad and and also possibly triggering. And so I just wanted to state that if you are at all triggered triggered by sexual assault, basically, you’ve been warned. So proceed with caution there. Okay, so here’s where the story begins. The day is June 14 1962. A 55 year old Latvian seamstress named Anna slicers. is seen entering her apartment alone at about 5:30pm. A little over two hours later, her son arrived To her apartment there to take Anna to church because they were having a memorial service for the victims of the Russian invasion of Latvia. Okay, Anna son, unfortunately finds her body on the kitchen floor. She’s wearing a house coat, but it’s ripped open and there’s a cord knotted around her neck and a bow. Like, like tie your shoes bow. So like she’s a present for like a nice little extra Fuck you. And there was a man’s belt nearby that was broken. Almost as if the person who did this to her had pulled it so hard that it broke into. So we’re talking through it all, it was brutal. England, Anna had also been raped, possibly with an object, which is horrifying. Police believed that the killer had entered the apartment by climbing up the scaffolding because no one had seen anyone go in through her door other than her. And although eight men ended up getting questioned, no arrests were made for her murder. And then a little she had the most information about her. So and this is as much as it was. She was a faithful woman, a mother, a skilled seamstress. And according to her son, a woman who had no enemies, heartbreak, but she was more than the first victim of the Boston Strangler, but she was the first victim. 14 days later, on June 28, an elderly woman named Mary Mullen is found dead, this time on her sofa in her apartment. Now although it wasn’t known at the time, the Boston Strangler later told investigators that he had broken into her apartment, and the 85 year old woman had died in his arms before he could kill her. And so her death certificate actually noted that the cause of death was a heart attack, which caused the police after they heard the Stranglers confession to kind of come to believe that she was literally frightened to death. So now that one’s kind of a weird one, because technically now he’s had two victims. But as of right now, the police only know of one or think of one as like the strangler because this elderly woman looks as if she just had a heart attack. Anyways, I’m putting it out there because I’m doing this chronologically, and she was the second. Okay, two days after Mary Mullen was found a man named Chester Steadman, who was president of the Boston bar, called his sister in law. And her name was Nina Nichols. And Nina was a 68 year old physiotherapist. And he called her and she didn’t answer the phone, which was odd to him. So he asked the superintendent of her apartment, if he could go in and check on her and just make sure that she was okay. And after some time, the super enter the apartment and found Nina on her bedroom floor. Nina was wearing her flannel pink robe, and it was torn from the waist down. And then two of her stockings were tied tightly around her neck, and she had been sexually assaulted horrifically with a wine bottle. Again, I know police did not find any evidence of forced entry. On the same day, across town, a 65 year old Night Nurse named Helen Blake was found face down on her bed. the bottoms of her flannel pajamas were laying on the floor next to the bed. And she had a stocking and a bra tied around her neck. And she was also sexually assaulted.

One kind of sad like heart wrenching thing I think, especially for us as empaths later her downstairs neighbor found out the Helen had been murdered. And she’s like said her heart just sank because two days earlier, she had heard this odd amount of movement upstairs and thought it was like furniture moving or something and kind of shrugged it off and thought well, maybe she’s cleaning and moving furniture. And then retrospectively she now realized that it was probably the sounds of the strangler, you know, in her upstairs neighbor being murdered, the guilt, the guilt factor. Exactly. Because, yeah, not that anything could have been done. You know, we all have that where right What have I done something but what you’re going to run out? Stop a madman who knows.

Rachel 14:44
Can I ask a question? And maybe you’ll get to it and I’m just jumping ahead. Does the Boston Strangler have a cooling off period because it seems like all of these murders are so close together. He’s like starting out in bizerker mode. Are we sure that that’s the first murder?

Emily 15:05
Right? Oh my gosh, that’s such a good point because he does have cooling off periods. And I will get to that. But not that much. Like if you think about it, he had, according to this timeline 13 murders over the course of like, a year and a half ish. With Yeah, like you said, like, usually it doesn’t escalate so quickly. But there’s, there’s things that I will tell you later, that will lead up to that. So

Rachel 15:34
yeah, and it just doesn’t sound and I mean, obviously, we don’t know. But it just doesn’t seem like a first murder, because it’s so brutal. And most of the time, you know, we haven’t really talked about it on this podcast. But you and I, Emily know that serial killers, they give themselves little allowances. Right. I’m thinking Ed Kemper who practiced with all of those women in the cars and practiced and practiced and practiced and was like, well, maybe I’ll just drive one. And maybe I’ll just talk to this one. And usually, not usually, but in a lot of stories that we know about serial killers. So effect first death is an accident or to crime of passion. Somebody they know. It’s not usually this brutal murder like that,

Emily 16:20
right? With such an intense, you know, finale of having a bow around the neck as if yes, it is. It’s brazen. Yes. And so we’ll come to talk about some of his previous crimes. A little later, once I get through, you know, these strangler murders, but definitely are things that lead up to this. Okay, so all right, yeah. So just to recap, you know, where we’re at right now, and this the history of this story. We’re now in June 30. So if you’ll remember that 16 days since the first murders taken place, and three women have been brutally assaulted and murdered. Now, I know I listed for people, you know, but as we know, the police didn’t know that Mary Milan was the strangler victim. And technically, she hadn’t been strangled. So chronologically, four people have died at his hand. But you know, three are only only three are known. So, obviously, three murders in 16 days is shocking and terrifying. And people in the city of Boston are scared and really shaken. And the newspapers, and this is where that kind of media sensitive sensationalization is coming into play. And newspapers are, you know, headline news. Every day of the week, people are talking newspapers on the corner saying like the killers out there, protect yourself that kind of thing. Yeah. One newspaper even called the feeling and the city, you know, at that time was that there was a deranged killer, who brought chilling terror to the home of every Boston woman who lives alone. And

Rachel 18:01
yeah, and if there’s not already enough stigma on women, living alone, especially in the 60s, like well, she’s not married by 35. She’s a spinster. She’s an old maid. I think, in this context, they’re not blaming women. But it is like, Listen, you better get married, you know?

Emily 18:23
Yeah, you need a big strong man to protect you. And if you think through the victim profile, we’re talking older women who live alone and apartments, you know, he’s obviously got this like, mother fetish. Ooh, yeah.

Rachel 18:39
It’s very psycho to me. Like all of these women are made. I don’t know how old this motherfucker is. No pun intended. But it seems seems like maybe I’m imagining him as like a weird dude in his 30s or 40s. I don’t know why I’m tourists.

Emily 18:58
Okay, so then, a month and a half passes. You know, the cities out there hunting for this triple killer. They’re looking to him for to no avail. But it kind of seems like maybe the killings are a thing of the past. Like maybe it was just the triple kill. And then it was done. I mean, obviously, they still want to find this person, but it’s been a month and a half now. And after three rapid succession murders, they’re thinking okay, maybe he left maybe died, whatever. Yeah, but then 75 year old Ida Ergas family started to feel concerned, because no one was answering the phone at her apartment. And that just wasn’t like her. So on August 18, her cousin went over to the building and climbed all the stairs to get up to her fifth floor flat and open the door and found a really grotesque scene. Ida is lying on her back. her pajamas are torn to expose her body and her life. Legs are spread and held apart by two chairs. And then she’s been strangled by a pillowcase and sexually assaulted. I mean, think about a 75 year old woman. I mean, that’s where any rape any murder ending assault is horrific and awful, but but that’s a grandma. Yeah, it’s just like, come on, man.

Rachel 20:26
Yeah, well, I’m just thinking. It’s, it’s like an extra factor you just like you said with the bow. Because the chairs to me just remind me of like a really make shift, makeshift gynecology thing like this guy. When you’re talking about the brazenness of this person. It’s like, he seems very opportunistic. And he’s like, I’m not even going to show up with anything. And I’m going to kill you with what’s already in your apartment. And it’s it’s so like, intimate in this really grotesque, horrible way. It’s It’s too intimate. It is it is. It’s like there’s just something about, like, I don’t want anybody to touch my stuff. You know? Yeah. And then to use your stuff to sexually assault you to, to murder you. I mean, it’s, it’s gross. It makes me want to throw up. It’s so gross. It’s gross. It’s really gross. That’s so that’s it. Yeah, it’s just an extra invasion of your safety. Absolutely.

Emily 21:37
So although the strangler had been dormant for a month and a half, he was obviously back. And just two days after Ida’s murder he hit again on August 21. This time, a 67 year old Night Nurse from Longwood hospital. Her name was James Sullivan, and she is found facedown kneeling in her bathtub. Her head and her forearms are covered with water and her house coat is pulled up to her shoulders. her panties are pulled to her ankles, and a pair of her nylon stockings are used to strangle her. It also seems that she’s been dead for a week. So although they found her two days after Ida’s death, it seems as though Jane had been murdered, you know, four days prior to regardless I mean, still crazy close together. Crazy close together. Yeah. So at this point, you know, six murders have taken place by that the police know of, they’re really scrambling to find clues and to figure out who this person might be. a psychiatrist developed kind of a criminal profile ish he, he stated that he believed the Stranglers physically small and has a crippling inferiority complex. He’s probably also a psychotic sex pervert that has a malignant form of schizophrenia. And he’s stints at the police don’t find Him He will kill again.

Rachel 23:07
Okay. I think that this gets to the schizophrenia part. I’m curious about because I’m wondering, that’s the only part that doesn’t make sense for me, like, obviously, this person is a psychopath. But I think I’m in from your friendly neighborhood therapist. schizophrenia, it used to be this disorder, that’s just the catch all like, be be afraid if somebody has schizophrenia, because they’re going to be a murderer, or they’re going to be a crazy person just doing whatever. And a lot of psychopaths do not have that sort of severe and persistent mental illness. And they, I don’t know, I personally have not studied it enough to know how much is nature how much is nurture. My gut is to say most of it is nature. Obviously, nurture still plays a role. But there are lots of people with horrible childhoods, who then do not strangle and murder people. So I maybe would say, I’ve obviously I’m not a criminal profiler, but I’m like, Hmm, maybe not.

Emily 24:14
Maybe not interesting to have this person make this, you know, grand assessment, which maybe the rest of it is plausible. But schizophrenia, as we know now is like, you know, it’s a medical condition. How can you know that without evaluating this person, whoever he is, and like you just said, schizophrenic? It’s not like, Oh, you have schizophrenia. You’re definitely a murderer. You know, you’re definitely some sex pervert. No, like we have to attack that. Yeah, but anyways,

Rachel 24:49
yeah, it just it feels like overkill. Again, no pun intended. Like it just feels like it doesn’t need to be there. The inferiority complex, for sure, the psychopathic trait 100% right

Emily 25:04
so you know almost as at the strangler heard this assessment of himself and kind of wanted to prove him wrong, you know this concept of if we don’t catch him he’ll kill again. The killings kind of seem to stop. Now. September passes, October passes, November passes and there’s no incidence. And then on December 5, the Stranglers youngest victim to date 20 year old Sophie Clark is found. She is on her back with her legs spread. She’s wearing a garter belt with black stockings and a floral house coat. At this scene, unlike others their semen on the carpet. Young Sophie was a hospital technician who attended classes at the Carnegie Institute of medical technology at Beacon Hill at night. And then, over Christmas, 23 year old Patricia de cette, returned to her alma mater, Middlebury College, where she was the editor of the yearbook. And she told her classmate that she wasn’t afraid of the Boston strong now, which is just so sad to me. It’s like a horror movie when you’re like, don’t say it. Don’t say it. Why are you running up the stairs? Exactly. go the other way away from the house. It’s Yeah. And so then on New Year’s Eve, she doesn’t show up for work at Kenmore square, which is an engineering company where she’s the receptionist. So her boss calls the janitor at her apartment, and the janitor finds her in bed in a bra and our blue red house coat. There’s a sheet and a blanket pulled up to her neck and smoothed out. But then when they take the blanket back, they find that she’s been strangled with four articles of clothing. First, a knotted blouse that was tied tight against her neck, then a nylon stocking, and then two stockings tied together on top of that. So one last note about Patricia is that, of course no one knew if she even knew this, but she was one month pregnant when she was mad. Okay, so now 1962 is over, you know, that was New Year’s Eve. And as a reminder, now there are eight victims so far. And then again, the strangler after eight victims goes dormant for a little while, in fact, until March. So a few months, well, actually, it’s only two months, people are able to breathe easier, you know, maybe hoping that they left all of that chaos of the strangler stuff behind them in 1962, you know, the hopes of the new year, right?

Rachel 27:44
It’s like, how hopeful we were at the end of 2019. And everybody’s like, 2020 it’s gonna be my year.

Emily 27:52
I pulled out my goals list because I always make a list of goals for the upcoming year. And they’re fucking laughable. It’s like go on a big trip post I did. So counterintuitive when you have to quarantine,

Rachel 28:08
our goals for 2021 are going to be like, wear pants five out of seven days a week. Wave to your neighbors every day. feeling like you’re gonna have a panic attack at the grocery store. Terrible.

Emily 28:30
So, you know, until March, people are able to breathe a little easier. And then on March 6, Mary Brown was found on the floor of her apartment. Mary is 69 years old, and her head was covered with a sheet. And she had been raped, strangled, be in about the head and stabbed in her breast with a kitchen for leave the boobies alone, leave him alone. Oh, how messed up to stab her and then leave it sticking out of her. Like I mean,

Rachel 29:04
it’s like the bow all over again. I also maybe I’ve been watching too much Sesame Street, but I’m just thinking of the patterns. It’s like older women cooling quote unquote, period and then it’s like, maybe they won’t connect these murders because my mo is now young people and then he does two of them. And he’s like, this isn’t for me. Let’s go back. It’s it’s this weird fact that pattern.

Emily 29:30
That’s definitely something that we’ll chat about a little later. Is this like weird? Why does the mo change? So that will definitely come into play when we get to the theories. But anyways, so there are four more of it. Alright,

Rachel 29:45
let’s get I want to make sure that we’re doing the victim’s right so let’s get through the next four and then hopefully they catch this Walker. I don’t know. I don’t know anything like literally can we put him up on a cross But not like not Jesus style. I’m like not like Jesus.

Emily 30:07
Anyways, isn’t it so interesting and curious. Neither of us knew the story of the Boston Strangler. It’s one of those that I have heard. I mean, like, I know the name of the Boston Strangler is up there with the list of crazy serial killers, but I’d never read the story before now say it’s fucked up.

Rachel 30:29
And it’s never covered now that you are telling me about it. understanding why nobody wants to picture their mother or their grandmother raped and mutilated and left. I mean, nobody wants that. Yeah. Yep, exactly. Here we are doing it on our own podcast. No. Okay for victims.

Emily 30:50
On the sixth, the Stranglers number of victim reach double digit. Yes. We’re jumping emos. Again. 23 year old Beverly salmons was a musical therapist, and a graduate student in music at Boston University. She is found stretched out on her bed unclad, stabbed and strangled. Her hands are tied behind her back, which is a little different. Although two silk scarves and a nylon stocking were not at around her neck, but they weren’t the cause of death. There were actually no bones in her neck that were fractured. It was the 16 stab with four in the neck and 12 in the chest, including five in the left lung that were the cause of her death. Wow.

Rachel 31:39
It is interesting that he’s switching emmos like he was doing some stabbing before and obviously raping with objects and mutilation, but he was strangling us the cause of death. And now he’s stabbing with just I mean, he’s

Emily 31:57
the Boston’s crying all right, like that’s supposed to be his hope, right?

Rachel 32:01
I mean, it’s in his fucking name. But I always think of stabbing as this very psychopath psychopathic sexual thing. Like the repetition there’s usually a sexual undertone, and obviously he’s raping these victims and mutilating them. So I don’t know if that’s part of it. I can’t wait for you to get into the psychology behind this guy. Because I I want to understand and yet I also just want to punch him square in the face.

Emily 32:27
Yeah. Well, and this one’s interesting. If you think about it. It does not say anywhere that she was raped. She was strangled and stabbed. You know, she was, I guess she was naked and, you know, stretched out on our body, but they never mentioned sexual assault. And so does that sexualization, like the stabbing being a sexual act? For some, maybe it’s like, this concept of he has trouble with that because he’s raping with objects for a long time. It seems the only time that there was semen present was the 120 year old victim. And now, there’s not even a sexual assault component. There’s a statute Yeah, which is a sexual component in many ways. So, you know, maybe he’s struggling in that department. Okay. The 11th victim was found on September 8. This victim was Evelyn Corbin. That morning Evelyn had breakfast with her neighbor. And then they parted ways, planning to reunite for lunch just a few hours later. And at one the neighbor arrived at her apartment and knocked. After several attempts, and no answer. She used the key that she had to open the door. inside. She finds of course a horrible sight. Her friend was draped over the bed, her right leg dangling toward the floor, around her neck or to stop. A thirds wrapped around her left ankle and a fourth is found on the bed and she had been raped. Two months later, the country’s in mourning after JFK assassination. But north of Boston Joanne Graf’s landlord is trying to collect rent and no one is answering the door. So when the 30 when the 23 year old fails to show up for dinner on Saturday night and church on Sunday, her friends call the police right around the same time that Lee Harvey Oswald is shot in Dallas, police find Joanne’s body a little like throw to what’s going on in the world while all this is happening perhaps why there’s less notoriety around the Boston Strangler you know other massively huge things were going on at the same time. You know, who knows?

Rachel 34:50
Yeah, that would be a good tiny episode or four Ah, at some point because it’d be cool to talk about stories that should have been huge stories that were overshadowed by bigger stories.

Emily 35:05
Yeah, like what kind of things happened on 911? Yes, that we never exactly because 911 right, you know? Exactly, exactly. So please find Joanne’s body. her blouse is pushed up to her armpits, to nylon stockings, and a leotard are knotted around her neck. Joanne was a Sunday school teacher and an artist. Last, but certainly not least, on January 4 1964, a teenager, the youngest victim, 19 year old Mary Sullivan, whose classmates called her happy go lucky, fell victim to the string 19. I know Mary’s roommates arrived home and saw that Mary was in bed. And they didn’t want to wake her up. So they went about making dinner. And once it was ready, they went to wake her up, but found that she was dead, strangled with a docking and two scarves. That’s heavy. It’s very heavy. So those are the 13 victims attributed to the Boston Strangler. And so where we’re at now is like at this point, the Boston Strangler is a common name, a household name, of course, in Boston. He’s believed at this point to have murdered 12 women from June 1962 to January 1964. Obviously, remembering that that 13th still hasn’t been connected to him yet. And the city of Boston is, you know, panicking. There’s a $10,000 reward available for information leading to the arrest. You know, but police were still puzzled by this killer. And there was a lot of disagreement about how many of the murders were actually the work of a single pillar. Because as we’ve been talking about throughout, you know, the emos are so different. You know, anyone who’s a super crime, True Crime fan knows, like, Don’t serial killers usually have, you know, a more specific age range, don’t they usually kill within their own rights, like, that’s interesting to the first six victims were white women, middle aged, elderly. And then the next two were young black women. And then the killings switch back to young white women with one on one, elderly women in the medicine. Interesting. So you know, his emmos were slightly different. Also, one of the later victims was stabbed, the others had knife wounds. One article kind of stated, quote, without going into horrifying details, what was done or not done sexually to the victims varied wildly from case to case. So things are starting to kind of shift and crack in the case, you know, at least retrospectively, it seems a little off. But in the 60s, you know, the police are hunting for a sadistic madman who’s terror, the city and we’ve heard it a million times when cops are under this kind of pressure, you know, the mayor is probably involved. The governor, like everyone’s probably breathing down their necks, like you have to catch this person. And so a lot of times in that situation, they are quick to jump to finding Sandra, just to like calm people. And so, in October, there was actually a break in the case that led them to an arrest. But before I get to that, you talked about this seems crazy sudden, brazen to start wasn’t necessarily if the same man committed all of those crimes, because there are a few things that I want to tell you about that happened pre strangler. And so we’re going to need to travel a little bit back, okay to 1960. So, this is two years before the killing started. So, in the late 1950s and early 1960, there was another madman terrorizing Massachusetts, a young man, in his late 20s, a smooth talker was going door to door looking for young women. And when young women answered the door, when he not he would introduce himself as a talent scout from a modeling agency looking for new models. That’ll classic. And then if the woman was interested, he would tell her that he needed to get her measurements. And then when the women, you know, expressed interest and allowed him to measure them, he’d farmed with them. Of course, it was the 60s and so I’m guessing the women were super polite and you know, fuckin shrugged him away or excuse themselves or whatever, when they should have slept shit out of them. But you know, that’s besides the point. So far, whatever.

Rachel 40:10
No, but I mean, they’re doing the thing where they’re like, Oh, he’s just getting so fresh, like they have names for it instead of, oh, he’s using his male privilege to molest me. Like, but so gross.

Emily 40:22
Yeah, exactly. And it’s just like, so upsetting that this is still a thing now and this concept of like, Am I being a bitch? To say no like to think negatively about that experience? Am I being overly cautious? Or do I need to really, like, fucking protect myself from the people out there? Have you ever had any, like, creepy experiences like that?

Rachel 40:48
Um, like, nobody coming to my house. But definitely, in my 20s if I would be out at a bar club or whatever, you get a lot of like, dudes grazing you from behind putting their hand on your ass or the small of your back without even introducing themselves, or I’ve had shit like that. And I’ve been catcalled before, which is just the most awkward.

Emily 41:13
Yeah, oh, my gosh, I was walking down the street near my job a few years ago, and I had on like, a pencil skirt. And I loved Good. Let’s just say, and this guy in a truck, like pulled up and was like, catcalling me and trying to get my attention. And I like kind of like, waved was like, you know, like, thanks, and got in my car. And then he proceeded to follow me for like, several blocks and pulled up right next to my car and was like, roll this window down. I was like, You’re beautiful. And things like, you’re creepy. Like, you’re 50 like you’re much older Damn, dude. I will say I also had one experience that I like, look back on it. I’m like, You’re fucking stupid Emily. Like, one time. Luckily, I had a roommate at the time. And so we had just gotten back from a trip. And her luggage has gotten lost or something. And so the airports found it and was sending it back to us. And they send it like, and they find your luggage. They sent it via this, like FedEx carrier service. So it would get there that night. And so there was a knock on the door at like, 930. And this man was at the door with her suitcase. So it was like, Yes, we expected him and like knew he was coming. But yeah, it’s still a strange man. I answered the door. And he was like, I’m really sorry, but I really didn’t use the bathroom. Can I please use your bathroom? And I naively it was just like, Oh, yeah, sure. And just like, let him in. And Audrey was kind of like, my roommate. She was like, What are you doing? Like, let that guy in here. And he was like, in the bathroom. And we were like, do like, What if he tries this, or whatever. And then he came out of the bathroom and left, it was fine. But I will say we were sitting there after he left. And I was like, did you hear the toilet flush? Ever? And we both were like, I don’t think like, I don’t think I heard the toilet flush. And then I was went in to see if he was just like a gross dude who left pee in the toilet? No. So he came into the house, went into the bathroom, didn’t actually use the bathroom and left. And so then I mean, I was paranoid for a long time. I mean, it’s highly likely that he just looked in the medicine cabinet. And that’s the desert medicine cabinet that has nothing in it. So like just left, but or maybe we didn’t hit the toilet. Yes. You know, give the guy the benefit of the doubt. It’s one of those things where it’s like, that kind of thing for men is not something they would ever have to think about. And I think for men, too, don’t even have to think about how, why that would be uncomfortable for them to ask that. You know? Yeah. Like I think men get to the point where they’re like, I just need to use your bathroom. Like, why would you assume that I’m gonna do something bad? And it’s like, because we have to

Rachel 44:01
Yeah, yeah. And it’s like, I mean, back to what we were talking about the beginning where it’s like, old spinsters living alone or whatever. And it’s like, instead of saying, hey, ladies, like make sure you’re traveling in groups, make sure you’re married. Make sure you have this. Obviously, we’re not knocking safety precautions, because we don’t live in a perfect world. But it’s not like Hey, dudes. Don’t prey on innocent ladies. Don’t breathe into an apartment where you don’t live and assault and kill people. Don’t don’t do these things. It’s like women. You better be on alert. And it is. Was the onus poured on us? Yeah, it comes with the fucking ovaries and not in a good way. Yeah.

Emily 44:49
So I am so frustrated by that. And I love the new kind of like, language that a lot of people are using. I’m saying like, let’s teach our young men not to rape. teaching our young women How to protect themselves. Yeah. Which Yes, please. Yes.

Rachel 45:03
Yeah. I mean, this is like a soapbox issue for us. But it’s the way that you talk about consent, even when they’re toddlers, like my kids, if they don’t want me to hug them, I don’t hug them. You know, like, and we teach them, Hey, your brother said, No, your sister said, No, you need to stop. And it’s the same thing. Like they said, No, don’t take that toy for me. You need to stop. And it it is the same. Yeah, but I’m going to teach them both, right? Like, we respect other people. And I am still going to have to teach my daughter I’m sure. Like, hey, this is when we, you know, we travel in pairs. Never leave a drunk friend alone at a bar, walk with your keys out. And I mean, I hope I hope that changes and I don’t have to, but I think it’s, I think it’s both and, yeah, yeah, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to teach Lincoln to be a good person. It just means both and both.

Emily 45:59
Okay, so luckily, several women who were fondled, did contact the police after, you know, the man had left. And so the police started referring to this person as the measuring man, which sounds like such a like loser superhero, you know, like, exciting superhero of all,

Rachel 46:16
measuring man, what is his superpower?

Emily 46:19
He measures

Rachel 46:23
Able to hypothesize in inches in a single bound, like what is

Emily 46:28
essentially the person we need in our lives because he can measure things and understand measurement.

Rachel 46:34
He’s like, the person who, when you’re online shopping will say, No, no, that’s not going to fit there. We actually do the measuring and measuring man, if you’re out there, Emily single.

Emily 46:49
I’m going to remodel my home office when I get back to St. Louis. And one of the things I want is like my parents have a fireplace and I’ve really loved being near the fireplace and I love having one. I don’t have one in my house. It’s not set up for that. But I found out that you can do like you can get electric fireplaces, which are basically a heater, you know, that looks like a fireplace. Yeah. Pretty. And so I was like, ooh, I should get one of those to put on my wall in my office. So it’s like, my nice often Oh, so cozy. so cozy. Yeah. But so I put it on my Amazon wishlist for Christmas. Because the one is like 250 bucks or whatever. I’m like, well, I’ll see what happened. And my dad was looking at my wish list. And we were sitting in the other room. And he was like, Emily, your wish list is so weird. You have a fireplace? And I’m like, Yeah, I want it like get it for me. And so now every single time we get like a delivery, an Amazon delivery on the front porch, if it’s like, we’ve gotten a few that are big. Yeah. And I was like, Oh my god, like,

Rachel 47:52
but in actuality, you’re like, 250 is so cheap. And it’s because it’s like a six inch Right.

Emily 47:59
Exactly. And so today my dad got this little package. And so it’s become this common theme that I say like Oh, is that my fireplace? And he got this like little package and he left in it and he was like, open like closed it like as if like you can’t see it. And he was like, do you think it was your fireplace and I was like saddling it probably I would order like a Barbie slice. But, ya know, it happens. Okay. So, back to the story. So this measuring man has been reported. It’s going around, they’re looking for him. And in March of 1960, police caught a man and he was breaking into a house and so he, you know, confessed to the burglary and then without any prompting, he also confessed to being the measuring man. He just like whips out a ruler. What? He’s like, You caught me. Uh huh. You look like you could be a muddle, sir. So he invested to me in the measuring man. And this man’s name is Albert disalvo. Okay. And so he sent a trial and the judge sentenced him to 18 months in jail. And he of course, was released released after 11 months for good behavior.

Rachel 49:13
Sure, because, you know, sexual, sexually motivated crimes, they don’t ever escalate. They never ever do. People are well behaved in prison and then they just go and they settle down and they never molest anyone ever. V and D and

Emily 49:36
false BS. He actually then began a new crime spree throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Allegedly, allegedly he spent 1961 through 1964 basically causing mayhem around the whole north east. But now instead of fondling Women like he did as the measuring man. He was dressing up and it sounds like an all green kind of like a uniform of some sort like a Riddler or more. They said like a construction uniforms. I’m thinking like overalls and coveralls with Grayson, okay. And he was breaking into homes and sexually assaulting the women inside. So if we think back you know if he was sexually assaulting first fondling, then sexually assaulting eventually escalates to murder so like there is a little path there that seems realistic. And so up to this person, the Green Man which is just I don’t know if you watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but there’s something there.

Rachel 50:47
I’m just picturing Danny DeVito is now actually popped it sprinkler was chair set in Boston. Was it? I feel like it was or New York? Yeah, anyway, so we’re gonna have to Google that. Okay, go ahead.

Emily 51:07
So not an not a laughable matter. The Green Man is said to a burglar burglarized over 400 homes and sexually assaulted over 300 women. Holy shit. Last Yeah, no. Oh, oh, yeah. And so you know, the police at this point, don’t know that the measuring man, the Green Man and the Boston Strangler are apparently all the same person. So they’re all you know, searching for different people. And I also want to throw in this note, like, if you remember the dates of the strangling this would mean that he was doing the rapes, the burglaries, and oh, yeah, the same time over the course of a few years. So it’s like 300 assaults, 13 murders, like, it’s a lot. Especially considering, like, get this he was married and had children. And yet I’m single, but you know, that’s another story. You know, we know serial killers can certainly be super motivated by their meat to kill. But, you know, either way, there’s a little bit of this question about like, could he possibly have done it all? That’s kind of the first question. Is this the guy who’s really doing it all? So with that in mind, like why is it that this Albert disalvo is the man that is consistently cited as the measuring man, as the Green Man and as the Boston Strangler? Well, in October of 1964, I remember I said there was a break in the case. And that was a young woman who was one of the green man’s victims came forward to the police saying, you know, a man posing as to detective actually entered my home and sexually assaulted me. And he was wielding a knife, and he tied her up and molested her. There was an interesting note there, though, that in this occurrence, she complained at some point that her bonds were too tight, and he loosened them like, there was like a compassionate moment, I guess. But anyway, from her description of what the man looked like, the police quote, you know, were able to identify the man as Albert disalvo. And so they published this photo of him in the newspapers, and several women started coming forward and saying, like, yes, that’s the man that that attacked me. And so he was arrested on the rape charge from the woman who had come forward. Man, they felt competent arresting him because of all the other women who had come forward and said, like, Yeah, me too. So when he’s arrested, it’s written that he said, and I quote, If you knew the whole story, you wouldn’t believe it. It’ll all come out. Somebody is cocky, right? Yeah. And like this probably baffled the police at this time. Because as we know, there’s nothing like physical at this time linking into the strangler cases. He didn’t really match the witness descriptions of possible suspects. And in fact, they had a list of over 300 suspects for the Boston Strangler, and he was not even on it. And on top of that, it is also said that this disalvo had a real reputation for being a bragger you know, your standard narcissist who really likes attention and exaggerates the his criminal deeds to get extra attention. So when he said this whole, like, if you knew the whole story, please didn’t even really press him on it. They’re kind of like, yeah, okay, but and like, booked him and sent him off.

Rachel 54:39
Sure. Jan.

Emily 54:41
Right. Okay, Karen. Yeah. They sent him to a place called Bridgewater, which is a prison for the criminally insane. And it was there that disalvo met and befriended the convicted murder Jordan Nasser. This is important because Nasser had an attorney named f lee Bailey. And in February of 1965, he called him up and asked him, if the Boston Strangler could, quote, make some money from publishing his story. And the lawyer kind of been like, What do you mean? And Nasser told him that he had met this disalvo guy who had claimed to Nasser, the heat was the Boston Strangler. Because apparently, he confessed all of this to Nasser in prison, told him that he committed the strangling. And Nasser was calling his attorney because he wanted the reward money. Remember, there was $10,000? Right, right. Also, if Pat Lee Bailey sounds familiar to you, it does thinking a little bit of notoriety in the 90s because he helped defend Mr. OJ Simpson. That’s by fak. Okay. Also, the man who’s willing to defend oj simpson is a little bit fucked up if you don’t know it, because let me tell you about how he approached this whole situation. So okay, um, oh, I will also say, too, that there are some reports that think that Nasser and disalvo were actually like, kind of in cahoots, and thinking that they could get the reward money and split it. And that was slightly because it seemed like disalvo knew that he was facing kind of a long prison sentence already, he had this rape charge. So it seems like he thought that he could get the $5,000 and at least send it to his family. Try to help support them, whatever. Anyways, yeah, f lee Bailey gets disalvo into a room and kind of sits him down and asks him to do his confession on tape, you know, tell me everything. And he basically offers to serve as his lawyer so that there’s client privilege or whatever. And he goes into to get this confession. But he also took a really odd step. And he went and got information about the strings from the Boston Homicide Squad, so that he could test to sell compare, which is kind of shocking to me that they gave it to him first of all, like, yeah, there’s a little I’m like this little issues with this here. But it also said that he’s so much believe that disalvo was the strangler, likely because he heard this confession, and it matched enough with what he had heard from the squad. Like he was like, This guy really did do it. So much so that he actually actively pressed for disalvo to be recognized as the Boston Strangler. Wow.

Rachel 58:02
I mean, yeah, I guess I just I’m wondering if he as a lawyer is really good at convincing people maybe asking leading questions, or how much was he like? Oh, describe it for me? versus like, was it that he could say details that nobody what the killer would know? Or was it that he was leading him? I don’t know. Yeah.

Emily 58:28
Well, and so the reason why f lee Bailey was like trying to push for disalvo to be recognized as the strangler because, as you’ll recall, like at this point, there’s no physical evidence, he’s not matching descriptions, like the police aren’t really citing him as the strangler, although he is now saying he’s the strangler and giving these like confessions, but they’re kind of like, I don’t know, we’re still going to just charge with this rape thing. But so Bailey’s reasoning was that he kind of thought that the strings were strings, were deranged enough that it could get the salvo declared insane, and have him sent to a psychiatric hospital as opposed to sent to prison instead of Hmm. And so he was basically saying, like, here’s my way out of you going to prison for the rest of your life. I’ll get you sent to a nice lush hospital or whatever. It’s a good lawyer. Yeah. Yeah. Which also, there’s a quote, he described a salvo as, quote, a completely homicidal vegetable walking in the form of a human being, which is the best insult I’ve ever. I mean, that simple. I’m just picturing a carrot with a gun. I was picturing a cucumber. It’s like veggietales. Details. Murder edition. veggietales murder edition. Exactly. So basically, the big question becomes like, did he do it? Right. You know, there’s no physical evidence, like I just said, He’s confessing his confession did seem to contain details that the police had withheld from the public. But Bailey had gotten that information. So did he really get to disalvo? Or did disalvo know it and confirm it with, you know, like, there’s that like hiccup in all of this, where it’s like, whoo, what the heck. And I did also read that salvo character is said to have had a photographic memory. And so it’s also kind of like, Well, okay, you know, saw anything on the strangler or read stuff about him in the paper, he could have maybe recalled it with great detail, even though he wasn’t there, which could potentially throw off, you know, the police’s investigation, make them feel like he definitely did it. But so, you know, ultimately, they didn’t try him for the strangler case, like they never did, they decided to just try and for the sexual assault, Green Man case, but even so, Bailey still use the defense, the disalvo was the Boston Strangler, and that this very fact, should entitle him to life in a mental institution, not punishment prison, which seems so stupid, you know, like, I keep going back and forth. I’m like, Is he a really good lawyer? Or is he not but like, it’s, it was said that if he would have just gone with the Green Man charges, he probably could have gotten a 10 year sentence or a 25. year. And yeah, and then he could have potentially gotten out and 10 if you had good behavior, because yeah, rapes not that big of a deal. Not in the 60s, No, definitely not in the 60s. But they went all in on that insanity defense. And so he was found guilty of the rapes. Probably, the jury leaned in on calling him guilty since his own lawyer was like, he’s also the Boston Strangler, you guys, right? Put that man away. They send the chins till they sentenced him to life in prison. And ironically, he was denied any psychiatric help. So that is ironic. Really, you fucked up? Yeah, john popped up now. So after his arrest, and imprisonment, a few things happened. On February 24 1967, he and two other inmates actually escaped. They stole the car and made a getaway. And they of course, are dumb. And they went to his brother’s house and Chelsea. And then the two other fugitives were actually recaptured at a bar. But you mean where everybody knows their name. So fear is gripping the city. Of course, disalvo is out and loose. And so women in the city are terrified again. Luckily, he was sees the next day, he was kind of getting prepared to turn himself in and let the police capture him. And then, six years later, he was stabbed to death in prison. So he’d never been charged with the murder. People believe he was the strangler, but you know, there’s some questions here. And now he’s dead. So we can’t ever really know. from his mouth, other than what he had already said, which was that Yeah, I’m the strangler. So, yeah, here’s a few things that could change or make up your mind about whether or not he’s the strangler. So, one, as I stated before, he was a really big bracher. Like, even some of the police involved in the investigation, definitely members of his family. Even some of the victim’s relatives were just like no, like unconvinced, like he’s not the strangler, he just isn’t. They started to think maybe he confessed for the notoriety confessed to get the end, the insanity play confessed to get money, you know, thought maybe he could take advantage of the situation in some way. There were even honestly, there were books and movies done about the Boston Strangler. So it was very sensationalized. He did become a celebrity from this in many ways. So maybe he was just thinking, I’m gonna lean in on this and like, get me some money out of this. You know, those folks who believe that he was just claiming he did all these murders for notoriety? A lot of them think that it was probably eight or nine different killers like there was enough difference in mo that maybe the city was just saying, like, we just need to wrap this on a bow like the nylon pant, or the nylon stockings thing was close enough that it can like get together. They just wanted to be done with it.

Rachel 1:04:48
But and we talk about this, like the human brain does not like incomplete stories, and especially when there’s individual safety, we want to feel Okay, the bad guys in jail, we can sleep at night, single ladies.

Emily 1:05:06
You’re all right now, there are other people that say that George Nasser was the killer. And he said to salvage the information. So there are a couple things that might back this up. For one, there was only one person who apparently escaped the strangler was brought in to the prison to identify, de salvo. And so what they did was they decided to have disalvo just walk through a lobby that she was in to see if she reacted, which I’m like, that can be fucking traumatizing if Yeah, too bad police work. But yes, he walked through and food in react she didn’t know at all. But then, by happenstance, George Nasser also walked through the room. And she said, she didn’t say that she was like, Oh, my God, that’s him. But she said, she just got like, a horrible, uneasy feeling when she saw him that his like posture, and the way he moved, felt really recognizable to her, which isn’t the most compelling. Like, I do think people have a sixth sense to some extent for like, evil danger. Yeah, that man seems dangerous to me. But it is something maybe that she was like blind to disalvo, but, quote, unquote, Nasser, and then another story that says that disalvo his own brother, Richard came to visit him in prison. And for some reason, NASA was like nearby. A lot of things reported that NASA kind of had like a hole under salvo. And like, they were never apart. And it kind of seemed like, which I’m like, how does that work in prison? Like, how can you be like, never are in prison? That doesn’t make sense to me. But anyways,

Rachel 1:06:47
they’re roommates. They have bunk beds, they look at each other. Did we just become best friends? Yeah, yeah.

Emily 1:06:54
And so anyway, so Richard disalvo, his brother is there. And the story goes that disalvo leaned in and said to his brother, you want to know who the real Boston Strangler is? He’s right over there. And he nodded towards NASA. Oh, my God. Now again? Yeah. Is this alphas brother just saying this to try to get his brother in jail? Like there’s a lot of plausible deniability, here, whatever. But there’s a lot of things worth like, Huh. Some questions here. Again, though, just I was dead. They’ve closed the case. You know, they’ve said, He’s the Boston Strangler, like, okay, we’re done with this. And it wasn’t until July of 2013, that Boston Police Department made a break in the case. And that was because of good old DNA.

Rachel 1:07:41
DNA, we need like a, like a sound effect of like DNA, DNA, and dad on my finger that will die now. It sounds that we could do jingles for like second, like local, commercial or Sure. reach reach for the stars, but stuff shorter on the Christmas. Oh, my God,

Emily 1:08:14
oh my gosh. Okay. So they actually believed that they had found DNA evidence linking disalvo to Mary Sullivan, who, if you remember, was the final victim of the strangler in 1964. And so after they took DNA from de salvos nephew, the Boston Police said it was a quote near certain match to DNA evidence found on Mary Sullivan’s body. And so this discovery, they ordered the exclamation of his body. And after they extracted some DNA from his femur, and from some of his teeth, it was determined that he was indeed the man who killed and raped Mary Sullivan. And so do you think okay, it’s kind of posthumously declared him the murder in that case, but you know, the cases of the 12 other Boston Strangler victims still kind of technically remain a mystery, you know, there’s no DNA and a match on the other cases. And so for that reason, 50 years later, the case of the Boston Strangler is technically not solved. Yeah, thinking about it, obviously, but technically open to this day. But either way, you know, whether it was him or whether it wasn’t, it’s actually one of those early examples of the age of television and like tabloid journalism, and kind of helping make a serial killer into a celebrity. Yeah, now, like I said, there are books and movies made about him and the strangler case. And now this is kind of the norm. You know, obviously, we have a podcast about it. So

Rachel 1:09:56

Emily 1:09:57
please set the stage for all of morbidly Curious out there. And so I know it’s an unsatisfying end, because there’s no real answer. And we don’t know the truth. But that is the horrible, horrible story of the Boston Strangler. It’s been 50 years since it took place, and we still don’t really know who the killer is. So what do you think? Oh, I think he fucking did it. And even if he didn’t do all of them, there’s enough evidence to say he deserved to have life in prison, because he did, in fact, rape and murder at least one victim, but I would guess he probably did more, because like we were saying, sexually motivated crimes escalate. And if he were and so even if he didn’t do all of them, he did enough. Exactly, well, and he definitely was caught burglarizing, and was recognized as the Green Man which was a sexual assault situation for many, many women and definitely did rape and murder Mary Sullivan, as you just said, so it’s like he deserved to be in prison. But yes, question in my mind as to whether or not he did all of the strangler murders. It I didn’t, I should have put this in here. But I did read some history on him. And he, like, grew up with an alcoholic abusive father, and, you know, was into killing animals as a child. So he definitely, like had that. Yeah, psychopathic traits. And his wife was interviewed at some point and said that he was like a sex addict, basically, and demanded sex, like multiple times a day, generally from her. And so, you know, there’s a lot of things that do not to the fact that it’s very possible that it was him. And then actually, maybe this whole sex addiction situation has answered some of the questions about like, well, how can we just like was raping people from all different age groups in all different races? Like, maybe just was, it was crimes of circumstance, you know, like, he just saw it and went for it? I think, too

Rachel 1:12:09
Especially with sexually motivated crimes, there’s a power dynamic, where it doesn’t matter. And I mean, you and I, obviously, like Weaver digra. This is our fourth episode, but you and I, outside of our podcast talking about this stuff all the time. It has nothing to do like how physically traditionally attractive somebody is or what they’re wearing. rape is about power. It’s about that person saying, I am going to violate you in this incredibly intimate way and have power over you. And so I think that’s what he did. Mm hmm. And I’m glad you said, so.

Emily 1:12:48
Be and that is fine, horrible, terrible story. But that Yeah, I’m glad to know it. Now. I guess sort of

Rachel 1:12:56
I, I feel informed. And that means we have done our fucking job. I’m glad that I’m glad we’re recording happy hour after this. So we can have a drink? I’ll say for real? Yeah. Yeah. Um, it’s interesting, Emily, because the there are some similarities in our story, although my story is obviously not the same as yours, but similar time period in Boston, and or in Massachusetts anyway. And speaking about like, the crazy fame that comes with people and notoriety, I am going to be doing the Kennedy curse, throwbacks with JFK.

Emily 1:13:41
Isn’t that crazy that I had notes about JFK, his death and like Lee Harvey Oswald. Our brains are connected.

Rachel 1:13:47
Yes. They really, really are. And I I’m really excited about this because it’s another one like the Boston Strangler where I think everybody has heard of the Kennedy curse. But I didn’t really know. Other than obviously, I knew about a couple of assassinations. I didn’t really know what the curse was. So let’s do it. Yay. So although our story could start even further back in time, I’m going to start in Boston on September 6 1888. There, Joseph P. Kennedy was born into an already prominent family as his father. PJ. How cute is that? For a patriarch Patrick Joseph. I’m gonna call him PJ. He’s not really in this story. Too much, was a selfie businessman. Young Joseph flourished with this leg up, hashtag privilege, excelling in school, going to Harvard, and eventually settling down with rose Fitzgerald. I say Eventually, he was in his early 20s. They basically had an arranged marriage without calling it an arranged marriage. It was like the only courtship that either one of them had ever been a part of. At 25 years old. He became the youngest bank president in the county, or I’m sorry, in the country. Oh, as the head of Columbia trust. On May 29 1917. He was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Electric Company. And this day was doubly special because it was also the day that rose gave birth to his second son, john Fitzgerald Kennedy. Yes, that john Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. Okay. Jay Cole, Joseph’s professional life continues to move forward. Even in the midst of world war one and the Spanish influencer. He moved from banking to the film industry in the 1920s. And this guy, he’s really savvy, really business savvy. He gets rid of most of his stocks before the market crashes in 1929. He moves from movie magic to real estate to politics, and he just grows wealth on wealth on wealth, securing his family’s dynasty. He and Rose, including JFK, nine children. Nine. Uh huh. Yeah. And this, this guy, he’s got like the Midas touch the golden touch. His family is healthy, his business decisions are on point. He’s seemingly unimpacted by the Great Depression. But this is a podcast about horrible history. so horrible things are about to start happening. unexpected happens. unexpected twist. So much bad shit happens to the Kennedy family. But I’m only going through 1987 because that’s our policy. There is a ton more after 1987. Of course, if anybody knows about the Kennedy family. And I’m going to just a little teaser, the happy hour with horrible history segment that we’re going to record after this. And it’s going to drop right after this as well. I’m going to be covering one of the bigger stories that actually starts pre 1987 but goes on until 2020. So if you’re into that, become a patron and you can hear us drink, theorize and talk more horrible. At least twice a month. I am going to start with the only real theory that I’ve heard about the curse because I love a good conspiracy theory. And, again, this is a conspiracy theory. There’s really not that much behind it. But it’s from a book why tragedy has haunted America’s first family for 150 years by Edward Klein. According to a story that is told in mystical Jewish circles shortly before the outbreak of World War Two. Joseph Kennedy, who is then ambassador to the court of St. James in London, returned to the United States aboard an ocean liner that was also carrying Israel Jacobsen, a poor Rabbi and six of his students who were fleeing the Nazis. Kennedy complained to the captain that the bearded black clad Jews were upsetting the first class passengers by preying on the Jewish holy holiday of Rosh Hashanah. How dare they road, Kennedy demanded that the captain stop the Jews from conducting their services in front of other passengers. In retaliation, or so the story goes, Rabbi Jacobson put a curse on Kennedy, damning him and all his male offspring to tragic saints. I

Emily 1:18:38
I had no idea that the Kennedy curse was not just like, a like what like you know a little like, saying that people put to it that it’s actually a freakin curse like

Rachel 1:18:52
that. Well, and that’s a conspiracy theory. It’s like urban myth. But I wanted to read it because I was trying to find Why do people call it the Kennedy curse? I’m gonna forever assume that a rabbi put curse on them as rabbis I will are known to do I love the idea of this guy being a dick and being like all white privilege and how dare you fled the Nazis you Jewish people and prey on your high holy days. I don’t know if any of That’s true, but it says so in the book. So don’t take it up with me. We’ll leave the book in our sources. I want to jump ahead to the 1940s because that’s where shit really starts to hit the fan for this family. It’s November 1941. Rosemary Kennedy. She’s the third child and the first daughter born into the family. She’s 23 years old in 1941. Rosemary has always struggled in school. She has also suffered from mood swings, seizures, and violent outbursts. Most likely, these symptoms can be traced back to the actions of a parent Nik nurse, so I’m going to jump back a little further to 1918. We’re mid pandemic, not COVID the other panda. I know it feels like COVID has been going back since 1918. But it has not. So rose remember rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, who is Joseph’s wife, JFK, his mother, roses doctor got caught up with other patients, other sick people, how dare they in the Spanish influenza, so he didn’t make it in time for rose to deliver rosemary. So the nurse, she might have been a midwife decides it would be best practice to hold roses legs together. No, Rosemary was held in for two hours with minimal oxygen to her brain.

Emily 1:20:53
Oh my god, I feel so horrible for her. And I feel awful for rose to like, I feel like doesn’t that mean that Rose was like literally at the like, worst part of labor where the baby’s like in the birth canal? And it was just a few hours. And I’m sure obviously with no drugs like, how did she not die? That sounds off. I

Rachel 1:21:13
mean, she probably could have I don’t know. I mean, my babies were c sections. So I don’t know. I would imagine when that heads coming out. It probably is the worst part. And she just called her legs together, which is insane. I don’t know if the implications they had to know it wasn’t good for the baby. But I don’t know that they had the the research we have now to know how oxygen how the brain needs oxygen. But seriously, just having left the baby.

Emily 1:21:43
Well, and this is a great note as to why we all need to wear masks. Because when the hospitals get overrun with a pandemic victims, babies don’t get oxygen health care workers.

Rachel 1:21:53
We love you so much. Thank you. We always wear a mask. Okay. Anyway, back to the 40s. Obviously, there’s still a lot of stigma on mental health. But, Emily, don’t worry. Because if there’s something wrong with your brain in the 40s, there’s a cure. It’s called a lobotomy. Have you heard of it?

Emily 1:22:13
Oh, my God.

Rachel 1:22:14
Oh my gosh,

Emily 1:22:15
I cannot believe Yeah, that was something that they used to do.

Rachel 1:22:18
Yeah, it was common practice. Mm hmm. Well, it didn’t go so well for rosemary. And at 23 years old, she was left mentally and physically incapacitated, the Family Center to an institution in Wisconsin, and she became a dirty little secret. Joseph Santera to this place and didn’t tell JFK, or Joe Jr. or any of the kids about it for 20 years. Wait,

Emily 1:22:46
weren’t they? Oh, like, wasn’t? Wouldn’t he have been like 25 or something? How would he just not be like, Where’d my sister go?

Rachel 1:22:54
He did and they just wouldn’t tell him. So like they didn’t they just sent her away. And they were like, Oh, she’s just a way they didn’t tell her. And she spent the rest of her life institutionalised. She didn’t die. I didn’t write it down. But it was like, post 2000 that’s what a horrible life, huh? We’re going to keep up the terror with how World War Two impacts the Kennedys. So we’re still in the 40s Joe Kennedy Jr. and john F. Kennedy both served in World War Two. JFK was injured in 1943 and almost died. I don’t know that I wrote this down. But he suffered from a lot of pain related to war injury. I think there are some stories about him with Dr. Feelgood. I didn’t really get into it. But Joe Jr. was actually killed in an explosion of a bomber that he was piloting. So he was on some top secret mission with a plane full of bombs and blew up somewhere in Europe. Uh huh. A month later, Kathleen Kennedy whose child number four of Josephine rose, I’m going to be doing a lot of naming people and then telling you how they’re related. Because there’s a ton of fucking Kennedy’s. Kathleen, she has this really cute nickname, they called her kick, which I think is really cute. I do too. I do too. But she was married to someone who also died in the war. And then she got remarried. But she died in 1948 in a plane crash in France. So Joe Jr. dies in a plane kick dies in a plane A few years later. I feel like there’s more plane crashes in the future. Do you have I do recall. Oh, just wait. There are so many plane crashes. And I mean, as if you read my mind, the next line that I had written down was, as if all of this was not enough incentive to stay away from air travel in October 1955. So Kennedy, who is Robert F. Kennedy’s wife. Last both of her And in George Skakel in a plane crash in Oklahoma.

Emily 1:25:05
Wow. So it’s like the curse even extends beyond the family itself and to those who married in last few. Yep. Wow.

Rachel 1:25:14
onto the 60s. On December 19 1961, Joseph Kennedy, the father of the patriarch, suffered a stroke that paralyzed the right side of his body and left him barely able to communicate. But he was still completely mentally coherent.

Emily 1:25:36
That is my absolute worst nightmare. I know. I’ve said that many times. Like, it’s oceans. No, it’s fires like that. All the things. Yeah. What if you were in a coma? But you could totally hear and see everything, like, didn’t say anything. Oh my god, that sounds awful.

Rachel 1:25:53
But wait, it gets worse. He lives for another eight years. So guess what? He gets to see two of his sons assassinated JFK and RFK. And he cannot talk about it. His health continues to deteriorate until November 18 1969 when he dies in his home in Massachusetts at the age of 81. So not only does he witness, I mean, it’s on TV. You know, these are both televised. But he can’t talk to anybody about it. Talk about just bottling up here. Emotions hurt like you can’t yet not when you have that situation. That’s up. Yeah. And in fairness, he’s a man in the 60s. So probably it wasn’t socially. It wasn’t a social norm yet for men to be able to talk about their feelings in a healthy way. So he might not have any way but he can’t. He probably can’t cry about it. He can’t talk with his wife about it. Yeah,

Emily 1:26:53
like, maybe it wasn’t common for men to talk about their feelings or go to therapy, but I would hope at least some of them talk to their wives, you know, or Yeah, closed doors or something. So he’s just that’s the worst case scenario. Yes,

Rachel 1:27:07
yes. So let’s talk about more tragedy. May, JFK, and jackieo lose their baby Patrick, on August 9 1963, of infant respiratory distress syndrome, two days after he was born prematurely. I think he was a month or so premature. Few months later, on November 22 1963, john F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Obviously, this is a tragic loss that deserves its own episode. So much information, so many conspiracy theories will cover it eventually. The only thing I’m going to say here is that Jackie was sitting right next to john and ended up covered in his blood and brain matter. And this is barking horrifying. Yes. And speaking of the worst thing we can imagine, this is three months after baring her baby. Oh, yeah,

Emily 1:28:08
the video of that. Like, I haven’t really watched it because it’s too sad. But you see the pictures and whatever. And just like, of course, my empathetic brain goes to just like picturing that moment and I can’t I can’t deal with how awful that must have been.

Rachel 1:28:26
Obviously, our podcast is not the authority we’re well researched. But if you want to really deep dive into JFK, and the conspiracy theories, last podcast on the left is like a five part series about it. And they talk about Jackie like holding different parts of JFK, his brain and trying to like smush them back together. She’s in such shock and then she like, goes to the hospital. Or they go, you know, get back to wherever they are. And she’s like, fix him, like put them back together. That’s not how this works, I’m afraid. No, no, this is not like a Humpty Dumpty situation. Like you can’t

Emily 1:29:02
Yeah. Oh, and also the movie Jackie was really good. I saw it’s like from her perspective, and Natalie Portman is like incredible in it and even talks about her stuff. And you know, you hear everything about the Kennedys and jokin nation and this was her her side of the story. And it was kind of fascinating.

Rachel 1:29:21
Yes, yeah. I’m gonna have to we should like watch that via via Skype or something later. That sounds really good via FaceTime. Okay, so less than a year later, it’s June 1964. Ted Kennedy, the youngest at the Kennedy plan survives a plane crash that killed one of his aides as well as the pilot. Ted spent five months in the hospital recovering from a broken back. punctured lung broken ribs and internal bleeding. Seriously, Kennedys. No more planes. No more cars. Just stay in your beautiful East Coast houses forever the Hampton To say, just stay in the fuckin Hamptons. I know it’s not Massachusetts. But listen, you can afford to live there. In case you’re still not convinced that there’s a curse. On June 5 1968, US Senator Robert F. Kennedy won the California Democratic primary. But before you start celebrating, he was shot that same night and died on the morning of June six Bobby. Two kids assassinated. Yep. Bobby Kennedy. So let’s go back to ted kennedy because his badge date is not over yet. In July of 1969, he drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island. His passenger was 28 year old Mary Jo Kopechne me who died by drowning. This story also deserves its own deep dive. It’s bananas. Essentially, Ted did not call the police after he drove off the bridge. He goes back to his hotel. Mary Jo’s it was underwater for nine hours. Yes, first responders find her the next morning. I think it was firefighters. Ted Kennedy maintains he was not having any sort of elicit affair with Mary Jo, and that he was not driving under the influence. But she didn’t die instantaneously. And she might have survived if Ted had called for help sooner. We don’t know why he didn’t. But it seems sketchy as fuck.

Emily 1:31:33
Definitely was having an affair with her definitely was drunk while he was driving. And he did the like, I have to protect my reputation thing as opposed to let’s say this woman’s life and that’s horrible. Yeah, that’s all just my opinion. Sounds like what happened?

Rachel 1:31:47
Oh, we’re gonna need to do a deep dive into that story. There’s books about it. There’s movies, there’s documentaries. Crazy, crazy, crazy. Okay, moving into the 70s. Again, retrospectively Captain hindsight over here, stay out of cars. Kennedy’s just stay out of them. It’s August 1973. Joseph P. Kennedy, the second whose Bobby Kennedy son crashed a Jeep that left his passenger. I read somewhere it was also his girlfriend, Pam Kelly, paralyzed and injured his brother David A Kennedy. Later that year in November, Edward M. Kennedy Jr. Ted Kennedy said Ted is a name for Edward don’t know how that works, but it just go with it. Ted Kennedy was actually Edward M. Kennedy. But so his son is Edward M. Kennedy Jr. Like I said, there’s a ton of Kennedy’s trying to keep up. One of my sources was the the JFK library, you know, and he there is I think, a family tree on there. If I can find it, I will post it. But anyway, so this is in the where am I august of 73. Ted Kennedy son, Edward M. Kennedy, Jr. He’s 12. He gets bone cancer and has to have his right leg amputated. He underwent two years of experimental cancer treatments. He’s fine. He’s still alive. He works at a law firm. He seems okay. But then about things about to happen to his cousin. Yes. Okay. So the last death I’m going to cover. And the last bad thing that I’m going to talk about, at least for the main episode, is David A Kennedy, the same David A Kennedy that was in the car crash with Joseph that we just talked about. So he’s RFK son, at about 12 years old. He’s in California, watching his father on TV. And he sees on TV that his father is killed. By all accounts, he was never the same after that. No. And he he od is at the age of 28. In a Palm Beach Hotel in 1984. And dies. It’s awful, heartbreaking. Yes.

Emily 1:34:05
So up to this point. 84. How many dads are we talking about? I was trying to calculate in my head. It’s over 10 now, right?

Rachel 1:34:13
Oh, I didn’t count. probably think that sounds right. Yeah. A time. There’s so many people. Yes. So I wanted to before I come full circle and talk about the conspiracy. I want to talk about the Kennedy family’s view of the curse and what they’ve said about it. So in 1964, after Ted’s plane crash, Robert F Kennedy said, somebody up there doesn’t like us. In 1968, after Bobby Kennedy’s murder, his son Michael stated, it was as if fate had turned against us. There was now a pattern that could not be ignored. And then after Chappaquiddick, Ted Kennedy said that he questioned whether some awful curse did ask actually hang over all the Kennedys. Yeah, I would have probably thought that long before. Absolutely. But believe it or not the present day Kennedys think differently. Ted Kennedy sons, Edward and Patrick, have said that they reject the idea of a family curse. In 2009. Patrick Kennedy said that the curse was more of a sense of spirituality that allowed his father to face problems that would have paralyzed the normal person. Edward Jr. stated, the Kennedy family has had to endure these things in a very open way. But our family is just like every other family in America in many ways. I thought it was really interesting that one son says that many this many tragedies would paralyze the normal person. And then the next breath, the other son is like, everyone has the guts. It’s fine. Yeah. But I mean, not even that, but this much tragedy, but also this much privilege and this much fame. The Kennedys are not like any other American family that I know, know, full circle. I’m going to end with another quote from the Edward Klein book. He said, that belief in curses has deep roots in human psychology, as children, most of us are taught by our parents, that we live in a just world governed by immutable moral laws, and that we shall be punished if we do something wrong. That belief becomes so embedded in our consciousness, that in our mature years, we find it nearly impossible to accept the idea of an amoral and random universe. Yeah.

Emily 1:36:41
I mean, it’s, it’s like the brain does have to try to rationalize some of this and just be like, or even from a spiritual religious standpoint, it’s like, if you believe in God, why would God let this many bad things happen to the same family? Like, if you believe in the universe? Like, can it be possible that fate would like, have such a bad situation with us?

Rachel 1:37:04
I don’t know. I think it’s easy to target famous people with a lot of privilege, because they really are the closest things we Americans have to royalty, apparently, a royal family. And so you can look at them and say, well, they must have been doing bad shit, they must have been anti semitic and some Rabbi cursed them. Maybe. But I think we want to believe that bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people. And that’s why when we look at the Kennedy curse, I think it’s human nature to say okay, but what did they do to deserve it? And I don’t know, I obviously don’t know everything, but I want to believe that no family deserves that kind of heartbreak. No parent deserves to see their children die. That’s just my, my two cents, but up to 1987. That’s the Kennedy curse. That’s insane.

Emily 1:37:57
There’s so many deaths, like I obviously knew about Bobby and JFK, Ted and I actually know about rosemary, but like, I didn’t know about so many other things and that they, like, penetrated their lives out beyond just their family to like, Don’t drive in cars don’t write in planes. And ladies don’t marry a Kennedy. Like don’t don’t marry a Kennedy. It’s just a lot of bad shit. Yeah, I just can’t imagine losing one family member, let alone just one on top of the other. Yeah,

Rachel 1:38:35
I mean, if you are doing math, like which I’m not great at but I can do subtraction. Like if you have nine children and three of them die and one of them is mentally and physically incapacitated. That’s almost half your kids. That’s, you know, 40% of your kids that

Emily 1:38:53
Yeah, are dead within your lifetime. That’s horrifying. It’s it’s the worst. It’s absolutely terrible. And like you said, there’s more to come like that’s just up there. 87

Rachel 1:39:05
Yeah. And I’m, I was going to do some more on terrible today. I am going to do some Kennedy related news stories, but they’re going to be lighter, because I just couldn’t I felt so bad for this family. And I was going to talk about I mean, even within the last like three years, Syria, Kennedy accidentally overdoses. And then they one of the Kennedys. I think this past year like 2020 and April. She, they get in a canoe accident and a mother and an eight year old son die and I was like, Look, I can’t This is supposed to be a later episode. Yeah, just Kennedy’s quarantine forever. Maybe just picture COVID as what you need to be doing. Stay in your beautiful mansions and never ever leave. Don’t be friend. Anyone. Get Uber Eats. we’ve all learned how to do it. Now you can do. We if, if 2020 has taught us anything, we can all be hermits. Now, so terrible today, at least on my end is going to be a little less terrible. A little bit of a palate cleanser. So hopefully vise tune in for that. This was a heavy episode. I hope you guys will all join us for happy hour and let’s talk more Kennedy’s but I have a real bananas case to talk about.

Emily 1:40:30
Yeah, thank you guys for hanging in those of you who are still with us, it was a heavy episode. And like rich said, we are going to jump over to happy hour now. If you’re on Apple, it should literally be the next episode on your list. And as a reminder, today’s episode will be as I just said on the main channel, but after today, it will switch over to Patreon. And so, subscribe if you like what you hear today and want access to future episodes. And of course, don’t forget to check out terrible today on Tuesdays. And please, please remember to subscribe and rate and review if possible. If you’d like us, you know reviews and downloads are huge, especially as we’re just getting started and five star review is super easy to do on Apple. Just click one button and you’re done.

Rachel 1:41:20
Yeah, feel free to contact us. We’d love to hear about a horrible historical story from your hometown, horrible history podcast@gmail.com We’re also on the social media so you can follow us on Instagram at horrible history pod or twitter at the horrible pod. We are getting very proficient, prolific even to keep the serial killer shut up with our meme game series. Don’t miss it.

Emily 1:41:47
Guys. Rachel’s main game is stronnngggg. Oh, you want to check it out. And until next time, thank you for listening.

Rachel 1:41:56
Hopefully you’re horrified.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Contact Us:
Email: horriblehistorypodcast@gmail.com 

Support the Show: 

Patreon – www.patreon.com/horriblehistory
Help this little podcast grow! $5 and up Patrons get early access, plus access to Happy Hour with  Horrible History!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: