Recent Articles
Recent Articles

Could An Abusive Childhood Have Caused Albert DeSalvo To Become The 'Boston Strangler' Serial Killer?

Unveiling the chilling mystery: Could a traumatic past have triggered Albert DeSalvo's transformation into the infamous 'Boston Strangler' serial killer? Delve into the psychological abyss to uncover the possible roots of his heinous crimes.

Vincent Bloodworth
Vincent Bloodworth
Feb 20, 202444 Shares626 Views
Jump to
  1. Doubt Regarding DeSalvo's Remorse
  2. An Early History Of Albert DeSalvo
  3. Did DeSalvo Become A Serial Killer Due To Abuse As A Child?
Could An Abusive Childhood Have Caused Albert DeSalvo To Become The 'Boston Strangler' Serial Killer?

Albert DeSalvo described a childhood filled with terrible brutality and cruelty. He is thought to be the serial murderer who killed over a dozen women in the Boston area in the early 1960s.

According to his own account, his father, an alcoholic who also mistreated his wife and had sex with prostitutes in front of his kids, beat him severely. Could that thus account for DeSalvo's subsequent murders? Maybe, according to some experts.

Michael Aamodt, a retired professor of organizational psychology from Radford University, tells in an interview, that the majority of serial killers come from broken homes and frequently had parents who used drugs or alcohol.

The possibility that DeSalvo's father was a psychopath is one theory, according to Octavio Choi, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and forensic psychiatrist, who speaksin an interview.

According to Choi, "that theory has some merit because of the father's actions." "The father's actions model [the idea] that using aggression to achieve your goals is acceptable."

Doubt Regarding DeSalvo's Remorse

DeSalvo, often known as the "Boston Strangler," was charged with multiple charges of assault, burglary, and sexual assaults after his arrest in late 1964. After that, he admitted to killing 13 women between 1962 and 1964. The victims, who were primarily between the ages of 19 and 85, were raped and strangled with stockings.

DeSalvo was never prosecuted with the murders, but in 1967 he was found guilty of the lesser charges and given a life sentence in jail. He was aware of the killings' specifics, but there was insufficient proof. There was also considerable doubt that he was the guilty party, which some people still harbor today. After being stabbed in his cell at Walpole State Prison (now known as Massachusetts Correctional Institution), he passed away in 1973 at the age of 42.

When officials compared the DNA of DeSalvo's nephew in 2013 to that of Mary Sullivan, the last victim of the Boston Strangler, they discovered a 99.99 percent familial match. This led them to believe DeSalvo was probably also guilty for the other 12 killings.

An Early History Of Albert DeSalvo

DeSalvo was raised in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a tiny town, alongside his five siblings after his 1931 birth. When he was younger, he began to get into trouble and was twice sent to the reform school Lyman School for Boys in Massachusetts.

At the age of seventeen, he enlisted in the United States Army and served for eight years. During that time, he married Irmgard Beck, a German woman, and had two children.

In his 1966 book"The Boston Strangler", author Gerold Frank described DeSalvo using information from hundreds of hours of in-person interviews as well as records from the police, courts, and medical departments.

DeSalvo wrote in the book of how, each night, he and his brother had to stand in front of their father and endure beatings with a belt that had a large buckle on it.

"I witnessed my father shatter all of my mother's fingers after he knocked out her teeth. I was about seven years old. I watched as Ma was spread out beneath the sink, according to DeSalvo. He once used a pipe to smash me across the back. I simply didn't move quickly enough.

Frank writes in the book that DeSalvo related how, without their mother's knowledge, their father had sold him and two of his sisters for $9 to a farmer in Maine. Their mother looked for them for six months.

In addition, DeSalvo shared gloomy tales about his early years with Ruth Brown, a New Yorker who wrote to him following her reading of The Boston Strangler and who had once paid him a visit in jail. Brown said to the Star-Gazette, a newspaper published in Elmira, New York, that his sister and mother used to tell him they wanted he was dead. According to Brown, "he said he slept with a dog when he was a little boy because a dog wouldn't bite him."

Did DeSalvo Become A Serial Killer Due To Abuse As A Child?

Aamodt co-authored a research titled "The Incidence of Child Abuse in Serial Killers," which examined 50 serial killers. Of them, 68% had some form of maltreatment; 36% experienced physical abuse, 26% experienced sexual abuse, and 50% experienced psychological abuse.

As to a 2005 study published in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, the latter was the most obvious difference with the general population, where only 2 percent of people experience psychological abuse.Aamodt warns that an abusive upbringing by itself usually does not produce a serial killer.

He describes it as "sort of a point system." It won't have as much of an impact on your tendency to become violent or angry if you experience abuse in life but everything else in your life is stable. Nevertheless, each of those events, whether they resulted from abuse, neurological impairment, substance misuse, accidents, or lead exposure, builds up points.

Although police surmise that DeSalvo's death was caused by his involvement in a drug prison network, sources do not address whether the man was a narcotic abuser. Aamodt and Choi speculate that DeSalvo may have had neurological impairment that went untreated.

According to Frank, DeSalvo was once given the diagnosis of having "a sociopathic personality." A physician stated at DeSalvo's 1967 trial that he was experiencing "schizophrenia of the paranoid type."

Despite the fact that "psychopathy" and "sociopathy" have distinct traits, Choi claims that the terms have been used synonymously.

While making up less than 1% of adult males, psychopaths are thought to be responsible for 50% of violent crimes, according to information provided by Choi in his presentation, "The Neuroscience of Real-Life Monsters: Psychopaths, CEOs & Politicians."

Early brain structural abnormalities in psychopaths result in a lack of empathy, fear, and difficulty learning. In a different presentation titled "The Criminal Brain," Choi states According to Choi, criminal psychopaths in particular suffer from profound emotional reasoning impairments that keep them from realizing that injuring other people has repercussions.

Although there isn't much of a link between psychopathy and abuse experienced as a child, Choi claims that abuse is "bad for brain development." "Many survivors of traumatic brain injury have emotional blunting."

Regarding the idea that DeSalvo was schizophrenia, Choi thinks his illegal activity usually suggests he wasn't. DeSalvo claims that despite the fact that people with schizophrenia typically struggle with social impairment and lying, he carefully chose the buildings where his victims lived and deceived them into the women's apartments. Rather, he claims that psychopaths typically have a coherent thought process and can score "quite capable" on IQ tests.

DeSalvo did, in fact, have a normal IQ of 93. According to Aamodt, he scored considerably better than the median IQ of serial killers, which is 85, and marginally higher than the average IQ of serial killers, which is 92.7.

He asserts that "the serial killer is brighter the more victims you have."

See Also:

Recent Articles