Hulu original Boston Strangler: Cast, premiere date, trailer and more

Hulu original film Boston Strangler will be available to stream this month. Most followers of true crime will be very familiar with the notorious serial killer, but let’s look at the true story, then relay what we know about the film.

In the early 1960s, 13 women in the Boston area were murdered. They ranged in age from 19 years to 85 years, all were single, and most were found strangled and sexually assaulted in their own apartments. It was believed that the women had let their killer in, because investigations found no signs of forced entry. The thought was that he was some type of delivery or service man.

The murders were covered extensively in the press, with the killer first dubbed “The Mad Strangler of Boston”, but he soon became known as The Boston Strangler.

The apprehension of Albert DeSalvo came after he assaulted a woman, but left her alive. She was able to describe her attacker in great detail, and several other women who had been assaulted backed up her description. Even so, he was not suspected to be the Boston Strangler initially; all of that changed when he confessed to another inmate, who repeated the confession to his own attorney, F. Lee Bailey. Bailey then took DeSalvo on as a client, choosing to defend him.

Despite some inconsistencies in his confession, most of what he said was believed to be verifiable, and he received a life sentence in 1967. Before going to Walpole State Prison, DeSalvo escaped Bridgewater State Hospital in February of that year, along with two other inmates. He was captured the following day.

Boston Strangler

The Boston Strangler — The film follows Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley), a reporter for the Record-American newspaper, who becomes the first journalist to connect the Boston Strangler murders. As the mysterious killer claims more and more victims, Loretta attempts to continue her investigation alongside colleague and confidante Jean Cole (Carrie Coon), yet the duo finds themselves stymied by the rampant sexism of the era. Nevertheless, McLaughlin and Cole bravely pursue the story at great personal risk, putting their own lives on the line in their quest to uncover the truth. Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley), shown. (Courtesy of Hulu)

The Boston Strangler did not end up serving much time in prison

Six years after he entered Walpole, DeSalvo was stabbed to death in the prison’s infirmary, and his killer was never identified.

There are still many who do not believe that DeSalvo was actually the Boston Strangler, and some even believe the murders were committed by several different men, rather than just one. The reasons given include the facts that the victims varied so much in age and appearance, and that they were murdered in multiple ways, rather than with a consistent pattern.

Retired FBI special agent John E. Douglas, who was one of the first profilers in the US (and who is loosely portrayed by Jonathan Groff in the Netflix series Mindhunter) is one of those doubters. He said that a rapist who commits his crimes in the way DeSalvo did was not likely to kill in the same way the Boston Strangler did, but would be likely to take credit for the high-profile crimes.

Boston Strangler stars Keira Knightley as Loretta McLaughlin, a real-life reporter who wrote for the Boston Record American newspaper. She was the first reporter to connect the brutal murders, and wrote extensively about the Boston Strangler. In the 1960s, it was not easy for a woman to be taken seriously as a journalist, and the film focuses on her investigation, assisted by Jean Cole (Carrie Coon).

Boston Strangler also features Alessandro Nivola, David Dastmalchian, Morgan Spector, Bill Camp and Chris Cooper. It was both written and directed by Matt Ruskin. It will begin streaming exclusively on Hulu March 17, and looks like a film true crime junkies should definitely check out!

Is  Hulu’s Boston Strangler on your viewing radar for this month? Tell us why you are or are not interested in the comments section.