TODAY   |  July 12, 2013

Exhumation aims to identify Boston Strangler

Using 50-year-old crime-scene DNA, investigators were able to find a familial match with a nephew of Albert DeSalvo, who confessed to the crimes of the Boston Strangler. Now they are going to exhume DeSalvo’s body to try to prove him guilty of the serial murders that terrified the city. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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>> in one of the most infamous cold cases . after 50 years will new dna evidence finally identify the bost boston strangler ? katie has information on this. good morning.

>> good morning. later today investigators will dig up a grave and pull up a body hoping to solve a decade old mystery. who exactly was the boston strangli strangler and was the man that confessed actually the killer? today they intend to pull up the body of the long believed boston strangler . boston wasser theized. 11 women, most sexually assaulted found dead in their homes.

>> there is fear in boston . they are directed to leave packages outside doors. door to door charity drives are suffering. not only salesmen but police find it difficult to gain admission to houses.

>> he confessed to the murders in the 60s but with no physical evidence and doubts surrounding his claims he was never convicted. in 1973 he was killed in prison while serving life for other crimes.

>> today's development means we may have solved one of the nation's most notorious serial killings.

>> using dna preserved for years, police announced thursday they were able to find what they call a match with the stranglers last victim.

>> boston police retrieved a water bottle that one of his nephews drank from and discarded.

>> if somebody touches a water bottle we can extract dna from the skin cells and obtain a genetic profile.

>>> police are 99.9% positive it's him but will exhume his body for further dna testing to be absolutely sure.

>> just because you find dna that matches somebody on their body doesn't mean they murdered them.

>> doubt from desalvo's attorney but closure for casey sherman that spent his entire life trying to figure out just who killed his aunt.

>> i just want to say that -- i have lived with mary's memory every day. my whole life.

>> now mary sullivan only lived in boston for four days before she was killed. this new evidence only applies to her case. unfortunately, the dna was not saved from the other victims. savannah.