New DNA evidence casts doubt on whether Albert DeSalvo was really the Boston Strangler.

Albert DeSalvo

Panic grips Boston after serial killings

CASE DETAILS

George Nassar

In the early 1960s, Boston was in the grip of fear. A killer was on the loose. Ten women were found murdered. They ranged in age from 19 to 75; they had different ethnic backgrounds; they lived in different neighborhoods.

The only thing these women had in common was that they were strangled to death in their own apartments. The police were frustrated and the public terrified. They named the killer the “Boston Strangler.”

Susan Kelly, author of two books about the Boston Strangler case, described the mood in Boston at the time:

“There are stories of women rushing out to dog pounds to buy every available stray mutt for protection.  Locksmiths reported a run on their businesses.  People were obviously quite clearly frightened by whatever was out there.”

Ten months after the last murder, few people noticed when a man named Albert DeSalvo was arrested on unrelated sexual assault charges. DeSalvo was married and had two children. He also had an extensive history of sexual offenses.  One of his many nicknames was the “Measuring Man.” DeSalvo pretended to be recruiting fashion models.  He would smooth talk his way into women’s homes, measure them for clothing, and then fondle them. When DeSalvo’s scam eventually caught up with him, he was arrested and sent to prison for one year.

Albert DeSalvo in custody

After De Salvo’s release, police began receiving complaints about “the green man,” a maintenance worker who talked his way into women’s apartments and then assaulted them. Susan Kelly said DeSalvo’s scam was more successful than one might imagine:

“She would let him in. He would make an overture to her. If the overture were repelled, he would leave.  But a surprising number of times it wasn’t, according to him, and he ended up making love with the woman.  Later, his assaults became much more aggressive. Eventually these were the charges he was arrested for.”

DeSalvo was arrested and sent to Bridgewater State Mental Hospital. Dr. Ames Robey was the medical director:

“Well, the first thing that was so obvious about Albert was his incredible need to be somebody important. He would brag about almost anything.  He gave the feeling, although he didn’t say so at that time, that he sort of wanted to be as well known as, quote, “the Boston Strangler.”

Three months later, George Nassar, another inmate at Bridgewater, had an odd conversation about the Boston Strangler with his lawyer, F. Lee Bailey. Bailey recalled his talk with Nassar:

“He asked me whether or not it would be possible for someone who had done the stranglings to write a book.  And my off-hand answer was sure, but he might go to the electric chair as a consequence.  Later on, I was asked to go down and see this fellow, Albert DeSalvo, by my client.”

Bailey expected to come face to face with a monster. Instead, he met a married man with two children who seemed concerned about his family:

“I was a little incredulous because everybody develops a profile.  You’re looking for a monster, somebody that, you know, the jowls are dripping and it just didn’t seem to fit.
He wanted to be able to tell his story.  He said, ‘I would like to find out why I am like this. Maybe people can give me tests or something.’”

According to Bailey, DeSalvo confessed he was the Boston Strangler.

“I had no way of knowing whether or not he was telling the truth, fantasizing because he was crazy, or had read a lot of things in the newspapers and wanted to be famous.”

Two days later, Bailey returned to Bridgewater with a tape recorder and a list of questions. With DeSalvo’s permission, Bailey had struck a deal with the Boston police.  They would provide Bailey with details only The Strangler would know, as a way of testing DeSalvo. In return, Bailey was guaranteed that the tapes would never be heard in court.

Deputy Superintendent John Donovan, retired Chief of Homicide in the Boston Police Department, said he was intrigued by what he heard:

“His descriptions of the crime scenes were just so accurate that that impressed me very much.”

But when Dr. Ames Robey heard the tape, he was not so impressed. He believed there was another explanation for DeSalvo’s knowledge of the crime scenes:

“Albert indicated to us that he had gone to the various sites that the newspapers had named after the police tape was off the doors in the apartments, just to sort of be there and see what it was like.”

Dr. Robey says that DeSalvo had a photographic memory. He may have visited the victims’ apartments, or perhaps he was just repeating what someone else had described to him. Then Robey began to believe that DeSalvo’s friend, George Nassar, was somehow involved:

“I first began to wonder about something going on when no other inmates would come near them. And they would immediately stop talking if the guards or staff came anywhere near where they could hear. But they would have extensive conversations about what, of course, we didn’t know.”

A career criminal, George Nassar had been imprisoned for killing a gas station attendant shortly after the Strangler killed his last victim. Nassar agreed to discuss his role in the case and his relationship with Albert DeSalvo for the first time:

“With Albert DeSalvo, I was simply an associate. I’ve done the same thing with many, many prisoners. People come to me and ask for advice. I give it to them if they say, if it’s worthy of me assisting them, I assist them, for my reasons because I feel it’s a worthy thing to do.”

The Massachusetts Attorney General ordered that news of DeSalvo’s confession be kept under wraps. Within the police department, there was a split over whether DeSalvo was, in fact, the killer. Then someone leaked the story of the confession to the local papers.

In response to the story, two women came forward. One was a survivor of a possible Strangler attack. The other was a neighbor of one of the victims. They were brought to Bridgewater to see if they recognized any of the inmates.

Surprisingly, the one familiar face did not belong to Albert DeSalvo, but to George Nassar. Is it possible that he was actually the Boston Strangler? Dr. Ames Robey thought it was possible:

“George Nassar would fit the profile of the Boston Strangler. We found nothing that would rule him out, not even one iota.”

George Nassar denied the accusation:

“I do not kill women. I’ve never conceived of it. I wouldn’t conceive of it. I have great respect and regard for women, beginning with my mother who brought me up that way.”

F. Lee Bailey wasn’t convinced his client fit the profile of the Strangler:

“George Nassar was eliminated as the Strangler.  I don’t think he had the profile to strangle. George Nassar used a gun.”

Albert DeSalvo was the state’s prime suspect, even though there was no physical evidence that linked him to any of the killings.  F. Lee Bailey suggested that DeSalvo undergo hypnosis. He recalled the session:

“We had him hypnotized and age regressed right through one of the homicides.  And the things that developed in the presence of a very bright medical hypnotist were of great interest.”

The session revealed that DeSalvo had had problems with every significant woman in his life. According to F. Lee Bailey:

“We found an involvement of his wife who he’d married in Germany, his daughter who had a physical disability that troubled him greatly, his mother whom he had a love-hate relationship. And it was just the beginning.”

Dr. Robey observed the session and came to a completely different conclusion:

“The answers were almost implied in the question, which, at least from my training, is something you don’t do. I was not at all convinced that anything had been uncovered.  And was a little surprised later when Mr. Bailey announced what had occurred under hypnosis was ‘definitive evidence.’  Albert, even with the crimes he was charged with, he was considered gentle, polite.  His sexual proclivities, his general attitude, he was not angry and hostile.

In the summer of 1965, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office conducted its own interrogations. The transcripts of those interviews were never released, but author Susan Kelly obtained a copy while researching her book called “Deadly Charade.” Susan came to believe that Albert DeSalvo was playing along:

“When you read the transcript and you come to a point where Albert gives an incorrect answer to a question, he is guided to give the correct answer.  And Albert, who was a smart guy, caught on very quickly. This man was not the Boston Strangler, he didn’t kill anyone.”

F. Lee Bailey strongly disagreed:

“They had the right guy, beyond question. No one has ever come up with anything meaningful to contradict that. The question is, how could we try him as the Strangler and close the file in the public’s mind?”

F. Lee Bailey struck a deal with the State. Albert DeSalvo went on trial, but not as the Boston Stranger. Instead, he was tried for sexual assault and other crimes in connection with the “green man” case. In return, the State agreed not to press for the death penalty.
According to Bailey, it was the right thing to do:

“That’s all we wanted.  Nobody ever wanted Albert on the street, including Albert, and to ask not to be executed so that he could be studied seemed to me a reasonable objective.”

After less than four hours of deliberation, the jury reached its verdict: guilty on eight criminal counts. DeSalvo had wanted to be sent to a mental hospital, but his insanity defense failed. He was sentenced to life in prison. Susan Kelly had suspicious as to why:

“It was a much more severe sentence than he would have received normally on the sex charges of which he’d been convicted.  But he was being sent to the prison as the Boston Strangler.  It was that simple.”

Dr. Ames Robey concurred:

“I think the most difficult part of all of this was the feeling that whether they had it solved or not, they had quieted the public’s concern. So, theoretically everyone was happy.”

In prison, DeSalvo was re-united with his old friend, George Nassar. Once again, questions were raised regarding Nassar’s possible involvement with the stranglings. Nassar admitted nothing:

“Because Al was not tried, this case had become mythical, it became part of, like, a public fantasy of what really happened. It became a continuing mystery, when it should’ve been resolved.  And I was part of the mystery.”

Outside of prison, DeSalvo had become a legend. But inside, he feared his fame had made him a marked man. After more than six years behind bars, he asked to be transferred to a cell in the prison infirmary. Here, he would be isolated from the other inmates.

On the evening of November 25th, 1973, DeSalvo telephoned his former psychiatrist, Dr. Ames Robey.

“He wanted to talk to me, to tell me the, quote, real story. He didn’t say what the real story was and I could only hope that this is what I would hear, but I never heard it.

DeSalvo told Dr. Robey that he also intended to tell a reporter the same story. But before he talked to anyone, he was found in his cell murdered, stabbed repeatedly in the chest.

Some believed that DeSalvo was involved in a drug deal gone bad. Others, including George Nassar, say DeSalvo was killed in a dispute over cuts of meat he was allegedly selling on the prison black market. To Dr. Robey, it was clear what had happened:

“Somebody didn’t want that interview happening. And I think they’ve said before, ‘dead men tell no tales.’”

Three inmates were eventually charged with Albert DeSalvo’s murder, but no one was ever convicted.

Was Albert DeSalvo the Boston Strangler?

F. Lee Bailey:

“Albert DeSalvo was the Boston Strangler. We learned that at great and tragic expense to the community and then wasted him away. We could’ve learned a lot from Albert. We didn’t.”

Dr. Ames Robey:

“I think Albert became the Boston Strangler because he wanted so much to be the Boston Strangler. It was the most important thing in his life. For somebody that felt all his life that he was a nobody, all of a sudden he could become world-renowned.”

Susan Kelly:

“After eight years of research on this case, one thing I’m certain of is that Albert DeSalvo was not the Boston Strangler.  There are a number of very good suspects.  None of them happen to be Albert DeSalvo.”

Shortly after his murder, authorities came across a collection of poems that DeSalvo had written while in prison. One of them provided an intriguing footnote to the legend of the Boston Strangler. It read:

Here’s the story of the strangler yet untold
The man who claims he murdered 13 women, young and old
Today he sits in a prison cell
Deep inside only a secret he can tell
People everywhere are still in doubt
Is the strangler in prison, or roaming about?

Despite these and other doubts, DeSalvo became known far and wide as the Boston Strangler. But recently, new physical evidence suggests the real killer or killers were never caught. Samples of DNA found on the Strangler’s last victim seems to prove that Albert DeSalvo was not the Boston Strangler.

On January 4, 1964, Mary Sullivan was found by her roommate, strangled to death and sexually assaulted. In a final morbid gesture, placed at her feet was a Happy New Year card.

The police collected semen left on Mary’s body by the killer. But in 1964, there was no way to match it to a suspect. Albert DeSalvo later admitted he’d killed Mary. However, two families have formed a surprising alliance to challenge his confession: the family of Mary Sullivan and the family of Albert DeSalvo, including his brother Richard:

“I never believed my brother was the Boston Strangler from day one. I just want the name cleared. That’s all. Albert was not perfect. Albert did some bad things. Albert was not a murderer.”

Mary Sullivan’s sister, Diane, also believes that DeSalvo was not the killer:

“I’m gonna do everything I can to find her murderer, to find the murderer of Mary.”

According to Casey Sherman, Mary Sullivan’s nephew, he contacted the Boston police and asked about possible DNA evidence in The Strangler case:

“I made several inquiries to the Boston police department and they told me flat out that they did not have any physical evidence left in the Boston Strangler case to test for DNA evidence.”

So Mary Sullivan’s family turned to the only evidence available to them: Mary’s remains.
Casey said the family felt exhumation was the only way they could settle the case:

“We had to do the exhumation of my aunt’s body. It was a horrible experience. We didn’t want to do it, but it was our last and only recourse, we thought, and it was the only chance to find her killer.”

The Sullivans got help from a team of forensic experts, including world-renowned Professor of Law and Forensic Science, James Starrs:

“We were obviously looking for any seminal fluid, and we do know that seminal fluid will fluoresce under UV light.  So we looked, and seminal fluid fluoresced, and it was also in the right location for seminal fluid. It’s on pubic hair.”

Forensic molecular biologist Dr. David Foran was another member of the team:

“So we examined that, hoping to get any DNA from it.  We had to be extra careful because, obviously, her hair is going to have her DNA in it, so one of the tricky parts becomes isolating DNA only from this material that’s stuck in the pubic hair, and not from the hair itself.”

Dr. Foran successfully isolated a DNA sequence and compared it to Albert DeSalvo’s genes using DNA taken from his brother, Richard. The results were virtually indisputable; the semen was not Albert DeSalvo’s. It confirmed to Casey Sherman that his family made the right decision in exhuming his aunt’s body:

“When he said that there was DNA, they believed, from Mary’s killer on her body, and that DNA didn’t match Albert DeSalvo, it was just complete vindication as far as I was concerned.”

The results led James Starrs to lay down a challenge:

“For those who say that Albert DeSalvo did do it, the shoe is on their foot now. It’s for them to come forward and show the evidence to prove that Albert DeSalvo did do it.”

But if Albert DeSalvo did not kill Mary Sullivan, then who did?

The detectives who first investigated the killing found a strange piece of evidence in her bathroom. According to Diane Dodd, Mary’s sister, it implicated Mary’s abusive ex-boyfriend:

“They found an ascot cut up in the toilet. When my sister dated this person, that’s all she bought him for presents, because he loved ascots. So I could see him definitely cutting that ascot up in the bathroom, and I could absolutely see him killing Mary.”

Another suspect emerged based on an eyewitness account. A neighbor saw a man in Mary’s apartment at the approximate time of the murder. Mary’s roommate had a boyfriend who matched the description given by the neighbor. He may have had access to Mary’s apartment, and her keys, explaining why there were no signs of forced entry.
Casey Sherman felt this scenario made sense:

“Her apartment key had gone missing the day before she was killed. Now this key hadn’t fallen off the keychain.  It was taken off.”

The suspect was brought in for a polygraph test. According to police, his responses were deemed “untruthful.”  Once DeSalvo had confessed however, investigations into this suspect and Mary’s ex-boyfriend, were closed.

According to author Susan Kelly, the police also had strong suspects in several of the other murders:

“If Albert wasn’t the Boston Strangler, who was the Boston Strangler? From what my research indicates, there wasn’t one, there were many.”

On June 14, 1962, the Strangler claimed his first victim, 56-year-old Anna Slesers.
Earlier that day, a painting crew was working at her apartment. Sixteen days later, the same painting crew arrived at the apartment building of Helen Blake. She became victim number two. Casey Sherman thinks the connection is obvious:

“Two of the members of the painting crew, their alibis couldn’t be corroborated by their boss or by their fellow workers. And that’s an unusual connection.”

Casey points out that the police also had a suspect for victim number six, 20-year-old Sophie Clark:

“The suspect in the Sophie Clark case was seen entering her apartment building. He was seen fleeing her apartment building, covered in sweat.”

Police identified the man and learned that he had dated Sophie at least once. He was given polygraph tests on two separate occasions and, according to authorities, failed both.

Victim number seven was 23-year-old Patricia Bissett. In this case, police also had a strong suspect: Patricia’s boss, the man who discovered her body. Casey did some of his own research into her murder:

“Detectives found out that Patricia Bissett was having an affair with her happily married boss at the time she was killed. Well, I found her autopsy report.  It shows that she was one month pregnant when she was murdered.  Not only do you have motive, you have a suspect there.”

But investigation of all these suspects stopped cold when Albert DeSalvo confessed. Susan Kelly says her research reveals the true picture:

“There’s a possibility that some of the older women died at the hands of the same person.  Each of the young women who died was murdered by a different individual who had his own motives.”

Casey Sherman suspected that many of the murders were copy-cat killings:

“If you hated a woman back in the early 1960’s, you could kill her, loosely wrap a stocking around her neck, and hope that the police would think it was the Boston Strangler. All the grizzly details were printed in the papers at the time. If you wanted to commit a murder, here was your diagram.”

The Sullivan family continues to hope that Mary’s killer will one day be identified and prosecuted. Bringing some peace of mind to his mother is Casey’s prime motivation:

“I want closure for my mother.  My mother has had to live nearly 40 years without any answers in this case.  We want to publicly identify Mary’s killer, look him in the eye, and tell him what he stole from us.”

Update:

In 2013, a DNA test confirmed that DeSalvo killed Mary Sullivan.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season six with Robert Stack and in season two with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

12 Comments

  1. MikeA

    F. Lee Baily’s unethical involvement in this case totally has me convinced that DeSalvo was NOT the Boston strangler. He was a worthless piece of excrement that deserved to die in prison, but he was not a murderer. He confessed, because he was told by Bailey that he would make money on the story. Instead, Baily and Nassar (who may have been the real strangler) were the only ones who profited. DeSalvo got a lot wrong in his confession, but what he got right were facts that were only borne out in police photos. Baily admitted that he did not go to th task force, but to a friend in homocide who provided Baily with police evidence that only the killer would know. It is my belief that Baily continued to get that evidence and showed it to DeSalvo for his confession. Decades later DNA evidence shows DNA other than DeSalvo’s in the Mary Sullivan case. This was a huge embarrassment for the Boston DA and PD. Them magically, the Boston PD finds evidence that never existed before and without the vaguest chain of custody as to where the evidence has been or who may have doctored it, and DeSalvo’s DNA is identified. If you believe that load of nonsense, then there is a bridge in Brooklyn that I would like to sell you.

    Reply

  2. Barbara Newman

    Wow….I’m utterly amazed that so many people believed that Albert DeSalvo was wrongly convicted and didn’t belong in jail! Mr. DeSalvo was a sexual predator and several women personally identified him as their rapist. He was rightly charged with Rape and rightly sentenced to LIFE in prison because he told police and prosecutors that he didn’t want to be in society due to his insatiable sexual appetite. DeSalvo wanted specialists (psychiatric) to study him and find out why he couldn’t control his urges. In so far as being murdered “suspiciously” in prison to keep him quiet about the strangling of the other victims which fell under the purview of the Boston Police Department’s so called Boston Strangler case, well….murders in prison are quite frequent and often over the slightest of reasons. I think it’s disgusting that his family is trying to clear his name by saying “Al had his problems, but he wouldn’t murder anyone”, he was a RAPIST and as far as I’m concerned that as bad as MURDER! In regards to F. Lee Bailey being a conspirator is pure conjecture. P.S. It annoys the h*ll out of me when people leave comments on different sites and can’t spell worth a d*mn.

    Reply

  3. Anonymous

    THIS STORY IS ALL PERGERY, WITH A FAKE MURDER STORY COVERING UP THE REAL MURDERS OF ALBERT DESOLVO…up until 2016 nothing ever made sense..GROLLIERS representer disclosed the only “EVIDENCE” in my life…A RECEIPT OF A SET OF ENCYCLOPEDIAS SOLD TO MY DAD …with the name J. LEE BAILEY ON THE RETURN ADDRESS FOR HIS WORK IN DOOR TO DOOR SALESMAN, WITH HIS PARNER, ABERT DESOLVO, WALKING DOWN THE STREET IN SIFTON, WASHINGTON, IN 1961, PLACING ALBERT DESOLVO AND F. LEE BAILEY, AS PERGERY, IN THE EVIDENCE WERE ABOUTS, BEFORE 1965, AS HIS CLIENT, HIRED POSSIBLY BY SEVERAL PEOPLE, POLICE CHIEF, ARCHIE THORNBERRY, CORRECTIONS OFFICER ROBERT RISH OVER HIS GIRL’S DISAPPERANCE, OR MURDER IN THE AREA. ARCHIE BLEW HIS TRIGGER FINGER OFF, AND COULD HAVE HIRED F. LEE BAILEY TO KILL ME, OR MAYBE BRENT NEVIN COULD HAVE, OR ROBERT D. MACMILLON, JUDGE COULD HAVE HIRED BAILEY AND DESOLVO, OR THE DUVALL STORY COULD HAVE CALLED UP BAILEY FOR THE KILL OF MY MOTHER OVER THE BUILDING CODE STRUCTURE, ARGUING FANANTICAL, AND DESOVO WAS SHOT IN THE WOODS BY AN UNKOWN ASSAILANT, STARTING HIS MURDER RAMPAGE, LATER. RALPH BURDICK SR. SURVIVED A BUILDING BOMBING CAUSING ALL KNOWN EVIDENCE TO BECOME BOGUS REPORTS, THE COVER UP OF DESOLVO AND F. LEE BAILEY TOGETHER IN 1961 BEFORE THE FACT IS PERGURY FOR F. LEE BAILEY, WHICH WILL STAND TO QUESTION THE REST OF KNOWN EVIDENCE IN THIS CASE CALLED “THE BOSTON STRANGLER”4

    Reply

  4. Anonymous

    oh my god, another case of “well, we could TRY to convict all these different suspects, which would be hard…OR we could just pin them all on this other guy who confessed despite having ZERO evidence against him in ANY of the cases. screw it, he did them all, let’s go home early today!” cops…make me sick…

    Reply

  5. jeremiah

    this is a great case because sometimes not everything can be solved and it give this whole thing a suspicious vibe and that yes the case was solved and it did take a long time to solve but it was a great murder case because they always said u can never get away with murder but this guy practically did he didn’t get caught for several years later when they didn’t have the technology and equipment for it but since we progressed over time we could finally catch him and we did but it was one of the best murder cases of all time

    Reply

  6. Jody

    I remember this well and always found F Lee’s deal suspicious because no one was ever changed as the Boston Strangled. It launched Bailey’s career. Remember he represented Patty Hearst right to jail.

    Reply

  7. Patricia ( Hanscome) Reed

    I am a retired RN but was in my second year of nursing school at the time of Mary Sullivan’s murder. I was taken from class one day and brought before a group of men, said to be detectives who interviewed me extensively regarding a boy I’d dated extensively and who had taken Mary out that New Year’s Eve. They asked embarrassing questions of me, intimate details about him…I’ve wondered all my life about this. My parents were not informed and no ” adult” was present for me..

    Reply

  8. john smith

    and as for f. lee bailey’s opinion…didn’t he help o.j. walk after he butchered two people? tells you a lot about bailey’s judgment in being able to tell if someone is guilty or not.

    Reply

  9. john smith

    the cops said there was no evidence from the case? oh my god…why didn’t they just say “yeah, we know it wasn’t desalvo but if we let you have the evidence then you’ll be able to do dna testing and then EVERYONE will know it wasn’t him and A) we’ll look like idiots for locking up the wrong guy, and B) everyone will know the real strangler is still out there. so no, we don’t got no evidence for you to look at (even though it’s in the back room, in that locker right there, on the shelf marked “strangler stuff”). cops suck. they don’t care about the truth.

    Reply

  10. Chris Murphy

    In 2013 didn’t a DNA test identify Albert De Salvo as the killer of Mary Sullivan to the exclusion of 99.9% of the population?

    Reply

    • Peter

      Actually, no it didn’t prove he was her killer, only that he was in her apartment. According to Susan Kelly who wrote “The Boston Stranglers,”Mary had been intimate with many men from the time she’d lived on the Cape. DeSalvo knew one of the men she’d dated. He may have had sex with her, but proof that he killed her is not there.

      Reply

  11. james mcgonagle

    in your research; did the george nassar family operate the concession stand at Houghtons Pond, Blue Hills Canton?
    jimmiemacj@gmail.com

    Reply

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This release is governed by and shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, United States of America, without regards to its principles of conflicts of law.

1.In the event of any dispute arising out of or in connection with this agreement or otherwise in connection with your websites or My Materials, such dispute shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence.

  1. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees. Each party expressly waives any right to a jury. Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction.

This agreement shall bind my heirs, administrators, representatives, executors and assigns forever. You shall have the right to assign any or all of your rights hereunder to any person, firm or entity in your sole discretion. I may not assign this agreement to any third party, and any purported attempt to do so shall be deemed null and void ab initio.

I give you the foregoing permission with the knowledge and understanding that you will incur substantial expense in reliance thereon. If any part of this agreement is held invalid or unenforceable, that portion shall be construed in a manner consistent with applicable law to reflect, as nearly as possible, the original intentions of the parties, and the remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect.

I am of the age of majority in my state of residence (which is typically 18 years of age in most states) and competent to contract in my own name. I HAVE READ THIS SUBMISSION RELEASE AND I FULLY UNDERSTAND AND FREELY ACCEPT THE CONTENTS AND MEANING OF THIS AGREEMENT. I AGREE TO BE BOUND HEREBY AND INDICATE MY ACCEPTANCE OF THESE TERMS BY CLICKING THE BOX BELOW. MY electronic consent to this Agreement (or to any other agreement between ME AND YOU), whether by clicking THE BOX BELOW or similar buttons provided in conjunction with any such agreement, shall constitute MY electronic signature and, according to the provisions of UNITED STATES federal law (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, UNITED STATES COPYRIGHT LAW), shall be of the same effect as if I had signed such agreement manually. UPON YOUR request, I agree to sign a non-electronic version of this Agreement. A printed version of this Agreement and/or of any notice given in electronic form shall be admissible in judicial, administrative, or arbitration proceedings based upon or relating to this Agreement to the same extent and subject to the same conditions as other business documents and records originally generated.

Complaints about content, including complaints arising state or federal law involving the unsolved website should be made to unsolved@unsolved.com or at Unsolved Mysteries, 4303 W. Verdugo Ave., Burbank, CA  91505.  For questions regarding Unsolved’s compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act please see our DMCA policy [https://unsolved.com/dcma-agreement/]

 

PRIVACY POLICY

Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. (“CMP”) provides www.unsolved.com (the “Website”) and related services for your personal non-commercial use only and subject to your compliance with this Privacy Statement and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. Terms of Use Agreement. Please read this Agreement carefully before using this Website. Your use of this Website constitutes your acceptance to be bound by this Agreement without limitation, qualification or change. If at any time you do not accept all the terms and conditions of this Agreement, you must immediately discontinue use of this Website. This Agreement sets forth Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. policies with respect to its operation of this Website.

Certain products or services offered by this Website may be governed by additional terms (“Additional Terms”) presented in conjunction with those products or services. You must agree to these Additional Terms before using those areas or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. Services. The Additional Terms and this Agreement shall apply equally. In the event of an irreconcilable inconsistency between the Additional Terms and this Agreement, the Additional Terms shall control.

YOU MAY NOT USE THIS WEBSITE FOR ANY PURPOSE THAT IS UNLAWFUL OR PROHIBITED BY THIS AGREEMENT AND/OR ANY APPLICABLE ADDITIONAL TERMS. YOUR ACCESS TO THIS WEBSITE MAY BE TERMINATED IMMEDIATELY IN COSGROVE MEURER PRODUCTIONS, INC. SOLE DISCRETION, WITH OR WITHOUT NOTICE, IF YOU FAIL TO COMPLY WITH ANY PROVISIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT AND/OR ADDITIONAL TERMS, OR FOR ANY OTHER REASON, OR FOR NO REASON.

This Agreement informs you of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. practices with respect to the online collection, use, and disclosure of personal information from the Website. Personal information is information that allows us to contact you (such as email address, home address, or telephone number) or other information that, when linked to your name or contact information, allows us to personalize your visit to our Website by providing you with information that suits your interests.

DATA WE COLLECT

Personal Data
 

We collect information (whether online, by phone, or by paper) that enables CMP to identify or contact you (“Personal Data”) to carry out our business purposes.  CMP Sites collect this information for a variety of business reasons, including but not limited to, providing tips, registering for an CMP event or program, purchasing CMP products or services, or otherwise interacting with CMP.
 

The types of Personal Data we collect include, but are not limited to:
 

  • General data (e.g., names, dates of birth, home and business addresses, email addresses, Internet protocol addresses and mobile/landline business/personal telephone numbers that are provided by our members/customers)
  • Professional data (e.g., occupation and state of residence)
  • Other identification information (e.g., photographs)
  • Sensitive Personal Data (e.g., racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation and disability data) for diversity or accessibility purposes based upon information you provide us.

Personal data is not collected without your providing that information to us.
 

Non-Personal Data
 

We collect information (whether online, by phone, or by paper) that does not directly identify you as you interact with our Sites (“Non-Personal Data”). The types of Non-Personal Data we collect includes, but is not limited to:

  • Site usage (e.g., browsing history, search terms, number of clicks, referring/exit pages, date/time stamp, time on Site)
  • Products and services viewed, including advertisements for such products and services
  • Computer type, operating system and platform type
  • Internet service provider

 

HOW CMP USES YOUR DATA

In addition to the uses described above, we use your Personal Data, sometimes combined with Non-Personal Data, in a variety of ways including, but not limited to:


Personal Data
 

  • Identify you when you visit our Sites
  • Provide service communications such as invoices, order confirmations, registrations and customer service messages
  • Provide products, information and services you request or that we think you may be interested in
  • Respond to your emails or online requests for products, services, or information
  • Deliver and process surveys
  • Personalize and improve the usability of the Sites
  • Fulfill and/or deliver CMP products and services
  • Tailor content, advertising and marketing to you
  • We do not publish or aggregate credit card information or personal identification numbers such as social security numbers.


Non-Personal Data


We use Non-Personal Data to improve the usability of our Sites and for other business reasons. We or other third-party companies also use the Non-Personal Data to provide advertisements and targeted advertisements to you (ads based on the Non-Personal Data). We do not provide Personal Data to third parties with whom we share your Non-Personal Data. Please note that, when you select an advertising link or other link that takes you to sites not operated by CMP, you may be subject to the privacy policies of these third-party sites.

PERSONAL DATA COLLECTED FROM THE UNSOLVED APPLICATION

We may also obtain demographic and other personally identifiable information (such as your name, email address, password and PIN) that you voluntarily give to us when choosing to participate in various activities related to the Unsolved Application, including chat, posting messages in comment sections or in our forums, liking posts, sending feedback, and responding to surveys. 

 

If you do not turn off your phone’s location services, you may send us your geographic location.  If your camera roll is set to share, you may make your camera roll available to us.  If you have signed up to receive push notifications, you will receive those from the Unsolved Application.

 

HOW WE SHARE YOUR DATA

We share your Personal Data, sometimes combined with Non-Personal Data, in a variety of ways including, but not limited to the below:

  • Share data with third parties to fulfill service requests and to perform business functions (e.g., CMP contracts with third parties to provide services on our behalf such as customer support and consulting services; 
  • Share data with third parties as required by law or to protect CMP in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to legal requirements or comply with legal process served on the CMP; (b) protect and defend CMP’s rights or property; or (c) protect the personal safety of CMP personnel or members of the public in appropriate circumstances.
  • Share data with third parties if CMP and/or its assets (or a portion of its assets) are sold, assigned, transferred, or merged, or if CMP undergoes some other change including a change to its corporate form or as part of a bankruptcy proceeding. 
  • Share data with third parties to offer you products and services that may be of interest to you professionally or personally (e.g., apps or software).  Users can request their information to be removed from such lists by contacting us.
  • Share data with third parties under other unanticipated situations, but only with your consent.
  • Share your email address, but only as permitted by the CMP Email Policy, as follows:

Your email address will be used only by the CMP, its entities and CMP vendors performing member services, or offering products on CMP’s behalf.  CMP does not sell or rent email addresses to anyone outside the CMP, nor does CMP share email addresses to unrelated third-parties, affiliates, or CMP members.  CMP also shares your email address with third parties to enable CMP to take security measures to help protect against unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure, or destruction of data.  Finally, CMP shares email addresses with third parties as necessary for CMP to perform certain services on our behalf, such as packaging, mailing and delivering products and processing event registrations and to respond to your service requests.

 

HOW YOU CAN MANAGE YOUR DATA WE COLLECT

You can manage your profile and email preferences, including “opting out” of email by contacting us. If you prefer to receive hard copy mailings only from CMP, you can contact us and request to have your name and address removed from the list we provide to third parties.

 

For California residents, please consult the “California Privacy Rights” section for additional considerations. 

 

Our processing of your data is based upon your consent, contract performance (e.g., your purchase of products), legitimate business interest (e.g., direct marketing of goods and services), or compliance with law.  You have the right to object to our processing of your data or to restrict our processing of your data. In addition, if you have consented to the processing of your Personal Data, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time.

 

CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS

In addition to the rights as explained in this Privacy Policy, under California law, California residents who provide personal information (as defined in the statute) to obtain products or services for personal, family, or household use are entitled to request and obtain from us, once a calendar year, information about the personal information we shared, if any, with other businesses for marketing uses. If applicable, this information would include the categories of personal information and the names and addresses of those businesses with which we shared such personal information for the immediately prior calendar year (e.g., requests made in the current year will receive information about the prior year).

 

To obtain this information please write to us at:

 

Unsolved

4303 Verdugo Ave.

Burbank, CA  91505

 

 Attn: CMP -- California Privacy Law.

 

Please include your full name and address.

 

CANADIAN ANTI-SPAM LAW

CMP complies with the Canada Anti-Spam Law which requires you to opt-in to receive unauthorized Commercial Electronic Messages (as defined under the Canada Anti-Spam Law).

[DO WE DO THIS??]

 

HOW WE PROTECT PERSONAL DATA

CMP implements commercially reasonable security measures to help protect against unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure, or destruction of data. Except for membership directories, membership lists and registration lists, and the sharing of information as set forth in this Privacy Policy, we restrict access to Personal Data to certain companies who need the data to operate, develop, or improve our services. These individuals or partner organizations are bound by confidentiality obligations and may be subject to discipline, including termination and criminal prosecution, if they fail to meet these obligations.

 

Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet or electronic storage is fully secure. Accordingly, and despite our reasonable efforts to protect your Personal Data from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure, CMP cannot guarantee or warrant the security of the Personal Data you transmit to us, or to or from our online Sites. If you have questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us.

 

Certain areas of the Sites require the use of a user ID, email address, or password as an additional security measure that helps protect your Personal Data.  To help you protect your privacy, these Sites have tools to help you log in and log out.

ACCESSING, CHANGING AND DELETING PERSONAL INFORMATION

We rely on you to update and correct your Personal Data.  If you are a user of our Sites, subscriber to [CMP product], purchaser of CMP products and services, you can review, update and correct your information directly on CMP’s website or by contacting us using the information in the “Contact Information” section below.

 

Typically, we retain your Personal Data for the period necessary to fulfill the purposes outlined in this Privacy Policy, unless a longer retention period is required or permitted by law.  This may include retaining your Personal Data indefinitely, even after you are no longer a CMP member, in order to provide you with future marketing opportunities and other purposes, as well as to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, or enforce any of our agreements.  

 

Please note that you can request, at any time, that we delete your Personal Data.  All requests must be directed to the contact in the “Contact Information” section below.  We can decide to delete your Personal Data if we believe that the data is incomplete, inaccurate, or that our continued use and storage are contrary to our obligations to other members, individuals, or third parties.  When we delete your Personal Data, it will be removed from our active databases or anonymized so that the data is no longer identified with you, but the data may remain in our archives if CMP determines that it is not practical or possible to delete it.

Your Personal Data is processed in the United States, where privacy laws may be less stringent than the laws in your country and where the government, courts, or law enforcement may be able to access your data.  By submitting your Personal Data to us, you agree to the transfer, storage and processing of your Personal Data in the United States.

You, as the data subject, have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the Member State of your habitual residence, place of work, or place of the alleged infringement, if you believe that the processing of your personal data does not comply with legal requirements.

In the event we determine the occurrence of a data security incident, we will notify you by email, US mail, telephone, or other means as permitted by law.

If you have questions, comments, or complaints concerning our privacy practices or if you wish to change, access, or remove your Personal Data, please contact us as indicated below.  We will attempt, where practical, to respond to your requests and to provide you with additional privacy related information.

Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. is the owner of this Website and retains all ownership rights to the information collected at this Website. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. reserves the right to change, modify, add, or remove provisions of this Privacy Statement. Any changes to this Privacy Statement will be posted here, and we encourage you to check back from time to time. In addition, Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. will notify registered users of changes as they occur.

We allow third-party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our web site. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g., click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you. These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information. To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice or to opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit networkadvertising.org. Your use of the site constitutes your agreement to accept cookies, beacons and third-party advertising. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for third-party ads.

ARTICLE 1. Personalization
1.1 We may use the contact information you give us to better tailor your Website experience to your interests, and to send you information about Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. and its services as well as promotional material on behalf of some of our partners. We may use other information that you provide to us to show you content in which you may be interested and to display the content according to your preferences. We will also share this information within Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. in order to enhance your experience on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. Websites.
1.2 In addition, we may share this information with advertisers or other third parties that are not part of the Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. family on an aggregate or other basis that does not disclose your identity or contact information.

ARTICLE 2. Online Surveys/Contests
2.1 From time to time, we may conduct online surveys and contests. These may ask you for contact information (like name or email address) and demographic information (like zip code or age).
2.2 We may use this contact information from our surveys and contests to provide you with information about our company and promotional material on behalf of some of our partners, and to contact you when necessary.

ARTICLE 3. Shopping/Commercial Services
3.1 This Website may offer shopping services, which may be offered by us or by a firm that operates a store under contract with us. If our Website offers shopping or other commercial services, you will use a customer order form to request information, products, and services. The order form will ask you to give us contact information (like name or email address), financial information (like account or credit card numbers), and demographic information (like zip code or age).

3.2 We will use the financial information that you provide to bill you for products and services. By giving our Website your credit card and related personal information, you are authorizing our store to give that information to the merchant and credit card company in order to confirm and fulfill your order.

3.3 We will use contact information from the order form to fulfill your orders. We may also use contact data to get in touch with you when necessary. We will not otherwise use or distribute your financial information without your prior approval.

ARTICLE 4. Public forums
4.1 This Website may make available chat rooms, blogs, forums, message boards, and news groups. Please remember that any information that you disclose in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information. Information disclosed by you or by others enters the public domain and may be freely used by any other persons or entities using the site.

ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.

5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.

5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.

5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.

ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at: unsolved@unsolved.com.

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.