“Strangler in the Night” single by serial killer Albert DeSalvo (aka “The Boston Strangler”)
During the early 60s my old home town of Boston was terrorized by an ultra-violent serial killer dubbed “The Boston Strangler.” Once the alleged killer, Albert DeSalvo, was apprehended, fellow Bostonian Dick Levitan, a news reporter for long-running Boston talk radio station WEEI, was one of a few journalists allowed access to DeSalvo for interview purposes. DeSalvo was never actually convicted of any of the thirteen murders but was sentenced to life in prison for a series of rapes. He was found stabbed to death in the infirmary of what was then known as Walpole State prison in 1973.
In a very creepy and super strange twist in this infamous case, Levitan was paid an undisclosed sum by Astor Records for the rights to record a riff on the song “Strangers in the Night” (which was recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1966), called “Strangler in the Night.” The lyrics for “Strangler in the Night” were culled by Levitan from an interview he conducted with DeSalvo after he was arrested and Levitan himself even lends his voice to the spoken word track that was performed along with musical accompaniment by a band from Marlboro, Massachusetts called “The Bugs.” This wasn’t the only time details of DeSalvo’s horrific exploits were pressed into a record: 1969’s “Midnight Rambler” by The Rolling Stones is also loosely based on the Strangler’s killing spree.
The sleeve for “Strangler in the Night”
Creepier still is the fact that you can actually own a piece of this super bizarre piece of dark history as the single (whose B-side features the song “Albert Albert” by The Bugs about DeSalvo’s crime spree) is currently up for sale for the tidy sum of $127.20 over on Etsy. At the time of this writing there are also a few kicking around on eBay (which includes a reproduction of DeSalvo’s signature on the sleeve) if collecting this kind of messed up memorabilia is your thing. You can listen to the recording after the jump. If you need me, I’ll be under the bed…