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The Documentary

The 80 minute documentary is the first feature from director Myles David Jewell, who spent four years making the film under the guidance of his producer, Cheryl Furjanic, and his Uncle, John DiNatale. John has been an investigator since his father started taking him on surveillance cases, doubling as driving lessons, when he was only 16. As a result, STRANGLEHOLD: In the Shadow of the Boston Strangler, showcases an expertise on what it means to conduct an investigation, and what that process looks like. Focusing mostly on the homemade archive of Detective Phil DiNatale, the documentary is produced for festival screenings, limited theatrical release, broadcast, VOD/digital distribution, and classroom engagements/Criminology courses.

The Series

The conviction behind the 80-minute documentary focuses on the fact that Phil DiNatale, one of the lead detectives who found key clues on the case of the Boston Strangler, never saw the books close on his biggest pinch. For this reason, Phil tried to put his story on record until the day he died in 1987, and ultimately, what he left behind was a reservoir of documents, clippings, and recordings, that track not only his investigation of the Boston Strangler, but his whole career. However, it is obvious to see that that Phil's investigation would be impossible to fit into an 80-minute documentary. His note taking was too extensive, his documentation to elaborate, to ever fully tell his story. But as Phil’s heirs, Uncle John and his nephew/filmmaker feel it is their obligation to tell Phil's side of the investigation in as much detail and hard documentation as they can. What Myles lacks in investigative experience, Uncle John makes up for it with his own lived experience as an investigator following in his father's footsteps, landing them as an authority on the case.

Thus, it has been Uncle John and Myles working as a team to produce the documentary and realizing that they needed to go on and release all the material that hit the cutting room floor and even material that wasn't ever going to make the film. As a result, they decided to put the full story of detective DiNatale out into the public sphere, not only to combat the alternate theories that claim DeSalvo was only a fraud, but also to restore Phil's name for posterity. The archive has lived in the possession of Uncle John, for over twenty years, and it is time to realize Phil's ambition to have his story told in full, mainly to put an end to any questions about the case of the Boston Strangler.


In the 1960′s, filmmkaker Myles Jewell's grandfather, Phil DiNatale, worked relentlessly as an investigator on the case of the Boston Strangler. But despite Phil's meticulous investigative efforts, the case got caught in Boston’s political cross hairs and was never officially solved. Now, fifty years later, Myles plunges headfirst into his grandfather’s immense homemade detective archive to reveal never-before-seen details about the Strangler investigation. Part historical film, part personal documentary, and part whodunit, STRANGLEHOLD tells the story of a beat cop turned famed detective, Phil DiNatale, and the long-lasting effects his investigative legacy has had on his family for generations.


Myles David Jewell

Myles David Jewell is an award winning filmmaker whose films have played both in the US and abroad. He has a Master’s of Arts in Cinema Studies with a certificate from NYU’s Culture and Media Program. He runs a production company, Pennington Productions, with four components- the production of features aimed at festival and broadcast distribution, conducting educational workshops that promote media literacy in disenfranchised areas, branding creative content for web and promotion, as well as other one stop services such as freelance animating, editing, shooting, and promo videos, web content, family histories, events, etc.

John DiNatale

John P. DiNatale is the senior partner of DiNatale Detective Agency. He began his apprenticeship with his father Phil when he was in his late teens. John accompanied him on surveillances and investigations, took notes during interviews of criminal defendants, penned witness statements learning the art of investigation through practical experience. John apprenticed part-time throughout college and graduate school. He joined his father in 1976 with eight years experience. After 43 years, John has conducted and supervised over 10,000 investigations for Massachusetts' elite criminal and civil attorneys, corporations and insurance companies.

Cheryl Furjanic (producer)

Cheryl Furjanic is an award-winning filmmaker whose films have screened at 100+ festivals worldwide and on television. She is currently in post-production on Back on Board (2013), a feature documentary about Olympic champion diver Greg Louganis. Her first feature documentary, Sync or Swim (2008), received numerous awards including a Billie Award for Journalism from the Women’s Sports Foundation, and is now available on DVD and iTunes. Cheryl holds a BFA in Film & Television production from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a Masters from NYU/Tisch’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). She has been teaching documentary production at New York University for over a decade. She has yet to attempt diving or synchronized swimming.

Scott Hirsch (sound design)

Scott Hirsch became obsessed with sound and image at an early age with a grip of analog magnetic film, a sync block, and a moviola machine. Although some of his tools have evolved, Scott's approach to sound design remains as methodical as it did with every splice and grease pencil mark; echo magic is carefully woven into the very fabric of his work. Recent film projects include sound effects editing on Rick Alverson's “The Comedy,” Matthew Porterfield's “I Used to Be Darker,” and Michael Tully's “Septien.” Scott's sound design and re-recording work can be heard on SXSW's best short winner and Cannes selection “The Chair,” directed by Grainger David. Recent documentary post-production work includes Hannah Jayanti's “The Phantom Tollbooth Turns 50.”

Wes Buckley (original score)

Wes Buckley and Myles have been working together since 2007.