The Series

STRANGLEHOLD "the Series" is a footnote to the feature documentary, STRANGLEHOLD: In the Shadow of the Boston Strangler. In an investigation, every bit of information makes it into a case file, unlike in storytelling, were select story lines are followed and others left on the cutting room floor. As a result, this web-based series is an attempt to self-produce and self-publish as much of the investigation of Phil DiNatale and his involvement as a lead investigator on the case of the Boston Strangler. Through the form of short videos, and in the vein of an investigation, this series is our families effort to get Detective DiNatale's story into the public sphere. Entirely self-produced and self-distributed, our aim is to tell Phil’s side of the investigation as it should be told, in full, while using cold hard documentation.

Introduction

In this introduction, filmmaker Myles Jewell and his Uncle/Producer, John DiNatale, talk about the release and intent of the web series, STRANGLEHOLD the Series, to promote the release of their feature documentary, STRANGLEHOLD: In the Shadow of the Boston Strangler.

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Trailer

In this short trailer for STRANGLEHOLD “the Series,” the players of this true crime drama are revealed with a quick introduction to Phil DiNatale, his role in the case, and what this web based series will reveal.

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Episode 001

In the first episode of STRANGLEHOLD: the Series, filmmaker Myles David Jewell and his Uncle John, introduce their role in producing this never seen before material. For the Uncle/Nephew team, Phil DiNatale's untold story needs to be put into the public sphere, and they are acting as conduits to piece together Phil's investigation from the depths of the homemade detective archive that Phil left behind to his family after his death in 1987. With John's investigative expertise, and a filmmaker nephew, the two explain why this web-based series has been produced. But why does the nephew/Uncle team need to tell Phil's story in full?

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Episode 002

In Episode 002, the audience begins to learn the origins of the DiNatale detective legacy. Charting the DiNatale family back to Salvatore DiNatale's immigration from Italy to the USA in 1897, and Sal's acceptance to the Boston Police Force in 1919, the family quickly became focused on being civil servants. With five out of the six brothers joining the Police force after WWII, it's easy to see how Phil DiNatale got his start as an investigator.

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Context: Boston 1950’s

In this “Context” episode, we feel it's important to give the viewer an understanding of what Boston was like in the 1950's. Before the case of the Boston Strangler broke, the mentality of Bostonians in the 1950's was typical of the entire country, and sets the stage for one of the great true crime stories of the 20th Century.

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Episode 003

Before there was a string of brutal stranglings in the 1960's, Phil DiNatale was mostly a mix between cop and father, and the one thing that would pull him away from his family was the thing he felt kept them the most safe- investigating crime.

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Detective Story

As part of the web series, there will be a slew of detective stories and anecdotes as told by Phil DiNatale. In “Know your area,” Phil explains the importance of being a beat cop, knowing one neighborhood and the people on the block.

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Detective Story 2

A Phil DiNatale detective story, “Bred to be a Detective,” shows how Phil's father would send him and all his brothers police pamphlets and papers while they were fighting abroad, so upon their return, they would be ready to take their police exam.

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Episode 004

With the city of Boston on the brink of hysteria after an initial five murders, the pressure was mounting for the cities finest. In Episode 004, Phil talks about the elusiveness of the first five murders. Detective DiNatale's son, John (also a detective), talks about Phil's meticulousness as an investigator, foreshadowing the importance of Phil's home made detective archive.

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Context: The Murders

In this “Context” episode, the thirteen Boston Stranglings are explained in brief detail according to date, victim, place and a few details of how the body was found.

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Ode to Boston

The day after the Boston Marathon explosions, we wanted to release some imagery of our beloved city to help heal wounds that will never be forgotten. Boston is a beautiful town that has run a great marathon for a long time, and the event has now been tarnished with a senseless act.

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The Russ Gorman Interview

“The Boston Strangler Revisited,” featured an interview with my grandfather taken on January 31, 1985. Russ Gorman was the last person to interview my grandfather and put down on tape his story about the Boston Strangler. Fortunately, the production company gave us a copy of the raw footage of the interview on VHS. This interview has been a mainstay in piecing together his investigation, and hearing the story from the horses mouth, so to speak.

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Episode 005

In Episode 005, the cities finest had eleven murders on their hands and didn't have any physical evidence or clues. As one of the BPD's best, what was Phil's method of operation? How did his MO help him eventually get the name of Albert DeSalvo?

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Context: The Archive

In this Context episode, Phil's homemade detective archive is revealed. The focus of the 80-minute documentary and the home of all the primary source material, this archive will put viewers at the desk of Detective DiNatale and in the middle of the Task Force's investigation.

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The Ben Farnsworth Interview

In these radio interviews, Phil continues to harp on the behind the scenes politicking and disgracefulness of why a conviction was never sought for any of the murders, and why he will always believe that Albert DeSalvo is the Boston Strangler.

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Producers Update

Reaching the midway point of the year long series, the uncle and nephew team give an update as to what the series has done after the first six months, and what is to come.

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Episode 006

Focusing on the two months leading up to Albert DeSalvo's confession that he was the Boston Strangler, Detective Phil DiNatale got a lead that put him hot on the trail of Albert DeSalvo. Told through the day to day journals of Phil, it becomes clear that DeSalvo was a suspect months before he confessed.

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Director's Update

Director Myles David Jewell gives an update as to goals for the month of June, which is the halfway point of “the Series.” Aiming to release a video a day, the idea is to re-post the whole series, a bunch of new content and try and increase viewership.

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Phil's Tape Recorder

In this episode, Phil's son, John DiNatale, explains the role Phil's dictaphone played in his method of operation as an investigator, and as a tool for Phil to put his "untold story" of the Boston Strangler to tape.

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Episode 007

In Episode 007, Albert DeSalvo's becomes number one suspect, F. Lee Bailey goes behind the back of the Strangler Task Force, and a deal is made surrounding DeSalvo's confessions.

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Station House Detectives vs. Homicide Detectives

In this Detective story, Phil lays out the rivalry between the local station house detectives who tend to walk a beat and know a neighborhood, verse the homicide detectives who push the station house detectives aside whenever there is a murder.

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The Anonymous Tip

In this episode, the anonymous tip that Phil received is explored in more depth.

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The Clerical Error

In this side note episode, Phil and John trade stories about how Phil found the clerical error that cleared DeSalvo's name as a suspect. Phil's interview is circa 1985, see the Russ Gorman Interview episode to learn more.

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Working up DeSalvo

After receiving the anonymous tip and finding the clerical, Phil begins to work up DeSalvo.

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Breaking News July 11, 2013

On July 11, 2013, the Boston Police Department held a news conference at 11am, relaying details about DNA evidence that connects Albert DeSalvo with the Mary Sullivan murder.

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Phil and his Scale Diagrams I

Once on the Strangler Task Force, Phil went to every murder scene and hand drew these scale diagrams. In his 1985 interview, he showed three of the diagrams and talked about some of the important features of how these were helpful during the investigation. In this episode, Phil looks at the Jane Sullivan murder.

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Phil and his Scale Diagrams II

In this episode, Phil looks at the Anna Slessers murder.

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Phil and his Scale Diagrams III

In this episode, Phil looks at the Patricia Bissette murder.

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Episode 008

After DeSalvo confessed to the murders in 1965, the Strangler Bureau needed to make a decision of what to do with the confessions. A deal was made to have DeSalvo give his full confession to John Bottomly, while the investigators on the Strangler Bureau needed to cross-check the information.

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Context: The Players

In this context episode, a rundown of some of the major players is revealed.

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The Strangler Bureau

In 1964, the city of Boston was at its wits end, and as a final step in catching the madman on the loose, the city of put together a special task force, called "The Strangler Bureau."

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The F. Lee Bailey Situation

Once lawyers became involved, especially a famed defense attorney like F. Lee Bailey, everything turned into a situation.

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Phil on Bailey

Phil speaks about the respect he has for Bailey, but also the criticism he has for such a showy lawyer.

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Episode 009

After the confessions and DeSalvo was sentenced to life in prison for unrelated charges, you would think the story would end there. But for Phil DiNatale, the hunter, he became friends with the most unlikely person, the hunted.

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The Political Iron Curtain

In this episode, Phil explains the political iron curtain that fell and prevented Albert from ever being tried for his confessed 13 stranglings.

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The Cross-Checking

One of the biggest tasks of the Strangler Bureau to prove DeSalvo's guilt was to cross-checking his confessions. In this episode, the amount of work is explained and expanded upon from earlier episodes.

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Cross-Checking the Mary Sullivan Murder

In this episode, John DiNatale, the son of Phil DiNatale, dissects the famed Mary Sullivan murder through his father's work cross-checking the confession. This the murder that in July of 2013, was linked to Albert DeSalvo through DNA evidence.

STRANGLEHOLD "the Series" is a footnote to the feature documentary, STRANGLEHOLD: In the Shadow of the Boston Strangler.

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Andy Tuney on DeSalvo

State Police Lt Detective Andy Tuney joined the Strangler Task Force and asked alongside for three long years cracking the case of the Boston Strangler, and how he shares an anecdote about why he thinks DeSalvo is the Strangler.

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The DiNatale Detective Legacy

Since 1919, the DiNatale's have been in the business of sleuthing. In this episode, the DiNatale Detective Legacy is revealed.

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Episode 010

In episode 010, the most unlikely of friendships is revealed, uncovering a twist to the Strangler Saga, that the public doesn't know about until now.

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Letter Excerpts from DeSalvo (August 17th, 1967)

This video consists of excerpts of a letter from Albert DeSalvo to lead investigator on the case of the Boston Strangler, Phil DiNatale, on August 17th, 1967. This is one of 33 letters penned by DeSalvo to DiNatale while DeSalvo was in jail.

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Episode 011

In Episode 011, the political aftermath as to why a conviction was never sought, why Phil was so angry about it, and the falling out between Phil and DeSalvo is explored.

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Letter Excerpts from DeSalvo (June 21st, 1967)

This video consists of excerpts of a letter from Albert DeSalvo to lead investigator on the case of the Boston Strangler, Phil DiNatale, on June 21st, 1967. This is one of 33 letters penned by DeSalvo to DiNatale while DeSalvo was in jail.

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Letter Excerpts from DeSalvo (May 16th, 1967)

This video consists of excerpts of a letter from Albert DeSalvo to lead investigator on the case of the Boston Strangler, Phil DiNatale, on May 16th, 1967. This is one of 33 letters penned by DeSalvo to DiNatale while DeSalvo was in jail.

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Letter Excerpts from DeSalvo (July 27th, 1967)

This video consists of excerpts of a letter from Albert DeSalvo to lead investigator on the case of the Boston Strangler, Phil DiNatale, on July 27th, 1967. This is one of 33 letters penned by DeSalvo to DiNatale while DeSalvo was in jail.

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Context: The Letters

Giving context as to how detective Phil DiNatale befriended the same man he spent years of his life chasing. The most unlikely of pen pals is revealed in this episode of STRANGLEHOLD the Series.

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Andy Tuney on John Bottomly

Andy Tuney worked along side Phil on the Strangler Task Force, and in 2010, Uncle Johnny got a chance to sit down with Andy Tuney and talk about the strangler investigation. In this short piece, Andy talks on Bottomly's involvement in the confessions.

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The Alternate Theories

Starting with Susan Kelly's book, "The Boston Stranglers," published in 1995, a slew of alternate theories have worked there way into the public's consciousness. These theories promote the hypothesis that Albert DeSalvo is not the Boston Strangler.

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Phil on DeSalvo

In this episode, Detective Phil DiNatale discusses Albert DeSalvo.

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Episode 012

The final episode after a year long release on the first of every month. There will be a few more wrap-up videos, but this is the last installment of the DiNatale detective legacy and the Strangler saga.

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DNA Evidence

On July 11th, 2013, the case of the Boston Strangler was re-opened, bringing closure to the last victim's murder, Mary Sullivan, and finally linking Albert DeSalvo thru DNA evidence, to his final strangulation.

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Case Closed

After a year long web series that is a footnote to the 80 minute documentary, may the case of the Boston Strangler finally be closed.

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More videos to come on a monthly basis, so please check back and like us on Facebook