At a news conference, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said DeSalvo's body will be exhumed to collect DNA, The Boston Globe reported. Conley said DNA surreptitiously obtained from DeSalvo's nephew showed a "familial match" with evidence found on the body of Mary Sullivan, believed to be one of the Strangler's victims.
The Strangler is believed to have killed 11 women in the Boston area between 1962 and 1964. DeSalvo, imprisoned for rape, became a suspect when he told a cellmate he was the notorious killer.
The case never went to trial, and DeSalvo never pleaded guilty to the Strangler killings. His lawyer, F. Lee Bailey, arranged to include his admission to the killings at proceedings involving unrelated rapes, and DeSalvo received a life sentence.
DeSalvo was stabbed to death in Walpole Prison in 1973 at the age of 42.
A number of people who have studied the case have raised doubts over the years with some experts saying there was no single killer behind all the crimes. Former U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke, R-Mass., who was the state attorney general in the early 1960s, told the Globe last year that he is not convinced about the case.
"Even to this day, I can't say with certainty that the person who ultimately was designated as the Boston Strangler was the Boston Strangler," Brooke said.
Conley was joined at the news conference by Casey Sherman, Sullivan's nephew. He said officials from his office planned to meet with other surviving relatives of the victims Thursday.