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George NASSAR

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Juvenile (15) - Robberies
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: May 18, 1948 / September 29, 1964
Date of arrest: Same
Date of birth: June 1932
Victims profile: Dominic Kirmil (shopowner) / Irvin Hilton, 44 (Texaco station owner)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison in 1948. Paroled early in 1961. Sentenced to death in 1965. Resentenced to life in prison in 1966
 
 

 
 

George Nassar (born June 1932) is an American murderer; Albert DeSalvo allegedly confessed to being the Boston Strangler to Nassar in late 1965. Nassar contacted his lawyer F. Lee Bailey and informed him of this confession, which led to DeSalvo becoming the prime suspect in the unsolved Strangler murders.

Early life

Nassar was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the oldest of two children of Henry Nassar and Helen (née George), both of Assyrian/Syriac descent. Henry had come to America with his parents as a child and worked at various mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He would pass away there in 1955. Helen was born in Dover, New Hampshire and worked as a bobbin setter in mills; a previous marriage (that ended in 1931) to a man named Lawrence Otis, yielded one son named after his father. Nassar has one sister named Eileen. Eileen and George grew up in Lawrence, and were Catholics. George was involved in sports, and was a Boy Scout. At school, his teachers found him reserved, quiet, and a poor mixer.

First murder

George first ran afoul of the law while he was in his sophomore year. In May 1948, he and two of his friends, Gennaro Pullino and William Kenney went on a robbery spree that netted eighty dollars. In one of the places they hit, shopowner Dominic Kirmil lunged at the trio with a Coke bottle; Nassar pulled out a nickel-plated revolver from his dark-colored trench coat and shot Kirmil four times. The shopkeeper died three hours later, from the loss of blood. Several witnesses described Nassar's distinct trench coat to the police.

On May 20, Nassar was picked up by Lawrence patrolmen Charles Keenan and Walter Sliva after crashing a stolen car on Route 2 in Ayer, Massachusetts. Initially charged with auto theft, Nassar soon became a prominent suspect in the Kirmil murder. The police found two thirty-eight-caliber bullets in his pocket, and the nickel-plated revolver used in the murder in the wrecked car. Nassar and his friends Pullino and Kenney were indicted and pleaded guilty to a second degree murder charge. They were formally sentenced to life in prison.

Nassar was sent to the prison MCI-Norfolk in Norfolk, Massachusetts. Once there, Nassar formed a friendship with Unitarian minister William Moors and joined the Prison's Debating Society. Through the efforts of Moors, Nassar was paroled early in 1961. The Boston Strangler slayings would begin the following year.

Hilton's murder

On September 29, 1964, Nassar brutally murdered 44-year-old Texaco station owner Irvin Hilton in full view of Rita Buote and her 14-year-old daughter Diane. As Buote pulled in to the station, Nassar fired one shot into the kneeling Hilton, and three more after he crumpled to the floor. Then he approached Buote's car, and tried to get her to open up. Failing, he jumped into another car and drove off toward North Andover. A truck driver, William King, wrote down the plate number and called the police.

The getaway car was found later that evening on a street in Andover next to Phillips Academy. The police soon learned that the car had been stolen earlier that day from near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. The car belonged to a navy lieutenant who was attending MIT. A thirty-two-caliber nickel-plated Harrington & Richardson revolver and a twenty-two caliber Astra semi-automatic pistol were found underneath the front seat of the car. Shells from the revolver were found at the crime scene and matched the bullets found in Hilton.

An autopsy on Hilton revealed that he had been shot six times at close range, and stabbed in the back. The police theorized that the murderer had made Hilton beg for his life while shooting him.

A description given by Rita and Diane Buote enabled Andover police officer William Tammany to draw a composite of the killer. On spotting the drawing, Nassar's former arresting officer Keenan was struck by its familiarity. He went through his files and came up with a photograph of Nassar, which the Buotes positively identified as the man they saw shooting Hilton.

Nassar was found living in the Mattapan section of Boston. The Andover, Lawrence, and state police contacted the Boston police department, and got a warrant at Dorchester District Court to search the suspect's car and his apartment on 51 Deering Road. When the police arrived, they found Nassar with a social worker. A hunting knife was also located and confiscated.

Nassar was subsequently arrested and sent to Bridgewater to await his trial. He was said to have schizophrenic tendencies and was put under observation when he met DeSalvo. On June 26, 1965, a jury found Nassar guilty of Hilton's murder, with no recommendation for mercy. He received the death sentence, and was placed on Death Row at Walpole State Prison pending appeal. On June 7, 1966, his sentence was stricken by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and later changed to life imprisonment.

Later life

Nassar was being held in federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, as recently as 2006. Nassar is currently at Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Cedar Junction.

On February 16, 2008, Nassar's appeal was denied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Wikipedia.org


Appeal denied for jailhouse confidant of reputed Boston Strangler George Nassar convicted of Lawrence and Andover murders

By Jay Lindsey - EagleTribune.com

February 16, 2008

BOSTON — The state's highest court yesterday denied an appeal in the 1967 murder conviction of George Nassar, a remorseless killer who some believe is the real Boston Strangler.

Nassar's appeal before the Supreme Judicial Court came after his case lay dormant for more than 20 years. During that time, Nassar was implicated by various people close to the case as the real Boston Strangler, who killed 13 women between 1962 and early 1964.

He has denied he had anything to do with the deaths, and his attorney, Claudia Bolgen, repeated the denial yesterday.

Nassar, now 75, was 15 when he killed a Lawrence store clerk in 1948. He was paroled in 1961, then charged in October 1964 with shooting an Andover gas station attendant to death as the man begged for mercy.

Nassar's case before the state's highest court concerned a motion he filed to indicate an intention to appeal the 1982 denial of a new trial in the second killing. But he never acted, and the matter was dismissed in November 1983.

In 2006, Nassar, who is serving a life sentence and is known for an extraordinarily high IQ, argued in court filings that he couldn't make his case because he was in federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, without access to Massachusetts legal materials.

The court noted yesterday that Nassar was back in Massachusetts in December 1983 and didn't inquire about the case then or for more than two decades after.

Bolgen said she was disappointed in the decision, but said Nassar had a pending motion for a new trial in Essex County that she was confident would be granted.

The motion claims the judge gave erroneous jury instructions, including one involving a witness photo identification, and questions whether Nassar was advised of his right to testify, Bolgen said.

Bolgen said she could not comment on why there was such a gap in litigation in the case, but said Nassar is innocent of the 1964 killing.

"We're hoping for justice, that's all I can say, even after this late date," she said.

While in jail, Nassar befriended Albert DeSalvo, who had been arrested for sexual assault in November 1964. The next year, Nassar told his attorney, F. Lee Bailey, that DeSalvo, another client of Bailey's, was the Boston Strangler.

DeSalvo then confessed in remarkable detail to Bailey, who told the story in court in hopes of convincing the jury considering the sexual assault charges that DeSalvo was insane. It didn't work, and DeSalvo was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

DeSalvo later recanted his confession and was killed in prison in 1973. In 2001, forensic scientists announced that DNA evidence taken from the body of the strangler's final victim didn't match DeSalvo's.

Ames Robey, a former prison psychologist who analyzed both DeSalvo and Nassar, has said Nassar was a misogynistic, psychopathic killer who was a far more likely suspect than DeSalvo. Some followers of the case said Nassar was the real strangler and fed DeSalvo details of the murders so he could confess and gain notoriety.

In a 1999 interview with The Boston Globe, Nassar denied involvement in the strangler murders, but said the speculation killed any chance he had for parole.

"I had nothing to do with it," he said. "I'm convicted under the table, behind the scenes."



George Nassar (center) as he arrived for his arraignment on charge of murdering Irvin Hilton, (Sept 29, 1964) in Andover Mass. At left is patrolman William F. Tammany, who drew the sketch of the suspect, which led to his arrest.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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