1. George Parkman Society Murder (1849)
The Parkman–Webster murder case was a Boston crime that was highly publicized due to the high social status of the victim and the alleged murderer, as well as the gruesome nature of the crime. In November 1849, Boston businessman Dr. George Parkman disappeared. His remains were found and had been partially cremated, dental evidence and bone fragments were used to verify the remains. On January 26, 1850, Webster was indicted for murder. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging, although it was speculated that he was never actually hanged.
2. The Killer Child (1874)
Jesse Pomeroy became the youngest killer in America when he confessed to the murders of two children at the age of 14. He had been previously arrested for using a knife to torture other kids in his South Boston neighborhood. He was sentenced to death for the murders but the execution was never carried out. He was incarcerated at the state prison in Charlestown for more than 50 years.
3. The Postcard Killer (1912)
John Frank Hickey was called the “Postcard Killer” because he sent anonymous messages to police detailing his crimes and the locations of his victims’ bodies. Detectives used the messages to apprehend Hickey in New Jersey. He confessed to the murders of one man and two young boys, as well as assaults on numerous children. He claimed his crimes were fueled by alcohol and argued not guilty by reason of insanity. Hickey was found guilty of second-degree murder.
4. Whitey Bulger (1943-Present)
Whitey Bulger was an Irish-American organized crime boss who ran the Boston Irish Mob known as the Winter Hill Gang in his South Boston headquarters for decades. He was involved in all kinds of crimes, from racketeering to drug trafficking to murder. Bulger ran due to an impending indictment in late 1994, and he was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. After almost 17 years, he was found in California and arrested. He was convicted of 11 murders and was sentenced to two life sentences plus five years.
5. The Boston Strangler (Early 1960s)
The Boston Strangler is one of the most infamous killers of all time. The name was given to the killer who strangled 13 Boston-area women using their own silk stockings. Albert DeSalvo was thought to be responsible for the crimes due to the multiple women who identified him as their sexual assailant. DeSalvo confessed to being the Boston Strangler while in custody, and in 2013, DNA evidence linked him to Mary Sullivan, the final Boston Strangler victim.
6. Swedish Nanny Murder (1996)
On June 23, 1996, Karina Holmer, a 20-year-old Swedish au pair, disappeared outside a Boston nightclub. Less than 12 hours later, a homeless person discovered her severed upper body in a Back Bay dumpster. The murder has never been solved, and remains Boston's most notorious "cold case."
7. The Craigslist Killer (2010)
Philip Markoff, a 23-year-old man, was engaged to be married and studying to be a doctor at Boston University. He was charged in the death of Julissa Brisman, a 25-year-old woman. Investigators say Markoff responded to Brisman’s ad on Craigslist for a massage. He met her at the Marriott Copley Place and allegedly shot her multiple times. Due to the way Markoff found his victim, he became known as the “Craigslist Killer.” Police later used surveillance footage to connect him to two other assaults on women he’d met through Craigslist. Markoff was put in prison and committed suicide in 2010 while awaiting trial for his alleged crimes.
8. Aaron Hernandez Murders (2015)
On April 15, 2015, Aaron Hernandez, former tight end for the New England Patriots, was found guilty of multiple murders. On June 18, 2013, police searched Hernandez's house while investigating the shooting death of his friend, Odin Lloyd. A damaged cell phone owned by Hernandez was turned over to police, and Hernandez had had his house professionally cleaned the same day Lloyd’s body was found. He was also investigated in connection with the killing deaths of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, 28, in Boston’s South End. On May 15, 2014, Hernandez was indicted on murder charges for both killings.