My Chance Encounter With the Boston Strangler

One woman’s late-night encounter with the Boston Strangler.

By Christopher WynnMay 23, 2016 10:52 am,

Strange” is an occasional podcast by The Dallas Morning News where fascinating people tell their true stories of an encounter with the strange. The Standard is running pieces of the first episode throughout the week.

What does it mean to feel safe?

It’s a question Dallas Morning News Arts & Culture Editor Christopher Wynn has been exploring in his new podcast, “Strange.”

The series begins with Dallas preservationist and author Virginia Savage McAlester. She’s probably best known for her book “A Field Guide to American Houses.” But what almost no one knows about McAlester is that when she was a college student, she had a chilling encounter with one of the most infamous serial killers of the 20th century: the Boston Strangler.

Here’s an excerpt of her story:

The thing I hated the very most when I was in college was the long, cold walk from the classrooms back to our dorm a mile away. And one night, after a very late class, it was particularly cold and particularly windy and I gave into the temptation to take a shortcut and walk home through the middle of the Cambridge common – instead of sticking to the populated streets.

As I approached the common that night I scanned it for people, thinking if it was empty it would be safe. (I) walked through it and about the time I got to the middle of the common suddenly, almost out of nowhere, an unusual man in a weird green suit just appeared right next to me and said “You should be a model.”

Listen to the rest of McAlester’s story in the audio player above.

Prepared for web by Beth Cortez-Neavel.