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New Strangling Victim in Boston Area

Nov. 24, 1963 - Joann Marie Graff, a 22-year-old industrial designer who recently came to Lawrence, Mass., from Chicago, was found dead today with two stockings knotted around her neck. The circumstances were similar to those in the stranglings of 10 other Greater Boston women in the last 18 months. The associate medical examiner, Dr. Paul A. Oskar, attributed death to “asphyxiation by strangulation.” He said Miss Graff had been dead 16 to 18 hours, which would place the time of death from 2 to 4 p.m. yesterday. The police obtained the description of a man seen leaving Miss Graff’s apartment house about that time. Besides the two stockings, Dr. Oskar said one leg of a black leotard was also knotted about the victim’s neck. He said an autopsy disclosed sexual molestation. Miss Graff taught Sunday School at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Lawrence. The police said friends from Lawrence had tried to reach her by telephone and had received no answer. They notified the police, who obtained a key and entered the small apartment. Sgt. Francis T. O’Connor said he had found the body sprawled sideways across the bed. The greater Boston police are still investigating 10 unsolved strangling deaths since June 14, 1962. The last one occurred Sept. 8, when the body of Mrs. Evelyn Corbin, a 57-year-old divorcée, was found in her Salem apartment. Most of the deaths occurred in Boston proper. Salem and Lawrence are in Essex County, north of Boston.


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