Jane Sanders Britton


Jane Sanders Britton

Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 7 Jan 1969 (aged 23)
Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Needham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot Section D Block A Lot 64
Memorial ID 180038886 View Source

Two Points of View:

*Note: Victim of the Boston Strangler. Same Apartment as previous murder victim, Beverly Samans.

*Note: Jane was not a victim of the Boston Strangler, her murder was solved through DNA testing. See Prologue below - Amanda Block.

Jane is buried in Needham Cemetery in her hometown of Needham, MA. This information was contained in newspaper articles that covered her funeral. Kathe Cunningham .

Investigators may finally have a break in a cold case murder that has haunted the Boston area for almost 50 years.

The Middlesex District Attorney's Office is slated to hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to announce a "significant development" in the unsolved 1969 killing of Jane Britton due to DNA testing.

"Over the past year our office has been in the process of conducting DNA testing on the evidence taken from a 1969 Cambridge homicide," Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a press release Monday. "I am excited to announce a significant development in the case as a result of that testing."
Prosecutors declined to provide more details before the press conference takes place.
Britton, a 23-year-old graduate student studying anthropology at Harvard University, was found dead in her fourth-floor apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the chilly afternoon of Jan. 7, 1969. A boyfriend discovered her body when he came to check on her after she didn't show up for an exam that morning.
Britton, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, had been sexually assaulted and bludgeoned to death, according to Cambridge police records.

Contributor: Linda Gatlin (48115145)

NBC News
November 20, 2018
By Doha Madani

New DNA and ancestry technology have helped solve a rape and murder case after nearly 50 years, Massachusetts authorities said Tuesday.

Investigators were able to connect a serial rapist to the 1969 murder of Harvard University student Jane Britton by connecting old DNA evidence to a relative on, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said at a press conference Tuesday.

"I am today confident that the mystery of who killed Jane Britton has finally been solved," Ryan told reporters.

Michael Sumpter, who was 54 when he died of cancer in 2001, was connected to Britton's murder through the FBI's Combined DNA Index System and confirmed through a biological brother found by a genealogical website. Sumpter's brother was cooperative and offered to give a DNA sample necessary for a conclusive match, Ryan said.

There is no indication that Sumpter and Britton had any connection to each other outside of the fact that Sumpter worked about a mile from Britton's apartment, one of the many stumbling blocks in the case. Another problem was that investigators only had partial DNA evidence, Ryan said.

"It's important to remember that DNA was not being used in any widespread way in Massachusetts until about 27 years ago," Ryan told reporters.

Britton, who was a 23-year-old graduate student at the time of her death, was found by her boyfriend in her Cambridge apartment after she missed an exam. Medical examiners determined that Britton had been raped and struck multiple times by a blunt object after a night out with her boyfriend and friends.

Investigators now feel confident that Sumpter snuck in through a window and attacked Britton shortly after she came home. Sumpter died about a year after finishing his prison sentence for a 1975 rape. Since his death authorities have tied Sumpter to four other rapes, two of which also resulted in death.

Britton's murder is the oldest cold case the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office has solved to date, according to Ryan.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ provided plot location.

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  • Created by: Dan Oh
  • Added: 4 Jun 2017
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 180038886
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jane Sanders Britton (17 May 1945–7 Jan 1969), Find a Grave Memorial ID 180038886, citing Needham Cemetery, Needham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Dan Oh (contributor 46803017) Burial Details Unknown.