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It’s strange enough for a lawyer — or anyone — to come out of retirement at age 70. It’s stranger still when that attorney has been in the spotlight recently for a case he helped prosecute some 40 years ago. Such is the long and varied legal career of Julian Soshnick, who has ended his retirement by returning as general counsel to Peabody, Mass.-based Analogic Corp., a manufacturer of CAT scans and other high-tech medical diagnostic equipment. This comes at a time when Soshnick is involved in a national campaign — through interviews with The Boston Globe, CNN, National Public Radio and others — to defend the handling of the Boston Strangler case. “How many lawyers ever get involved in this type of case?” Soshnick asked recently. For the record, Soshnick’s career is very much in the present. After retiring in December 2000 after two decades as general counsel for the 1,800-employee Analogic, Soshnick stayed on as a consultant. But he recently agreed to return full time after his successor left — which Soshnick said is a good thing for him. “I was having a pretty hard time of it,” Soshnick said, referring to the pace of retirement. “This fellow leaving the company was fortuitous.” DESALVO CASE Soshnick might be less pleased that the case of Albert DeSalvo was thrust back into the news. DeSalvo is the blue-collar worker who admitted to the strangulations in 1965 while being held on unrelated sex and robbery charges. In 1967, he was convicted at trial on the unrelated charges and sentenced to life in prison. Prosecutors were convinced, however, that he was the man who terrorized Boston by murdering 13 women between 1962 and 1964. Soshnick, as a prosecutor with the Massachusetts attorney general’s office, sat in on one of the interviews with DeSalvo and later interviewed DeSalvo one-on-one. Under an agreement with prosecutors, they were barred from using DeSalvo’s statements about the Strangler murders unless they had independent evidence, which prosecutors were unable to obtain. DeSalvo was stabbed to death by another inmate in 1973. After DeSalvo’s relatives and those of his last victim successfully demanded DNA tests, the tests showed that the DNA on the body of this last victim did not match DeSalvo’s. Disclosure of this compelled Soshnick to get involved. He’s told interviewers that DeSalvo was the Boston Strangler. The lack of DeSalvo’s DNA on the body of Mary Sullivan only proves someone else’s DNA was on her body, Soshnick said, explaining that the Strangler did not rape all of his victims. What no one can dispute, Soshnick added, is that the Strangler killings stopped after DeSalvo’s arrest and DeSalvo provided crime scene details — the unusual knot used to strangle the victims — that were never made public. While the DeSalvo case is certainly Soshnick’s most famous, it is not the one that, ultimately, had the greatest impact on his career. That would come years later in private practice, when Soshnick handled the complex divorce of Bernard M. Gordon, Analogic’s founder. It was Soshnick’s handling of the divorce that attracted Gordon’s attention and, in 1980, he convinced Soshnick to come on board as GC. There is also an emotional link to the company: an Analogic CAT-scan machine helped doctors diagnose Soshnick’s lung cancer six years ago. Today, his cancer surgery’s only reminder is a cough that hardly slows Soshnick’s machine-gun speech. His return to Analogic, which is a publicly traded company that reported $75.8 million in revenue for the first quarter ending Oct. 31, 2001, comes at a particularly busy time. The firm’s contract and patent issues took on added importance after Sept. 11 because the company also makes luggage-scanning devices used by security personnel. And then there is the international travel involving Soshnick’s work with Analogic joint ventures in Russia, China and Denmark: all pretty heady for the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born son of Russian and Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. “The law is fascinating, always an intellectual challenge,” he said. “I’ve always told kids that if they just want to make a buck, go work in a supermarket.”

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