tony costa, serial killer, Cape Cod Vampire, Cassanova, Tony Chop Chop

Susan Perry, Sydney Monzon, Patricia Walsh, and Mary Anne Wysocki. These four women were murdered by the same man. But they wouldn’t be the only victims. Just the ones whose bodies were discovered in a garden near a cemetery in Truro, Massachusetts. This is the story of Tony Costa, and his Secret Garden of Gore.

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Books mentioned in the podcast:

The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer by Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan

Description from Amazon:

A chilling true story—part memoir, part crime investigation—reminiscent of Ann Rule’s classic The Stranger Beside Me, about a little girl longing for love and how she found friendship with her charismatic babysitter—who was also a vicious serial killer.

Growing up on Cape Cod in the 1960s, Liza Rodman was a lonely little girl. During the summers, while her mother worked days in a local motel and danced most nights in the Provincetown bars, her babysitter—the kind, handsome handyman at the motel where her mother worked—took her and her sister on adventures in his truck. He bought them popsicles and together, they visited his “secret garden” in the Truro woods. To Liza, he was one of the few kind and understanding adults in her life. Everyone thought he was just a “great guy.”

But there was one thing she didn’t know; their babysitter was a serial killer.

Some of his victims were buried—in pieces—right there, in his garden in the woods. Though Tony Costa’s gruesome case made screaming headlines in 1969 and beyond, Liza never made the connection between her friendly babysitter and the infamous killer of numerous women, including four in Massachusetts, until decades later.

Haunted by nightmares and horrified by what she learned, Liza became obsessed with the case. Now, she and cowriter Jennifer Jordan reveal the chilling and unforgettable true story of a charming but brutal psychopath through the eyes of a young girl who once called him her friend.

In His Garden: The Anatomy of a Murderer by Leo Damore

Description from Amazon:

True, horrifying facts about the grisly Cape Cod murders that shocked the nation. 16 pages of photographs, including many never seen outside the courtroom.

Hunting Humans: An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers by Michael Newton

Amazon.com Review:

This no-nonsense encyclopedia features a preface with statistics on typology and distribution of serial killers, and detailed, well-composed entries on more than 500 individual cases from all over the world. The cases are listed by names of killers and by categories of crimes (including unsolved murders by geographical region). They include lust killers, merry widows and widowers, “bluebeards,” duos and gangs, murderous cults, lethal doctors and nurses, highway and railroad killers, and four examples of killers who were dressed in girls’ clothes as punishment when they were little. This reviewer was fascinated by such cases as the New Orleans ax murderer who vowed to bypass any homes where jazz was playing, and the Polish rooming house landlord who pickled some 30 of his tenants in brine. As acclaimed true crime writer Jack Olsen writes, “Hunting Humans is a must read for anyone interested in crime, sociology or human behavior. It is a welcome addition to my shelf, and I intend to borrow from it liberally.”

 

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