BONUS: Her Babysitter Was a Serial Killer

I’m so grateful to be able to share this special companion episode of Dark Downeast with you. If you’ve listened to the stories of Patricia Walsh and Mary Anne Wysocki, you know that much of what I learned about the women and their stories, as well as the man who stole their lives, came from a book written by Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan called, “The Babysitter”.

It’s pages are filled with part memoir, part investigative reporting. Liza Rodman walks through the memories of her childhood, living in Provincetown on Cape Cod. She and her sister were often left in the care of the hotel handyman doubling as a babysitter — Tony Costa, the same man who would go on to be charged and convicted of the murders of Pat Walsh and Mary Anne Wysocki, and suspected of at least two others.

This special companion episode of Dark Downeast is different from what you’re used to hearing on the show. This conversation with Jennifer Jordan and Liza Rodman explores the work that went into researching Tony Costa, the challenges of digging into Liza’s often challenging and traumatic childhood, what they learned about the women lost to Cape Cod’s serial killer hiding in plain sight, and why Liza might’ve been spared a similar fate.

If you haven’t already, please listen to Murder on Cape Cod: Patricia Walsh and Mary Anne Wysocki on Dark Downeast.


Buying books with supports local booksellers.

A chilling true story—part memoir, part crime investigation—about a little girl longing for love who found friendship with her charismatic babysitter—who was also a vicious serial killer. 

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, sometimes to his “secret garden” in the Truro woods. He was one of the few kind, understanding adults in her life. 

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 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 unimaginable story of a charming but brutal psychopath through the eyes of a young girl who once called him her friend.