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The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer
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Atria Books 2021
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#1 of 10 Best True Crime Books of the Year by Marie Claire Named Most Anticipated Crime Book of the Year by CrimeReads ​​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.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/02/2021
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781982129491
ASIN:
B08BZXSMJD
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Liza Rodman. (2021). The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer. Atria Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Liza Rodman. 2021. The Babysitter: My Summers With a Serial Killer. Atria Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Liza Rodman, The Babysitter: My Summers With a Serial Killer. Atria Books, 2021.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Liza Rodman. The Babysitter: My Summers With a Serial Killer. Atria Books, 2021. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Feb 26, 2021 13:09:15
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      • bioText: Liza Rodman attended the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and received her Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Creative Writing from Vermont College. She has balanced life as a mother, stepmother, writer and tax accountant for more than thirty-five years. In 2005, she began researching the story of Tony Costa when she realized her personal connection to the infamous Cape Cod killer. She has gathered thousands of documents, testimonies, and interviews, perhaps more than any other investigator or journalist who's worked on this case. She and her husband live outside Boston and have three children and five grandchildren. The Babysitter is her first book.
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      • bioText: Jennifer Jordan is an award-winning author, filmmaker, and screenwriter with decades of experience as a news anchor and investigative journalist. She has worked for NPR and PBS, and her work has also appeared in a variety of national and international newspapers and magazines. She has directed and produced several documentaries, including 3000 Cups of Tea, which revealed the flawed 60 Minutes report on renowned philanthropist, Greg Mortenson. In addition to her own books Savage Summit and Last Man on the Mountain, she has ghost written two others. The Babysitter is her fifth book.
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shortDescription
#1 of 10 Best True Crime Books of the Year by Marie Claire
Named Most Anticipated Crime Book of the Year by CrimeReads

​​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....
isOwnedByCollections
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title
The Babysitter
fullDescription
#1 of 10 Best True Crime Books of the Year by Marie Claire
Named Most Anticipated Crime Book of the Year by CrimeReads

​​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.
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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 25, 2021
        Rodman debuts with an engrossing memoir that focuses on her relationship with serial killer Tony Costa (aka the Cape Cod Cannibal). As children in the late 1960s, Rodman and her little sister spent summers in Provincetown, Mass., where her mother worked at a motel. A promiscuous alcoholic, the mother would fob her two children off on any willing adult so she could bar hop. One of them was handyman Tony, whom Rodman remembers as a kind man who would take Rodman and her sister along with him on errands he was doing around the Cape. In 1969, the police arrested Costa; he was convicted of two murders and sentenced to life in prison, where he killed himself in 1974. Only in 2005, when Rodman confronted her mother about what happened to Costa, did she learn to her shock that he was a drug-addled pervert and serial killer who dismembered his female victims and buried them in the woods. The authors smoothly blend Rodman’s affecting account of her childhood with thorough research into Costa’s crimes. This tragic tale of a dysfunctional family and a psychopath is a page-turner. Agent: Jill Kneerim, Kneerim & Williams.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 1, 2021
        Spending her summers in Provincetown as a child, Rodman was lonely, living in the motels where her mother found work. After her divorce, her mom was intent on taking full advantage of the swinging sixties, often leaving her two daughters with anyone willing to babysit, including Cecilia, another motel worker, who was kind and gave big, warm hugs. Rodman was particularly enthralled with Cecilia's son Tony, who bought the girls Popsicles and let them tag along to the dump and to his marijuana "garden" in the woods. Little did they know that this was also where Tony buried the women he murdered. Half of the story is in Rodman's first-person recollections of Provincetown and Tony (she did not know he was a serial killer until she was an adult), while the other half recounts Tony's disastrous marriage, drug use, and psychological breakdowns. While some parts get a bit repetitive, and the sections on Tony could have benefited from more rigorous journalism, the intimate details and easy-to-read style will keep readers glued to the page.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        February 1, 2021
        A true-crime "hybrid work of memoir and narrative nonfiction." With journalist Jordan, Rodman recalls her preteen summers on Cape Cod with a younger sister and a mother "so self-absorbed that she unwittingly left her children in the care of a psychopath." For a book about vulnerable children--a topic that usually tugs the heartstrings--the narrative is not as affecting as one would expect. One strand tells the story of Antone "Tony" Costa, a handyman "who just about everybody considered the friendly, even charming guy next door"--until he was convicted of the murders of Patricia Walsh and Mary Anne Wysocki and believed to have killed at least three other women. A second strand involves Rodman's painful relationship with her distracted mother, who worked as a tourist-season motel housekeeper and often let Costa take her daughters for drives--including to a forest where he had buried his victims--when the author was between the ages of 8 and 10. The two threads alternate in a briskly written text that isn't for the faint of heart: Costa committed gruesome dismemberments and other sadistic acts about which the adult Rodman has understandably had nightmares. Yet the story is curiously lacking in drama, in part because the book doesn't reveal the author to have been in serious danger of harm from Costa. In the absence of high suspense, the authors try to pump up the tension with pulpy clich�s ("his blood went cold"), stilted dialogue ("That kid is trouble....Mark my words"), and a deceptive-appearances theme familiar to the genre. The most noteworthy material appears in an epilogue, where, after excellent detective work, Jordan and Rodman establish conclusively that Costa did not kill three women he was suspected of murdering--a payoff that for followers of the case may be worth the 300-page wait. A grisly but low-impact tale of horrific crimes and their impact on the author.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

subtitle
My Summers with a Serial Killer
popularity
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publisher
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