June 12, 2021

The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer


Tonight, my special guests are Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan who recount the shocking true story of time spent with a young man who was privately taking delight in dismembering women in the 1960's. Get her book The Babysitter on Amazon.



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​​​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.

Jennifer Jordan

Author

Jennifer Jordan is an award-winning author, filmmaker, and screenwriter with decades of experience as an 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. In 2005 she published her first book, “Savage Summit,” which chronicles the lives and deaths of the first women who climbed K2, the second highest mountain in the world. In 2010 she wrote “Last Man on the Mountain,” which examines the ill-fated 1939 American expedition on K2 in which Dudley Wolfe became the first person to die on the mountain and whose remains Jordan found at its base. Both books won a National Outdoor Book Award, and “Savage Summit” was picked as an “Editors’ Choice” by the New York Times Book Review. In 2016 she directed and produced the documentary “3000 Cups of Tea,” which investigated the flawed “60 Minutes” report on renowned philanthropist, Greg Mortenson. In addition to her own books, she has ghost written and co-written three others, most recently “The Babysitter,” which tells the true story of a girl who survived being babysat by a serial killer, which is currently under option as a limited-series documentary.

Liza Rodman

Author