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

(1 customer review)



Book Summary

​​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.


Condition: New

Hardcover, Published March 2, 2021 by Atria Books

ISBN: 9781982129477

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

  1. Tali Leonard

    A huge thank you to Atria books for my advanced readers copy.

    “The Babysitter” is a dark and interesting memoir that details the life of Liza Rodman and her encounters with Tony Costa, who turns out to be an infamous killer.

    The book alternates between Liza and Tony’s point of view (POV). The chapters from Liza’s POV show the reader the neglect endured from their Mom and her desire to protect her sister from hardships. Tony’s POV shows how he was raised, his first marriage, his struggles and all negativity in his life.

    Liza’s childhood story is heartbreaking. Liza and her sister spent summers in Cape Cod with their Mom, who worked by day and partied at night. Mom had absolutely no patience for the girls and regularly left them in the care if babysitters.

    Then comes Tony, a tall, handsome and nice guy with patience. He was exceptionally nice to the girls, took them on errands, bought them ice cream and showered them with attention.

    The Babysitter did not seem like a traditional true-crime book, which focuses on the murders and police investigation. Rather, it followed Liza and her sister through their life, which eventually became intertwined with Tony. I found Tony’s spiral from nice guy to monster both interesting and horrific.

    As an adult, Liza found out that her friend was a serial killer that dismembered women.

    Personally, I felt that the book had the right amount of information to keep me intrigued. I hope in writing this book the author got some sort of closure.

    4 ⭐️

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