The serial killer who would become known as the “Cap Cod Vampire” brutally killed at least eight women on the idyllic coastal island at the end of the 1960s. Some of his targets were so horrifically dismembered and cannibalized that, at first, authorities thought they were victims of a shark attack.
The butcher’s name was Antone “Tony” Costa. Costa earned his vampire nickname for the brutal way in which he mutilated his victims — some were dismembered, others were decapitated, and a number had bite marks on their skin.
By all evidence, Costa kidnapped, tortured, killed, raped, and cannibalized his victims.
At least one of Costa’s victims was found with organs missing, and many of the women appeared to have been sexually abused after their deaths.
The handsome and charming 24-year-old hippie, who was also referred to as the Cape Cod Casanova, was only convicted of two of the murders, but he was suspected of killing as many as eight – three of whom have never been found.
In the late 60s, Provincetown and Truro, Massachusetts, where the bodies were found, were the places to be for the young and hip crowd.
It is where the bodies of Patricia Walsh and Mary Anne Wysocki were found. These were the two murders Costa was convicted of. Though authorities always knew there were more victims upon which practiced his perverted deeds. Walsh and Wysocki were shot to death. Their bodies were dismembered and mutilated almost beyond recognition, and there were signs that their corpses had been sexually violated.
Costa was not only a “vampire”; he was a necrophiliac. That is a murderer who kills in order to have sex with the corpse of his victim. Often, they may leave the dead body in a remote location to revisit it. Some necrophiliac killers have described wiping away the insects, which will later be helpful to investigators in solving the crime, to have sex with or otherwise violate the lifeless body again and again.
You may not know Costa’s name as well as some other serial killers, but many “True Crime” aficionados believe it was “The Vampire of Cape Cod” that jump-started the brutal “golden age” of serial killers of the 70s and 80s, which kicked off in August of 1969 with the Manson killings, which occurred just after those of Costa.
Believing Costa’s horrifying spree of death and necrophilia was ultimately overshadowed by a broader “dark period” in American history, true crime author Casey Sherman has revisited the murders in his new book, Helltown: The Untold Story Of A Serial Killer on Cape Cod.