Co-author Liza Rodman discusses "The Babysitter" with Dani Shapiro on season five of her podcast, Family Secrets.
"Tony had a way of making a story so convincing you could almost see it in front of you."Steve Grund During the week of February 15, 1969, while the Barnstable County Medical Examiner tried in vain to identify the remains of the young woman found in the Truro woods on February 8th, teams of police and cadaver dogs continued to search the Truro woods. In the winter quiet, an occasional State Police helicopter could be heard overhead. And the year round residents in a usually slumbering Provincetown were wide awake, [...]
In The Babysitter: My Summers With a Serial Killer, it seems every day of the year represents some gruesome milestone, but perhaps none so dark as today. On February 8th in 1969, the dismembered, defiled body of a young woman was found in a shallow grave alongside Old Proprietors Road in the Truro woods on Cape Cod. The police had been searching the woods for two missing women from Providence, RI, but they stumbled on something far more sinister. It would take a full two months for police to identify [...]
On February 2, 1969, Carl Benson took his usual shortcut through the woods off Hatch Rd in Truro to pick up the Sunday paper. Around one of the bends in the narrow, rutted, old fire road, he spotted an “abandoned” VW Bug tucked into a small clearing in the forest. When he pulled over to take a closer look, the hair on his arms stood up and he felt as if he were being watched. He jumped back in his station wagon and raced out of the woods. When he [...]
On Friday, January 25th, 2019, after forty years of friendship and fifteen years of research and writing, Jennifer Jordan and I signed the contract with Atria/Simon and Schuster to co-author The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer. Despite the thrilling occasion, we were mindful then—as we are today—that on January 25, 1969, exactly 50 years earlier, another pair of longtime friends were on a winter weekend getaway to Provincetown, Massachusetts. On that bright Saturday morning, those friends, Patricia Walsh, and Mary Anne Wysocki agreed to give a ride to [...]
This past fall, The Boston Book Festival launched a citywide writing project, At Home Boston, to capture slices of everyday life — the ordinary to extraordinary — during these unprecedented times. It was a privilege to have my essay, "Oldest Friend", selected as part of the outdoor exhibit during the 2020 virtual Boston Book Festival. The outdoor exhibit, installed in Downtown Crossing, featured compelling stories about Bostonians living in, responding to, and surviving this pandemic. Learn more.
On a cool May morning, my phone rang. I was many miles from home, housesitting for a friend, tending to her cats, a single pink geranium she had nursed through the winter, and trying to write. And by trying to write, I mean staring out the window. I was ten years old when I “wrote” my first book in a college-ruled notebook, with a short, round purple pen. I wrote so many pages I developed a flat, oval-shaped callus on the inside of my middle finger that was smooth to [...]