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Antone Charles "Tony" Costa, also known as The Cape Cod Vampire, was an American serial killer.

Background

Costa was born on August 2, 1944 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His father died during World War II when he was just an infant. When Costa was around seven years-old, he began complaining to his mother that a man who he identified through a photograph as his deceased father was coming into his room at night. Costa started showing signs of sociopathy in his late teens, in November 1961, when he invaded the apartment house of a teenage girl when he was 16. He stood over her bed and fled when she woke up and screamed at the sight of him. Three days later, he entered the same apartment and this time attempted to drag the girl down to the basement of the apartment, but was thwarted when her neighbors intervened. On January 4, 1962, Costa, then 17, was convicted of burglary and assault in that case and received a suspended one-year sentence plus three years probation. Costa married a 14-year old girl in April of 1963 and fathered three children, but soon began using drugs, which resulted in bizarre and irresponsible behavior which made his marriage rough. His mother also died.

Murders, Arrest, Incarceration, Suicide, and Aftermath

Costa's first two victims are believed to be Bonnie Williams and Diane Federoff. The two were hippie girls who Costa brought home in June 1966. He said he was going to take them to Pennsylvania and then to California, but later told police that he attempted to take them to Hayward, but never arrived. He returned home ten days later without them and they are believed to be his first victims. In August a year later, he shot a female acquaintance with an arrow and later apologized for the incident. By 1968, Costa's marriage was in shambles and he went to California in January and stayed briefly at San Francisco's free-swinging Haight-Ashbury district. Costa later found a girlfriend in a woman named Barbara Spaulding, who left her child and family and vanished when Costa went to Massachusetts. She is believed to be his third victim.

Costa was pulled over by a state police officer, Tom Gunnery, due to a bad muffler and for speeding on Route 6. Costa reportedly acted suspicious, but Gunnery ultimately let him off with a warning. After learning of the disappearances, Gunnery later said he believed a victim could have been in Costa's trunk. On May 17, Costa burglarized a doctor's office and stole various surgical tools and drugs (all equal to $5,000). A week later on March 24, Sydney Monzon, 18, vanished from her house in Provincetown and she was reported missing on June 14. Costa was officially divorced in August and he lived with his next lover, Susan Perry, for a week before she too vanished on September 10, supposedly going to Mexico according to Costa. He was arrested in mid-September for driving on a suspended license and again on the 25th for failing to support his wife and children and was held in custody until November 8. After being released, Costa began spending time and using drugs with Christine Gallant, who was later found drowned to death in her bathtub after a barbiturate overdose on November 23.

On January 24, 1969, both Patricia Walsh and Mary Anne Wysocki vanished during a visit to Provincetown where they met Costa. Later on February 8, the mutilated and buried body of Susan Perry was found at the Old Truro cemetery. Twenty-five days later, the dismembered remains of Walsh, Wysocki, and Monzon were all found buried a mile-in-a-half away from Perry's burial. Costa was arrested when the burial site was discovered to be his private marijuana and drug garden and he was found in possession of Walsh's Volkswagen van, which he, according to a suspicious bill he produced, bought from them before they went to Canada. They also found the owner's manual with Costa's fingerprints on it. Costa gave numerous confessions while in police custody, many of which were found untrue via Costa's failing of several polygraph examinations. He tried twice to implicate two of his friends for the murders. Costa finally confessed to Wysocki's murder on July 12. His trial began on May 6-29, 1970. His lawyers attempted to plead insanity (in that Costa was a heavy drug user which may have hampered his rational thinking), but Costa destroyed this defense by giving a rational, intelligent speech to the jury, proving him sane.

Costa was ultimately convicted of four murders and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment. While incarcerated at Walpole Correctional Institution, Costa began to stock his cell with books on ritual magic and the occult, including a copy of Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible. He also wrote a novel titled Resurrection, which never received publication. In it, he described how he and a man named "Carl" took Walsh and Wysocki out for drugs when Carl supposedly shot them both in the head. Costa allegedly killed Wysocki with a knife to end her misery. The two then buried the bodies. He also claimed Perry and Monzon died of drug overdoses and that "Carl" dismembered their bodies without Costa's knowledge. No Carl was ever found to have been connected to Costa and was presumably another false confession.

On May 12, 1974, Costa was found by a corrections officer, dead in his cell, having committed suicide by hanging himself with a leather belt from the bars of his cell, aged 29. His body is currently buried at an unmarked grave in Provincetown next to his mother.

Costa's case garnered international attention when district attorney Edmund Dinis released the grisly details about the bodies' conditions (some of which weren't true). This produced a large number of media outlets all throughout Provincetown. Costa was even compared to Jack the Ripper by Kurt Vonnegut, whose daughter, Edith, actually met Costa once. Costa and Vonnegurt maintained a correspondence with each other before the former's suicide. Leo Damore's novel In His Garden was based on Costa's case. Costa's garden has since become a tourist trap. There still today exists doubts of Costa's innocence or guilt in the murders.

Modus Operandi

Costa targeted seemingly random women who were in some way acquainted with him (some he met in Provincetown, or were girlfriends or women he used drugs with). He killed them by shooting them in the head with an unspecified firearm, dismembered their bodies (presumably with stolen surgical tools), and buried them in graves, sometimes with each other (he buried two victims in one grave along with the partial remains of another). When he possibly killed Barbara Gallant, he drowned her in a bathtub after a barbiturate overdose and didn't dismember her. The bodies also showed signs that Costa engaged in necrophilia with them. He also removed several organs from one victim (though which one or which organs he took, or even what he did with them is unverified, though some speculate he may have eaten them).

Profile

On March 31, 1969, Costa was examined by a psychologist, who diagnosed him as having a schizoid personality. Another examination on June 30 characterized him as "a modern-day 'Marquis de Sade' " and a "sexually dangerous man," capable of murder.

Known Victims

  • Unspecified date in November of 1961: Unnamed teenage girl (broke into her house; assaulted three days later and attempted to drag her into the basement)
  • January 4, 1962: An unspecified conviction for assault and burglary
  • Unspecified date in June of 1966: Bonnie Williams and Diane Federoff (possibly)
  • Unspecified date in 1967: An unnamed female acquaintance (shot with an arrow; survived)
  • 1968:
    • Unspecified date in c.January: Barbara Spaulding (his girlfriend; possibly)
    • May 17: A victimless burglary
    • March 24: Sydney Monzon, 18 (was buried under Walsh and partially Wysocki)
    • November 23 (date of discovery): Barbara Gallant, 23 (possibly; drowned in a bathtub after a barbiturate overdose)
  • 1969
    • January 24 (date of disappearance): Patricia Walsh and Mary Anne Wysocki (Wysocki's head and torso found in a hole; the rest of her was buried with Walsh)
    • February 8: (date of discovery): Susan Perry (her body was cut into eight pieces)

On Criminal Minds

Sources

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