New True Crime Book Examines Cape Cod Serial Killer

TRUROBest-selling author Casey Sherman has written a new book about a murder case involving a serial killer on Cape Cod in the 1960’s who committed crimes in Truro and Provincetown.

Sherman’s new book, Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod, explores the murder case of Tony Costa, who was responsible for the murder of four women in the area in the late ‘60s.

Sherman, who grew up on the Cape, said he was trying to present the history of Costa’s case through the new work.

“I’m not trying to glorify his crimes. I’m really just trying to present an unvarnished view of what occurred on Cape Cod in 1969,” Sherman said in a recent Sunday Journal interview with NewsCenter. 

The book is a true crime narrative based on factual events with elements of fictional storytelling.

The murders of Sydney Lee Monzon of Eastham, Susan Perry of Provincetown, as well as Patricia Walsh and Mary Ann Wysocki of Providence were actual events that happened on the Cape.

Sherman said that some men involved in the legal proceedings of Costa’s case went on to exaggerate the already brutal murders and continued to victimize the women even after their deaths.  

“I wanted to explore that misogyny, especially at that time and how it relates to where we are today. I wanted these women to have full lives and be full characters in the book,” he said.

Sherman said the book also features how famous authors Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer, who were both living on the Cape at the time, became consumed with the case and started their own independent investigations into the murders.

When asked to guess what drew the writers to the Costa case, Sherman said the line between genius and madness is thin.

“I think both Vonnegut and Mailer were exploring that part of their own psyches and I think they were also exploring the rivalry between the two writers,” he said.

Sherman added he is working with actor Robert Downey Jr. and his company as production partners to create a limited series based on the book.

Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod is set for release on July 12.

Sherman had an appearance at Yellow Umbrella Books in Chatham on Saturday, July 2. He will be on the Cape for several other signings and appearances. A full list is below.

July 18th – Titcomb’s Books, Sandwich at 6:30pm

July 23rd – Barnes & Noble, Hyannis at 1pm

July 28th – Brewster Bookstore at 6pm 

July 29 – Highfield Hall & Gardens with Eight Cousins Books, Falmouth at 5:30pm

Aug. 6th – East End Books, Provincetown at 6pm

August 8th – Tales of Cape Cod, Barnstable at 7pm   

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy