Between 1966 and 1969, Tony Costa killed as many as eight women in separate incidents in different locations. But it was his final group of victims that made him famous—and earned him the nickname “The Cape Cod Vampire.”
As reported by The New York Post, the Cape Cod Vampire murders involved the idyllic small towns of Provincetown and nearby Truro, Massachusetts. Normally sleepy, safe places, the discovery of several dismembered bodies in the woods near Truro was incredibly shocking. According to Bostom.com, when it was explicitly stated that the bodies had teeth marks on them, implying that the murderer had bitten the victims. The media almost immediately came up with the vampire nickname—and it stuck.
The victims had been subjected to incredible brutality. Some were shot, and all had been cut into pieces, with their heads removed along with some of their organs. The bodies were then buried near a garden of sorts that Provincetown native Tony Costa maintained. According to Murderpedia, as a result of the sensationalist media coverage the garden became an instant tourist attraction. One local cop was quoted as saying “The press is bad, but the tourists are even worse.”