< atrabilious > like I said, you’ve probably never been ready to die
– CHATROOM, 9/14/04
Ah, there he is.
Alone in an old black and white photograph. Hands cuffed behind his back. Slick black thick hair. Moustache, slick black too. Stretched solid above his upper lip a stray little smile just visible.
But it’s the dead calmness of his eyes that catch me. Slip-slipping into nothingness. Staring blankly into a camera lens…
all those years ago. 1970 maybe…
another scary year… Nixon.
Joplin & Hendrix, dead. Vietnam…
…How smug he seems …This Mr. Antone Charles “Tony” Costa, a supposedly quiet-mannered Provincetown man… finally under arrest. Accused of brutally murdering four women and burying their remains near the Old Truro cemetery.
How unforgiving it was.
These women mutilated and shot dead.
Their bodies cut up and dumped.
Already decomposing when they were found.
…Organs missing from at least one victim.
What a hellish scene it was.
TRURO, Cape Code… 1969
Around eleven-thirty, on an embankment twenty feet from Old Proprietor’s Road, two members of the Truro Rescue Squad came upon a depression some four feet long and two feet wide which had sunk eight inches below the surrounding ground; a piece of olive green cloth was protruding from the bottom of the hollow. – LEO DAMORE, In His Garden
Imagine icy slick ground. A shadowy woods and snow-capped trees…
but then, that first body was finally found.
The stench “…like something rotten,”
said State Police Trooper, Edgar Gunnery.
He was close to the find you see close to her….
the dead beauty, Susan Perry.
And then Mary Anne Wysocki, Patricia Walsh
and lastly… Sidney Monzon. Decomposing beneath them.
“Come on!” I commanded. “Let’s get the hell out of here!”
“Wait!” Carl said. “We’ve got to bury the bodies. We can’t leave them here like this! Either you help me bury these chicks or we’ll both end up behind bars. We’re both in this up to our necks. If I get caught I’ll say you were here when I killed them, then what will you do? So are you going to help me or not?” – ANTONE COSTA, Resurrection
In 1970, Costa was found guilty of killing two of the Truro women. He was sentenced to life in prison. Four years later, Costa > always so matter-of-fact it seemed… was found hanging by his neck in his prison cell.
ON SUNDAY May 12, 1974, a Walpole corrections officer making a routine tier check at 8:10 P.M. discovered Antone Costa hanging by the neck from a woven leather belt knotted around the upper bars of his cell. Costa’s eyes bulged open; his darkly mottled face was frozen into a grotesque mask. Blood foamed against his gaping lips from his having bitten his tongue nearly in half. One unlaced sneaker had been kicked off during his death struggles, revealing a mended white sock. Costa badly urinated down the front of his unpressed prison trousers. Medical examiner Harold L. Shenker certified that Antone Charles Costa had died “of asphyxiation by hanging- suicide.” Costa was twenty-nine years old. – LEO DAMORE, In His Garden
Costa never admitted guilt… talking only about Carl, his mysteriously creepy friend described in his book Ressurection… Carl, the murderer… the monster… not him.
Not the man in this black and white photograph.
His face all jawline and soft white flesh.
A thick rigid neck….
and that empty empty stare…
to remember him by.