The story of the New Bedford Highway Killings
“Riveting. Heartbreaking. Authentic. This impeccably researched chronicle of a terrifying chapter in history will keep you turning pages as fast as you can. Important, powerful, and compelling, this is true crime at the highest level.” Hank Phillippi Ryan, award winning author and Emmy-winning reporter
“Chronicles the killings and their aftermath with a novelist’s power and perceptivity. A compelling work of narrative nonfiction. . . A great read.” Irene Virag, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and journalism professor at Stony Brook University
“First-rate reporting . . . It takes a master storyteller to weave facts into a work of art that makes readers both think and feel. Boyle has succeeded. Highly recommended.” Tom Hallman Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Sam: The Boy Behind the Mask
“Shallow Graves is a beautifully written and thoroughly insightful examination of one of the few gristly serial murder cases that remains unsolved. Maureen Boyle employs her background in journalism and criminal justice to provide the reader with a narrative that reads like a first-rate novel but enlightens like a detective’s handbook.” Jack Levin, author of Serial Killers and Sadistic Murderers: Up Close and Personal, professor emeritus, Northeastern University, co-director of the Brudnick Center on Violence at Northeastern University
“Boyle expertly captures a terrifying time in a compelling and entertaining narrative . . .Nearly impossible to put down.” Tim White, co-author of The Last Good Heist
“The definitive examination of a case that continues to grip a troubled region. Irresistible.” Chris Gonsalves, author of Haunted Love
Maureen Boyle, an award winning journalist, has been a crime reporter in New England for decades and was the first reporter to cover the serial killings in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Conn. and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts. She is now director of the Journalism Program at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. Shallow Graves: The Hunt for the New Bedford Highway Serial Killer, published by ForeEdge/University Press of New England, is her first book.
Follow her on Twitter @MaureenEBoyle1; on Facebook, @Maureenboylewriter and on the book Facebook page, Shallow Graves:The Hunt for the New Bedford Highway Serial Killer @shallowgraveshuntfornewbedfordhighwaykiller.
The women were dead before anyone realized they were gone.
It was 1988, before the opiate epidemic of the 2000s, before families openly talked about heroin addicts, before there was a public face to the addiction. At the time, as many still do today, young women in the throes of addiction turned to street hustles to find money for drugs. They would write bad checks, shoplift and some, as the addiction worsened, turned to conning men into giving them money. Some turned to prostitution. The addicts lived on the outer edges. In a small city like New Bedford, people recognized them on the street. Many knew their families. New Bedford is a tight knit city with large, close families. It is also a fishing community where people know death can come unexpectedly on the seas. But no one expected what happened in 1988.
Eleven women went missing that year. Nine were later found dead along local highways surrounding the city. It is officially unsolved. I was a reporter at the Standard-Times of New Bedford, Massachusetts, at the time. I knew some of the women who were on the streets at the time, struggling with addictions. They were good people. Some of them are still alive, finally kicking their habits. Many are now dead. Some of AIDS, some from overdoses, a few from natural causes. Some of the women got clean before they died, giving their families – and children – the gift of knowing their true spirit.
I have been haunted by the story of these dead women for years. Their families have lived with the pain each day.
No one should get away with murder. Shallow Graves: The Hunt for the New Bedford Highway Serial Killer (ForeEdge) tells the story of the investigation through the eyes of the investigators and some of the families. We hope someone will finally end that hunt.
Wareham library, Wareham, MA Sept. 26 at 5:30 p.m.
Stonehill College library, Sept. 29 at 2:30 p.m.
Tufts Library in Weymouth, MA Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.
Barnes and Noble in Framingham, MA, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.
Books on the Square in Providence, RI Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.
Barnes and Noble in Burlington, MA Oct. 28 at 1 p.m.
Boston Public Library, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. Acushnet Public Library,
Acushnet MA Nov. 4 at 12:30 p.m.
Partners Village Bookstore, Westport, MA, Nov. 5 at 4 p.m.
Carver Library, Carver MA, Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m.
Turner Free Library, Randolph, MA, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.
Elizabeth Taber Library Music Hall, Marion MA Nov. 16. 7 pm.
Fictional audio content and sound design by Kevin Kalunian...Close your eyes and imagine you're in the backseat of this person's vehicle.
Fictional audio content and sound design by Kevin Kalunian...Close your eyes and imagine you're following the trail of the killer.
Shallow Graves: The Hunt for the New Bedford Highway Serial Killer is available for pre-order through upne.com; barnesandnoble.com and Amazon. It will be available in stores September 5, 2017.
East Taunton, Massachusetts 02718, United States