Journalist Maureen Boyle has written a masterpiece of true crime with her book Shallow Graves. She tells the story of the victims and the police investigators.

To this day, the serial killer that stalked the women of New Bedford in the 1980s is still unknown. The killer might be dead or incarcerated or our neighbor. The killer selected his victims from a world of drug users, people who did lose touch with friends and family for periods of time.

The killer also worked in a time before social media and the internet. The killer had limited reasons to be concerned about video cameras in public and private locations. Today, the police would be able to check multiple cameras for the face of a missing girl and who she was with on the video. But that wasn't the world the women who were killed lived in at the time.

Author Maureen Boyle was the first reporter to write a story about the victims of the serial killer. She did it as a crime reporter for the New Bedford Standard-Times, and when she wrote it, she had no idea of the true horror that was going to unfold.

She tells the stories of the police investigators who worked tirelessly to solve the case and to stop the killer. She gives us the gritty street details of the detectives working to solve a case within the underworld of drugs, sex for hire, crime, and pornography.

Boyle does something unique with her book, too. She doesn't make it about herself or her life as she covered the story. This true crime book is a work of long-form journalism that focuses on the story and the people involved. Boyle has done what seems impossible today—she removes herself from the story even though she has a pivotal role in the story. Trust me, read the book, especially if you are interested in writing or storytelling.

Today, Boyle the director of the Journalism Program at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. Her students are lucky they have a real street reporter to learn their craft from in this day of press release retyped "journalism" and internet click bait. Read Shallow Graves and you will agree that Maureen Boyle has delivered as an author and an experienced true crime journalist.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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