Philip Markoff, the medical student accused of killing a NYC masseuse (hired via Craigslist) at a downtown Boston hotel last April, was found dead in his Boston jail cell this morning. According to the Boston Globe, "Officials do not know how he died, according to [Suffolk County Sheriff's spokesman Steven]Tompkins. Markoff, 24, was pronounced dead at 10:17 this morning. Tompkins said authorities are investigating." However, the Boston Herald's sources say he was alone and had suffocated.
Markoff's attorney John Slasberg confirmed his death, "Sad to say, it’s very true. It’s shocking and very saddening." Markoff's next court hearing was scheduled for next month. In April 2009, NYC masseuse Julissa Brisman was fatally shot at the Marriott Copley Place; it turned out she had planned the appointment via her Craigslist massage ad in the erotic services section. A few days later, police managed to trace the IP address of the email sent to Brisman to Markoff's apartment, where they found plastic handcuffs, guns, and women's panties. It was suspected that Markoff, a SUNY Albany graduate and medical student at Boston University, had run up gambling debt and turned to robbing escorts he met on Craigslist.
The clean-cut suspect had been engaged at the time of his arrest and his fiancee even defended him, but later she dumped him. He had been placed on suicide watch shortly after his arrest; he was allegedly using shoelaces to strangle himself.