Donate

BU Med Student Suspected Of Being Craigslist Killer

Surveillance images of the suspected Craigslist killer at left; far right, photograph of Philip Markoff
Dashed Arrow
Surveillance images of the suspected Craigslist killer at left; far right, photograph of Philip Markoff

A SUNY Albany graduate and Boston University medical student was arrested for the murder of a NYC woman who advertised massage services on Craigslist. Boston police believe that Philip Markoff, 22, fatally shot Julissa Brisman at the Marriott Copley Place on April 14 and also charged him with the April 10 robbery and kidnapping of a prostitute, who had advertised on Craigslist, at the Westin Copley place.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said, “This is a compelling case with a myriad of evidence." Apparently a search of Markoff's apartment "turned up guns and plastic ties" (Brisman's hand had a plastic handcuff) and police suspect Markoff may have been robbing—and resorting to violence—to pay off gambling debts.

The Boston police had released surveillance images showing the person of interest: A tall, blond, clean-cut man looking at his cellphone. Rhode Island police revealed that a woman was attacked in a similar robbery attempt—the victim had advertised dancing services on Craigslist—and also released surveillance images. The NY Times reports that 150 people called the police with tips, but Conley said "high-tech leads" were as critical to the investigation as "old-fashioned shoe leather" detective work. Markoff had apparently been under surveillance, but it's unclear for how long; he was arrested during a traffic stop yesterday afternoon, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said, “We are very, very happy to have this man off the street in such a timely way."

Markoff is engaged to be married to NJ native Megan McAllister. The pair's wedding website (Gawker has screengrabs) says they met while both volunteering at an ER in Albany: "We volunteered at the Emergecy Room together and spent about 2 months pushing stretchers down hallways and bringing blood and urine samples to pathology together before our first date on November 11, 2005!!" McAllister sent an e-mail to ABC News defending her fiance, "All I have to say to you is Philip is a beautiful person inside and out and could not hurt a fly! A police officer in Boston (or many) is trying to make big bucks by selling this false story to the TV stations. What else is new?? Philip is an intelligent man who is just trying to live his life so if you could leave us alone we would greatly appreciate it. We expect to marry in August and share a wonderful, meaningful life together."

However other friends are reeling from the news: One, who said Markoff had been to his apartment for parties, told Good Morning America, "I like to think I'm a good judge of character, hang out with people who are similar to myself. Didn't suspect anything like that." And a former friend tells the Post, "[Markoff] was kind of a creep -- he gave off a creepy vibe. A female friend also felt like he was creepy."

Featured in News