Yesterday, Boston police arrested a 22-year-old medical student accused of fatally shooting a woman who advertised on Craigslist. His fiancée insists, "he could not hurt a fly."
Philip Markoff, of Quincy, Massachusetts, will be arraigned this morning on charges that he murdered Julissa Brisman, 26 of New York City, who was found unconscious with multiple gunshot wounds in Boston's Copley Marriott Hotel on April 14, reports CNN. Police says Brisman advertised her massage services on Craigslist. According to a statement by Boston police, "It appears that there was a struggle between the victim and the suspect in the threshold of the hotel room immediately prior to the shooting."
Markoff is also charged with kidnapping and armed robbery in a separate case involving another woman he met on Craigslist, according to The Boston Globe. Police say he tied up and robbed a prostitute at gunpoint at the Westin Copley Hotel on April 10. Police are still investigating whether Markoff is linked to an incident that took place on April 16 at a hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island, where a gunman tied up an exotic dancer and tried to rob her, but fled when the woman's husband entered the room. The same plastic zip-tie cuffs were used in all three cases, according to The Boston Herald.
Markoff was stopped by police and arrested while driving south on Interstate 95. Though he is innocent until proven guilty, a large amount of damning evidence has been turned over to the press. The man captured on surveillance cameras at each crime scene is shown checking his Blackberry, and police say Markoff's email address and IP address helped identify him.
A portrait of Markoff as "a clean-cut Boston University medical student preparing to wed a blond beauty," as The Boston Heald put it, was quickly assembled from searching online sources like his Facebook page, online class schedule, and a website for his wedding to Megan McAllister, which was supposed to take place this summer.
In addition to the horror of having her fiance accused of murder, Megan McAllister now has to deal with the intimate details of her life being reported in the press. Many news articles commented on her appearance, analyzed the details of her wedding registry, and made jokes about the wedding being off. All of Markoff's personal sites have been taken down, but Gawker posted screenshots of the wedding website, which reveals that the couple were both students at the State University of New York-Albany, and met three years ago while volunteering at a hospital.
Though password protection was added to their profile on TheKnot.com in the past few hours, their guestbook quickly filled with anonymous posts blaming McAllister for not realizing what was going on, such as:
from: Common Sense 4/21/2009
How could you NOT see that you were with a psychopath? Forget the Noritake China place setting and thank God you're still alive!
from: GetReal 4/21/2009 She had no idea ... right! All these unexplained absences ...where did he say he was for 3 or 4 hours at a time? I've sat next to someone on the bus and after 30 seconds I knew they were up to no good.
from: a Mom 4/21/2009 Dumb girl, You have have had to see something in this creep! Too bad you could have saved the girl he killed. Shame on you stupid fuck.
And making cruel jokes:
from: brandon 4/21/2009
this is what happens to a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown with a BRIDEZILLA up his all 24/7
from: Nurse Ratchet 4/21/2009
What's the difference between a 22 year old doctor wasting his youth in prison, or in marriage? . . . None.
Though the public seems to have already condemned Markoff, McAllister still insists that her fiance is innocent. In the clip below, Good Morning America reports that this morning McAllister sent an email to ABC News saying:
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.
Pre-med Student To Be Arraigned In Craigslist Slaying [CNN]
BU Medical Student Arrested In Hotel Killing, Robbery [The Boston Globe]
Cops: BU Med Student The Craigslist Killer [The Boston Herald]
Accused Craigslist Killer's Prosaic Facade [Gawker]
Megan McAllister & Philip Markoff - Our Guestbook [The Knot]