BU med student arrested as Craigslist killer

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says Philip Markoff, 22, of Quincy, was today charged with the murder of Julissa Brisman at the Marriott and the attack a few days earlier on another woman at the Westin.

In a press conference with Davis, Suffolk County DA Dan Conley said authorities are looking for additional victims and urged anybody who'd been attacked after placing a Craigslist ad to contact police. He added:

Our top priority is holding Philip Markoff accountable. He's a predator.

Markoff, a second-year student at the Boston University School of Medicine, was stopped today around 4 p.m. on I-95 in Walpole. Conley said that in addition to old-fashioned police work, officials were able to trace IP numbers to specific physical locations. Boston Police had earlier released surveillance photos showing the suspect using a handheld device after allegedly murdering Brisman, who came up from New York City to offer massages advertised on Craigslist.

Markoff will be arraigned tomorrow in Boston Municipal Court for Brisman's murder and on charges of armed robbery and kidnapping for the April 10 incident at the Westin. Warwick, RI, police say a similar attack occurred two days after Brisman's murder in a Holiday Inn there.

Innocent, etc.

Last night at the Marriott



Free tagging: 



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The Globe piece as I type this is quite careful to say "suspect."

Facebook page is gone; so is wedding site

That facebook page is "Not Found" this morning. The megan-philip wedding site seems to be turned off -- you can connect to it but you won't get a HTTP reply no matter how long you wait.

His pic is gone from the

His pic is gone from the Albany website. I wonder if they figured it out somehow or if they got spammed by the hate mail sludge?

Ho ... lee ... sheet

I thought he looked very familiar and my colleagues and I were trying hard to place him. Now I know why. A former assistant of mine left to go to med school (seems to be a career path for them ...) and ended up at BU. Her facebook says "I have no comment about Phil so please don't ask".

Very scary stuff. Innocent until proven guilty, yes, so I REALLY hope that they have the right guy ... even if it is one of the housemates of someone I know.

Great work by the police. I

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Great work by the police. I hope it's him too so that it stops.

DA's entire statement

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Philip Markoff was taken into custody at about 4:00 this afternoon. Moments ago, based on evidence developed in the course of an ongoing and very active investigation, I approved an arrest warrant charging him with Julissa Brisman’s murder on April 14, unlawful possession of the firearm that killed her, and armed robbery and kidnapping for an incident at the Westin Hotel four days earlier.

Police and prosecutors have followed multiple avenues of inquiry since the moment this investigation began. They’ve followed high-tech leads and used old-fashioned shoe leather. They’ve sought and obtained the expertise of computer crime experts at the local, state, and federal levels. They’ve obtained witness identifications. They’ve connected IP addresses to physical locations. In the hours to come, they expect to execute search warrants to develop even more evidence.

They have not rested and they will not stop until Julissa Brisman’s killer has been held to answer for his crimes.

Markoff will be arraigned tomorrow morning in the Boston Municipal Court, and more details of the case will be released at that time. Tonight, however, I’d like to make one final plea to anyone who may have been the victim of a robbery but didn’t report it because of a fear of arrest.

Our top priority is holding this man – this predator – accountable for his actions and strengthening the case against him. If you were robbed after placing an ad on Craigslist, we urge you to call the Boston Police CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS.


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... unlawful possession of the firearm that killed her ...

Very, very strange. He kills this woman on Tuesday night, and commits another robbery Thursday? And he holds on to the gun? It's pathological, on several levels.

Can't Wait

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For this episode of Forensic Files... especially for the forensic leatherologist.

He's engaged, too

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Do I link to their engagement site? I'm torn. On the one hand, it's news. On the other hand, how does it really give you more information about the charges against him?

I was wondering the same thing, tough call.

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I was just about to post it but stopped. It is pretty bad with regards to the comments being generated in the guest book. And of course really bad for her.

A slippery slope

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I'd have to say no, Adam. There are plenty of... other places that'll have it plastered all across the state tomorrow *cough*herald*cough*

The Herald isn't giving any

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The Herald isn't giving any more specific info than the *fart*Globe*fart* is.

She's A Lucky Woman

But she doesn't need any more haters in that still operating guestbook over there.

She found out before he did something horrible to her. She didn't marry him yet - I'm sure that really sucks for her anyway, but it could be way, way worse.

Is it possible to grab the pretty formal portrait and blur her out of it? I ask because seeing it made it more probable that they got the guy they were looking for on the surveillance tapes.

Regarding engagement

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This is tragic for her (I'm assuming it's a woman; didn't look), whether he's guilty or innocent.

In my opinion, too harmful. And sensational, rather than newsworthy.

The herald already has it

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and it's already full of comments.

I know it's a "tough call" and then again, maybe it isn't. You're not protecting anyone by NOT publishing the link, considering that it's already out there.

And it's an item of interest, generally speaking. All nasty interest? I don't know. I was curious about who these people are, even though this does not affect me and really it's none of my damn business. But sometimes when something in the world malfunctions this dramatically, maybe there is sometimes something to be learned about the world generally by looking into the details a little more than we might otherwise.

I don't know

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I am, of course, a supreme hypocrite because I looked at the site. And all I could think was "that poor woman." I didn't learn anything at all from the site, except maybe another lesson in "you just never know."

Prime Age for Mental Illness

It is entirely possible that the alleged groom and his bride-to-be had been separated for a period of time due to school attendance. He might have started this spree in her absence.

He is at the prime age when some serious mental illnesses typically manifest. Whatever the reason for his spree, if he is the person who did these crimes he is very dangerous and cannot be allowed to roam free in society - whatever the reason.


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everyone who's saying "don't print the name of the site" has already looked at the site...

that's pretty hypocritical if ou want to call it that

otoh it just stares straight in the face of a massive contradiction and carries on as if there were none whatever

i don't think anyone could possibly say if they learned or did not learn something by looking at the site, this early into it. you might not figure it out until a while from now.

i think i found out something more about people, particularly about the unpredictability of some, and that's a lot more than "you just never know" really... it's not about throwing in the towel... this is analogous to what happened in the financial meltdown. the world runs on lies, far more than we ever knew. To that end, and given the number of hot-shit jerkwads i have to deal with in the course of a day, it IS useful to learn more about what people are made of, and capable of, and how they talk about themselves even to others, even while malfunctioning dramatically.

then there's the stuff in the comments, the back-and-forth with defenders and self-important nobodies posting hostile messages that could only be read by someone who didn't do anything wrong and will be hurt. I'm not hurting her more by reading those things. But in seeing them i did learn a little about another class of people in the world, the attacking idiots - but also saw that others stepped in to tamp down the situation, and weren't afraid to do so.

dunno. sure i might figure all this out if i spent a couple of years watching slowly-developing "safe" events unfold. But y'all looked. So did I. and frankly there is a lot there to be studied. The intensity of focus when something like this happens makes the learning easier, i think.

call bullshit if you want, but i'm writing honestly here.

No....please don't. I did

No....please don't. I did just go and look on it (Herald, of course) and it's absolutely terrible what people are saying on their guestbook. Nobody should be harassing his fiancee, she's got to be going through enough right now.

Ohhh yes. When I heard she'd

Ohhh yes.

When I heard she'd sent in a statement to ABC this morning - and then when I read it - I thought, wow, she is either in serious denial or incredibly stupid and just a tiny bit deserving of mockery for said denial/stupity.

The quote I saw didn't sound

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The quote I saw didn't sound coherent. Then again, her fiance has just been arrested for murder, so it'd be understandable if she were a nervous wreck. Regardless of whether he is innocent or guilty, the fiance seems to be a victim. Do we mock victims now?


To me, it's that her first

To me, it's that her first instinct seemed to be to email a major media outlet in blind defense instead of keeping her mouth shut. That was an incredibly poor decision I can't help but criticize her for; however, that's my personal opinion and I know most people would disagree with me.

All it means

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is that friends&family going to tend to her didn't confiscate her phone and laptop fast enough.


I'd call it a credibly poor decision. I'd be out of my fucking mind if my SO had just been arrested for murder.

But that kinda stuff is old hat with you, right?

Given that I'm an incredibly

Given that I'm an incredibly cynical person, I'd probably say, "Damn it all, just my luck" and keep my mouth shut, which would be the best course of action if someone wants to be left alone by the media. And I surely wouldn't accuse the BPD of some conspiracy to make money.

You don't know what you would say

That's because I highly doubt that you have ever had anything like this happen in your life.

Count your blessings, knock on wood, and please keep your hypothetical musings and moral judgements within the confines of your braincase.

Think about it this way

If somebody told you that your grandmother was running a drug cartel and ordered the murder of multiple people, would you want to believe it?

Please people - allow the poor woman some cognitive dissonance. All she has ever known of this guy is not consistent with his arrest. Given facts, logic, and time (and no evidence of mistaken identity), I suspect she will come to grips with it. It isn't stupidity - it's shock.

Walk a mile in her shoes.

Well there is the gift

Well there is the gift registry at Macy's... Looking at the plate choices, and appliances its sad to see how many of the items are already bought and paid for for the couples "wedding" in August.

Sickening sensationalism award winner

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This is another example of why we need good news media. Bad news media has taught us the wrong things, and now we all have broadcast power for emulating the bad media.

Nothing like reporters to put words in your mouth

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Eileen is a grad student at BUMC. She reports the camera crews were out in full force when she left her lab tonight:

...[O]ne stopped me as I was getting on the bus and my friend Nikki called to say she saw me on the news.

Reporter: Isn't is shocking?

Me: It's really shocking. ...


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Think The Craiglist Killer will stick?

Dude sounds like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to me.


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Who mourns for Mario Oviedo, 18, of Mattapan?

But having said that, and having thought about this for a couple days now, the fact that this guy allegedly was a serial attacker - even after news broke of the murder - raises the newsworthiness of it all.

And then, yes, there is the Dead White Girl factor, unfortunately.

What about the Rich White Suspect factor?

This guy reminds me of Patrick Bateman or whoever from "American Psycho". No remorse, no emotion, probably not even motivated by money. Just killing and victimizing vulnerable women "for kicks". Because he can. We see a lot of very stupid crimes committed by desperate people, we also see a lot of senseless violence proceeding from emotional disputes that get out of control- but it's not too often that we see this kind of calculated evil. (Innocent, etc.)

If you are an attractive male medical student ...

There are much more legal ways to get money.

Remember the psychedelic wiggler ads on the T? That pays good bucks right there, no guns involved (well, metaphorically if that is what it takes to perform the job duties, perhaps) and the person putting the money up is usually happy about the transaction.

If that isn't your cup of tea, medical students have other ways - participate in experiments, sell blood, etc. These things take varying amounts of time.

Exactly, while money was

Exactly, while money was stolen it was most likely just part of the "thrill" of the chase and not for the money itself. If it was all about the money Im sure a BU student , who was not mentally ill, would be smart enough to know about the cameras in the lobbys, that using his blackberry in view of those cameras would be a bad thing to do, and that everything he did left behind a paper trail.

If money was the game Swirly is right, there are many other ways to get cash that doesnt involve elaborate craigslist schemes and hotel rooms.

I agree it is probably the

I agree it is probably the pretty white girl factor, and well off white guy factor but its also the fact that its a pretty good "story" in the sense that it is interesting and out of the ordinary. Most of the crimes in Boston are not all that interesting and even when they are its more like trying to figure out why as a society these things happen, its so complicated. Stories like this its mostly the person, what is wrong with him. You can weave the story and follow it, and maybe figure it out where as a guy who kills his crack dealer was hopped up on crack and wanted more and something went down with the dealer, tragic all around but not all that interesting.

Years Later

Nobody knows who shot whom in the days of high gang crime in Boston unless there was a particular wrinkle - Peter Limone being railroaded, they kid with freckles who was put away for shooting a kid when he didn't.

We have all heard about the Boston Strangler.

Lone wolves on serial crime sprees will always be an attractive story.

I was thinking something

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I was thinking something along the same lines, most Boston murders are intramural affairs, tragic but not unexpected. The Craigslist case, race aside, involves fancy hotels, erotic massages and the internet. Maybe its something wrong with me but it makes me even more upset to find out the perp is a guy who seems to have everything going for him. Luxury apt, promising medical career, pretty fiance and rich parents, would it somehow be less evil if he were a poor person or a desperate addict?

She stands by her man

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Associated Press is quoting the fiancee, Megan McAllister, as saying he didn't do it, because he's a gentle man who wouldn't harm a fly.


Mistaken identity does happen. The cops seem to have a lot more than blurry surveillance camera photos and eyewitness accounts, but Dr. McAllister hasn't had much time to adjust to this or even think about it twice. I can understand why she would think that "her man" wouldn't do this.

If she is smart enough to get into and through medical school, she's more than smart enough to sort out the evidence as it emerges. ER docs have to be able to sit on their emotions and run the numbers. Unfortunately, she probably has about as much access to what the cops have put together to get him arraigned as we do.

Plus lets be honest, unless

Plus lets be honest, unless he was really sloppy and left clues around her she is not even seeing as much as you are. I know if my fiance was accused of murder, especially under these circumstances I would NOT be reading the papers, going online, doing google searches to unearth more evidence. The same thing happens to politicians when the numbers go bad, or with the mothers of killers when their sons are accused, you pull into a hole where outside information can not get in. If anyone in your circle questions his innocence you expel them and tighten up the wagons. She is enthrenced and is going down with the ship, and its understandable because psychologically her mind is more capable of understanding a conspiracy against the person she loves more then being able to comprehend how or why he would do what he did in the way he did it. Keep in mind this is not just killing people for her, it also has the erotic services angle. On top of everything else it would be a rejection of her in a way as well, I dont know how I would handle it.


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he could be innocent.

Innocent people, too, proclaim their innocence. Families rally around the innocent, too.

No slight intended on the authorities working on this case, of course. I'm sure they'd remind us that we shouldn't be condemning people (and their loved ones!) unless and until the case is worked through the judicial system to a guilty verdict.

Thats another angle. Either

Thats another angle. Either way she is not going to be reading the papers or blogs or watching the news about this. Guilty, innocent, unknown etc all pretty much the same for her at the moment, she is going to disengage regardless.


Pretty funny why nobody

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Pretty funny why nobody agrees with you in that
craiglist profile from me


Hey Shady?

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Is your apostophe key broken? Seriously. Your posts are usually intelligent and coherent, except that they never contain apostophes. Why is this?

It's my funky little

It's my funky little computer that does not have a handy apostrophe key. Its a great device, but has obvious limitations.

Its an older style windows

Its an older style windows pocket pc, theres a small keyboard with it that works great, but to do some things you have to press shift and control or something like that. I use it in conjunction with my work computer. It has kind of forced me into a revised ee cummings situation.

Yeah, I'm not rooting to

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Yeah, I'm not rooting to hang the guy until we see all the evidence.

I will, however, use this to make more jokes at the expense of BU students. I'm classy that way.

Next week on Law and Order:SVU

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The story has all the makings of a Law and Order episode. We've got the initial crime...dead prostitute (with a heart of gold). Suddenly another prostitute just outside of the city is hit up for the same crime but her pimphusband keeps him from killing her and they can both ID the suspect and weapon now. Stabler struggles with his family life; his wife calls to leave him again as his mother is driving her to the hospital to have a baby. They track a suspect using overly sophisticated non-existent computer monitoring through the classified website that he's using to choose his victims, Frankslist. The ISP forwards them a copy of his webcam video feed with a new software that can use your computer's mini-cam even if you don't have it turned on. They find out he's a rich med student and confront his fiance who is absolutely no help because she's as in the dark as everyone else in his life. She shows them the used antique dining room table that he bought on Frankslist to refurbish for their wedding gift to themselves. They follow the guy until they see him heading to meet another prostitute. They break in to the posh hotel room and he makes a break for it. Benson almost lets him get away because she's too busy identifying with the victim until Merloni pops up from around the corner of the building and clotheslines him. On the witness stand, Alex starts to crack the "Richy Rich" veneer and expose the attitudes and gambling debts that our Mr. Perfect was trying to hide from his family and fiance (who then starts to silently weep in the courtroom as she realizes what's happened). He confesses to doing it for the money....at first, but eventually he liked the power too: something he wasn't getting at home with his family and friends expecting him to be the perfect well-off white boy doctor always dominating his life.

Plea bargain.

Cut to Munch talking to Stabler in the station house on his way out the door to an empty house: "You know, Elliot, sometimes we just have to admit we're not perfect to the ones we love. You should call your wife."

Fade to black.

Roll credits.

Even better

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This is a Web 2.0 *participatory* procedural crime drama.

You, too, can *unearth evidence* with Google!

Personally, I will leave it to the professionals, and cease my part in the macabre rubbernecking.



It isn't clear that she was a prostitute, either. She had a massage table set up and was advertising massage services. Last I checked, you can arrange a massage at most big business hotels (although not in your room, granted).

Not so sure the guy was wealthy, either. Most SUNY Albany grads I have met were working class types with a strong work ethic.

Most legitimate massage

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Most legitimate massage therapists don't advertise on Craigslist: too many clients think they're, well, prostitutes, or "massuses" (you know, the kind that give out "happy endings"). I notice every news article on this topic has been sure to mention that she had a massage table out, which seems totally irrelevant to the piece unless you want to avoid implying the victim was a prostitute.

Alleged prostitutue?

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Maybe start referring to her as an "alleged prostitute", just like he is an "alleged serial killer"?

For all the signifigance the word "alleged" still carries, they may as well substitute it for "guilty, pending the results of a trial".

The thing the general public assumes the police only bring in the right guy (like on all those episodes of Law & Order) is very troubling.

That surveilance photo could have been me (I'm pretty sure it wasn't) or any other youngish white guy with blonde / light brown hair...

On a side note, could BU have put this guy on "administrative leave until the situation is resolved", rather than "suspending" him? I realize it's semantics, but the perception now is "Well, the police brought him in, and BU suspended him... they wouldn't do that if here weren't guilty..."


Nice Idea, but...

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Unfortunately, as far as everyone except the courts are concerned (maybe), "Innocent until proven guilty" is a nice idea, but its simply not reality.


Ripped from the headlines!

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"Although inspired in part by a true incident, the following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event."