Friday, 30 August 2013

The Craigslist Killer

Philip Haynes Markoff was a young medical student that became known as the Craigslist Killer.  This was due to the fact that the victims advertised their services on the Craigslist website.  Markoff`s short crime spree lasted just short of a week, leaving one woman dead.

    Philip Haynes Markoff was born in Syracuse, New York, to Richard & Susan Markoff on 12th February 1986.  After leaving High School, he attended SUNY, in Albany, where he graduated in 2007 as a pre-med student.  He then gravitated to the Boston University of Medicine, where he was a second year student when he was arrested.  His girlfriend was Megan McAllister, a native of New Jersey, whom he met in 2005 whilst they both worked in the ER at Albany Medical Center.  Their planned wedding was set for 14th August 2009, but this, ultimately, was permanently altered.

    Trisha Leffler had offered escort services on Craigslist, but when she arrived at the appointed room on Friday 10th April 2009, at Westin Copley Place Hotel, she found herself looking down the barrel of a gun.  Her assailant, bound and gagged her, then robbed her before fleeing.  Four days later, at the Copley Marriott in Boston, on 14th April, Julia Brissman was found dead in a room.  She had advertised massage services on Craigslist.  Two days later, 16th April, Corinne Stout, offering lap dances, went to see a client at the Holiday Inn Express in Warwick, Rhode Island, when the client attempted to rob her but when it was unsuccessful, he fled.  His image was caught on cctv at these hotels so the Police knew it was the same young man wearing a baseball cap.  Through the cctv, email messages, and accurate descriptions from the two surviving women, Police had a name; Philip Markoff.

   He was arrested on Interstate 95, in Walpole, where he was en route to the Foxwoods Casino in Massachusetts, with Megan McAllister.  He was indicted by a Grand Jury on a murder and armed robbery charges.  Naturally, many people could not believe that this clean cut young man not was trolling the internet for women but was a killer and robber.  Markoff was held, pending trial, in Nashau Street Jail in Boston, where he made several  suicide attempts.  He succeeded on 15th August 2010.  Opinions vary as to why he wrote her name in blood on the walls of his cell and put pictures of her all around.  "It was to spare Megan the ordeal of probably having to give evidence" was one explanation.  "It was him showing that everything was about him" was another.  What is puzzling is why did he resort to robbery?  And it was three attacks inside a week.  Did he suddenly need money?  Thinking that women offering "services" on a website could solve his problem?  Or were there more deeply hidden aspects to the character of Markoff?  We will never know.