When most people think of Craigslist, they think of a website where they can find cheap deals on used items. However, Craigslist has been linked to sordid criminal activity, including murder. The most famous Craigslist killer is Philip Markoff, charged with the murder of Julissa Brisman, a 26-year-old masseuse he had met through Craigslist. This article will discuss the case of Philip Markoff and how he became known as the Craigslist killer.
Philip Markoff’s Early life
Philip Markoff was born on February 1986 in upstate New York. He grew up in a middle-class household with his parents and sibling. His high school friends described him as a bright, quiet kid who was always polite. In 2005, he met Megan McAllister, a pretty blond pre-med student, while volunteering at a hospital, and the two began dating. The two would plan on getting married in the summer of 2009.
7-day Crime Spree
Philip Markoff’s first victim was 29-year-old Trisha Leffler, who had posted an ad offering escort services through Craigslist. Markoff responded to the ad and arranged to meet Leffler at the Westin hotel in Boston. When she arrived, Markoff handcuffed her with zip ties and duct tape and robbed her of $800. Leffler was able to free herself and call for help. When police arrived, they could get a description of the suspect from Leffler and through hotel surveillance footage. Philip Markoff struck again. This time his victim was Julissa Brisman, a 26-year-old aspiring model and masseuse who advertised on Craigslist. Brisman and Markoff arranged to meet at the Marriott Copley Place hotel in Boston. When Brisman arrived, Markoff ambushed her, handcuffing her and shooting her three times. Markoff then stole her money and fled the scene. A hotel maid would discover Brisman’s body around 11 p.m. that evening and called for help, but she later died at the hospital. Philip Markoff’s final victim was Cynthia Melton, an exotic dancer offering lap dances through Craigslist. Markoff arranged to meet her at the Holiday Inn Express hotel in Walpole, Rhode Island. On April 16, Markoff handcuffed Melton and robbed her of her money. Fortunately, the robbery attack was interrupted by Melton’s Husband, who had become suspicious and came to the hotel room. Philip Markoff then fled the scene.
Arrest and Death
After news of the murders and robberies made headlines, Boston police began receiving tips from the public. On April 20, 2009, Philip Markoff was arrested at gunpoint in Walpole, Massachusetts, while driving with Megan McAllister. He was charged with the murder of Julissa Brisman, the armed robbery of Trisha Leffler, and the kidnapping of Melton. Markoff pleaded not guilty to all charges. On August 15, 2010, while awaiting trial, Philip Markoff committed suicide. He left a suicide note for Megan McAllister, apologizing for the pain he had caused her.
Hire a Professional Wrongful Death Lawyer
After Philip Markoff’s death, the Leffler and Brisman families filed wrongful death lawsuits against Craigslist, and you can make a wrongful death claim using Robert J. Debry, alleging that the website was responsible for their daughter’s deaths because it did not screen ads or users. All three lawsuits were later settled out of court by Craigslist in a confidential agreement. If you have lost a loved one or any murder in Utah, it is vital to seek legal help as soon as possible. At Robert J. DeBry & Associates, we offer expert Personal injury and wrongful death lawyers to help you get the necessary justice and compensation.