The Stranger Things About the Craigslist Murder Case - Nicki Swift (2023)

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VonGino Orlandini/May 24, 2021 3:53 p.m. Hussa

On April 10, 2009, a 29-year-old Las Vegas-area sex worker named Trisha Leffler met a man on Craigslist and they arranged to meet at a local hotel. When he arrived, a handsome, broad-shouldered young man pointed a gun at him. He tied her wrists, gagged her mouth and stole her loudlyBoston. com.

Four days later, a "masseuse" named Julissa Brisman made the same arrangement with the same young man. This time there was a fight and Brisman was hit in the head and shot. Also on April 16, a 26-year-old sex worker was tied up and robbed at the Las Vegas Holiday Inn Express, also by a man she met on Craigslist.

It took police just four days to get the suspect's IP address and locate his car on I-95, where he was arrested. His name was Philip Markoff, a 23-year-old student at the prestigious Boston University School of Medicine (viaBiography). Police found a gun and women's underwear in her home. In June, a grand jury returned indictments on seven counts, including murder. But Markoff would never be brought to justice: a year later he was found dead in his cell. It's an almost inexplicable case of a privileged and promising young man who destroys his own life in a sudden series of brazen and oddly reckless crimes. These are the strangest details aboutor assassin by Craigslist Philip Markoff.

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The Craigslist killer had everything to lose

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Perhaps getting to the heart of the odd case of Philip MarkoffTed BundyCategory: The stylish young man you least expect leads a dangerous double life. Markoff has been described as "popular and involved in student activities, including juvenile court and history club" (viaThoughtCo). He was also "handsome and stood out from many boys his age". Markoff was 1.80 meters tall, had "broad shoulders and a stocky build" and avoided contact sports, but joined the bowling team and enjoyed golf.

Like Bundy, Markoff was smart.Bundy was a law the University of Puget Sound during the time of their serial killings in the 1970s.Bundy skated by CharmeMarkoff was academically elite, a member of the National Honor Society in high school.

The son of a dentist, Markoff grew up in the small town of Sherrill, New York, with a population of just over 3,000. When her parents separated, she stayed with her mother while her brother went to Syracuse with their father. But the divorce didn't seem to discourage him. Those who knew him say he was "well brought up and a good student," according to ThoughtCo. A neighbor named Dorothy Guider described Markoff as "sweet" and "very intellectual".Los New York Times. "He wasn't destructive, he didn't have any problems, none of that," he added, adding that his family is very proud that he was admitted to medical school.

Craigslist killer wanted to be a doctor

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It's scary to imagine Craigslist killer Philip Markoff somehow getting away with his brutal crimes and becoming a practicing doctor. But that was his plan.

According to Markoff, he studied biology at the State University of New York at AlbanyBiography. Although Markoff was not popular, noisywe had, professors remarked that he was "academically brilliant" and certainly smart enough to get into medical school. And it turns out that this career path isn't uncommon for psychopathic personality types. A surgeon is the fifth most popular career choice for people ranked on the Psychopathy ScaleBusiness Insider. CEO, lawyer, media jobs and salesman each make up the top four.

Psychopaths are characterized by "superficial emotions (especially reduced anxiety), stress tolerance, lack of empathy, coldness, lack of guilt, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulation, irresponsibility, impulsiveness, and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyles". and crime. “But this underlying response to stress—of all kinds, including the suffering of others—can make a good surgeon vociferousOutlook, translated to "the ability to make objective and clinical decisions separate from feelings". The last thing you want on the operating table is for someone to pass out at the sight of blood, and Markoff certainly didn't mind those things. With that being said, Dr. Craigslist Killer probably wouldn't be anyone's family doctor of choice, considering his bedside manners were a decidedly unhippocratic combination of deceit and clumsy violence.

The Craigslist killer may also have planned to kill a trans woman

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Craigslist killer Philip Markoff was engaged to a woman at the time of his crimes — more on that later — but he may have pursued other sexual lifestyles as well.

According to a Today Show report, Markoff used an email address that referred to him as a "sex addict."Telemundo Washington, and corresponded with graphic emails and photos in a Craigslist group organized for men seeking transgender connections. He also used the email to subscribe to a BDSM website in the "cross-dressing" subgroup, and posted loudly about his desire to wear a collar, leash, and dress in women's clothinghe thought.

A trans woman also almost became one of Markoff's victims. An anonymous Bostonian told NBC News viaFischthat she, like her other victims, was linked to the murderous medical student on Craigslist under the "men for transgender" category. Markoff wrote of himself: "I'm a 22 year old graduate student. 6'3", 205, well built, blonde/blue eyes...let me know what else you want to see or know about me. "He included photos that ultimately helped police identify him. Luckily for the anonymous trans woman, she never met the aspiring killer in real life.

The Craigslist hitman's crimes were incredibly careless

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There's a not entirely unfair assumption about people who go to science school and then get accepted into elite medical schools: They're very, very smart. And arguably Craigslist killer Philip Markoff was indeed a high-IQ individual, but his horrific attacks on women during his bizarre seven-day crime spree weren't exactly the work of a criminal mastermind.

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According to Markoff, he was wearing black leather gloves when he attacked his first victim, Trisha LefflerCBS News"Secret of the 48 Hours". But the man, whom the Las Vegas-area escort described as "stylish" and therefore likely something memorable, never bothered to cover up or disguise his face, which she described as "silly."

Leffler was carrying around $800 in cash that Markoff stole from him, but also stole her highly traceable credit cards while he held his gun in her face. But then Markoff took off his gloves. He cut the hotel room's phone lines, followed by three pieces of duct tape to cover Leffler's mouth. This left his fingerprints on the tape, rendering the gloves unusable, at least according to Leffler. And since he was never undercover, the hotel's ubiquitous security cameras captured the first footage of Markoff at the scene and contributed to his eventual capture.

Craigslist killer stole women's panties

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When the Craigslist hitman attacked, tied up, and robbed his first victim, Las Vegas-area escort Trisha Leffler took a break for odd side hustles. Philip Markoff reached over and grabbed the sex worker's panties, Leffler later recalledCBS News48 Hours Mystery reporter Peter Van Sant: "If he had looked me in the face, he would have said, 'What the hell are you doing?'"

Markoff had all the hallmarks of a sex offender, according to Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis on the Reelz documentary series Murder Made Me Famous (viaPeople). Markoff may not have sexually assaulted his victims, but during his brief crime streak, the behavior escalated. "He took his victims' underpants," Davis confirmed to the producers, "and kept them to remember the victims."

When police finally searched Markoff's home, they found a wealth of evidence, including bullets matching murder victim Julissa Brisman, matching ties, duct tape, fragments of incriminating digital communications and disposable phones, according to the reporthe thought. But more relevant to the possible sexual nature of these crimes, hidden under Markoff's mattress, police found 16 pairs of women's panties, some curled tightly inside her stockings. Neither the stockings nor the entire hoard of women's underwear could be traced back to the existing crime spree. This led investigators to wonder if there were other unidentified victims, a mystery that remains unsolved.

The Craigslist killer may be trying to pay off gambling debts

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The average medical student graduates with about a quarter million dollars in debt as of 2020, according toNews from the USA. Now imagine that instead of going through your MD program to pay for it, you also develop a bad gambling habit. Philip Markoff owed at least $130,000Boston Herold, and he did everything he could to make things worse.

Two days after Markoff murdered Julissa Brisman, the rookie killer stayed up all night gambling more at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, where he reportedly earned $5,300 in winningsabc news. He also visited a casino two nights after assaulting his first known victim, Trisha Leffler. Anonymous sources told ABC News that Markoff visited Foxwoods and had applied for multiple lines of credit. Police believe paying off his mounting gambling debts may have been part of his twisted motive.

According to Markoff, he was long known for hosting late-night poker gameshe thought. "He gained a reputation as a good and serious player, sometimes too serious. He wasn't a very good loser." Even after his arrest and imprisonment, he continued to organize prison poker games. Markoff's love of the gaming craze, coupled with his impulsive and violent demeanor, is probably no coincidence. According to a Poleto studypublished in the Medical Science Monitor, "Incarcerated men diagnosed with gambling addiction are characterized by psychopathic personality disorders, alcohol problems and delinquency."

Police found the Craigslist killer through his marriage site

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It's amazing how many notorious maniacs maintain long-term relationships despite their busy extracurricular activities.Ted Bundy had an internal girlfriend, and finally,later a daughter(workIt is not confirmed if the two ever met). The Green River Killer has been married three times, he saysBiography. Even a terrifying killer like "The Iceman" Richard Kuklinskihe had a wife and three children.

Craigslist killer Philip Markoff has been living his double life in the same direction. He met med student Megan McAllister while volunteering at a hospital during his sophomore year at the State University of New York at Albany. McAllister was two years older, but they became "college sweethearts," according to them.he thought, and they became engaged on May 17, 2008. McAllister also hoped to attend medical school, but put his career ambitions on hold to arrange their wedding, which they had scheduled for August 2009.

That special day would never come, but planning helped put Markoff behind bars. The police had a "stroke of luck" when the couple is no longer alivewedding websiteCame through a search on Facebook. Now the police had a name for the suspect. They discovered that Markoff was at Boston University and obtained his student ID card, which matched CCTV photos of their mysterious blonde suspect. The police then kept an eye on Markoff for a few days before finally stepping in to stop his reign of terror.

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Craigslist killer didn't dump murder weapon

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When Craigslist killer Philip Markoff first appeared in court to face charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery and kidnapping, he shamelessly yelled at the judge, "not guilty," according to the statementabc news.

That sort of hubris was a strange hallmark of his crimes. Prosecutors say Markoff used the identification of a man named Andrew Miller to purchase a 9mm firearm. But after gunning sex worker Julissa Brisman in the face and then shooting him three times "at point-blank range," the highly educated medical student went to great lengths to hide that he even had a gun. He didn't bother to get rid of the gun, he failed a crucial course known as Murder - 101.

When police finally searched Markoff's apartment, they carefully found the gun in a "hollow" copy of Gray's Anatomy medical reference text. The investigation revealed that Markoff had gone to New Hampshire to buy the gun while his fiancée, Megan McAllister, was away over the weekend. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was even able to match Markoff's fingerprints to gun receipts and those found at the scene of Brisman's death.

The Craigslist killer's fiancee supported him

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Get a girl like Megan McAllister. When Philip Markoff was arrested in April 2009 and charged with murder, armed robbery and kidnapping, his fiancée did not waver in her support, at least initially. He even wrote an email toPeopleDescribed Markoff as "a handsome man inside and out".

Though police have "overwhelming" evidence against him (viaPeople), McAllister urged the public not to be too quick to judge her fiancé. "I also love my fiancé and will continue to support him throughout this trial... What has been portrayed and revealed to the media is not the Philip Markoff that I know," she said in the statement overabc news. "To me and my family he is a loving and caring person... he is innocent until proven guilty... I just hope the criminal justice system is not overwhelmed and affected by what is presented in the media." The fate of my fiancé should be left not in the hands of public opinion but in a court of law."

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Craigslist killer created sanctuary for his imprisoned bride

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As devoted as Megan McAllister was to her killer boyfriend, you can't blame her for changing her mind. Just a month after hermade a firm statementIn defense of her fiancé, Craigslist killer Philip Markoff, McAllister ended the relationship abruptlyBoston Herold.

Inmate Markoff was so distressed that he was placed under special surveillance and considered a danger to himself by prison officials for the remainder of his incarceration. A year later, on August 15, 2010, Markoff was found dead in his cell on their first wedding anniversary.

But that is not all. Shortly before his death, Markoff was still so obsessed with his ex-fiancé that he wrote McAllister's name on the wall of his cell, where loudly the guards couldn't easily see himabc news. The spurned killer also created a "grisly shrine" for his former partner, his body found among pictures of McAllister, sprawled on a small table in his cell, that small detail again odd for himabc news.

Craigslist killer dies for denying his crimes

It's not uncommon for assassins to die without regret, or at least not admitting anything until all other options have been exhausted. For example, on the eve of Ted Bundy's execution, when all other avenues had been exhausted, the serial killer suddenly admitted to 30 murders, more than previously thought but also a fraction of the possible total, according topop sugar.

Nor did Markoff's ego allow him to admit his crimes. During a lengthy interrogation after his arrest, the medical student insisted to detectives that he didn't even remember when he was on CraigslistCBS NovaYorkShe tonelessly told police, "I understand what you're saying, it really doesn't apply to me. You're just telling me a story...I have nothing to add."To markHe went on to openly deny it: "I didn't tie up or steal anyone... I really don't know what you're talking about." The would-be killer wisely shortened the interrogation to almost 48 minutes and asked for a lawyer.

After Markoff's body was found, Suffolk County, Massachusetts District Attorney Dan Conley lamented this killer's recent escapism: "Philip Markoff apparently had a dark and sinister side that was buried in the public grave."


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