Craigslist Murder Has Hotels on Alert - NBC New York

Craigslist Murder Has Hotels on Alert

Young beauty gunned down in a Boston hotel room

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    Craigslist Murder Has Hotels on Alert
    This frame grab from a video surveillance camera at the Marriott Copley provided by the Boston Police Department on Wednesday April 15, 2009 shows a "person of interest" in attacks on two masseuses-for-hire at luxury hotels.

    Upper Westsider Julissa Brisman, 25, was shot dead Tuesday night in a posh Boston hotel by a man whom police believe hired her via Craigslist for a massage.

    "It appears that the victim engaged in a struggle in the threshold of the hotel room immediately prior to the shooting," read the report from the Boston Police Department.

    Brisman's body was riddled with bullets, a plastic "restraint" of some variety was found on her wrist. There was a massage table set up in the room.

    Cops think Brisman was at the Marriot Copley Place after responding to an ad on Craigslist from a massage client who found her on the Website. 

    Police now believe the man is linked to three crimes over the past week -- Brisman's murder, and another robbery last week at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston. Police in Warwick, R.I., believe the same suspect also held a woman at gunpoint in an attempted robbery at a local hotel.

    In all three cases, the suspect appears to have found the victims through Craigslist.

    Law enforcement released security camera photos of their suspect -- a young and clean-cut blond man wearing jeans and a dark jacket who calmly sent a text message from his phone as he left the hotel.

    Former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt told The Today Show that the suspect's identity will probably be uncovered in cyberspace.

    "Between cell phone calls, e-mails he would have traded with the victim, I would guess law enforcement is only a couple of steps behind him right now,” he said.  He also said it's likely the man lives in Boston.

    Craigslist's CEO, Jim Buckmaster, issued his condolences Friday and vowed to help catch the man.

    "There appears to be a psychopath on the loose in the Boston Area, and we will of course do everything in our power to assist law enforcement in apprehending the perpetrator as soon as possible," he said.

    Friends insist that a Brisman wasn't doing anything more than rubdowns. 

    "I can tell you right now it was massage and not prostitution,” New York videographer Mark Pinestold The Boston Herald. “I know what she was doing with that. She wasn’t into anything with sex.”

    Matthew Terhune echoes the sentiment, saying Brisman often worked parties across the country as eye candy, but found the idea of working as a call girl distasteful.

    “They would pay her $1,000 to go to these really expensive parties and give drinks or pass food," Terhune told The New York Times. "But she never said anything about being a call girl or an escort. When we questioned her about whether there was anything shady, she said, ‘Oh no, that’s gross.'"

    With the incidents moving closer to Connecticut, police there are warning businesses, particularly hotels, to be on the lookout for a "person of interest." Law enforcement released photos of a young, clean-cut blond man wearing jeans and a dark jacket calmly sending a text message from his phone as he left the hotel.

    "Because the path of these incidents appears to be coming south on I-95, we wanted to reach out to you with a copy of the picture of the subject of interest in case someone of similar description and or circumstances appears in one of our hotels,” police said.