Suspected Craigslist Killer Kept Panties as 'Souvenirs' - NBC New York

Suspected Craigslist Killer Kept Panties as 'Souvenirs'

Cops search turns up evidence

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    Suspected Craigslist Killer Kept Panties as 'Souvenirs'
    AP
    Boston University med student Philip Markoff looks on in court Tuesday as he's ordered held without bail in connection with the death of aspiring New York model Julissa Brisman.

    The clean-cut medical student accused of being the "Craigslist killer" stashed several items belonging to victims in his apartment -- including panties, a law enforcement source said Wednesday.

    The law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said police found the items belonging to two women in the Quincy, Mass, home of Philip Markoff. Markoff, 23, a Boston University medical student, has been accused by authorities of robbing women who advertised erotic services on Craigslist, killing one of them. The source was not authorized to speak about evidence.

    Markoff's first alleged victim said Wednesday she hopes the preppie student rots in jail.  She told Boston TV Station WCVB she immediately recognized Markoff as the man that robbed her from surveillance photos released by police. 

    "I just hope that they can put him behind bars for the rest of his life," she said.

    Markoff seemed to have a good life: he was planning a lavish beachfront wedding this summer to his college sweetheart.

    But authorities said his computer and surveillance video paint a picture of a suspected serial criminal who targeted women offering erotic services through Craigslist. Now he's accused of killing one and suspected of robbing and tying up another. And police have said there could be more victims.
        
    "This was a brutal, vicious crime -- savage, and it shows Philip Markoff is a man who is willing to take advantage of women, to hurt them, to beat them, to rob them," District Attorney Daniel Conley said Tuesday. “He probably thought he was going to get away with it. He thought he was too smart for us.”

    Markoff is accused in the death of Julissa Brisman of New York City, who was found dead April 14 in a Boston hotel after being bashed in the head and shot three times.

    Brisman, 26, was an aspiring model and actress who had advertised erotic massage on Craigslist. Authorities said she and Markoff communicated through e-mail and cell phone to set up a meeting.

    A wake for Brisman is scheduled for today in New York.

    Investigators traced an e-mail to Markoff, who created a new address the day before Brisman's body was discovered at the Marriott Copley Hotel. He was arrested Monday in Walpole, less than 20 miles southwest of Boston, as he drove with his fiancee to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.
        
    Authorities say he was the man seen on surveillance video near where Brisman was found and where a woman was robbed in Rhode Island.

    Two days after the slaying of Brisman, Markoff went to Foxwoods and won about $5,000, according to police.

    "We do not release information publicly concerning individual patrons; however, we are aware of this situation and are cooperating with the appropriate law enforcement authorities," the casino and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation said in a statement.

    Markoff and his fiancee listed Foxwoods as one of their preferred honeymoon destinations on a wedding Website, according to newspaper reports. The posting has since been taken down.

    Markoff, a second-year medical student at Boston University, appeared in court Tuesday on charges including murder, kidnapping and armed robbery. Dressed in a wrinkled button-down shirt and khakis, he said nothing during the brief hearing and was jailed without bail.
        
    Defense attorney John Salsberg said later that Markoff is not guilty of the charges and “has his family's support.”

    Markoff's grandfather, Jerome Markoff, a lawyer from Arnold, Md., said he was shocked.

    “This is not my grandson. I know my grandson,” he told The Boston Globe. “I hate to see a rush to judgment ... He's a wonderful boy, just absolutely wonderful, and couldn't be better. I'm proud of him and proud of his abilities as a medical student. He always wanted to be a doctor.”
        
    Markoff's grandfather did not immediately respond to a call from The Associated Press. Police said his grandson has no prior criminal record.

    Markoff is also suspected in the attempted robbery Thursday in Warwick, R.I., of a stripper who had posted an ad on Craigslist. She was held at gunpoint before her husband entered the room and her attacker fled.
        
    Markoff's mother, Susan Haynes, declined to comment through a receptionist at her apartment complex in Sherrill, N.Y., where Markoff went to high school. In the 2004 Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School yearbook, Markoff was listed as a member of the bowling and golf teams, the National Honor Society, history club and youth court.
        
    He graduated in 2007 from the State University of New York at Albany. Later that year, he had a broad smile in a photograph taken as he put on a “white coat” at a ceremony for incoming BU medical school students.
        
    The university has said Markoff was suspended immediately following his arrest.
        
    Police said they found a semiautomatic weapon, duct tape and restraints -- what prosecutors called “critical, powerful” evidence -- in the upscale apartment he shared with his fiancee in Quincy, about 10 miles south of Boston.
        
    “I can't even put it into words, the disbelief I'm feeling right now,” neighbor Jonathan Uva said. “This is a great guy ... just a total disconnect from what we're hearing in the news.”
        
    According to the couple's Web site, Markoff and his fiancee met in 2005 while volunteering at a medical center near SUNY Albany, and they were engaged in May 2008. They had planned to marry Aug. 14 on a beach at sunset in Long Branch, N.J. The couple also had registered for kitchen goods and housewares from Pottery Barn, Macy's and Williams-Sonoma.
        
    Conley, the district attorney, said he believes Markoff's original motive was robbery, but he wound up killing Brisman when she fought back.
        
    Prosecutor Jennifer Hickman said in court that Brisman had been bashed in the head and shot three times at close range, including once through the heart.
        
    “It's hard for me to get into his mind. The evidence that we have is Julissa put up a pretty tough struggle, and it's in the context of that struggle that she lost her life,” Conley said.

    The slain woman's father, Hector Brisman, appeared in court but left without commenting.
        
    Hickman said Markoff also contacted the woman he allegedly robbed using Craigslist on April 10 and set up a meeting after midnight. The woman told investigators she met Markoff and then let him into her room at the Westin Copley in Boston. When she shut the door and turned around, he was pointing a gun at her stomach. He bound her hands and mouth.
        
    He then stole more than $800 and personal items, Hickman said.

    His fiancee, Megan McAllister, insists police have the wrong man.
        
    “He could not hurt a fly,” McAllister said in an e-mail to ABC's “Good Morning America. “All I have to say is Philip is a beautiful person, inside and out.”
        
    An e-mail message sent to McAllister via her Facebook page was not immediately returned Tuesday. The McAllister family did not answer the door of their Little Silver, N.J., home Tuesday. Shortly after, a police officer emerged and said the family did not wish to speak with reporters.
        
    Michael Bernard, who lives in Markoff's building in Quincy, was shocked to recognize his neighbor on television reports of the killing.
        
    “He was smart. He carried himself well. He was clean, a good-looking guy,” said Bernard, a retired electric company worker. “He seemed like the type that would have it all. It doesn't make sense.”