An Upper West Side masseuse who was brutally shot to death in a Boston hotel last week was remembered by friends and family as a good girl who had overcome some personal demons.
“She was not a hooker. She was a good girl; it was a bunch of lies they're saying about her,” said Edna Cales, who still lives in the Upper West Side apartment building where Julissa Brisman had been raised.
Mourners arrived at the Ortiz Funeral Home in tears to say goodbye to the 25-year-old Brisman, who was found dead in the doorway of her hotel room last week after being bashed in the head and shot three times.
Friends said Brisman moonlighted as a masseuse as she tried to launch her acting and modeling career. She had appeared in a public service ad for cell phone safety. Brisman also worked on music videos and other photo shoots and gave her mom and younger sister part of her earnings, friends said.
Brisman had also battled alcoholism in her early 20s and was enrolled in a City College program with the hopes of becoming an drug and alcohol counselor, her classmate told The New York Daily News.
"She was dedicated," said Brisman's classmate Jimmy Destri, a founding member of the band Blondie.
"This is a girl who is trying to turn her life around."
Boston University medical student Philip Markoff, 23, is charged with killing Brisman, 26, at the Marriott Copley Place hotel in Boston on April 14. He also is charged in the earlier robbery of a woman at another Boston hotel. Markoff is accused of robbing women who advertised erotic services on Craigslist.