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Police Find Alleged 'Craigslist Killer' Dead in Prison Cell

Police Find Alleged 'Craigslist Killer' Dead in Prison Cell

Philip Markoff [AP]

New York Daily News via YellowBrix

August 16, 2010

NEW YORK – The accused craigslist killer awaiting trial for the murder of a Manhattan model committed suicide on what would have been his first wedding anniversary.

Philip Markoff, 24, was found early yesterday with self-inflicted cuts and a bag over his head inside his Nashua Street Jail cell in Boston, cops said.

“We are saddened by it,” said Jim McAllister, father of Markoff’s former fianceé, Megan, who is in medical school in the Caribbean. “We’re trying to get our heads on straight.”

Jail guards went looking for Markoff when he didn’t show up for breakfast, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office.

Law enforcement sources said that Markoff, who preyed on craigslist escorts, had put a plastic bag over his head and stabbed himself in the neck and legs. He used a pen, the Boston Herald reported. There was so much blood that witnesses speculated he must have hit arteries.

A guard at the jail told the Daily News that Markoff’s training in anatomy may have come into play: “He can do things other inmates can’t, because he knows about the human body. He’s a medical student, so if he gets a sharp instrument, he might be able to bleed himself out.”

Markoff was arrested in April 2009 for the murder of Julissa Brisman, 26, a model and aspiring actress from the upper West Side. Brisman, who moonlighted as an erotic masseuse, was shot dead when she fought Markoff’s attempts to tie her up and rob her in the plush Marriott Copley Place hotel in downtown Boston, authorities said.

Police said Markoff hired her from an ad on craigslist.org, which he trolled for robbery victims who would be unlikely to call the cops. His trial was to have begun in March.

Markoff’s suicide left Brisman’s family in shock.

“Their grief for Julissa is as fresh today as the day over a year ago when Markoff took Julissa away from them,” their lawyer Djuna Perkins said. “The long-awaited criminal prosecution was their only opportunity to confront him, and now he has taken that away as well.”

When Markoff, a native of upstate New York, was arrested, he was about to marry Megan McAllister, his college sweetheart at the University of Albany.

They had a ritzy Jersey Shore wedding planned for Aug. 14, 2009.

McAllister initially defended her fiancé, telling the media he “couldn’t hurt a fly” and was “a beautiful person inside and out.”

She changed her mind and canceled the waterfront wedding after evidence emerged that Markoff had panties and restraints hidden in his box spring and a gun stashed in a hollowed-out copy of his “Gray’s Anatomy” textbook.

Markoff had been on a brief suicide watch just after his arrest last spring, when he tried to hang himself with his shoelaces and slice his wrists with a sharpened spoon.


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