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Murder Made Me Famous profiles Philip Markoff known as The Craigslist Killer

The Craigslist Killer, Philip Markoff.
The Craigslist Killer, Philip Markoff

This week Murder Made Me Famous examines the man known as The Craigslist Killer, Philip Markoff.

Markoff was a 23-year-old medical student who carried out three armed robberies and the murder of Julissa Brisman.

He contacted his victims through Craigslist, in two cases responding to adverts offering erotic services. He then arranged to meet the victims before tying them up and robbing them.

The first robbery took place on April 10, 2009, and involved escort Trisha Leffler, who was tied up, gagged and then robbed at gunpoint at a hotel in Boston.

Four days later Julissa Brisman, who had been offering massages on Craigslist, was found dead in another hotel in the same city. She’d been bashed on the head and shot three times at point blank range.

The final crime took place on April 16 at hotel on Rhode Island and the victim was Corinne Stout, who offered exotic dances and lap dancing via Craigslist. In this case the robbery was unsuccessful but similarities in the cases made law enforcement pretty sure they were dealing with the same criminal.

CCTV footage police released at the time
CCTV footage police released at the time

A few days later, on April 20th, the police arrested Markoff whilst he was on his way to a casino with his fiancé Megan McAllister. They had used CCTV, cell phone recored and his email account to identify Markoff as the main suspect.

He maintained his innocence throughout, despite a handgun, restraints, women’s panties hidden in socks and duct tape all being found at his apartment when it was searched. It is thought he was seeking to clear off his gambling debts and saw this as a sure way of getting the cash.

Markoff was arrested and charged with murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and numerous other charges. There was some complications due to the different states but he was help without bail.

During his time in prison he made numerous suicide attempts, set off in part by his fiancé breaking off contact after initially standing by him.

Eventutally after year in prison he succeeded on August 15, 2010. He’d cut all the major arteries in his ankles and neck. Markoff then swallowed toilet paper and put an air tight bag over his head. He was surrounded by photos of his ex and had written her name, Megan, in his own blood on the wall.


Murder Made Me Famous airs on Saturdays at 8:00 PM on REELZ.

James Wray


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