Saturday, 2:15 PM
BU med student charged in Craigslist killing
(Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites surveillance photograph, via Warwick Police Department)
By Jonathan Saltzman and Maria Cramer, Globe Staff
Boston police yesterday arrested Philip Markoff, a 22-year-old Boston University medical student, in the killing of 26-year-old Julissa Brisman at the Copley Marriott last week and an attack on a second woman at a Back Bay hotel.
Markoff, who authorities say contacted both women through their Craigslist ads for personal services, was taken into custody on Interstate 95 in Walpole. An extensive manhunt had been underway for the suspect since last week, when police released hotel security footage of a fair-haired young man believed to be responsible for Brisman's fatal shooting.
The killing was soon connected to an April 10 attack at the nearby Westin Copley, where a prostitute who advertised on Craigslist was robbed at gunpoint and tied up.
Two days after Brisman was killed, a third attack occurred at the Warwick Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Rhode Island, where another prostitute reported she had been assaulted by a man with a similar description. Warwick police are still investigating that attack.
Earlier today, Warwick police released four black-and-white surveillance photographs of the suspect in that case.
The man, who is wearing a baseball cap and a jacket over an untucked shirt in the hotel surveillance photographs, bears a resemblance to the suspect depicted in pictures taken at the two hotels where the other attacks occurred.
The series of photographs from Warwick were blurry, making it hard to say for sure whether it is the same man, but Boston police investigators believe it is.[To see surveillance photographs from the fatal attack in Boston, click here.]
"I don't think the stills are as good as Boston's,'' said Warwick Police Chief Stephen M. McCartney. "We don't have him ever taking off the hat.''
From the times stamped on the photographs, it appears they were taken about 25 minutes before police responded to the hotel after getting a call about the attack around 11:15 p.m. The man is walking past two elevators in the lobby and into a stairwell on the west side of the hotel.
The woman, whom police described as a 26-year-old prostitute from Las Vegas, told investigators that a clean-cut, blond man tied her up with plastic cord. The man demanded cash and spotted a laptop computer he wanted, McCartney said. But as he began rummaging through the woman's items, her husband came into the room, and the attacker pointed a gun at him and backed out the door before fleeing.
In the first reported attack in Boston at the Westin, a woman was bound with what a witness told the Globe last week were plastic zip ties. The woman was robbed of a debit card, $800 in cash, and $250 in American Express gift cards.
On April 14, 26-year-old Julissa Brisman was shot to death at the door of her room on the 20th floor of the Marriott Copley. Brisman had also advertised massages on Craigslist, and the assailant had tried to bind her hands with plastic ties.
Warwick police released the photographs to news media after withholding them over the weekend, at the urging of Boston police, for what McCartney described as strategic reasons. He declined to elaborate.