This story first appeared in the Herald on August 16, 2010. His case is the subject of this week’s “From the Archives” newsletter. (Click here to subscribe to all Herald newsletters.)
Senior Hub official calls for independent investigation into how alleged Craigslist killer Philip Markoff – Nashua Street Jail’s most infamous inmate – could commit slow and gruesome suicide, denying family justice for his victim presumed.
Sheriff Andrea Cabral “failed in her duty to provide care and custody to an inmate awaiting trial, and because of that failure, the Brisman family will never see justice served,” the Boston city councilman said , Stephen J. Murphy, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. , told the Messenger.
Markoff, 24, was awaiting trial for the execution of erotic masseuse Julissa Brisman at a Back Bay hotel last year when he was found suffocated by a clear plastic bag from the prison canteen yesterday morning. The handsome former Boston University medical student had also stabbed himself with a pen, sources said.
He was pronounced dead at 10:17 a.m. He had not been checked all night, sources said.
The shocking disappearance of the former doctor-to-be – who sources say used his medical expertise to attempt to sever major arteries so he would bleed to death – has been tentatively labeled an ‘apparent suicide’ by authorities the day after the one-anniversary of what was to be Markoff’s wedding to New Jersey bombshell Megan McAllister.
Murphy wants Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley to conduct his own investigation into how Markoff got away with killing himself before trial, but a spokesperson for Conley said the prosecutor was primarily focused on the inquest into Markoff’s cause of death.
“Markoff was alone in his cell, and all evidence gathered thus far indicates that he committed suicide,” Conley and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said in a joint statement.
Markoff – who was not on suicide watch, despite having been previously – was due to stand trial next March as a sex-advertising deviant defendant in a series of advertiser stalking of Craigslist.
Officials at the 654-bed maximum-security prison did not say how long he had been dead.
Author Kevin Borgeson, a criminology professor at Salem State College, wondered how such a high-profile prisoner could have achieved such a slow and agonizing end.
“It seems a little strange to me. It’s strange that he could go this far in the day without anyone noticing,” Borgeson said.
A source familiar with prison routine said the metal door to Markoff’s cell would have automatically opened for breakfast at around 7am, after which staff would have had to call him in for the mandatory morning cleaning of its quarters.
“It’s shocking and very saddening,” said his lawyer, John Salsberg.
The Craigslist killer case made global headlines after Brisman, 25, a New York actress with bee-stung lips, found herself shot dead in a room at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. His skull had been crushed by the butt of a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. Prosecutors said Markoff responded to her online massage ad.
On April 10, 2009, four days before Brisman was killed, prosecutors said an armed Markoff held Craigslist rental girl Trisha Leffler from Las Vegas at the Westin Hotel.
He was also facing charges in Warwick, RI, for attacking Cynthia Melton, a Vegas exotic dancer, at the Holiday Inn Express on April 16, 2009.
Prosecutors said Markoff left a ridiculously amateurish trail of fingerprints at crime scenes and hid the murder weapon in a hollowed-out “Gray’s Anatomy” textbook. They also found in his Quincy apartment four pairs of women’s panties hidden in his bed and plastic ties like the ones the Craigslist killer used to bind his victims.
David McLean, president of the Jail Officers and Employees Association of Suffolk County, said staffing was not a factor in Markoff’s suicide.
“Staffing levels have nothing to do with what happened today,” McLean said. “We are staffed accordingly around the clock, whether it’s overtime or not.”
Natalie Sherman contributed to this report.
TIMELINE: Trace the steps
** April 10, 2009: Las Vegas prostitute Trisha Leffler reports that a man attacked her with a gun at the Back Bay Westin hotel, robbing her of $800.
** April 14, 2009: Police find 25-year-old masseuse Julissa Brisman beaten and fatally shot by a 9mm handgun at Marriott Copley Place.
** April 16, 2009: A stripper staying at the Holiday Inn in Warwick, RI tells police that a gunman attacked her and tried to rob her, but fled when her husband entered the room. He left behind telltale plastic zipper cuffs that match those used in the other incidents.
** April 20, 2009: Police arrest 23-year-old Philip Markoff as he and his fiancée, Megan McAllister, are en route to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. It would have been his fourth trip there in a month.
** April 21, 2009: Markoff is charged with the two Boston crimes. He pleaded not guilty and is being held without bond in Nashua Street Jail in Boston.
** April 24, 2009: Police place Markoff on suicide watch after he allegedly attempted to hang himself with his shoelaces.
** April 26, 2009: Markoff’s fiancee calls off their wedding, scheduled for August 14, 2009, although she continues to pledge her support.
** May 4, 2009: Prosecutors formally indict Markoff in the Rhode Island attack.
**June 22, 2009: Prosecutors present a wealth of evidence at Markoff’s arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court, including fingerprints and a firearm hidden in a hollow ‘Gray’s Anatomy’ textbook.
**July 16, 2009: Boston Judge Frank M. Gaziano rejects a claim by defense attorneys that Markoff’s chances of a fair trial were tainted by media leaks.
** March 20, 2010: Markoff provides prosecutors with a DNA sample.
**May 26, 2010: Lawyers say Markoff’s case won’t go to trial until at least March 2011, postponing proceedings for six months.
** August 15, 2010: Markoff found dead in his cell of an apparent suicide.
#Archives #Suspected #Craigslist #Killer #Killed #Jail