The Craigslist Killer

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In America there are numerous killers that have shocked the nation, but one killer in particular had the world completely dumbfounded. It was the ‘Craigslist Killer’ who would have many people asking questions and wondering why a soon to be graduate from medical school would commit such evil acts. With graduation right around the corner and wedding plans to make with his fiancé, he seemed to have the world at his feet. So who is the ‘Craigslist Killer’? Philip Markoff, also known as the ‘Craigslist Killer’, was born February 12, 1986. He grew up in Sherrill, New York, outside of Syracuse. He was the son of a dentist and of an educator-turned casino worker. Markoff attended Vernon-Sherrill Central School, where he was on the bowling team, history club and youth court and also a part of the National Honor Society. After high school, Markoff enrolled at the University of Albany, also acknowledged as SUNY, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology. At SUNY he met pre-med student Megan McAllister while volunteering at a nearby medical center emergency room (Source 1). McAllister was a senior and Markoff was a sophomore when the two started dating in 2005 (Source 1). Three years later Markoff proposed to McAllister during a romantic carriage ride in Connecticut in May 2008 (Source 5). Their wedding service was to be at Long Island, New Jersey, on a beach with a wedding party of 19 containing two ring-bearers and three flower girls on August 14, 2009 (Source 4). Little did McAllister know that a few months before her dream wedding, her then fiancé would be nicknamed the ‘Craigslist Killer’ and be convicted of multiple assaults and murder.

Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities, featuring free online classified advertisements with sections devoted to jobs, housing, and personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums. Markoff’s obvious favorite advertisements where those in the erotic category. The erotic services categories are one of the 100 categories on Craigslist, which accounts for 1% of ads. Some say the erotic category is the largest source of prostitution and pornography in America. Craigslist is where Markoff soon began to find his victims to terrorize and pursue. He would post inappropriate pictures of himself and look for women, some rumor to say males too, around the area to meet him for what could be massages or lap dances. He would have the individuals meet him at hotels and there he would assault them (Source 6). Markoff thought he was smart and get away for what he did but soon he would be caught. Markoff’s first victim was Tricia Leffler, a 29 year old Las Vegas woman who was fleeing from that city’s crackdown on vice. Tricia went to Craigslist online and placed an ad in the erotic categories section as an escort, with her ad headline as “Sweet Blonde” and claims that she started getting phone calls right away. Markoff would be one of those responding to the add (Source 7).

April 10, 2009 is the night Tricia would be face to face with the young, good looking man at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts that she met on Craigslist. Once the door was closed, Markoff pulled out a very destructive looking gun and pointed it at Leffler. He told her “If you do everything you’re asked, no harms gonna to come to you. Lay down, put your hands behind your back” according to Leffler. When he started to walk towards her, he put the gun back in his pocket. He knelt down with one knew in between her legs and grabbed $800 cash that she had on her and put it in his own pocket. He also took her credit and debit cards while he made no attempt to disguise his face, but he was quick to getting his phone number off of her cell phone. Markoff then picked up a pair of Leffler’s underwear from the floor and put them in his pocket and proceeded to walk around the hotel room as if he were looking for something. He lead Leffler to the bathroom where he tied her...
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