- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

BOSTON (AP) — A Boston University medical student charged in the hotel slaying of a masseuse and the robbery of a another preyed on women he found through Craigslist and investigators are looking for other possible victims, authorities said.

Philip Markoff, 22, was due in court in Boston on Tuesday in connection with the shooting death of a New York woman at a luxury hotel in Boston April 14 and the kidnapping and armed robbery April 10 of a woman who was tied up at another hotel.

“There may be other victims out there, and if you are, we want you to come forward,” Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said. “Our top priority is holding Philip Markoff accountable. He’s a predator.”

Conley said evidence from computer forensic experts and “old-fashioned shoe leather” linked Markoff to the two crimes. The man police say is Markoff was seen on video surveillance using a hand-held texting device at several of the hotels.

But Markoff’s fiancee says police have the wrong man and there is no way he could have done it.

In an e-mail to ABC’s “Good Morning America, Megan McAllister said Philip Markoff “could not hurt a fly.” She called him “a beautiful person inside and out,” according to the message read on the air Tuesday.

McAllister said she and Markoff expect to be married in August “and share a wonderful, meaningful life together.”

An e-mail message sent to McAllister via her Facebook page was not immediately returned Tuesday. There was no published telephone listing for a Megan McAllister in the Boston area.

Two of Markoff’s neighbors told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday they were stunned by the accusations.

“I can’t even put it into words, the disbelief I’m feeling right now,” neighbor Jonathan Uva said. “This is a great guy … Just a total disconnect from what we’re hearing in the news.”

Another neighbor, Mike Dye, told the show he had Markoff over to his apartment complex for parties including a Super Bowl party.

Dye said he seemed outgoing, but also rarely talked about himself.

Uva described “Just a nice, normal couple. I lived right next door to him, and I would never have expected this,” Uva said. “We thought they were just regular guys … just our neighbors, like anyone else.”

Police on Monday arrested Markoff, of Quincy, in the woman’s death last week at a luxury hotel. Markoff is to be arraigned Tuesday in Boston Municipal Court on charges of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Markoff is charged with killing Julissa Brisman, 26, who was found dead April 14 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. The New York City woman advertised massage services on Craigslist and had a massage table set up in the room where she was shot Tuesday, police said.

In addition, Markoff is charged with kidnapping and armed robbery in a separate case involving another woman he met on Craigslist.

Police said they had long suspected that Brisman’s killer was connected to a robbery at the Westin Copley Hotel in Boston.

Authorities believe Markoff also may be connected to the attempted robbery Thursday in Warwick, R.I., of a stripper who had posted an ad on Craigslist. She was held at gunpoint before her husband entered the room and her attacker fled.

Markoff was arrested by Boston police after he was stopped south of Boston on Interstate 95 in Walpole, Police Commissioner Ed Davis said at a news conference.

Authorities said Markoff is originally from upstate New York. A Facebook profile matching Markoff’s identity, including his photograph, lists him as a 2007 graduate of State University of New York-Albany and in the 2011 class at BU.

A Boston University spokeswoman told Boston radio station WBZ-AM that Markoff had been suspended from the medical school after his arrest.

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