- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 23, 2009

BOSTON (AP) | A Boston University medical student accused of robbing women who advertised erotic services on Craigslist, killing one of them, had items belonging to both victims in his apartment, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.

Philip Markoff is charged with killing a masseuse at the Marriott Copley Place hotel on April 14. He is also charged in the robbery of another woman whom he purportedly met at another Boston hotel four days earlier.

A law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said police found items belonging to both women in Mr. Markoff’s apartment in Quincy, south of Boston. The official wasn’t authorized to speak about evidence in the investigation.

The official would not confirm a report by ABC News that the items seized by police included the victims’ underwear. ABC News said two unidentified law enforcement sources said Mr. Markoff appeared to be collecting underwear as “souvenirs” from his purported victims.

ABC News did not say how Mr. Markoff took the underwear, and he has not been accused of sexually assaulting either woman. Prosecutors have said he went through the purse of the first woman he purportedly robbed.

Investigators are looking into gambling as a motivation. The law enforcement source said Mr. Markoff was a “frequent visitor” to Foxwoods casino in Connecticut.

Mr. Markoff, 23, is accused in the death of Julissa Brisman, 26, of New York City, a masseuse who was found dead in the doorway of her hotel room after being bashed in the head and shot three times. He also is accused of robbing and tying up another woman, and police have said there could be more victims.

Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Mashantucket, Conn., has confirmed that it is cooperating with authorities investigating Mr. Markoff’s gambling habits.

Mr. Markoff was arrested Monday on Interstate 95 in Massachusetts as he and his fiancee drove to Foxwoods.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said he thinks Mr. Markoff’s original motive was robbery, but he ended up killing Miss Brisman when she fought back.

The first woman Mr. Markoff is accused of robbing said she thinks she is alive because she didn’t resist.

“I just complied with everything he wanted me to do and I didn’t resist him in any way and I think that’s why,” she said in an interview with Boston television station WCVB. “I just hope that they can put him behind bars for the rest of his life.”

Prosecutors have not released her name.

The woman, 29, of Las Vegas, who also advertised as a masseuse on Craigslist, said she was attacked on April 10 at the Westin Copley Hotel. She said she had identified Mr. Markoff from the surveillance photos police distributed. He was wearing the same clothing and she recognized his face, she said.

The woman said she was able to slip out of the plastic ties with which she was bound about a minute after Mr. Markoff left. She said she was robbed of $800 in cash, a debit card and $250 in American Express gift cards.

Mr. Markoff is also suspected in an attempted robbery in Warwick, R.I., of a woman who had posted a Craigslist ad as a stripper. She was held at gunpoint before her husband entered the hotel room and her attacker fled.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Wednesday called on Craigslist to stop what he calls “pimping and prostitution in plain sight.” He asked the site to immediately eliminate photographs in the “erotic services” section, hire staff to screen images and ads that violate the site’s terms of service and fine those who violate those terms.

Craigslist representatives did not return a call seeking comment.

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