Appearances can be deceiving. From the outside, one young Boston couple looked like they had a bright and beautiful future ahead of them. They’d found love early in life and had promising careers ahead of them.
But one of them wasn’t exactly the kind of person they appeared to be. In a single week their true nature would come to light and change things forever.
Featured Photo Credit: www.nytimes.com
If you were told the basic details of Philip Markoff’s life, you would think that he was on the verge of a fulfilling and enviable life. The 22-year old medical student was engaged to be married to his beautiful college sweetheart, Megan McAllister.
Markoff and Megan had met back in 2005 while Markoff was attending SUNY Albany and the two of them both volunteered at the same hospital emergency room. They enjoyed each other’s company and soon, their chance encounter blossomed into a full romance…
Markoff and Megan stayed together all throughout college and when they graduated in 2007, they made plans to marry in the summer of 2009. Markoff was accepted by the Boston University School of Medicine, one of the top medical schools in the country.
Like most students, the couple weren’t in the best financial situation. Neither of them were employed at the time. While Megan was looking for work, Markoff couldn’t even do that because of the demands of his medical schooling. Their only source of money was student loans…
Because of their finances and Markoff’s intense study requirements, he and Megan rarely left the apartment. “We don’t hang out with people that much. We don’t have money to go out, so it’s like we’re at home most of the time,” Megan said.
A Bit of Fun
But they weren’t without any fun in their lives. Once or twice a month, the pair would take a trip to the nearby Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut where Megan would watch Markoff play Blackjack. Markoff was pretty smart in how he approached the game. “If he’s up, he’ll keep playing, but if he loses money, he’ll stop,’’ Megan said…
That all changed in April of 2009. During that month, Megan left the couple’s apartment and headed back to her family in New Jersey. It was while she was away that Markoff went on a spree that would put their bright future in jeopardy.
On April 10th, Markoff used Craigslist to arrange a “date” with an escort, Trisha Leffler, at a Boston Hotel. Rather than jeopardizing his upcoming marriage in a way you may expect, Markoff drew a gun on Leffler…
Markoff bound Leffler’s hands and tied her to a doorknob using plastic handcuffs. He duct taped her mouth shut and proceeded to rob her blind. He took $800 in cash, a debit card, and $250 worth of American Express gift cards from the escort, then fled the hotel. Two day later, he was at Foxwoods, gambling with the money he’d stolen.
One More Time
Markoff decided that once wasn’t enough for his new method of funding his gambling. Just two days after he’d taken Leffler’s money to Foxwoods, Markoff arranged another hotel encounter using Craigslist, this time with a woman named Julissa Brisman…
This Time Was Different
Brissman advertised on Craigslist as a masseuse. Markoff arranged to meet her at a Boston hotel, just as he had with Leffler. For whatever reason, things didn’t go as smoothly this time. Instead of just making off with some easy cash, Markoff got violent.
He struck Brissman in the head and shot her three times, leaving her to die in a pool of her own blood. In just 4 days, Markoff had gone from innocent medical student to, armed robber to murderer…
Back at the Tables
Again, just two days later, Markoff was back at Foxwoods, playing the tables with the money he’d gotten from his mark. He also decided to pull a double that day, arranging another meeting through Craigslist, this time with an exotic dancer, Corinne Stout, who offered lapdance services.
Third Time Not Quite the Charm
After he was alone in the room with Stout, Markoff again pulled his gun on her. It’s not clear if he intended to just rob Stout or to harm her as he’d done to Leffler or if he was going to kill her as he’d done to Brissman because shortly after he pulled the gun on her, he was interrupted by someone entering the room…
Stout’s husband had come along with her, probably for the very reason that her sort of work could be dangerous. When he heard sounds he didn’t like coming from the hotel room, he rushed in. Markoff was surprised and fled in a panic before anything else could happen.
It didn’t take long after Markoff began his crime spree for police to track him down. Using security camera footage, cell phone records, and emails as evidence, police arrested him on April 16th during a traffic stop when he was on his way to, you guessed it, Foxwoods Casino…
He’s Our Guy
When police searched Markoff’s apartment, they found the handgun, plastic handcuffs and duct tape they believe he had used to threaten and bind the women. They also found two pairs of underpants belonging to his first two victims hidden in a hollowed out copy of Gray’s Anatomy.
Markoff was charged with murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, assault, and a slew of other smaller charges and held without bail. While the physical evidence of Markoff’s acts were overwhelming, those around him rushed to defend him…
Markoff’s friends and family were shocked by the allegations levelled against him. His fiance especially defended him saying that he was “beautiful inside and out” and that he “couldn’t hurt a fly.” But just 9 days after his arrest, she had called off their wedding, seemingly convinced as law enforcement was that he was guilty.
In 2009, a year and a day after Markoff and Megan were to be married, Markoff committed suicide in his jail cell where he had been awaiting trial. He had spread pictures of Megan around his cell, then used a shiv he’d made out of a pen and a piece of metal pried off from a wall outlet to cut himself and write “Megan” and “Pocket” (his pet name for Megan) on the wall in blood. He then cut major arteries in his limbs and and duct taped a plastic bag around his head and was later found dead.