‘Craigslist killing’ Accused gets Support from a Facebook Community

Thursday, April 23, 2009

markoff_philip, craigslist killerCraigslist suspect supporters organize on Facebook

BOSTON — Police have said it was the Internet that got him in trouble, but now supporters of the man who has been accused of killing a masseuse he met through Craigslist are going online to rally around him. A new Facebook group called “Phil Markoff is Innocent Until Proven Guilty” describes itself as a forum to rally against the media and a culture “that has forgotten that people like Phil are suspects, not killers.”

Markoff, a Boston University medical student, is charged in the April 14 killing of Julissa Brisman, a 25-year-old masseuse he met through Craigslist. He is also charged in a robbery of another masseuse he allegedly met through Craigslist. Police have said there could be more victims.

Markoff has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, armed robbery and kidnapping.

He was placed on suicide watch Thursday after what appeared to be shoelace marks were found on his neck, according to ABC News and The Boston Globe, which cited unidentified law enforcement sources. Defense attorney John Salsberg told the TV station he was concerned about Markoff’s well-being but otherwise declined comment on the reports.

Jail officials declined to comment to The Associated Press, citing privacy rules.

Markoff was arrested Monday in Walpole, less than 20 miles southwest of Boston, as he drove with his fiancee, Megan McAllister, to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.

McAllister, who earlier this week said Markoff would not hurt anyone, is standing behind him, her father, James McAllister, told reporters Thursday.

“She’s still confident in Phil. Other than that, we’re saying a lot of prayers,” he said outside his home in Little Silver, N.J.

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