The Illicit List: Crime and Craigslist
Gambling On Love
When Markoff was arrested on his way to Foxwoods Casino with Megan McAllister, he was carrying $1,000 in cash. He'd also gone to Foxwoods two days after Julissa Brisman's death, winning $5300 that night. McAllister has given no public sign of having worried about her fiancé's gambling, but investigators and the media are wondering whether gambling debt may have been the motive behind the alleged robberies.
When Markoff and McAllister met as undergrads at SUNY, she was two years ahead of him. He proposed to her on a beach in Maine. They were to marry August 14, 2009, on the beach at McLoone's Pier House in Long Branch, N.J. McAllister's parents live in Little Silver, an upscale community on the Jersey Shore.
Diverted from Foxwoods to headquarters, McAllister panicked at the station. Her mother had warned her about the Craigslist killer, but she hadn't thought she might be engaged with him. She used a police computer to book a flight to her parents' in New Jersey. Cops drove her to the airport.
The couple had registered at Pottery Barn, Macy's and Williams-Sonoma. McAllister had bought a Vera Wang wedding dress. Sarah Maddalena and other bridesmaids had yet to meet Markoff, but McAllister's brothers attest that he seemed like an upstanding guy.
The wedding band reported that the wedding was canceled after Markoff's arrest. May 1, McAllister met with Markoff in jail to officially break their engagement.
On August 15, 2010, Markoff, who was awaiting trial, was found dead of an apparent suicide. The Boston Herald reported that he had not been checked all night and that during that time Markoff had cut his arteries with a pen and put a plastic bag over his head. He was found alone in his cell. Boston City Councilor Stephen Murphy said, "Regardless of my personal feelings about Philip Markoff, he technically was an inmate awaiting trial, and he was in the care and custody of the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office. He had shown a penchant for doing harm to himself before. You would have thought he would have been under the closest of attention." Murphy, chairman of the council's Public Safety Committee, has called for an independent investigation into Markoff's death.
It's not the first time in recent memory that a B.U. medical student has gained notoriety for a crime. In 2001 in Jamaica Plain, fourth-year student Daniel Mason murdered one man, wounded another, and killed their dog. The 35-year-old Worcester native had nearly removed Gene Yazgur's ear in a parking dispute; a court awarded Yazgur $118,000 in damages. Mason, once a sniper in the Israeli army, shot Yazgurand his University of Massachusetts student roommate and their dograther than pay. Yazgur died. Mason was convicted and is serving a life sentence.