Boston Police Search for ‘Craigslist Killer’ Online

Boston homicide detectives are using the web in the investigation of Philip Markoff, the man accused of being the so-called “Craigslist killer.” On Tuesday, Markoff was charged with robbing one woman and killing aspiring model Julissa Brisman after arranging to meet them at hotels in Boston on the “erotic services” section of the popular classified advertising site. Markoff has also been linked to the robbery of an exotic dancer in Rhode Island. Along with job postings and listings of items for sale Craigslist contains many ads for escorts and illicit massages. Now, the Boston Police are seeking new information on the case through their own ad on the site.

Yesterday afternoon, the Boston Homicide Unit posted an ad in the “erotic services” section of Craigslist’s Boston site asking for women who were robbed by their clients to come forward. The ad includes a surveillance photo of the killer. Read the full advertisement after the jump:

Were You Attacked or Robbed by a Client? (Boston)
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-04-23, 4:39PM EDT

Were you attacked or robbed at a Boston-area hotel after placing an ad on Craigslist? If so, you may have information that could aid the investigation into the April 10 armed robbery of a woman at the Westin Copley Place Hotel and the April 14 murder of a woman at the Marriott Copley Place Hotel. Both victims were attacked by a prospective client who had contacted them through ads placed on Craigslist.

Investigators believe both women were attacked by one man targeting female Craigslist advertisers who would be reluctant to report the crimes. If you or someone you know was attacked and robbed, please contact the BPD Homicide Unit at 617-343-4470, call the BPD CrimeStoppers tip line at 1-800-494-TIPS, or text “TIP” to CRIME (27463).

We called the Boston Homicide Unit to see if they have received any tips in response to their Craigslist ad, but as of this writing, they have not responded to our request for comment.

This is not the first case of killers using Craigslist to find their victims. On May 3, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is scheduled to speak at the memorial service for Katherine Olson, a 24 year old Minneapolis woman who was killed in October 2007 after responding to a job posting on the site seeking a babysitter. Newmark was interviewed today for a report which will air on ABC’s “Nightline” tonight.


@ChrisAriens Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.