Craigslist Killer Had Gambling Problem Say Authorities

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
CraigsList Murder


A Boston man accused of slaying a Manhattan woman he met won Craigslist, the popular online classifieds website, may have owed significant gambling debts.

Phil Markoff's motive was to rob his victims in order to pay off gambling debts, authorities said.

Law enforcement sources did not detail how much money Markoff owed.

From the New York Post:

The 22-year-old medical student doesn't appear to fit the murder-suspect stereotype police have dubbed the "Craigslist killer" - the preppy, clean-cut medical student who's engaged to be married in August.

But police said he robbed two women he met through personal Internet ads on Craigslist - killing Julissa Brisman, a masseuse, in an a Boston hotel.

Markoff has been charged with murder in the April 14 shooting death of Brisman, 29, at the Copley Marriott Hotel. He was also charged with armed robbery and kidnapping in an alleged attack on another woman on April 10 at another hotel, according to the Boston Police Department.

Markoff was arrested after cops pulled him over on Interstate-95 just south of Boston.

Over the past year, has reported on a number of brutal murders all thought to be connected with gambling.

Professional poker player, Ernest Scherer Jr., and wife Charlene Abendroth were found bludgeoned in their Alameda County home last summer.  Their son, Ernest Scherer III was arrested in late February, charged with the murder of his own parents.  Authorities told that Scherer III owed substantial gambling debts.

Then there was the case of Zhou Qian and her boyfriend Yang Zhenxing, who were found murdered in their Newcastle, England flat. Authorities believe the couple's apparent involvement in a football betting scam with links to East Asian gambling syndicates may explain why they were killed. Police said severe bruising found on Yang's arms indicated that he had suffered a prolonged beating before being killed.

Just last week another Alameda County man was charged in the murder of two individuals.  The motive is believed to center around gambling debts as well.

Christopher Costigan, Publisher


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