Philip H. Markoff (right), a Boston University clinical graduate student, sits v his lawyer man Salsberg during his arraignment in ~ Boston Municipal Court April 21, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. Markoff, 22, is accused of murdering masseuse Julissa Brisman of new York City in a Boston luxury hotel. Photo: mark Garfinkel-Pool/Getty images
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Richard Beasley, Philip Markoff and also Others: The numerous Faces the the Craigslist Killer

AuthorAdam Janos

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Richard Beasley, Philip Markoff and Others: The many Faces of the Craigslist Killer



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October 16, 2021


A+E Networks

Craigslist is a website where you can find almost anything: a brand-new apartment, some garden equipment, a ride from L.A. To new York. However throughout the years, one unlucky few have found themselves unexpectedly purchasing danger: robberies, sexual assault, suddenly violent death.

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“There is barely a day that goes by that i don’t see at least one report—sometimes two or three or 5 crimes attached to Craigslist,” says Peter Zollman, the founding principal of advanced Interactive Media Group, i m sorry reports on virtual marketplace companies. Zollman’s company runs a blog the catalogues Craigslist killings; follow to your count, over there have gone to least 131 Craigslist murders due to the fact that 2007.

“Craigslist has constantly created an ethos that anonymity,” Zollman says. “And a wild west atmosphere.”

A&E actual Crime watch at several of the many gruesome Craigslist killers.

Craigslist did no respond come a inquiry for comment on this story.

Michael john Anderson

 The an initial man referred to as “Craigslist Killer” in media reports couldn’t number out just how to speak to women. Follow to his attorneys, prior to his 2007 murder, Michael man Anderson was simply “a dumb kid”—a socially stunted 19-year-old who had actually never so much as hosted a girl’s hand prior to he make Craigslist his medium for approach.

There, ~ above the online marketplace, Anderson posted plenty of classified advertisements. Eventually, he found 24-year-old Katherine Ann Olson, that was in search of a babysitting gig. Anderson had placed an ad claiming to it is in a woman named Amy, trying to find someone to care for she 5-year-old.

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Shortly after Olson proved up in ~ Anderson’s Savage, Minnesota house on October 25, 2007, Anderson shot her in the earlier with a .357 Magnum Blackhawk revolver. The stuffed her right into the tribe of her car, where she bled come death.

On march 31, 2009, Anderson was convicted the first-degree premeditated murder, among other charges, and also sentenced come life imprisonment without the opportunity for parole. He currently resides in ~ the Minnesota Correctional facility in Oak Park Heights

Richard Beasley

The gig looked prefer a dream come true, because that a particular kind the drifter:

We require someone to clock our farm down in southerly Ohio. Live for free in a double-wide trailer, naught in the way of duties other than to take it in the peacefulness that the landscape and…make sure no one steals any kind of farm equipment or perpetrates any type of mischief.

Pay to be $300 per week. However behind the sell lay a murderous plot: Beasley, 53 year old, to be seeking victims. Currently on the run from the law for operation a brothel the end of a halfway house, Beasley turn to searching male victim on Craigslist—first, come secure fake identification papers; climate later, come secure earnings while ~ above the lam. Due to the fact that the gig affiliated a live-in job-related situation, victims were instructed to carry cash and also possessions v them.

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Over 4 months in 2011, this Craigslist Killer shot and also killed 3 middle-aged males (David Pauley, Ralph Geiger and also Timothy Kern) with the assist of Brogan Rafferty, a 16-year-old accomplice native a broken home who Beasley had actually befriended at church.

“He had a jolly laugh, a beard, a belly and also even brought candy in his pocket,” Rafferty called The Atlantic. “There was a duration when i was younger that ns was encouraged he was Santa Claus.”

The death spree concerned an end when a 4th victim, Scott Davis, escaped the check murder v a meat wound and also reported the assailants to the police.

Beasley was convicted of aggravated murder, attempted murder and also numerous various other charges, on march 13, 2013, for which he to be sentenced come death. He is right now imprisoned at the Chillicothe Correctional college in Ohio. Rafferty was offered life imprisonment there is no the opportunity of parole on similar charges.

Philip Markoff

Unlike Anderson and also Beasley, points were going fairly well for Philip Markoff when he turned come a life the violent crime. Just 23 year old, Markoff was already a medical student at Boston University. And he was engaged—to Megan McAllister, 25 years old. Lock were only months far from being married.

But Markoff had actually a double life. He was responding to sex worker classifieds top top Craigslist and also traveling come upscale many hotels in the Boston area, wherein he hosted the ladies at gunpoint, tying them up and also robbing them.

Ultimately, end the course of a couple of weeks in April 2009, this Craigslist Killer robbed three women in comparable fashion, shooting and killing his second victim, 26-year-old Julissa Brisman, in ~ the Boston Marriott Copley Place.

Police easily homed in top top Markoff as a suspect. They to be able to link emails come his apartment, among the enduring victims figured out him together the perpetrator by a photograph and Brisman’s blood to be on his pair of shoes at the time of his arrest.

McAllister broke off your engagement soon after Markoff’s arrest.

But the instance never made it to trial. On what would’ve to be his 1-year wedding anniversary, on august 15, 2010, Markoff killed himself in his holding cell with a makeshift scalpel, scrawling his previous fiancée’s name on the wall in blood together his final act.

For all the gruesome Craigslist murders, there space some signs of a slowdown. After ~ 83 recorded murders between 2007 and also 2015, Zollman’s group has only tracked 49 in the 6 years since—a slim decline.

“I’m happy to say that the last couple of years, there have been far, far fewer killings report as attached to Craigslist,” that says—crediting, in part, the elimination of the “casual encounters” and also “dating” sections of the website.

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Of course, component of it can just be diverted traffic.

“Usage the Craigslist has actually gone down,” Zollman says. “People are using different apps.”