Accused "Craigslist Killer" "Brilliant"

Morgan Houston, former college friend of accused craigslist killer philip mzarkoff. CBS

When Morgan Houston heard Philip Markoff was being charged in the so-called Craigslist murder, she "started shaking."

Houston, a friend of Markoff in their days as students at the State University of New York at Albany, told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith Friday she "thought it was a joke. I was in complete shock. I woke up the next morning thinking, 'Did I dream this all?' I instantly went online and checked again. And it was true. And memories were starting to come back at this point. Just utter disbelief. I never expected this to be someone I knew, let alone a fellow medical student. So the (medical) motto is 'Do no harm and..."

Markoff, a Boston University medical student, is accused of killing one woman who advertised erotic services on Craigslist and robbing another.

Houston told Smith of an incident she more or less dismissed when it happened, but that has new relevance in light of the allegations against Markoff, after a bunch of friends had hung out for the night.

"It ended up at the end of the night," Morgan recalled, "(that) he and I got separated once we got back to the dorms. ... Entering the dorms, he tried to -- he pushed me up against the wall in the entranceway and tried -- he was trying to kiss me. And I just was turning my head. And I normally, would be, 'Fine, no, I'm not interested.' But I had to try and really just push him off me. He was overpowering me. I couldn't pull him off of me. Thankfully, shortly after, one of my very close friends came up and was able to pull him off me."

Then, she says, "I escaped upstairs."

In the days that followed, she would wonder what his story was, "but I just kind of chalked it all up to the alcohol, and I had never seen him do anything like this before. I just kind of -- I tried to put it out of my head. I didn't tell people. There's several people that knew then, but I just -- I wanted to forget about it. Because I had such an impression of him being a nice guy."

Houston says she remembers Markoff as being "extremely brilliant. Our junior year in college before organic chemistry exams, we would study together. I had been studying all week. He would come in the morning, 9:00 in the library, sit down next to me, saying, 'I haven't opened a book, I don't know anything. Teach me something." '

Houston says Markoff was a serious partier. Still, she observed, "Everyone partied. But when he partied, he'd party. But he would also stay in a lot."
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