Featuring exclusive interviews with victims, "Seven Days of Rage" reveals new details about Philip Markoff's alleged week-long crime spree and how he almost got away.
"48 Hours Mystery" reveals that Markoff posted profiles of himself on several adult alternative-lifestyle Web sites, expressing his interest in bondage, sadomasochism, homosexuality and in particular, his desire to be dominated.
The program will be broadcast on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT in conjunction with the release of the book "Seven Days of Rage: The Deadly Crime Spree of The Craigslist Killer" (Pocket Books) out this week.
Written by "48 Hours Mystery" producer Paul LaRosa and Boston Globe reporter Maria Cramer, "Seven Days of Rage" also uncovers new details of how Markoff nearly eluded authorities on the day he was caught.
In April 2009, Manhattan model and masseuse Julissa Brisman was discovered lying face down in a pool of blood in the hallway of the Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel, her head battered and a bullet through her heart. Brisman was at the hotel to meet a client she had connected with on Craigslist.
In an exclusive interview, hotel guest Jill Stern (a pseudonym) describes to LaRosa what she heard in the moments before discovering Brisman's body. "It sounded like maybe some furniture was being moved and then I heard a shriek," says Stern. "It was high-pitched and sounded like a child. I thought maybe a kid was having a fight with her parents."
As the investigation unfolded, pieces of an astonishing puzzle emerged: investigators revealed that the same man was linked to two other assaults across the northeast, all involving women whom he contacted through the Web site's erotic services classifieds.
"I shut the door, I turned around and I locked it. That's when he pulled out the gun, he was very calm," Trisha Leffler, a Las Vegas-based escort who was the first victim, tells "48 Hours Mystery" in an exclusive interview, "he knelt down with one knee in between my legs. I'm thinking, like what does he want? I'm shaking. I'm scared. It dawned on me later that he could have killed me."
Three vulnerable women, each cornered in a hotel room by a man they met on Craigslist, one of them murdered when she resisted.
"I turned around and he pulled out a gun. His hand was shaking pretty bad," recalls Amber (a pseudonym), an exotic dancer who was assaulted in Rhode Island. She was the third victim. In her exclusive interview, she tells LaRosa how the gunman repeatedly told her, "I don't want to kill you. I'm broke and I just need some cash or cards."
The story captured headlines, striking fear in many as they wondered who would be next? With a combination of high-tech investigative tools and old-fashioned shoe leather, investigators were led to the unlikeliest of suspects: twenty-three-year-old Philip Markoff a second-year medical student at Boston University who was engaged to be married within months of the attack. One officer recalls staking out Markoff's apartment, watching him and his unsuspecting fiancé Megan McAllister, saying, "She looked like she was living in a fairytale."
The program and book also detail the intricately coordinated efforts by authorities that would lead to Markoff's capture. On Monday, April 20, Markoff and McAllister packed up their car and headed south on Interstate 95. Facing the possibility of losing their man, Massachusetts police were in a race against time as the couple approached the Rhode Island border. Needing a positive identification of Markoff, everyone was on edge, and Trisha Leffler was the key to his capture. As authorities pursued Markoff, Leffler was in New York City with two NYPD officers showing her photos in hopes of identifying the man who had bound and robbed her.
"I stopped on number five and said 'That's him,'" says Leffler in an exclusive interview. "As soon as I saw the picture I started shaking."
Leffler made her identification at 4:03 p.m. Markoff's car was stopped less than 50 miles from Rhode Island at 4:07 p.m.
Peter Van Sant and Richard Schlesinger report for "48 Hours Mystery," Saturday, Sept. 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
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