In spring 2009, Boston was a city at peace.
But then, on April 10, everything changed. The "Craigslist Killer" began his seven-day crime spree.
His first victim was a woman from Las Vegas who was fleeing that city's crackdown on vice.
"I just picked a city and went to it. I've been doing it for the past two years," Leffler said of choosing Boston. Her line of work? "I was escorting."
In this case, a traveling escort. Trisha Leffler, 29, checked herself into the Westin Copley Place Hotel. No surprise, she went right to where the money is - the Back Bay area of the city, known for its fancy hotels, exclusive boutiques and hip restaurants.
When asked how much money she can make in this field, Tricia told "48 Hours Mystery" correspondent Peter Van Sant that being an escort is quite lucrative - she can make thousands of dollar a week.
Tricia said she immediately went online to Craigslist, the Web bulletin board, and placed an ad in the erotic services section. She said after submitting her ad with the headline "Sweet Blonde," she started getting phone calls right away.
"What Craigslist does is basically provide services and these prostitutes have been providing services for years. And if it's not the Yellow Pages, it's gonna be Craigslist. They find a means to advertise their services," according to Joe Moura, a Boston-based private investigator and "48 Hours" consultant.
Moura said that by acting as her own boss, Tricia was increasing her risk.
"If there's a street prostitute, she's gonna have a pimp down the street or across the street on the corner who's protecting her. Somebody using Craigslist getting a fancy hotel in Boston, she's on her own."
But that April night, when Tricia saw the man who answered her ad, she said she felt perfectly safe. "He looked nice, he looked young. Good looking, obviously."
Once the door was closed, this good-looking young man pulled out a very dangerous-looking gun.
"I backed up a little bit. He just said, 'If you do everything you're asked, no harm's gonna come to you.' He said, 'Lay down, put your hands behind your back.' When he started to walk towards me, he put the gun back in his pocket."
The man put on some black leather gloves and took out some plastic zip ties.
In an exclusive interview with "48 Hours Mystery," Tricia explained, "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 very well killed me."
Tricia's attacker wanted money. "I had about $800 in cash, he grabbed that, put that in his pocket," she said.
As he took her credit and debit cards, Tricia said he made no attempt to disguise his face. But he was intent on getting his phone number off her cell phone.
"Was he wearing his gloves when he did that?" Van Sant asked Tricia.
"No," she replied.
"Well, how dumb is that?"
Dumb, and, as it turned out, he was more than a little weird.
He picked up a pair of Tricia's underwear from the floor and put them in his pocket. "If he would've looked at my face, it would've been, like, "What the hell are you doing?"
At that point, she explained, the gunman began walking around the hotel room looking for something.
"And he said, 'Come here.' And I went in to the bathroom and he basically tied me to the doorknob. I got really scared. He took a knife out of his pocket and cut the phone lines. He came back over to me and taped my mouth. He put three pieces of tape over my mouth."
Tricia noticed that he had yet to put the gloves back on, meaning that his fingerprints were all over that tape.
After he left the room, she quickly broke free from the zip ties, but worried that he may still be nearby.
"I'm worried he's listening through the door. I look out the peephole. There's nothing - there's nobody out there. I open the door very slowly, stuck my head out, looked both ways. Nobody was in the hallway. I crept down the hall to see if he was maybe standing by the elevator. [There's] nobody by the elevator.
"I'm still shaking. I'm still nervous," she continued. "So I went back to the room, grabbed my room key, shut the door and went and knocked on the next-door neighbor's door.'Can I call security? I've just been robbed at gunpoint.'"
From the start, Boston police took Tricia Leffler seriously.
"They didn't say, 'You're not supposed to be doing this' - anything like that. They were very respectful towards me. They wanted to catch the guy," she told Van Sant. "The next day, when I went down to the police station to look through some photos, they had a surveillance photo of the man that I described."
Stills taken from a hotel security camera were the first shots of the man who became known as the Craigslist Killer.
Van Sant asked Joe Moura, a private investigator, "Wasn't he aware that there were security cameras that people could track him down if something did go wrong?"
"Sometimes, because there's security cameras everywhere, it's almost like they're not there. He figured the crime was so bold, he was gonna walk out, she's not reporting it, nobody's gonna be checking video if he was here or not. He figures it's a clear-cut case. He's outta here," Moura explained. "The thing about this young lady is that she did come forward and actually helped in the investigation."
Tricia remained in Boston, waiting for the police to release her cell phone. On April 15, they called. "We need to talk to you. It's really important," she recalled. "Five minutes later, [there's] a knock at the door. And then they handed me a photograph. And I said, 'Wow, this is a really good picture of him. Where did you get it from?' And they just stopped and looked at me and they were, like, 'Is that him?' I said, 'Yeah, this is him. Was this before he came up to my room?'
"They said, 'No, this is taking from a different hotel.' And they said.' He murdered another girl last night.'"
Boston Globe reporter Maria Cramer covers the crime and police beat. She is also a "48 Hours" consultant. Last spring, she found herself at the center of a white-hot story.
"I got a call from my editor on April 15 telling me that there was a report of a woman shot at the Copley Marriott in Boston," she told "48 Hours" correspondent Peter Van Sant.
The dead woman was 25-year-old Julissa Brisman, an aspiring model from New York City.
Cramer said she knew immediately that it was going to be a big story. That's because the police had connected Julissa's murder to the robbery of Trisha Leffler just days before.
Both women had advertised in the erotic services section of Craigslist and had been restrained with plastic ties. And, once again, surveillance stills from the Marriott showed a tall, blond, preppy-looking man leaving the scene of the crime.
"Give me a sense when you first saw the first released photographs of this suspect, what did you see in that picture?" Van Sant asked Cramer.
"You saw a very relaxed looking guy. He was looking at his Blackberry, texting, looking like he had just left the hotel bar and was heading home," she replied.
Van Sant said, "In some ways, that makes it all the more insidious, all the more disquieting for people living here."
"What frightened a lot of people," Cramer continued, "are these pictures of a person that doesn't seem to have a care in the world."
The attacks could not have come at a worst time for Boston.
"What we had goin' on here was the Boston Marathon," private investigator Joe Moura explained. "Because it connected to Craigslist, everybody's imagination went wild."
Cramer said, "It basically created a frenzy - not only from the media, but from the police, because you had the possibility of a serial criminal here.
The media labeled him the "Craigslist Killer" and now all eyes were focused on the 20th floor hotel room of Julissa Brisman.
"48 Hours Mystery" producer Paul LaRosa, along with Cramer, has written a new book about the case called "Seven Days of Rage." It is published by Simon and Schuster, a division of CBS.
"Police believe that the attacker immediately pulled a gun on her. He got at least one plastic tie on her wrist. At that point, she fought back," LaRosa explained. "Her killer shot her right at the front of her room. When he opened the door to flee, she fell outside the room."
"The cops said he didn't have to kill her," LaRosa continued. "Once you hit somebody in the head with a gun butt they go down."
A guest from New York City was staying in a room just down the hall from Julissa. The witness, who we'll call "Jill", told LaRosa what she saw and heard:
"Jill was in her room reading a mystery novel and all of the sudden, she starts hearing a commotion down the hall. Eventually, she poked her head out the door. And what she saw down the hall was a woman who was half in and half out of the doorway; she wasn't moving. Jill decided at that point, she was going to call security. The guard bent over, started moving the hair away from the woman on the floor and he saw a lot of blood," LaRosa said.
"Once he saw the blood, the guard said, 'Get in your room.' [Jill] stayed in the hallway and watched to see what was happening. The security guard started talking into his walkie-talkie. He said, 'This is an emergency. We need paramedics.'"
Less then an hour later, Julissa Brisman, only a week away from her 26th birthday, was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center.
Later that night, cops called her mother, Carmen, in New York City. Carmen called Mark Pines, a photographer who was helping Julissa in her career, and also a family friend.
"She just told me that Julissa had died. You can't go back from a statement like that; it's definitive," Pines recalled. "We just started crying. More than words, we needed to share feelings at that point. The details - I didn't care about the details at that point. My heart was so broken that all I could do was cry."
For her family and Julissa's many friends - her murder was a tragic end to a life just beginning to turn around.
"What we know about Julissa before this was that she was a party girl. She was living the high life in New York," said Cramer. "She was a young, beautiful girl in New York City and she took full advantage of her youth and her beauty to, you know, live it up."
But at the time of her death, Julissa had stopped drinking and radically changed her looks.
Pines said the change was evident. "She would smile with her whole face. She'd smile with her mouth and her eyebrows at the same time, and she had eyes that were, like, just - they had this incredible, cock-eyed optimism. She had this amazingly positive, optimistic thing in her eyes, you know?"
Pines featured Julissa in a video about cell phones and wrote a song about her.
Julissa was trying to get her modeling and acting career going, but in the meantime, there were bills to be paid. So she began to offer what's known in the trade as sensual or erotic massages.
"Her services are advertised as massages, and from what I'm told by those close to her, they did not include full services," said Cramer, who further explained the service did not involve sexual intercourse.
When asked by Van Sant if Julissa was a prostitute, Cramer replied, "No. Not from what I'm told. She was disgusted by it. That said, she was definitely operating in a world that could become dangerous."
With two victims plucked off Craigslist - one dead and one terrorized - critics blasted the site as a virtual bordello filled with all-too-real prostitutes.
"People say, rightly so, that sex and crime were always around, even before the Internet. You could go in the back of a newspaper and see a lot of ads for women who would have sex with you. And that's true," said LaRosa," but the Internet makes it so much easier."
Writer Maureen Orth investigated the Craigslist Killer story for Vanity Fair magazine.
"They're creating huge cyber cities that are absolutely unpoliced. You can walk into your room any time of the day and just click on or not," she said. "Craigslist has a huge number of categories - M for T, men for trannies; T for M, trannies for men; rice queens, white guys who only like Asians; burritos, white guys who only like Latinos. I mean, these are all up there, all the time."
All the time - and the Craigslist Killer knew that all too well. Just two days after Julissa's murder, he dipped into Craigslist yet again to find his next victim.
In Boston, police kept watch on the city's downtown core, determined to find the killer who was choosing his victims off Craigslist.
"If you had somebody targeting women in nice hotels, in a busy part of the city where a lot of tourists hang out, that was a huge concern for police," said Boston Globe reporter and "48 Hours" consultant Maria Cramer.
Then, just two days after Julissa Brisman's murder, the Craigslist Killer had found a new target 60 miles from Boston at a Holiday Inn in Warwick, R.I.
His victim was a stripper from Las Vegas who asked that we not use her real name. We'll refer to her as "Amber."
Amber would not do an on-camera interview, but did talk to authors Paul LaRosa and Maria
LaRosa said she was dancing at a local strip club in Providence. "She, according to authorities, goes there often with her husband. She dances at the Cadillac Lounge," added Cramer.
During her down time, Amber advertised on Craigslist, offering private lap dances in her hotel room.
"One of these people was a suspect who matched the description of the man who attacked the other two women in Boston," said Cramer.
"It was $200 for a lap dance. They didn't get into whether sex was going to be offered or not," said LaRosa.
For the third time in seven days, a woman willingly opened her door to this clean cut young man.
Amber turned around, and when she turned back to the man, she said he was pointing a gun at her.
"She said he was nervous and his hand was actually shaking, the gun hand," said LaRosa. "And he said, 'I'm broke. I don't want to kill you. I just need cards or money.' She said, 'I'll give you whatever you want,' and he immediately tied her up with these plastic handcuffs, laid her on the ground and started looking through her room."
Cramer said the suspect went after people that he could easily dominate.
"At that point," LaRosa continued, "her cell began to ring and the gunman got very nervous when the phone kept ringing and ringing. He said, 'Who's calling you? Why are they calling now?'"
The caller was Amber's husband and business manager. He was in the hotel lobby waiting for a signal from Amber that everything was OK. When he did not get it, LaRosa said he began calling and headed up to his wife's room.
"Suddenly, there was a man coming through the door, because her husband had the key to the room. He pointed the gun at Amber's husband. Amber's husband took off down the hall one way; the attacker took off the other way. Amber was able to jump up, and she elbowed the door shut."
The gunman escaped, although security cameras captured his image in the stairwell and lobby.
"How dumb is it to show your face to these people?" Van Sant asked Cramer.
"What we might think is stupidity, police are more inclined to call arrogance, a person who just thinks he's smarter than everybody else and didn't expect to be caught," she replied.
But over these seven days of rage, the Craigslist Killer made several crucial mistakes - showing his face to his victims and allowing his image to be captured by security cameras. But his biggest blunder was unwittingly handing investigators a road map to his front door.
"One of Julissa's friends found the e-mails between her and her 10 p.m. appointment, the man she met at 10 p.m. the night she died and then called the Boston police to tell them, 'I have these e-mails. That means I have his IP address," Cramer said.
An IP or Internet Protocol address is unique to each computer that sends e-mail.
Investigator Joe Moura said that was a huge break. "That was like leaving the gun at the scene with your fingerprints on the gun. It's the exact same thing."
The virtual IP address led detectives to an apartment in Quincy, a suburb just outside Boston, and specifically, to an apartment belonging to Philip Markoff.
For the first time, investigators could match a name to a suspect. They were shocked to discover the 23-year-old was a second-year medical student at Boston University.
LaRosa described Markoff as "a brilliant student. He has an uncommon mind."
"When they got Philip Markoff's name, they still weren't convinced, because they still didn't know what Philip Markoff looked like," Cramer said.
Officers from Boston's elite fugitive squad began an around-the-clock stakeout.
"[They were] waiting for somebody to come out that would look like the man in these video surveillance photos. When he did, they realized, 'OK, we're got somebody who looks a lot like these photos," said Cramer. "One sergeant basically called the investigators after watching him all day and said, 'I like him. I like him a lot.'"
It was now Sunday, April 19. Police observed the suspect, Philip Markoff, leaving his apartment with his fiancée, Megan McAllister.
"They watched as Megan was flirting with him, trying to cuddle with him," said Cramer. "He was a little standoffish, according to what they said."
But before cops brought him in for questioning, the district attorney wanted a positive ID. They reached out to the Craigslist Killer's first target, Trisha Leffler.
Tricia told "48 Hours Mystery," "I got a call that morning. It was the assistant DA in Boston, and she said, 'We have a photo lineup for you. Are you still in Boston? I said, "No, I'm in New York. I just left yesterday."
It was now one week after Julissa Brisman's murder and the methodical Craigslist investigation suddenly turned frantic. Markoff and his fiancée were on the move.
Cramer said the couple, who were seen leaving their apartment with a small suitcase and an over-the-shoulder knapsack, got into the car and headed south on Interstate 95.
They were heading to Foxwood's Casino in Connecticut. Boston authorities were intent on making sure Markoff did not set foot over the state line. The race was on, because once he crossed the state line, Markoff was out of the investigators' jurisdiction.
They had to make a quick decision. The Boston DA rushed a New York detective over to Trisha's Manhattan hotel room with a photo array that included Markoff.
"He said, 'OK, I'm going to show you the photographs. He basically just handed me a folder," said Tricia. "I opened the folder. And I went through them one by one. When I hit number five, I just started shaking. And I said, 'This is him.'"
"Boston police very excitedly got on the phone with the fugitive unit and said, 'Get him,'" said Cramer.
Back on I-95, police cars surrounded Markoff. Cramer said, "They pulled him over. They said, 'We have a warrant for this automobile and we need to take it back to Boston and you need to come with us."
Cramer told Van Sant that Markoff and McAllister had different reactions. "Megan was talking a lot. She was very vocal. Philip was very quiet, didn't ask any questions. It was at the police station Megan really began to ask a lot more questions; 'What's going on? What's happening?' Philip never really spoke at all. He immediately asked for a lawyer."
Police immediately informed him that he was under arrest for kidnapping, armed robbery and murder. When McAllister was told the news of Markoff's arrest, she broke down and cried. Detectives saw no reason to hold her; she was allowed to fly her parent's home in New Jersey while Markoff went off to jail.
"As soon as they told me they had him in custody, I just started crying. I was very, very happy," said Tricia Leffler. "It was like a weight had been lifted off my chest to know that he had finally been caught…and he can't hurt anybody else."
But with Philip Markoff in custody, the questions were only just beginning.
There were plenty of reasons for people to be shocked when Philip Markoff was arrested. He sure didn't look the part. Handsome young medical students seldom end up shackled and cuffed and facing the judge in a notorious case of homicide.
"This is the sort of person you would never expect to be involved in these sorts of crimes. And he counted on that," said Casey Jordan, an attorney and a psychologist who specializes in criminal behavior. "He presented a virtual identity to society which everyone could buy into - the guy next door, tall and blond and handsome, a medical student engaged to a beautiful girl.
So the last thing his friends expected was his arrest.
"It was shocking. I went into shock," said Morgan Houston, Markoff's friend and study partner at State University of New York at Albany where they were both pre-med.
"He was dorky, but so many of us are. I mean, I can be a big dork too."
He might have been a dork, but Markoff was also a star student.
Morgan told "48 Hours" correspondent Richard Schlesinger that Markoff loved what he was studying. "He was so worried about getting into the top schools. And I would say to him, 'Phil, you have a great GPA. You're gonna be fine.'"
In fact, he finished college in just three years, graduated summa cum laude and was accepted to medical school at top-ranked Boston University.
By 2009, Markoff was a second-year medical student and was planning a wedding to Megan McAllister, his college girlfriend.
It was supposed to be a lavish sunset ceremony at a beach resort in New Jersey. Instead, Markoff ended up in jail and McAllister was holed up at her parents' house in Little Silver, New Jersey. The press pursued her, but she stayed mostly out of sight.
Still, McAllister, who had been dating Markoff for three years, came quickly to his defense after his arrest, writing reporters, "This is not the Philip Markoff that I know … Philip is a beautiful man inside and out and would not hurt a fly."
McAllister's father, Jim, spoke to reporters in front of the family home two days after Markoff's arrest, telling them, "She's still confident in Phil….but other than that, we're saying a lot of prayers."
Police were making it more difficult for people to remain confident in Markoff. They said they found the gun that killed Julissa Brisman in Markoff's apartment. The gun was hidden inside a hollowed-out book - a copy of "Gray's Anatomy" - the basic reference for all doctors and medical students.
"They found the gun in a book. That, in itself, doesn't mean he's guilty, but clearly the gun is the big thing," said private investigator Joe Moura. "If they show that that gun was the gun that was involved in the shooting, you gotta case-closed situation. See you later. He's gone."
The gun wasn't all the police found.
"The Boston detective called me from his apartment he said, 'We did find both pairs of your underwear,' said Tricia Leffler.
Police report finding two more pairs of women's underwear hidden under Markoff's mattress, but they haven't said who they belonged to. If Markoff was keeping underwear from his victims as trophies, it was beginning to look like these were more than just simple robberies gone wrong.
"It wasn't just about the money," according to Jordan. "It was, 'If I'm gonna get the money, how can I get it and fulfill this personal need for thrill?'"
Jordan thinks Markoff gets his thrills from a frightening mixture of power, sex and control.
And one night back in college, after more than a few drinks, Morgan Houston may have caught a glimpse of Philip Markoff's desire for thrill seeking.
"Going up into the tower where I live, he cornered me and pushed me up against the wall and was trying to kiss me," she told Schlesinger. "And I was saying, 'No, Phil. You know, we're just friends. What are you trying to do?' And I was trying to push him away. And he was being forceful, and I physically couldn't get him off of me. Thankfully, one of my very close friends had come along and he was able to pull him off of me. I was able to escape upstairs."
Houston said being in that situation scared her.
"I had no control… He wasn't listening to me when I was saying no."
When asked if Markoff ever apologized to her, Houston replied, "No, I'm not sure he ever mentioned it… It was awkward. I just wanted to forget about it. It wasn't the Phil I knew... I chalked it up to the alcohol."
Maybe it was the alcohol. Or maybe it was a hint of what the real Phillip Markoff was like.
The day after Markoff's arrest, a report surfaced that he had traded e-mails with a transvestite advertising on Craigslist.
"It appeared that he was interested in homosexual sadomasochism, and he was interested in being the submissive partner," according to Steve Huff, a crime blogger and a contributor to the True Crime Report.
Following up on the e-mail address Markoff reportedly used - "sexaddict5385"- Huff said he made a startling discovery. "I received a tip that, if you added another '8' to that address, there were secondary profiles that nobody knew about yet."
One of the profiles Huff found for "sexaddict53885," believed to be Markoff, was on Alt.com - a personals Web site for the very adventurous. It lists among his interests: chains, collars, leashes and experimentation with transvestites.
"Everybody answers questions on these profiles," according to Huff. "One of them was, 'How often do you think of these things?' And he answered, 'All the time.'"
And it's not an isolated entry. It looks like Markoff was all over the Internet. Huff said Markoff also had profiles on gayclublist.com, passion.com, extremerestraints.com.
When asked how certain he is that the profiles are Markoff's, Huff replied, "All the evidence points to him. The person posting had the same birth date as Markoff. Of course, he had the similar handles, the sexaddict handle. Also, the date that the profile had been published was about two years ago. It's hard to fake that."
There's also this: Boston police confirmed a torso photo featured on Alt.com was found on Markoff's laptop. The secret profiles and his alleged solicitation of a transvestite suggest to psychologist Casey Jordan that Markoff's public persona was at war with his deeper desires.
"He really did have this other double life," she said. "Now that, In and of itself, doesn't cause people to rob or to kill. But what it does is very often cause, what we call in criminology, a fractured identity. That conflict can actually result in violence."
In February, police say Markoff used a fake ID to buy a gun in New Hampshire, the same gun they report finding in his apartment.
"He bought the gun several months before he started doing this. What does that tell you about him?" Schlesinger asked Jordan.
"Very often, there's a trajectory to these crimes. I mean, it's mostly myth that people one day just wake up and decide to become a criminal and snap," she replied. "So buy the gun, handle the gun. Put the gun inside the book. Time passes, nobody looks inside the 'Gray's Anatomy.' 'Look what I can do.' That's part of the thrill. 'Everyone thinks I'm a brilliant medical student, but I have everybody snowed."
And Jordan said that may have been why the young medical student was ready to strike again, just two days after killing Julissa Brisman.
"He wasn't afraid of killing at this point. He had the gun. He was willing to use it and he was willing to go back into a similar situation within days of his last violent encounter," she said. "At some level, the thrill of tying these women up, robbing them - even killing one, was evolving within him and turning him into somebody that he liked."
With Philip Markoff behind bars, District Attorney Dan Conley made a public plea to other possible victims.
And for the first time since Markoff's arrest, his father, Dr. Richard Markoff and his mother, Susan Haynes, visited him in jail.
Markoff's older brother also visited him, and soon after, reports began to circulate that a distraught Markoff told his brother to forget about him and move to California because even more damning information would be revealed. It was yet another shock for Markoff's family.
"What I know about Philip Markoff is that he had a very normal upbringing… came from a small town in upstate New York called Sherrill. [It's] the kind of town you want to raise your kids in," said Boston Globe reporter Maria Cramer.
Cramer said Markoff's parents divorced when he was young. "His mother worked at a casino. His father was a dentist and by all accounts, he had a normal, happy upbringing."
But writer Maureen Orth thinks his parents divorce may have caused Markoff to feel isolated.
"At a very very young age, his father went and took his brother to live with him, and then he lived with his mother. And then his mother remarried and had a baby with her second husband," Orth explained. "I got the sense that Philip was the odd kid out."
Markoff's parents and brother were unwilling to speak to the press so Markoff's lawyer John Salsberg spoke for them.
Salsberg is considered one of the finest defense attorneys in Boston, but Markoff is getting his services for free.
"Philip Markoff, when he was arrested as the Craigslist Killer, told the court almost immediately that he was indigent, that he had no money," LaRosa explained.
The former medical school student - who was quickly expelled by Boston University after his arrest - told the court he owes $130,000 in school loans. And he clearly loved to gamble.
"He had made 19 trips to Foxwoods Casino from the beginning of the year," said Orth. "And he was gambling and going there. He had obviously gone to Foxwoods the night that he is alleged to have attacked the third victim."
Orth did not find evidence of gambling debt, but she believes Markoff's gambling fits in well with his overall reckless personality. "He was also going to Foxwoods while he was in the middle of finals."
"Picture the most thrilling moment you've ever had in your life, whether it's a rollercoaster ride or winning the baseball game. He's addicted to that," explained Jordan. "We see it often with people who are gamblers… they feel more alive than ever in that moment of exhilaration or thrill. Now some people can get that satisfied by riding the rollercoaster. Other people need to put a gun in your face and make you obey to get that feeling of exhilaration."
Markoff is accused of doing just that to three women during his April crime spree and so far they are his only known victims.
In June, a Boston grand jury indicted Markoff on first-degree murder for killing Julissa Brisman and the kidnapping and armed robbery of Trisha Leffler.
Markoff was required to appear in court to answer those charges and for the first time since the case catapulted into the headlines, the public would get a chance to hear the man at the center of this media hurricane.
Court clerk: "How to you plead to this indictment sir?"
Markoff: "Not guilty."
Markoff sounded confident in his innocence, but he and his lawyer are in a distinct minority.
Police have incredibly strong evidence against Markoff.
Among the items allegedly found in Markoff's apartment - not only Trisha's underwear, but her credit cards and disposable cell phones allegedly used to arrange meetings with his victims.
"It's almost like he wanted to get caught," Van Sant commented to Cramer.
"You could make that argument," she replied. "The killer left a lot of clues."
The authorities have plenty to build a case: the damning security camera stills, Trisha's eyewitness identification and Markoff's fingerprints allegedly found on the duct tape used on Trisha.
The most devastating evidence, according to Cramer, is the 9mm gun and the hollowed out copy of "Gray's Anatomy."
"A ballistics test has been run on that weapon and has shown there is a match between the gun and the bullets that killed Julissa Brisman," she said.
But what about Markoff's fiancée, Megan McAllister, who lived with him inside the Quincy, Mass. apartment? Cramer said there's no evidence that she knew anything of Markoff's secret life.
McAllister visited Markoff twice in jail and told him face to face that the engagement is off. She told him she is moving on with her life, but despite everything, does not rule out seeing Markoff again sometime in the future.
"So this young man who had everything, he threw it all away and everyone wants to know why?" said Van Sant.
"It's hard to say why anybody does anything," said LaRosa. "Only in his heart of hearts does Philip Markoff know why he did what he did."
"I don't focus so much on Philip Markoff," said Cramer. "I feel really sad for the people that he's victimized."
These days, Julissa's mother, Carmen, is heartbroken and cannot bear to speak publicly about her dead daughter. All she has left are her memories and Julissa's dog, Coco, who many said was her best friend.
"I think that that's one of the most tragic things is that he went after somebody so vulnerable," Cramer said. "Somebody like Julissa is easily forgotten. She was a real person who meant a lot to quite a few people."
And it's a horrible irony of this story that the emergency room where Philip Markoff was training to save lives… is the place where Julissa Brisman died of gunshot wounds.
Philip Markoff is expected to stand trial in June 2010.
Craigslist renamed its erotic services section, calling it adult services.
Critics say nothing has changed.
For more information on "Seven Days of Rage: The Deadly Crime Spree of the Craigslist Killer," by Paul LaRosa and Maria Cramer:
The book is published by Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, which, like CBSNews.com, is owned by CBS.
Produced by Paul LaRosa and Sarah Prior
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