NYC victim’s mother says Craigslist killing ‘destroyed’ her life, wonders why it happenedBy Denise Lavoie, AP
Thursday, September 16, 2010
NY woman’s mom: Craigslist slaying ‘destroyed’ her
BOSTON — A Boston University medical student who police said killed a masseuse he met through Craigslist and later committed suicide in jail was a “monster” who “can never escape God’s justice,” the victim’s mother said Thursday.
Carmen Guzman, mother of 25-year-old New York City resident Julissa Brisman, said through a Spanish interpreter that Philip Markoff “destroyed my life and that of my family.”
“I curse the day, the hour and the minute that Philip Markoff picked my daughter as his next victim,” Guzman said in a statement before her daughter was honored with 35 others at an annual ceremony at Boston’s Garden of Peace, a memorial for nearly 700 homicide victims.
Prosecutors formally dropped murder charges Thursday against Markoff, who committed suicide in his jail cell while awaiting trial in Brisman’s slaying.
Police said Brisman was beaten with a gun and shot three times at a Boston hotel.
Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley, whose office filed the document saying the prosecution had been terminated because of Markoff’s death, said Brisman’s relatives are frustrated they won’t be able to face the accused.
“They were robbed of the opportunity to have him held accountable in a court of law,” Conley said. “In some respects, these trials — when they do occur — are cathartic for people.”
Conley said he plans to publicly release evidence against Markoff within a few weeks, which he hopes will bring some satisfaction to the family and show the public the “compelling, very, very strong case” prosecutors had. The evidence will include surveillance video showing Markoff, 24, in the lobby of the Boston hotel where Brisman was killed and a hollowed-out copy of the medical textbook “Grey’s Anatomy,” where authorities said Markoff stashed the gun he used to kill Brisman.
Brisman and the other victims were memorialized with engraved stones in the garden near the Massachusetts Statehouse. A family friend read a statement from Guzman.
“With the passage of time, and after hearing about Markoff’s suicide, I could verify that my angry feelings were totally justified, that with this action this man ratified his cowardice, incapable of facing justice from humanity here on Earth, but he can never escape God’s justice,” it said.
Guzman’s comments were presented instead of a victim impact statement that might have come at a trial.
Afterward, Guzman, who is from the Dominican Republic, told reporters in Spanish that she had nothing to say to Markoff’s relatives because they weren’t at fault but wished she had been given the opportunity to speak directly to the man accused of killing her daughter.
“I would have asked him, ‘Why did you take my daughter’s life?’” she said in Spanish. “‘Why hurt her, when she had never hurt anyone and was always good to others and was always helping people?’”
Guzman said she wanted Markoff to face justice and doesn’t know if he committed suicide because of his conscience.
Guzman also said she was shocked when she found out that Markoff was a medical student. She said she also had studied medicine and couldn’t understand why anyone in a field designed to help people would cause pain.
Brisman was killed April 14, 2009, a few days before her 26th birthday. She had met Markoff when he responded to an ad she had placed in the erotic-services section of Craigslist.
The classified ads website later took down the section, which law enforcement officials said was a conduit for prostitution and other illegal activity. On Wednesday, a company official told federal lawmakers that Craigslist had no plans to reopen the section but said people seeking to advertise sexual services would simply migrate to other Internet sites.
After Guzman’s statement, the family announced the creation of a foundation in Brisman’s name dedicated to helping girls and young women. The family said Brisman had been completing her education to become a substance abuse counselor.
Family attorney Djuna Perkins said a Craigslist attorney has contacted the family about helping out the foundation.
Markoff also was charged with robbing a woman he met four days earlier in another Boston hotel and attempting to rob a woman at a Rhode Island hotel. Prosecutors said he also met those two through Craigslist.
Markoff, a second-year medical student, was found dead last month in his cell at Boston’s Nashua Street Jail. Authorities said he made a scalpel from a pen and a piece of metal, inflicted wounds in his neck, arms, wrists and ankles, cut his carotid artery and covered his head with a plastic bag.
Associated Press writer Russell Contreras contributed to this report.
Tags: Boston, Computer Crime, Massachusetts, Medical Schools, North America, United States, Violent Crime