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Police detain Craigslist masseuse murder suspect

Two more women attacked

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Police investigating the murder and attacks of three women who offered lap dance, massage and other services on Craigslist have taken a man into custody.

The 23-year-old man is suspected of murdering Julissa Brisman at an upscale Marriott Hotel in Boston's Copley district. He is also believed to have robbed two other woman within days of the homicide. All three women were attacked in hotels after advertising their services on Craigslist. Physical evidence at the crime scenes, including plastic cuffs to bind the women's hands, lead police to believe the same person carried out all three crimes.

It's no secret that Craigslist has become the preferred forum for advertising and soliciting casual flings and erotic services. The New York Times became the latest publication to document the phenomenon with this article published over the weekend. The website's anonymity makes it perfect for such trysts, but it also leaves those who use the site open to attack, it would seem.

The arrest on Monday came hours after police in Rhode Island, where one of the women was attacked, released pictures of the suspect captured on closed circuit TV. They showed a clean-cut man inside the Holiday Inn Express Hotel last Thursday evening, where he went to meet a woman who advertised erotic dancing. She was held at gunpoint before her husband entered the room and her attacker fled.

The third victim, described as a 29-year-old prostitute from Las Vegas, was bound at a Westin Hotel in Boston and robbed of a debit card and $800 cash. Police have speculated that the shooting death of Brisman came after she struggled and resisted robbery attempts.

In November, Craigslist announced a series of steps to curb ads for prostitution and other illegal services. Although the site boasts a 95-per cent drop in listings to its erotic services section, critics claim the site continues to stretch the resources of police vice squads. ®

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