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Police charge suspected Craigslist murderer

Boston man to be arraigned today

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Boston Police have charged a 22 year old man over the murder of Julissa Brisman, a Craigslist masseuse found dead at the Copley Marriott Hotel on April 14.

Philip Markoff of Quincy, Boston, was charged yesterday with the murder and with the armed robbery and kidnapping of another victim four days before Brisman's death. He is due to be arraigned today.

The police said the arrest was based on forensic and electronic evidence - they thanked both the FBI and US Secret Service for their help with the case.

The investigation began when police were called to the Marriot Tuesday April 14 and found an unconscious woman who had been shot in the torso. She was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

Early investigations found Brisman was advertising massage services on Craigslist. The police said: "Detectives believe that this incident was an attempted robbery. It appears that there was a struggle between the victim and the suspect in the threshold of the hotel room immediately prior to the shooting."

Police believe the attack was connected to a prior robbery - April 10 at the Westin Hotel where a 29 year old woman was robbed at gunpoint. She is also believed to have advertised erotic services on Craigslist - a further similar incident is also being investigated.

Craigslist says it has reduced its dependence on prostitution and related adverts - last month it claimed a 95 per cent reduction in erotic adverts thanks to new verification procedures. ®

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