On Monday night “The Craigslist Killer” previewed on the Lifetime Network. The movies tells the tale of how Philip Markoff, a Boston University medical student and fiancé of Megan McAllister as he met Julissa Brisman on Craigslist and murdered her.
The movie is told from Ms McAllister’s point of view as the filmmakers try to fill in the gaps in the horrific tale.
Markoff was charged with murder in 2009 and killed himself in his jail cell last August. The 24-year-old student had not stood trial for the murder of erotic masseuse Julissa Brisman.
The TV movie is based on the book “A Date With Death” by Michele McPhee, which recreates the details of the crimes.
Of course there are gaps in the tale which the movie’s maker chooses to tell the story from the only survivor in this story Markoff’s Irish fiancée Megan McAllister.
Speaking to the Boston Herald executive producer Judith Verno said “With Megan, we tried to be very respectful of that fact that she loved him and that she had no knowledge of his crimes…She was able to go on and not be identified as the woman who almost married Philip Markoff.”
However, the Lifetime Network, confirmed that Ms McAllister was never consulted about the making of the movie.
Verno said “What attracted us to the story (was the idea of), how well do you really know someone?...When you are looking at a person who on the surface has so much going for them, trying to understand why they would do these kinds of things and then knowing we might never know . . . That was the most complicated part (of telling the story.”
Markoff was picked up and arrested in upstate New York in the spring of 2009. He was tied to the crimes through surveillance footage, fingerprints and a gun found in a hollowed out “Gray’s Anatomy” textbook.
Ms Brisman was found in the Marriott Copley Place hotel on April 14, 2009. Four days earlier a Las Vegas prostitute reported being attacked and robbed by an armed man at a nearby hotel. Also a stripper at the Holiday Inn in Warwick, Rhode Island reported a similar incident.
“One of the things that Julissa Brisman’s family said (after Markoff committed suicide), ‘He denied us a chance for justice.’” said Verno. “You can understand why he made the choice he did, but of course, there is a bit of cowardice in him because he didn’t want that day in court.
“There is a part of (Markoff) that was very grandiose, his feelings about himself and what he was entitled to. Even in death, he was a little over the top,” Verno said. “He went out the same way he tried to live his life.”
The role of Markoff is played by Jake McDorman (“Greek”). It also stars Agnes Bruckner (“Dirty Sexy Money”), who plays Megan McAllister and Leela Savasta (“Battlestar Galactica”) as Brisman.