Megan McAllister a 'sweet Irish girl'... Click here for story
Megan McAllister is standing by her “Craigslist killer” fiancé, and more Irish American women than you might think approve of her decision.
IrishCentral.com hit the phones and conducted a survey with a number of Irish American women, asking them what they think of McAllister writing to the press about the innocence of her beau Philip Markoff, who’s accused of badly beating and shooting erotic masseuse Julissa Brisman and robbing two others.
Despite the horrific accusations, despite Brisman’s panties and the semi-automatic handgun found in the apartment she shared with Markoff, McAllister, a “sweet Irish girl” according to the mother of her bridesmaid, is on a mission to clear her fiancee’s name.
“Philip is a beautiful man inside and out,” she has said. “He is intelligent, loyal, and the best fiance a woman could ask for. He would not hurt a fly!”
“A policeman who wished to make money off this story sold it to countless companies,” she’s said. “Philip…did not commit this crime.”
McAllister has also definitively stated: “I will stand by Philip as I know he is innocent. I love him now and always will.”
It’s a “dream love story turns into nightmare,” as a Boston Herald headline this week.
We asked the women to picture themselves in this situation: You’re women in your early 20s with your whole life ahead of you. You live in Boston with your tall, blonde, handsome fiance, a medical student you met in college a few years back while volunteering at a hospital emergency room. You’re in the midst of planning an August Jersey Shore wedding. You’ve booked hotels for the guests. You’re registered at Pottery Barn.
And then your fiancé is arrested for murdering an erotic masseuse.
This is the horrifying situation McAllister has found herself in.
We first talked to McAllister’s childhood friend “Kate,” a 24-year-old Irish American living in Chicago who spoke under the condition of anonymity. Kate grew up with McAllister, and attended school with her from kindergarten through high school in Little Silver, New Jersey.
Kate sympathizes with her “very quiet” friend.
"She is a really sweet girl, from a really good family," she said. "I feel generally sad to hear that this is happening to her, now that her personal life is on display for anyone and everyone to judge. After hearing that this happened to her, it's easier to see how this could happen to anyone, hence for people to attack her publicly is kinda ruthless."
It’s not surprising for someone to feel sorry for a young woman unknowingly engaged to a killer, but what is surprising is the number of Irish American women who, like McAllister, would stand by their man after the fact.
“I would stand by my man, no matter what,” said 24-year-old Colleen McGinty, an Irish woman living in the U.S. with her American fiancé. “Love will conquer these things. Yes, he might have done something terrible to someone else, but I would remember that he loves me and he didn't do it to me. Love is the boat that will get through these rocky seas, and I need to keep this boat afloat by staying with the man I hoped to marry.”
Arlene Hanafin, 30, a New Yorker originally from County Kerry, said: “I am also engaged to be married and to be honest I think I'd have to stick by my man. Soon we will be taking the ‘til death do us part’ vow. I know I would lie or say what would have to be said in order to keep my sweetheart happy. I'm sure he wouldn't harm me anyway just like the Craigslist killer wouldn't have harmed his fiancee. Yes, I'm sure I'd stick by man even if I knew he was guilty.”
Jessica Ryan, 22, an Irish American from Rochester, New York, said: "Basically, if I were in her shoes, I would look to my family and friends for support and probably need some time away from him to deal with it. But I wouldn't leave him – that would be pretty mean to do that, huh?"
One woman we talked to thought that whether Markoff committed the murder or not is beyond the point.
“Even if he didn’t murder the girl, I would still dumb the f****r! He shouldn’t be calling for erotic massages in the first place! And as they say back in the mother country, ‘there’s no smoke without fire,’” said Louise McNamara, a 23-year-old from County Dublin.
But as expected, a majority of the Irish American women we surveyed agree with the general population: McAllister should run for her life.
“No one wants to believe somebody who they're supposed to know so intimately is capable of that,” said Danielle Olearick, a 24-year-old Irish American from New Jersey. “I'd reach out to my family and friends for support and try to draw my own conclusion. But let's face it: nobody is a ‘beautiful person.’”
24-year-old Megan Finnegan of Brooklyn agrees. “Unfortunately, being a ‘beautiful person’ isn't evidence. I just hope that Ms. McAllister can take the difficult step to look beyond her feelings and consider the facts as they come to light. She should also ask herself if a jailhouse wedding is what she had in mind,” she said.
Markoff has been described as both "a clean-cut Boston University medical student preparing to wed a blond beauty” (Boston Herald) and a disturbed young man "who’s not right in the head" (former lab partner Tiffany Montgomery to the Boston Globe).
Police sources say McAllister’s fiancé enjoyed physically hurting and dominating women, and removed and collected the underwear of his victims as mementos.
McAllister was driving with Markoff, who is now on a suicide watch in a Boston prison, when he was arrested on April 20 on his way to Foxwoods casino in Connecticut.