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A Date with Death: The Secret Life of the Accused "Craigslist Killer" (St. Martin's True Crime Library) Mass Market Paperback – May 25, 2010
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From the Back Cover
He was an online predator―hiding in plain sight…
In a luxury Boston hotel on April 14, 2009, police discovered the body of a beautiful young woman―her head battered, a bullet through her heart. Within hours, the story exploded, making headlines across the nation. The victim, a masseuse named Julissa Brisman, had advertised her erotic services on popular classified ads Web site Craigslist. A twenty-two-year-old medical student named Philip Markoff was her last-known client…
Why was a soon-to-be-married man prowling the Internet for sex?
What events led up to Markoff's meeting with Brisman?
What happened on the night of their fateful―and fatal―date?
The Boston Police Homicide Unit followed a digital trail that led to Markoff's home, where investigators found a gun, prepaid cell phones, plastic handcuffs, and other evidence linking Markoff to Brisman. They also uncovered a stash of women's undergarments, raising even more questions about their suspect: How many other women did Markoff meet before Brisman? And what happened to them? This is the true story of one woman's DATE WITH DEATH.
* With 8 pages of startling photographs *
About the Author
Michele R. McPhee is the bestselling author of A Professor's Rage, A Mob Story, Heartless, and When Evil Rules-all available from St. Martin's Paperbacks. The former award-winning Police Bureau Chief for the New York Daily News, she was the courts and crime reporter for the Boston Herald where she is now a columnist. Currently she is a New England correspondent for ABC News and a Fox 25 TV contributor. A Date With Death was the basis for a Lifetime TV movie that aired in January 2011. She was also story consultant for the Lifetime movie "Who Is Clark Rockefeller?" that aired in 2010.
McPhee's true crime stories have appeared in more than a dozen national magazines, including Maxim, Stuff, Cosmopolitan, New York, ESPN the Magazine, Gotham, Manhattan File, and other international publications. She was the host of two Court TV Mugshot specials and her reporting is also featured in the A&E TV special Crime Ink, and the Discovery series called Rats. Her journalism has taken her to crime scenes across the country and has made her a commentator on breaking news for CNN, MSNBC, and the Fox News Network. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Top customer reviews
That said, like "Seven Days of Rage," "Date With Death" has all the hallmarks of a book written in haste to glom onto the publicity around the case. I prefer it to the other book, largely because it does have more case details and a better look at the evidence (the earlier book has more info on the victim, Julissa Brisman), but it needed an editor in the worst way.
Entire sections are written with the same information repeated, which is a tell-tale sign that the author revised some of the copy and an editor never managed to remove the duplicate information. I'm a professional writer (technology journalist), so maybe I'm more attuned to this kind of thing, but it's a frustrating detail.
Still, sadly this book and the information the Boston Phoenix published (including audio recordings of Markoff's police interview before his arrest) provide the most complete coverage of the case to date. I can only hope someone with a better editor takes up this subject in the future, even as part of a larger story on cybercrime.
Much of McPhee's prose is editorial. But, she delivers her opinions unapologetically. Frankly, that is refreshing. It is nicely juxtaposed against the rampant hypocrisy and blurred ethics that riddle the world of Boston public service.
Despite having spent much time as a reporter in NYC, McPhee is a well-connected Boston local who knows the rotting corpse from the inside out. So, she comes across as authoratative if somewhat disgusted by what her hometown "hacks" (career public "servants") are capable of.
Alas, the book is marred by a rushed feel and a spate of typographical errors (in the Kindle edition). I've seen better editing on sports blog sites. Nonetheless, she conveys well, in the short space she is given, the chilling profile of a sociopath who clearly either wanted to or didnt care about getting caught. The raft of careless clues/evidence left behind by Markoff is almost as amazing as the nonchalance he displayed after committing his crimes.
Markoff is not a character one can sympathize with as there is nothing in his past the reader can point to and say "ahh, this is why he did what he did." He is simply wired like so many serial criminals before him, i.e., with the ability to lie with convincing skill and to commit heinous crimes without so much as a blink of remorse.
A follow-up edition, post-trial, would make this a better, more complete read. Otherwise, it was entertaining and compelling reading. For lovers of Boston-based crime stories, this ranks up there with the tales Charles Stuart and Whitey Bulger.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a paperback of 262 pages which outlines the crimes of one Philip Haynes Markoff.Read more
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