If the cliché about secret serial criminals is that they seemed so normal, and no one saw their attacks coming, then Philip Markoff could be the poster child for the stereotype.
Markoff was arrested tonight by Boston police in connection with the hotel murder of a 26-year-old masseuse (and reported possible escort) hired through Craigslist — a case linked to two other area prostitute robberies this month, both in hotels.
As is increasingly common, bloggers were able to quickly assemble a portrait of the alleged criminal online. The Boston University medical student has a Facebook page , online class schedule and a website for a wedding scheduled this August on the Jersey Shore, where Markoff was to marry his University of Albany college sweetheart.
Markoff comes across on his wedding site as a considerate if WASPy groom, pining for Tahiti but joking about the unglamorous honeymoons available to him in the meantime; choosing some pricey resort hotels for his wedding guests, but reserving a cheaper block for some at the Sheraton; and registering at Bloomingdale's before thinking better of it and switching to Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and Macy's. (See images below. Predictably, the guest book has already been defaced.)
One reader told us the case reminded her of the Patrick Bateman character in American Psycho, but Markoff was purportedly out for money rather than blood; his ostensible motives appear much more conventional than those of Bret Easton Ellis' engaged investment banker. Which isn't to say his very public prosecution will be anything short of sensational.