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Suicide Watch for Accused 'Craigslist Killer'

Accused "Craigslist Killer" Philip MarkoffAP

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," April 23, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight: Well, she could be the lucky one, the one who got away. A possible victim of the Craigslist killer speaks out. Twenty-three-year-old Boston University medical student Philip Markoff is behind bars tonight, accused of killing a young female masseuse and assaulting another young woman, both attacks at fancy hotels in Boston. Both women advertised on Craigslist.

Now a college friend of the jailed medical student is speaking out to The New York Daily News about a winter night four years ago when she says she saw a glimpse of the violent side of Markoff that may have turned him into a killer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN HOUSTON, COLLEGE FRIEND OF PHILIP MARKOFF: There was one incident sophomore year. It was in the winter. And we'd been coming back from hanging out with friends. He had been drinking. And we were going to enter the dorms. And he -- in the doorway, he pushed me up against the wall and tried kissing me.

And I pushed him -- was trying to (INAUDIBLE) push him away and say, No, Phil, get off me. Stop kissing me. I'm not interested in you. What are you trying to do? And I couldn't physically get him off of me. Thankfully, he wasn't on top of me, but I couldn't push him away. And one of my friends was coming back, that we had been out with, at the same moment, and he had to physically pull him off me.

And I never thought of it again. I never said anything to anyone else because it was Phil. He was our friend. I just figured he had had too much to drink.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Is the alleged Craigslist killer's fiancee still standing by him? Now, the fiancee's father is talking about the nightmare his daughter is now living.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION: Can you tell us how your daughter's doing?

JIM MCALLISTER, FATHER OF MARKOFF'S FIANCEE: As expected, not well. She's still confident in Phil. But other than that, we're saying a lot of prayers. OK?

QUESTION: Has she come back home, or is she still in Boston?

MCALLISTER: No, she's here.

QUESTION: Here? What kind of comfort are you guys (INAUDIBLE)

MCALLISTER: She's got a lot of friends, a lot a family, friends and - - it's been a big help to us. Everybody's been wonderful.

QUESTION: Has she been watching what's going on and (INAUDIBLE)

MCALLISTER: Oh, well, how can you not? Yes. So...

QUESTION: Did she have any idea at all about any of this?

MCALLISTER: Absolutely not. So -- thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Joe Dwinell joins us live once again. He's the city editor for The Boston Herald. Good evening, Joe. Joe, any update on how Mr. Markoff is doing in the jail up there?

JOE DWINELL, BOSTON HERALD: Well, he's not doing so well. We've just learned that he's under suicide watch. We've confirmed that. And he's wearing a protective suit. The guards are keeping a close eye on him because they did say that there was some marks around his neck. So they are now watching him 24/7.

VAN SUSTEREN: So before that -- before he got put on suicide watch, was he in a general population, do you know? Were people visiting him?

DWINELL: His lawyer was visiting him. He's -- I don't know for sure if he's in general population. I highly doubt it. At this stage, when he's just under arrest, they usually keep such a suspect in solitary confinement. They keep an eye on them. Well, now they've just ratcheted that up quite a lot.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now, we know that his apartment's been searched. A number of items have been seized that the police have reported that certainly seem suspicious. How about the actual arrest? Were the police following him? I mean, how long were they onto him?

DWINELL: Well, they began to get onto him on Sunday. So he was arrested on Monday. And police tell The Herald that they were surprised at how -- how he matched the surveillance tapes, those photos that became so infamous in this case early on.

One officer was so close to him. He was sitting down while Markoff was working on his car, kind of tinkering with his car over the weekend. But they had to move in and they had to move in quickly on Monday, when Markoff was in his car, heading down Interstate 95 towards Foxwoods, we learned, with his fiancee in the car. So they made a move and they arrested him on the spot.

VAN SUSTEREN: What did his fiancee say when he got arrested, anything?

DWINELL: Well, she was upset. She really didn't take it well, police tell us. He was stoic, remains so. He didn't have much to say at all, but she -- police tell us that was upset. She was questioning it. But she was also brought to the station, and they were told, We're going to tow your car.

VAN SUSTEREN: What was the tip? What was the first thing that tipped the police off to this man?

DWINELL: Well, we're hearing multiple things, but one of them is his e-mail. That's it. That seems to be right now what authorities are telling us, is the e-mail that he set up and he sent to murder victim Julissa Brisman. They're saying that was -- that's the key in the case, according to authorities.

VAN SUSTEREN: I take it that the medical school hasn't acted yet and determined what they're going to do with him. He hasn't -- of course, he hasn't even been -- he's been convicted of nothing, at this point. But how was he doing in medical school in Boston?

DWINELL: He was in good standing. We asked that question today. He was in good standing. The medical school is not saying anything. They are keeping quiet. You hear from a few students around the campus, but the medical school is taking a big step backwards. They're remaining quiet on this case.

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, I suppose that they want to know if there are other possible victims out there. What's being done to sort of determine that?

DWINELL: Well, today, the district attorney put an appeal on Craigslist, saying, Please, if you know of this case, if you were a victim, please step forward. So it's posted right there on Craigslist. You know, you can go open it up and take a look yourself. It's kind of the new approach to just jump on the Web, get into the erotic section, and say, Look, stop for a minute and tell us if you know anything.

VAN SUSTEREN: Joe, thank you, as always.

DWINELL: You bet, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Former LAPD homicide detective Mark Fuhrman joins us. Mark, it's one thing to make an arrest. Now they have to actually prove the case with forensic tests and things that link the crime to the suspect . So tell me, what are they going to do in this case?

MARK FUHRMAN, FORMER LAPD HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: Well, Greta, I think you laid it out. You've got computer records, you've got cell phone records that lead to Markoff as the killer. Now they go and they do a search warrant. They've got a gun. They also have clothes that he was wearing, shoes that he was wearing.

And now they have the hotel room where the victim was at. And now you're going to have trace evidence from clothes. You're going to have his hair. You're probably going to have his saliva, possibly his skin under her fingernails. You're going to have a ballistics match from the bullets in her body to the gun in the apartment, Markoff's apartment. So you've got a pretty tight case there.

And then, of course, what everybody is beckoning (ph) to know is why. And that's the question that everybody seems to be plagued with. But it really -- it goes on every day in America. It's just that he looks like your son, your brother or your husband. That's the problem.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the interesting thing about it is the why, why -- while -- while that may sort of capture our attention, that's not even necessarily going to be a huge point for the prosecution. They just want to link him to the crime (INAUDIBLE) some element of premeditation. And of course, its defense will try to defeat that.

All right, now, in terms of the tests, the gun was seized on Monday. Is it likely the ballistics test from the bullets taken out of the poor victim's -- has that test already been done?

FUHRMAN: Well, it's basic. First you've got right and left-hand twists, the number of lans (ph) and grooves. So if those are consistent, you're halfway home free. There'll be presumptive tests on the gun so you don't destroy evidence, like fingerprints, fingerprints on the bullet casings. You have casings at the scene.

So all these are preliminary that can be done almost immediately with a ballistics expert and a microscope. And that is the -- kind of the hard evidence that they're going to approach. Possibly you're going to have blood splatter blowback from the victim, if it was a close shot, possibly gunpowder stippling on the victim, if it was in close proximity to her body.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know -- you know, Mark -- you know, there seems to be so much physical evidence that potentially links this man to this horrible crime and also the other -- actually, the two other ones, two possibly, murder obviously being the most serious. But if you're the detective on the case, you're going to want to talk to that fiancee and get more information. What are you going to say to her? How are you going to approach her and what are you going to ask her?

FUHRMAN: Well, I think you get as much evidence as you can and as many people to come forward so she can actually watch a videotape of some of these victims that are going to come forward. And you have to understand, Greta, that this man, for whatever reason -- if he got burned from a prostitute or he actually stole from one and nothing ever happened - - he realized this was a great victim pulled that never reports a robbery.

This murder was not an intentional murder. This was a robbery gone bad. And you show these other victims who are going to come forward on video to the fiancee so she can get her mind around who he really was. And then you sympathize with her and say, Now we need your help. We need your help because there could be other murder victims or there could be other robbery victims and we want to close this. And more often than not, they'll actually cooperate once they realize you're not the bad guy, that their fiance or husband or boyfriend was the bad guy.

VAN SUSTEREN: Imagine how that young woman's life has been turned upside-down. Of course, it pales in consideration -- comparison to the woman who died and her family. But what a stunner and a shock. She's in medical school, he's in medical school. He's now in jail, she's at home. Mark, thank you.

FUHRMAN: Greta, could I...

VAN SUSTEREN: And I assume the wedding's off. Yes, go ahead, Mark. Yes.

FUHRMAN: There's one other thing. You know, all of his victims probably did not report their crime. But when he killed one because she probably fought back, that victim actually ultimately reported her crime because she's dead. And so that report of the crime was his undoing.

VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed, it was, and there may be others out there, since they already have a little string of them, as it is. Thank you, Mark.

FUHRMAN: Thank you.




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