Normally I do not post about such things on my blog, but the story about Philip Markoff, the ‘Craigslist killer’, is really different, and also truly disturbing. Yesterday as James and I walked in a bookstore the image of Markoff was on the cover of a national magazine. We stopped, and both remarked that he was young, good-looking, upward bound as a medical student, and also now about to be sent away for life on a charge of murder. I guess it is natural to wonder how the image of perfection is unhinged by the disorders of the mind.
Today The New York TImes provides more details into the past life of the ‘Craigslist killer’.
Later, at the University at Albany, Mr. Markoff was a member of the College Republicans, and traveled to Washington in 2004 to hear speeches by Ann Coulter and Karl Rove.
“We were surrounded by such a left-wing student body, and he was more like me: he didn’t really share those sentiments,” said one classmate, Jonathan Zierler, who said he had accompanied Mr. Markoff on the trip. “He was a traditionalist as far as things like men and women’s roles in society. He was a throwback from a more conservative era.”
Pressed for details of his character, friends and acquaintances have described a young man who was competitive but not cutthroat, politically opinionated but not confrontational, nerdy but not painfully so.
The next paragraph is where is gets weird, and also more interesting in relation to the murder. I think there are a number of folks who will read this, and think the same thing.
Mr. Zierler could not remember Mr. Markoff’s ever having a girlfriend until he met Ms. McAllister in his sophomore year at Albany, when they volunteered in an emergency room.
But while Mr. Markoff’s seemingly normal life has crumbled in the week since his arrest on charges of killing one woman and robbing another at gunpoint after meeting them through Craigslist, hints have been slow to emerge as to why he might have committed the crimes.