综合新闻 2010-08-18 19:37:25
Accused ... Philip Markoff, allegedly captured on CCTV, left, and pictured in court, right, allegedly shot Julissa Brisman.
Picture: Boston Police, Facebook and Ap
Focus on jail in Philip Markoff death
The revelation yesterday that accused Craigslist killer Philip Markoff had eight undisturbed hours to mutilate and suffocate himself in his cell with a pen and plastic bags raises serious security concerns about the safety of guards and inmates in Suffolk jails, public safety experts said.
“I’m very concerned about it, and not because I’m a fan of Philip Markoff. The fact of the matter is he was in our care and custody. He shouldn’t be killed by himself or anybody else,” City Councilor Stephen J. Murphy, chairman of Boston’s Committee on Public Safety, said last night, after authorities announced Markoff, 24, bled to death “at his own hand” in Nashua Street Jail cell No. 24 while deliberately depriving himself of air.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said the former Boston University medical student fashioned a “primitive scalpel” from a pen and sharp piece of metal and, with a would-be surgeon’s precision, “inflicted a series of small punctures and incisions on his body, including his neck, arms, wrists and ankles,” opening up both veins and the carotid artery in his neck.
Markoff also tied clear plastic bags around his head and feet that Conley said are “available to inmates at the jail.”
Such makeshift weapons also could be used for homicide, experts warned.
“There is a reason you never give an inmate a pen. They can make a sharpened instrument or weapon out of them,” said Dr. Ron Martinelli, a California-based forensic criminologist and police and correction practices legal expert. Noting that plastic bags can be twisted into ropes, he added: “You can kill yourself with even a magazine and a T-shirt.”
The incident represents a lapse on the part of Suffolk Sheriff Andrea Cabral, charged Murphy, a former campaign rival of Cabral’s.
“There’s deficiencies in that jail, as chronicled by Philip Markoff,” he said. “We might have a wrongful-death suit coming at us, and I’m sick of taxpayers picking up the bill for her dereliction of duty.”
Video surveillance shows Markoff turned off his cell light at 1:59 a.m. Sunday, and - though correction officers passed by his door during the night - no one entered to check on him until 10:06 a.m.
Conley said Markoff’s last act was to paint ex-fiancee Megan McAllister’s first name in what appeared to be his own blood on a wall, next to the word “pocket.”
Investigators are trying to determine what, if anything, “pocket” meant to Markoff.
Markoff had been in custody since his April 2009 arrest for the murder of Craigslist erotic masseuse Julissa Brisman, 25, and the violent armed robbery of Craigslist girl-for-hire Trisha Leffler, 31, at the swank Westin Hotel.
“It was a tough case,” Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said. “It is tragic that the Brisman family does not have closure on this issue and our hearts go out to them.”
Boston attorney Djuna Perkins said Brisman’s family members “blame (Markoff) alone” for denying them their shot at justice.
“Focusing on Markoff’s suicide,” Perkins said, “gives undue attention to this narcissistic sociopath and distracts from what should be the focus - seeking justice for the life of the woman he took and the trauma he caused his other victims.”