Live-Blogging Lifetime Movies- The Craigslist Killer
The Craigslist Killer! Starting the new year off right...
I don’t remember much about this real case and I resisted looking things up and reminding myself because I don’t want to ruin this experience. I do remember the general things and what the guy looked like though. I am sure this version is better anyway- out with the facts and in with whatever this stuff is!
Just an FYI. This kind of a story is my NIGHTMARE. I hate when guys lie to me at all so to find out that one has me basically living a lie would seriously be my nightmare and the fact that there are so many real cases of this is freaky deaky and I hate it.
Some blond guy is walking around campus like he’s some kind of big stud and then he creepily stares at some blonde girl with her parents. Some guy walks up and starts asking him about a cadaver. He calls a brunette lady over to use her body to show where things in the body are because he’s some kind of anatomy genius and most like a med student.
Next scene he’s in a hospital so I think he’s a med student. He says something about the case and he’s totally wrong and the doctor they’re studying with is all “even this genius is sometimes wrong.” He looks smug.
Blonde girl is a nurse at this hospital and he’s all bashful looks in her direction while a sassy black nurse tells her this guy is checking her out and soooo cute. Blondie doesn’t believe it and blows it off. “He likkkkkkes you” she coos.
Dude is named Phillip and lady is named Megan- he sees her studying on campus and starts chatting her up. She says that she has to get back to studying because her exam is only 17 hours away and because he’s a super math genius he deduces that the test isn’t until tomorrow morning so she should blow off studying for the evening. He’s already a bad influence.
Philip is all “let’s go!” and she is all “no way.” She doesn’t just take off with strangers. Good on you, girl. He tells her where he went to undergrad and a bunch of other boring details about himself so that he will no longer be a stranger. She is sold and he’s picking her up at 7:30. She says she has to change and he drops this line “don’t ever do that.” She melts.
Next scene they are gambling in fancy clothes so I guess this is what he does before a test. He quizzes her while they roulette because he’s so smart and now she’s dating him AND studying. How perfect. He starts planning the next 50-60 years of their lives and she just smiles. You have to have a certain kind of charm to say things like that and not completely freak a person out.
Cut to! Them moving in together in a beautiful apartment and him telling her “welcome home!” I don’t totally understand how much time has passed since the last scene. How do they afford this awesome apartment in Boston as students? He asks if she has told her parents that she’s moved in yet… oh wait, it’s been 6 months and she hasn’t told her parents because she knows they will tell her this is a bad idea.
He’s all “I have a study group tonight” and changes his shirt, puts on a baseball cap (oh, nice detail, movie! Wasn’t he arrested in his Boston cap?) and then leaves. She’s kind of pissed but he says they’ll celebrate the next night. (so, he’s going out to bang someone else and possibly murder THE DAY SHE MOVES IN?? That’s what this is saying, right?)
And celebrate they do. He takes her in one of those hansom cabs and proposes! She is totally freaked out. She is all “I haven’t even graduated yet, you’re still in med school and you haven’t even met my parents!”
He jokes that they can take this horse to Jersey right now and that he really wants their blessing. That seems to do the trick because she is kissing him again. Does that mean they’re engaged? Or just going to meet the parents?
Next scene- they’re driving up to her parents’ house in Jersey. Her parents live in a huge house straight out of a Nancy Meyer movie and her mom is one of the bitchy popular girls from Romie and Michelle’s High School Reunion. Philip seems very uncomfortable. Her parents are very nice and they go inside.
Something starts happening with the editing where the sound gets all mushy and we see Philip from different angles and then her mom says something and snaps him out of it. I assume the movie is taking this leap since the lady this dude was with in real life didn’t have any foreshadowing to him being a sociopath/murderer she said, and I think he’s dead.
Philip goes golfing with the dad and they get right down to talking about how young these people are and how young this is to get married. The dad tells him “you sound like the American dream” but kind of snidely and Philip asks “Isn’t that a good thing?”
Meanwhile, Megan is telling her mom that she has been living with him and how great it is and how smart this dude is. The mom seems to be barely listening. She didn’t freak out like Megan guessed she would, that’s for sure. She tapped her knee a little.
As soon as they leave her parents’ she says that he has to ask her again and he gets down on one knee in the driveway and she says YES! And leaps into his arms. They are getting hitched.
In the middle of the night they are sleeping but he wakes up and moves her arm off of him and goes to his laptop silently.
In a normal relationship this would be his private porn times but really she’s asleep like 10 feet away with no door between them so it’s not very private at all. He’s on craigslist looking for a victim! That’s far more silent than private porn times. Or is he looking for a hookup? Did he escalate from just banging prostitutes to murder? I don’t know.
Next scene he is in his killing outfit again, at a hotel, meeting a girl who posted on craigslist for a hookup, but she’s very pretty and clean and in a fancy hotel room (what version of craigslist do these hookups post on? Link me, please). For someone so smart he’s not that smart about crime. He is in front of security cams and emailing people on his personal laptop…
Fresh off the murdering/banging he goes to take their engagement photos. The photographer keeps calling them “Ken and Barbie” and “the perfect couple” which is a little bit weird. Philip wonders if he’s making fun of them and I think the answer is yes.
While Megan walks around talking about their wedding website he’s right there in the living room perusing craigslist- he’s become BRAZEN! He claims that he’s looking at notes. She says that she can’t wait to meet his family and he says that they aren’t coming and she’s understandably concerned that his family is alright with missing their engagement party considering they’ve never met.
Turns out his mom shows up. AND HE IS SO PISSED. He can’t get out of there to murder, fast enough. It’s unclear why he’s pissed. She doesn’t do anything horrible or embarrassing but he immediately becomes stone faced and runs back home to his laptop.
Megan doesn’t even notice how weird he becomes, she is just so happy to be meeting his mom. (If you’re wondering where this weird mom stuff is going, don’t! It never comes up again!)
Wait, now he’s on a sex addict site cruising for dudes? I think?
I am pretty sure that he takes out his cell phone and takes a photo of his wiener. Alright. This is new territory for a Lifetime Movie to be traversing.
In the morning Megan is all telling him which dinner plates are on their registry and he obviously doesn’t care. For some reason when she shows him their wedding website he starts acting like he acted when he saw his mom and is drunk at the casino shortly after.
He leaves and runs into the brunette from the beginning to get notes from her from some class he missed. It appears to be the middle of the night. She kind of blows him off and he starts attacking her and shoves her like he’s going to sexually assault her and she’s all “get your hands off me! what would your fiancée say?” and he pushes her up against a wall and asks if she’s threatening him. She says she isn’t and he walks away. She looks pretty freaked out. She never tells anyone about this?
Philip is at a hardware store buying an untraceable cell phone (no such thing, really! I have learned from Law and Order that law enforcement can trace anything that has service) while Megan is out wedding dress shopping. Juxtaposition! Then they go do a cake tasting while he’s probably out murdering someone, or banging someone, or both. Whatever he’s doing, he has time to text her that he misses her.
Oh my god, remember when I said he was bad at crime? Okay, he’s at the hardware store buying like 7 pay-as-you-go phones and a pile of duct tape. The hardware store lady is all “this seems like an interesting project” and then OFFERS HIM HER NUMBER.
Oh, this is getting better because now he’s buying a gun. Wait, up until now has he just been banging strangers and now it’s escalating to murder? So he was a sex addict who became a murderer? I totally missed that detail from this case. So the day she moved in he had to run out and cheat on her really quick before proposing? Scary.
Philip is in class, being a smart ass about some medical thing while he looks at a naked lady ad on craiglist- aren’t people sitting behind him? He is so ridiculous.
Meanwhile, Megan is calling because she’s been trying to get money out of “their” account and it says they’re overdrawn but she’s trying to get a mani-pedi with her friend. They already put their accounts together?? Does she even work? Does he? She was volunteering earlier and he’s in med school. How do they have any money? What does he spend so much money on? Hookers? Well now he has his pay-as-you-go phone addiction and his duct tape bills but otherwise? Oh, he loves gambling too. Yeah, he’s the American dream alright.
He calls her from the hotel where he’s about to meet a victim to say that he’s at the dean’s office and that one of his grants came in late and that’s why he’s overdrawn. He’s all “we’re a team now, you should be able to trust me and we should share everything” and then hangs up and his prostitute opens her hotel room door. Terrifying!
He pulls a gun on this girl, has her get down on the ground, hog ties her and then calls her bank and… steals her money? He gets her pin number at least? I am confused- don’t banks keep track of stuff like that. He duct tapes her face and says he’s taking a souvenir and rips some of her dress. Does he kill her? I don’t think so. Won’t she just ID him? I mean, that baseball cap isn’t some kind of identity hider. It really takes it’s toll on him, he’s breathing heavily and brushing the sweat from his brow- what a high!
He leaves the room and holds the elevator for some old lady in the hall. Awww, he’s such a gentleman.
Detective Baldwin is on the case! He’s all “how did this stranger get into your room?” and she says that he replied to her craigslist ad. The victim says that what he did he’s done before and he liked it. Baldwin is all “liked what?” and she says “I don’t know, humiliating me.” They are on the case of the psycho who likes humiliating women. He’s on security cam footage all over the hotel of course. But don’t worry, he’s wearing a baseball cap so no one will know who he is.
Philip is at home putting his trophy (piece of the skirt) into a thingy that seems to hold all of his trophies when Megan gets home unexpectedly and he has to hide the gun. She is crying because she didn’t get into BU for med school. He says that he’ll move wherever she gets in and she says that wasn’t the plan. He is very nice and supportive and her arms are around his waist where the gun is hiding in his jeans- she really can’t feel it? Okay.
She goes back to Jersey and as he’s saying goodbye the brunette walks by and gives him a scared look. Megan’s at home going through the rest of her letters and they’re all rejections, UNTIL! Her mom opens one that she got into that’s far away and Megan is all “I can’t move away from my husband” and her mom is all “if he loves you now, he’ll love you in five years.”
Megan says that she’s thought about this a lot and if they can’t go to medical school in the same town she will wait until he’s done and reapply then. Her mom looks mildly disappointed.
Philip is back in Boston cutting up an anatomy text to hide his gun in. Doesn’t she take a lot of the same courses as him since she’s pre-med? Won’t she be likely to open this book? Also, why is she in Jersey all the time while he’s in Boston going to school? Isn’t she missing classes and her volunteer nurse program? Is this why she didn’t get into medical school?
He goes to “get a message” from a really pretty brunette (this movie is not giving a realistic view of craigslist). She asks him what he does in Boston and he says grad school and she says that she’s also in grad school but in NYC… but she works in Boston? What? While she gets the massage table ready he pulls the gun so that when she turns back around she’s shocked.
However, this lady displays being “shocked” by proceeding to BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF HIM. It rules so much. Until he finally shakes her off and shoots her three times while looking totally shocked.
He’s clearly not accustomed to having someone fight back. So, how many people heard these gunshots?
On his walk back home he walks by his ONE PROFESSOR the doctor is all “why so jumpy?” but he claims he’s been having sleepless nights due to studying. He gets home and his lady wakes up all “why didn’t you kiss me when you got home?” but she is stopped when she sees his ripped up neck.
He claims he did something good-Samaritan- like and she believes him. This means the dead girl has his DNA all over her fingernails though- GOOD! If you’re ever being attacked just try to get their DNA on you even if you don’t want to fight back. Get that DNA.
Detective Baldwin is super judgey of the victims all “in this day and age…” and uppity about giving people massages. If you’re a detective that has to be the least of your worries, right? Jeez, stop blaming the victims you jerk!
Oooh, the story is on the Today Show. Wouldn’t they use a photo of him from one of those security cams? It would be game over! Megan’s mom calls all worried about this killer but she assures her that they’re at home and fine (haha!).
Cut to the detectives going over their profile of this killer: he’s a loner, he has no friends, has an inability to have relationships or sex with women, shy etc…. all things this guy isn’t. “A man with no sense of status of accomplishments” when this dude couldn’t be more arrogant. That’s pretty funny. One detective says that maybe someone will recognize the photo which means one is out! Megan, look at the photo! (also, she’s just flipping through a magazine and watching tv, has she finished school?)
Megan is sitting at home watching the news when the super comes by to “talk to her.” Uh oh, I bet the rent check bounced. Philip is out gambling (at his favorite place, don’t they recognize him?) in his killing uniform with ladies draped all over him. He says that he has to go because he has another date later. He cashes out and has $5300 and now he’s driving to another state.
While he’s drunk driving he’s listening to Megan’s messages and ignoring them. He gets to this out of state hotel and pulls a gun on another person but tells her that he doesn’t want to kill her.
Her phone rings because her boyfriend/husband is making sure she’s okay and he goes nuts about the ringing so the lady screams and the boyfriend/husband comes running in.
Somehow this medical student beats off a ripped dude and gets out of there and runs home. It’s unclear whether or not he killed them but maybe he killed one of them?
By the time he gets home Megan is in bed watching another giant tv in their amazing apartment, and the craigslist killer is on the news and they’re already saying he struck tonight in Rhode Island and that it was an attempted robbery. He creeps in and turns off the tv but stands there huffing and puffing looking quite guilty.
If your murdering outfit was out there on the news would you keep wearing it? This guy would!
Back from commercial it becomes clear that Megan is just angry that he bounced a rent check and never called her back and is not onto him. Oh! He’s missed three months of rent! Whoa. She’s all “I need to know if something is going on…” and he’s all “I’m sorry I’m not the perfect guy” all sarcastic and saying he’s been studying so much. Then he is down on his knees apologizing and saying he hasn’t been there and he’s been so inside his own head and she’s melting. Maybe that $5300 he cashed out will cover it. What a shitty dude. He’s making her feel guilty using his fake alibis…
Him: “I don’t wanna mess this up, I don’t wanna lose you”
Ooof, I hope she’s not sticking by him in prison.
The detectives have pinpointed the IP address that Philip has been emailing people from (of course! What a dummy) and are staking out his building. William Baldwin’s character in this is so bad or maybe it’s his acting… tough to tell! They can tell the person was using a wireless signal that comes from this building but doesn’t that mean they could also be in a neighboring building?
Detective Baldwin says that they just have to wait for a creepy dude with emotional issues to walk by. As he says this Philip is across the street with his friends. Then they’re inside questioning the super who has no idea who the person may be. Philip and Megan come through the lobby and he turns her around when he sees the detectives but he plays it off as being romantic.
Wait, back at police headquarters they have found that the IP belongs to Philip Markov and they’re on his facebook page. He was using his own internet connection on his own computer! What an idiot! Also, why did it take the cops weeks to find this information? Idiots on all sides!
The cops don’t want to spook him by bringing him in so they just continue to have a bunch of cops outside the building 24 hours a day. That’s not weird, right?
He starts to freak out. Megan is attempting to drink a beer and have fun because she’s not a murderer who is about to get caught but he just can’t relax with her because he IS a murderer who is about to get caught.
He unplugs the tv and is all “let’s get out of here!” And she says that she has an exam tomorrow (but she’s drinking beer and watching a movie right now… yes, it is becoming very clear why she didn’t get into medical school) and that she has to do well for her re-application to med school. He’s all “let’s go to foxwoods!” like it’s the most romantic place in the world. I’ve been there; it isn’t. She’s all, “I don’t think that’s a good idea” because CLEARLY HE’S BEEN HAVING MONEY PROBLEMS. But whatever, he convinces her and they take off.
The cops don’t want him to know they’re onto him so they let them drive off but follow. I don’t understand why they don’t just arrest him? Why wouldn’t you just arrest him now that you have HIS NAME and ADDRESS and an eye witness on hand.
They are not inconspicuous about their following. In fact, they’re kind of hilarious about it. When he turns around to look behind them, this is what he sees, hahahah.
He tells her to put the pedal to the metal so they can get their faster but wouldn’t she look in the rearview and see the cops behind her before doing that? She is simply a normal person and is all “what’s the rush to get to Foxwoods?” and keeps driving normally. Before they hit the state line the police make their move and pull them over. She’s so confused that it’s very sad. On the flipside, he’s not confused at all.
They’re going through the apartment and under the bed they find several pay-as-you-go phones as well as, you know, the gun. Oh, and in the same place he keeps his lady trophies. There are like 16 but only 3 were reported, that is so fucking scary. Detective Baldwin is all “those other women didn’t want to admit what they do for a living” like the total cock that he is. SHUT UP. If he really has no idea about the shaming that exists around sexually based crimes then he has no place being a detective!
They’re interrogating Philip and he’s super smarmy all “you have nothing on me” and Baldwin is all “we have your trophies and phones and gun” and he’s a bit more calm then but still claims they’re “party favors” or something. Don’t they also have his DNA and eye witnesses?!?! Boston PD is kind of awful, huh? Megan is defending him in her room next door and when they tell her what they found under the bed she doesn’t believe them. She is free to go so she leaves but they inform her that her apartment is a crime scene and her car has been seized as evidence so I’m not sure where she’s going.
Philip’s one teacher is down at the police station for some reason and he’s in shock at this development because Philip is such a freaking STAR in medical school.
Megan goes home to Jersey but like every reporter in the world is outside the house waiting. She runs inside and avoids them.
He goes into his cell and attempts to hang himself with his shoe laces but the guards find him and stop him. They showed him frantically removing his shoe laces before going in and the guards watched… no one stopped him?
Megan is at home talking about how Philip better demand a pubic apology because this kind of accusation will stain his record as a doctor. Being a convicted murderer will also stain his record, I’d wager. Her dad is all “we don’t even know the facts here” and she is PISSED. She can’t believe that her own parents think she was living with a killer and didn’t even realize it. It seems like she’s way more pissed about looking stupid than about him actually being guilty but man, he played her like a fiddle and she looks really stupid so she has a right to feel that way.
The next scene is her having a press conference defending him and saying there were cops in Boston who wanted to make money by selling a hot story to the press so they made this up and sold it. Wow, she is now as brazen as him! Maybe her dad was right when he told her to wait until she had more facts. Detective Baldwin is all “he picked the right girl to marry” which is totally true.
On tv Megan learns that a public defender has been assigned to the case (Philip can’t make phone calls apparently) and she’s livid that his family isn’t helping him. She begs her dad to call someone and try to find him a lawyer. The cops are all watching the news too… is everyone learning everything about this case from the news?
Detective Baldwin tells a story about this public defender and how he has a track record for getting incredibly guilty people off on technicalities so they need to get their case airtight. They head to Jersey to make sure Megan isn’t going to lie and give him an alibi.
Megan continues to bash the police and not believe anything they tell her. They say that two victims have ID-ed him and she says they made them ID him. They asked her if she knew that he posted on a sex addicts site and that starts to freak her out. He was looking for trannies as well as men and women! Wow. Baldwin reads her his sex addict profile and shows the wiener picture he posted before and asks if that’s Philip and that is when her dad freaks out and asks him to leave. Megan runs upstairs to cry alone.
Detective Baldwin goes to intimidate Philip in jail and asks if he really wants to drag Megan through a trial. Philip is all “I’m innocent” and Baldwin lays it out that there will be witnesses, texts, emails, photos etc… in court and Megan will see them all. He had a bright future and he threw it all away, why? Philip just hangs up the phone and doesn’t say anything.
REAL FOOTAGE OF ANDERSON COOPER COVERING THE CASE. I love Anderson Cooper. Anderson Cooper is talking about how many killers live double lives and the women who love them have no idea. I hate it.
Megan’s friend turns off Anderson Cooper because it’s not making her feel any better. Megan is asking how she didn’t know that he was so awful. Her friend is all “he fooled everyone” which is an excellent point. Megan “I loved him so much” which is a good sign because she said LOVED which means that she is now moving past it. Whew.
She goes to visit him in prison and he immediately asks about his suit and the tailor because their wedding is coming up… oh lawdy. She nips that in the bud.
She says that she wants him to look her in the eye and say he’s innocent. He says that maybe the person who did this didn’t feel like they deserved everything amazing that they had. “Maybe they felt like all they deserved was to be punished” but he was out punishing innocent women to feel like a big man… so whatever. He is even awful when coming clean.
She asks him about the underwear under their bed and asks about how many other women there were and if she needs to be tested and he has the AUDACITY to say “being tested is always a safe option” like a video you watch in school about safe sex. Oh, no he didn’t. He put her life at risk and then blows it off so casually! She mentions all the other things his profile said on the sex addict site and tries to play that off too. She asks him how he could just look her in the eye and lie to her the whole time they were together and he just sits there. God, what a nightmare. She gets up to leave and he’s all “don’t leave, I’m scared!” and is crying. Yes, now that he’s been caught and is going to prison he’s scared. She comes back and takes her ring off and says she will never be seeing him again.
He goes back to his cell.
Cuts himself with some sort of shiv, writes MEGAN SOMETHING in his blood on the wall and then pulls out a plastic bag and suffocates his bloody self. This is like a Mr. Show prison sketch- where did he get all of this stuff in a jail cell? He has photos of Megan, a shiv AND a plastic bag? With each turn this scene is more of a joke. The Boston PD really isn’t very good I guess.
The movie ends with Megan and Philip laying in a lawn in the past or in a fantasy talking about having three kids and growing old together.
Okay, this movie was pretty terrifying. I did a lot a killer studying when I was younger (and on the path to being a criminal psychologist) and this aspect of things has always freaked me out. The charismatic dude who has a secret double life where they’re a horrible person. Ted Bundy is the most famous of that trope. Ugh! Doing this movie focused on the woman’s experience was a great choice and really focused on the scariest part of it. The “he was nice, he wouldn’t hurt a fly” aspect to serial killers. And for a Lifetime Movie it was even shot nicely. This was probably the least “fun” of all the ones I’ve blogged so far.