'Straight-Edge' Markoff's Pals Wonder What They Missed

Those who knew him see few hints he was dangerous
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 26, 2009 12:28 PM CDT
Susan Haynes, front, and Richard Markoff, left, parents of Philip Markoff, arrive at Suffolk County Jail, in Boston, Friday, April 24, 2009, with their son's attorney John Salsberg, right.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Those who’ve known Philip Markoff throughout his life are at a loss to explain how a “straight-edge” young man stands accused of being the Craigslist killer, the Boston Globe reports. “If there were any clues” to a sordid alter-ego, “he hid them well,” said a college friend. Acquaintances described him as a hard worker and a high achiever, even in high school.

“He's that type that you'd like to mother, because he was just that nice young man,” said one of his high school teachers. But he was “wound pretty tight,” said one college friend; he was fascinated with poker and often drank heavily and instigated political debates at parties. Others noted Markoff’s social awkwardness, particularly around girls. “He had a hard time with it. He wasn't very outgoing, and he didn't usually get very far.”