It comes as no surprise to me that Craigslist Killer medical student Philip Markoff finally did himself in. According to reports he put plastic bag over his head and smothered himself to death as well as cutting an artery so he would bleed to death.
When he was first arrested and put into custody, there were reports that he constantly picked at himself until he bled. In fact eyewitnesses stated that Markoff “started to pick at his ear” the day his Megan McAlister fiance at time visited him in jail.
His self mutilating body language spoke volumes. But what about his body language signals when he was dating and engaged to Megan? did they speak volumes as well or did Megan ignore them?
BODY LANGUAGE OF SELF MUTLIATION AS AN EMOTIONAL REACTION TO GETTING CAUGHT
Markoff’s picking at himself until he bled was a form of self mutilation. Because he was caught and finally trapped , it was a body language tell that indicated that he was punishing himself and displaying his self loathe for getting caught.
Markoff was so arrogant and thought he was so brilliant and clever at figuring out his brilliant plan to make an easy buck. He answered Craigslist ads placed by those engaged in offering sexual messages or services and robbed them. He was sure they wouldn’t protest or report him. After all, they were doing something illegal as well and didn’t want to get themselves in trouble by reporting illegal acts they were committing.
But when they protested, he killed them like he did with 26 yer old Julissa Brisman. Police found lots of evidence-panties he collected from his apartment from his victims along with plastic handcuffs, and a hollowed out Grey’s Anatomy book containing a gun- his murder weapon.
So when he was caught, he was bright enough to know that there was absolutely no way out. His self mutilation and self punishment reflects his anger at himself for not being so brilliant and for getting caught. This lead to his ultimate self punishment of killing himself. Because he was devoid of emotion as most psychopaths are, his emotional distress was revealed in his body picking.
He knew what lay ahead of him. So he took the easy way out and saved the state time and money and did the job himself. So now there is one less Toxic Man among us.
BODY LANGUAGE OF SHOCK
One of the significant body language tells that can be observed with Markoff can be seen when he was in the courtroom. He showed absolutely no emotion. His face was stoic and he barely moved .
Emotionally, through his facial expressions and body language , he showed a lack of remorse and a lack of guilt. This is very indicative of those with antisocial personality disorders. There was also no question that he was in shock when first capture , much like another very tall, intelligent and handsome fellow who allegedly killed several young women- Joran van der Sloot.
What these two miscreants have in common is that they were so arrogant and full of themselves and thought so highly of their own intelligence that they never thought they would ever get caught. So when they did get caught they were in complete physical shock. This dramatically showed in their body and facial language.
CHILLING COLDNESS IN BODY LANGUAGE OF MARKOFF
What was most chilling to discover was how security cameras showed Markoff casually strolling to and from the three different crime scenes as he used his Blackberry. He showed the same psychopathic casualness that Joran van der Sloot showed in his body language. when he calmly walked out of the hotel room carrying his bags, while he left a mutilated dead woman inside his hotel room.
It seems that their demeanor isn’t the only thing these two had in common. They both robbed killed women for money to help support their gambling debts and habits. They had no sympathy or remorse for their victims and were able to continue on in their lives as though nothing happened.
MARKOFF’S SICK MESSAGE TO EX FIANCE MEGAN MCCALISTER
There is no doubt that Markoff thought about killing himself the whole time he was incarcerated. But he chose to commit the act on the date of his would be first wedding anniversary. To me this is clear a shout out to Megan, a beautiful young and intelligent woman, who also wanted to become a doctor herself, who had no clue about him or the double life he was leading.
Perhaps his suicide on the date of their failed wedding was a sick and depraved message to Megan in order to one last time create pain and emotional havoc in someone’s life.
It was clear from her statements to the press and statements, through her attorney, which were made after Markoff was arrested, Megan had no idea who her fiancé was or what he was doing in his spare time- robbing and killing. She wrote in her email to the press:
Unfortunately you were given wrong information as was the public. All I have to say to you is Philip is a beautiful person inside and out and could not hurt a fly! A police officer in Boston (or many) is trying to make big bucks by selling this false story to the TV stations. What else is new?? Philip is an intelligent man who is just trying to live his life so if you could leave us alone we would greatly appreciate it. We expect to marry in August and share a wonderful, mean‘I will stand by Philip as I know he is innocent.
And in a message to a reporter on a social networking site she said the following :
‘Philip is a beautiful man inside and out. ‘He is intelligent, loyal, and the best fiance a woman could ask for. He would not hurt a fly!’
But were her words true? Did she really believe her words? The answer is probably. Perhaps he only showed her his good side. On the other hand, perhaps there were signals all along but Megan may have been too blinded by a planning a lavish wedding and a future with a bright doctor. The question is were there signs early on that could have clued Megan in to the fact that her fiancé was living a double life? The answer is YES!
RED FLAG SIGNALS MEGAN MAY HAVE IGNORED
As any forensic psychiatrist will tell you, once you decide to burrow deep beneath the surface you will discover that this aberrant behavior did not happen over night. They were there when he was a child. The fact that he refused to make eye contact with his parents when they sat in the courtroom also seems to speak volumes. They no doubt knew early on that something was off with their son which they may have chosen to ignore.
Perhaps they felt that now that he was going to get married he would finally straighten out. But they were wrong. When he told his parent to forget about him after they visited him in jail, it said it all.
There may have also been symptoms of Philip Markoff’s psychopathy that were evident that Megan McAllister also ignored or refused to see.
One of the most telling things in psychopathic behavior is the emotional detachment. You can actually see it in their engagement photo. While he is smiling with Megan, she is the one lovingly nuzzling into him. He on the other hand has a mask-like smile and doesn’t embrace her arm. Instead he awkwardly positions the front of his hand against her elbow. He doesn’t lean into her or embrace her. Granted this is only one photo.
But when we examine another photo of the two of them in a more casual setting, we see the same pattern. She is nuzzling and leaning into him and he is so detached, he even has one of his hands behind his back as though he has something to hide- his secret life. Again you do not see him embracing her or showing signals of affection towards her.
Megan may have rationalized that Philip wasn’t the affectionate type or didn’t like public displays of affection. But when two people are about to marry, there should be a lot of mutual displays of affection. But were there other signs?
1, Did he lack sensitivity?
2. Was he cunning and manipulative?
3. Did he show a lack of remorse or guilt?
4, Did she catch him in lies?
5. Dis she think he was callous and lacked sympathy?
6. Did she notice that he was full of himself all the time with a grandiose sense of self worth?
7, Dis she notice a glibness and a superficial charm?
8. Did he always seem to blame others and not accept responsibility for his actions?
9. Did he seem to have a shallow ?
In retrospect, I have no doubt that Megan could answer YES to many or all of these questions.
These are the signs of someone who exhibits psychopathic or sociopathic behavior. In fact I discuss this is greater detail in my new book which will be coming out in November 2010 called TOXIC MEN- 10 Ways to Identify, Deal With and Heal From men Who make Your Life Miserable which you may pre order by clicking here http://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Men-Ways-Identify-Miserable/dp/144050007X
If Megan chose to ignore these red flags, it is understandable. After all, they met doing something that was selfless and good for the sake of others. They were both hospital volunteers when they were in college. So she saw Markoff as a good person who does good for others. The fact that he was in medical school and intent on becoming a doctor confirmed to her that he was a good persona nd out to help others.
She thought he guy from a good family, seeing that his father was a respected dentist. As a doctor, they had wouldn’t have financial worries. They were planning a big wedding and she was ready to start her life with him.
So after he was picked up on I 95 while they were in the car together, police separated them in two police cars where Philip was taken into custody and Megan was released. It is understandable why she vehemently proclaimed that there must have been some mistake.
But Megan’s story teaches us a great deal. We must be vigilant. We must look for these red flag signals and never ignore them or hope they go away or change. They cannot change.
We cannot be blinded by what we want to see and not what is actually there or not there. Based on Markoff’s body language towards Megan in the above photos what was not there was a lot of open affection. That may have been indicative of his inability to have anything other than a detached emotional interaction with another person. It may have been the first red flag of psychopathic behavior. www.drlillianglass.com