April 17, 2009 -- Boston Police said the man they believe murdered an aspiring actress in an upscale hotel room this week is also responsible for two other attacks on women, and that he possibly met them through their advertisements on the Web site Craigslist.
Friends say Julissa Brisman, 26, weighed about 100 pounds, not enough to overpower the man who showed up in her room at the Copley Place Marriott Tuesday night and shot her to death before fleeing the scene.
"The preliminary investigation suggests that the victim may have been involved with an escort service," Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. "Detectives are investigating the possibility that this was an attempted robbery."
Jane Greenberg and her son were staying down the hall from Brisman's room and saw her body lying on the floor.
"To be honest, I thought it was a child having a temper tantrum," Greenberg said. "She was lying with her head and the top part of her body outside the door."
Police are looking for a clean-cut blond man, likely in his 20s, who was captured on multiple surveillance cameras near the time Brisman was murdered.
And police think he's connected to another attack just days before, this one at the Westin nearby where the attacker had also responded to a woman's massage therapy ad on Craiglist. This time, the woman survived.
Then Thursday night, police in Warwick, R.I., responded to a call from the Holiday Inn where a 26-year-old woman had been tied up as a man attempted to rob her, according to ABC News Boston affiliate WCVB. The Warwick woman had also advertised on Craigslist, according to local media reports.
The woman in the Holiday Inn attack described her attacker as a tall white man in his 20s, wearing a dark jacket and jeans, fitting the description of the man police are looking for in Brisman's murder.
Police have not released the names of the other two attack victims.
Searching for Julissa Brisman's Craigslist Killer
WCVB reported that the FBI is now helping police search for this man.
"We really are looking for the public to help us ID the individual," Davis told WCVB. "We believe the individual is a local, and we believe someone will call us and tell us who he is."
Brisman's friend Emily Claire said the aspiring actress and model, who had done some commercial acting and Internet work, had culled a lot of inner strength to battle her personal demons, going to Alcohol Anonymous meetings twice a week.
"She would go to AA meetings and she would speak," Claire said. "She really wanted to work with girls who had addictions, young women."
They jokingly called their friend the "cell phone girl," ribbing her for a commercial in which Brisman played a woman who was killed while not paying attention to her surroundings.
"It hasn't sunk in yet that I am never going to hang out with her again," Claire said.
While most of the advertisements on Craigslist are for mundane items and services -- furniture, apartment rentals, piano lessons-- some authorities have lashed back at the site for allowing services that have been tied to prostitution or similar illegal activities.
Last month, Sheriff Tom Dart of Cook County, Ill., demanded that Craigslist "stop being the largest source of prostitution in America."
Dart filed a federal lawsuit against Craigslist in hopes of getting the site's "erotic services" advertisements removed.