WARWICK, R.I. – An attempted robbery of a woman at a suburban Providence hotel may be linked to the slaying at an upscale Boston hotel of a woman who advertised massage services on Craigslist, police said Friday.
A 26-year-old woman who also advertised massage services on Craigslist was bound with cord and held at gunpoint at the Holiday Inn Express at about 11:15 p.m. Thursday, Warwick Police Chief Stephen McCartney said. The assailant fled when the victim’s husband returned to the room.
The husband briefly chased the assailant out of the room, but then returned to check on his wife, McCartney said. The woman told police she worked at The Cadillac Lounge, a Providence strip club.
“She may have been involved in some sort of a sex-for-money transaction at the point in time when she had the confrontation with this alleged assailant,” McCartney told WPRO-AM radio.
The suspect’s description matches that of a “person of interest” wanted for questioning in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Julissa Brisman of New York City at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston on Tuesday night.
And the same person may have been involved in the robbery last week of a Las Vegas woman at the Westin Copley Hotel, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said.
The 29-year-old woman had also advertised massage services on Craigslist, the online classified service.
Police in Warwick, which is about 60 miles south of Boston, describe the suspect as a clean-cut white male, approximately 6-foot tall, 200-pounds, with blond hair, wearing a black coat and blue jeans.
Warwick police said they are working with Boston police on the case.
Police in Boston have said that they believe the victim at the Westin was involved in prostitution but that they are uncertain about Brisman.
Brisman’s friends said they didn’t know she had advertised massage services online.
Matthew Terhune, 34, a photographer from New York City, said he photographed Brisman last year for head shots she needed for a tanning salon.
He said Brisman told him she had been paid $1,000 to fly out to private parties in Chicago and walk around in a bikini or topless. “But I don’t think it went beyond that,” Terhune said. “They were just parties where guys wanted to see hot girls.”
Makeup artist Emily Claire, 30, Terhune’s girlfriend, worked with Brisman during the photo shoot. She said Brisman, a recovering alcoholic, wanted eventually become an Alcoholics Anonymous counselor.