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MEDIA INTEREST IN FIANCÉ STAYS STRONG

Megan watchPhotographers for the Asbury Park Press and the New York Post were the last  holdouts Thursday afternoon outside the home of Megan McAllister.

For nearly two weeks, they camped out just off Rumson Road in Little Silver, an army of reporters, photographers and TV camera operators doing the noble work of the Fourth Estate: watching a house.

Their goal has been an interview with or photograph of Megan McAllister, the former fiancé of Philip Markoff, the alleged Craigslist murderer.

Yesterday, the media herd thinned considerably. A Fox News van was pulling away just as redbankgreen arrived at mid-afternoon, leaving a pair of die-hard photographers — one from the Asbury Park Press, the other from the New York Post.

This morning, the Press had a reporter on the scene. Nearby, in a car, was a different photographer for the Post.

redbankgreen hadn’t come to participate in Megan Watch 2009. No, we were there to find out why, given their failure to get what they’d come for, not to mention the rate at which newspapers are are being swamped in red ink, any media was still haunting Rustic Terrace.

The question seemed apt, give that McAllister had slipped out of her parents’ house and past the media throng enroute to Boston, where she visited her ex-fiancé in jail on Wednesday.

At least one photographer got her picture heading into the hoosegow, accompanied by her lawyer, Bob Honecker. But shots of her in Little Silver? There are none that we know of.

It wasn’t the first time she’s escaped, either. Several of the Megan watchers told us she’s come and gone with some frequency, behind darkened vehicle windows or hidden in a back seat.

So, if she can come and go from home without being photographed or interviewed, why keep the vigil going? Heck, why was the siege launched in the first place?

McAllister, of course, is the woman who had the temerity to defend her boyfriend and suggest that he was being framed before she retreated from the spotlight. Later, word that her wedding plans were off was fresh fodder.

For the moment, McAllister would seem to be in no mood to be interviewed, given this from today’s Boston Herald:

In a Facebook message sent to a Herald reporter Tuesday, McAllister
said “You are just wasting your time” asking for her input anymore.

We wanted to talk to the media folks on the scene about exactly why they were there. But it seems that such questions, when posed by someone else with a notebook and pen, have the power to turn normally voluble journalists into scaredy cats.

“I don’t know,” the Press reporter told us. She suggested we call her editor.

“My boss told me to shoot any movement,” the Press photog told us. But why? “Good question,” he said.

But photojournalist Brian
Price, on assignment by the Post, didn’t flinch at the sight of our notebook. He said the simplest reason for his role in the vigil is that “the Post is a gossip newspaper,” one willing to expend large sums of money for a photo on a subject that people are talking about.

It’s McAllister’s misfortune, he says, to have been in proximity to such a high-profile case, something that ensures she’ll be prey until there are so many pictures of her floating around that new ones lose their value.

It’s also her misfortune, he says, to be young and good looking.

“We like pretty girls,” said
Price.

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