Billy Baldwin talks to OnTheRedCarpet.com about his fears for the internet and his role as Detective Bennett in the Lifetime movie, "The Craigslist Killer," which premiered tonight at 9 p.m. The movie stars Jake McDorman ("Greek") as Philip Markoff and Agnes Bruckner ("Private Practice") as his fiancee, Megan McAllister. Baldwin plays the lead detective in the case which stirred up national controversy over internet safety.
The movie is based on the case of Philip Markoff, a seemingly-perfect Boston medical student who in April 2009, was charged with the murder of a masseuse he had reportedly met on Craigslist. Markoff was also a suspect in two other crimes against women advertising adult services on the website. But before he went to trial, Markoff commit suicide in his jail cell.
"I think the main reason people are so intrigued by it is because we have this Ted Bundy, boy-next-door," Baldwin told OnTheRedCarpet.com and other media outlets in a satellite interview. "He's a white, affluent, well-educated medical student who sweeps this girl off her feet and all of a sudden, we realize he has this dark, disturbing, deviant, violent other side to his personality and people want answers to that, people want explanations for how somebody like him is capable of committing such horrific acts and I think that's what's really compelling about it but when you also introduce the internet layer to it, you're right, it's a scary brave new world we live in out there."
Baldwin is particularly concerned with how the internet might affect his children, especially his 10-year-old daughter, who has grown up with technologies that have only come about in her lifetime. Parents are put in the unprecidented position of having to moniter a child's safety both in real life as well in the technological realm.
"You have to be on top of it as a parent of young children to make sure that they're not exposed to something," Baldwin warns, "something that isn't dangerous in the form of being life-threatening like it was with craigslist, but just something that can scar them.You put the wrong word into an internet search and something could pop up on the screen that could leave emotional or psychological scars on a child. Just the stuff about my family alone... that's something I could easily see my daughter doing- searching 'my daddy' on the internet and suddenly she gets hit with something that somebody said that could be very hurtful to her."
Baldwin has recently appeared in NBC's "Parenthood" and will return to the CW's "Gossip Girl" in the Spring as Serena van der Woodsen's estranged father. He will also recently appeared in the movie "1 a Minute," where he talked about his mother's battle with breast cancer.