New York, May 6 : The D.C. madam, who hanged herself behind her mother's trailer, has begged for her forgiveness, saying she committed suicide because she couldn't bear to "live the next six to eight years behind bars."
Deborah Jean Palfrey, who faced up to six years in jail, called her prosecution "a modern day lynching" in a handwritten suicide note police made public yesterday in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
Palfrey, 52, wrote that she did not want "to come out of prison in my late 50s a broken, penniless and very much alone woman."
The note was dated April 25, seven days before she hanged herself near her mother's Tarpon Springs mobile home.
The Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner's office has ruled her death a suicide, police said.
Signing her note "Debbie," she told her mother, Blanche Palfrey, 76, "surely you will not live long enough to see any possible release."
According to the New York Daily News, she also wrote that her sister, Bobbie, "likely will be unable to shoulder the responsibilities of a sister who will be nothing but a mere shell of her former self."
In a second note to her sister, Palfrey wrote she had no "exit strategy, other than the one (suicide) I have chosen here."
Palfrey was convicted April 15 of federal racketeering and money-laundering charges while running a prostitution ring in the nation's capital. She was to be sentenced July 24.
Palfrey claimed she ran a "legal, high-end erotic fantasy" escort service." If any of her employees engaged in sex acts for money, they did it without her knowledge, she told authorities.
When phone records of her client list were released, a deputy secretary of state resigned and Senator David Vitter (R-La.) acknowledged being involved with Palfrey's escort service.
Married and father of four children, the senator apologized for what he called a "very serious sin" -- but did not resign.