Washington DC Madam commits suicide
Washington, May 2: "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who had vowed she would never go back to prison, hung herself Thursday at her mother's mobile home in Florida. Palfrey, 52, was convicted two weeks ago of running a high-priced call girl ring catering to top government officials that raked in two million dollars over 13 years. She was free pending sentencing July 24, when she faced up to 55 years behind bars, reports the New York Daily News.
Deborah's mother Blanche Palfrey, 76, told police that she woke up from a noon nap to find her daughter hanging from a nylon rope strung from a beam in her storage shed. Tarpon Springs Police Captain Jeffrey Young said that Deborah Jeane Palfrey left two suicide notes, along with messages to friends and family. According to one of the suicide notes, Deborah said that she didn't want to face prison.
Palfrey was arrested for pimping in 1990, but she fled before trial rather than face prison. She sent the judge a note saying she feared "murder disguised in the form of just another jailhouse accident or suicide would await me." Caught, she spent 18 months behind bars.
When the feds busted her hooker ring in 2006, she rejected a deal that would have required her to spend a few months behind bars. Instead, she pleaded not guilty and vowed to leverage powerful names in her little black book to secure her freedom.
Her little black book was actually pretty hefty: She had 46 pounds of phone records, including the names of 10,000 clients.
On July 9, Palfrey posted the much-feared and awaited list of names on her Web site for free.
The only well-known name was that of married Senator David Vitter. He apologized for "a very serious sin," refused to answer any questions and managed to keep his seat.
Randall Tobias, 65, the married head of the Bush administration's foreign aid programs at the State Department and a big proponent of combating AIDS with abstinence, abruptly resigned after his name appeared on the list.
The list didn't live up to Palfrey's billing - and it didn't save her from being convicted on April15.