Skip to main content
/crime

D.C. Madam: 'There was no way out'

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Police release D.C. Madam's suicide notes
  • Deborah Jeane Palfrey said last year she would never return to prison
  • Palfrey hanged herself on mother's property, police say
  • Palfrey was convicted of running high-end prostitution ring April 15
  • Next Article in Crime »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- Convicted "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey railed against what she called a "modern-day lynching" in notes to her mother and sister before hanging herself at her mother's Florida home, police disclosed Monday.

art.palfrey.gi.jpg

Deborah Jeane Palfrey wrote in suicide notes to her mother and sister that her conviction had ruined her.

Police in Tarpon Springs, Florida, released Palfrey's suicide notes Monday, along with autopsy results confirming her cause of death as a suicide. Her mother and sister confirmed the notes' authenticity, police said.

"I cannot live the next 6 to 8 years behind bars for what you and I have both come to regard as this 'modern-day lynching' only to come out of prison in my late 50s a broken, penniless and very much alone woman," she wrote.

The front of the note was marked "Do not revive (DNR). Do not feed under any circumstance." Read the letters »

Palfrey, 52, was convicted of money laundering, racketeering and mail fraud in April. She had been staying at her mother's Tarpon Springs home while awaiting sentencing in July and told ABC News last year she would never return to prison after serving time in the 1990s for other prostitution-related charges.

"You must comprehend there was no way out, I.E. 'exit strategy,' for me other than the one I have chosen here," Palfrey wrote in the note to her sister.

Palfrey released the telephone records of her business, Pamela Martin & Associates, to reporters as she awaited trial. Those records linked two high-profile officials to her firm -- State Department official Randall Tobias, who resigned in May 2007 after confirming he patronized Palfrey's business, and Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, who apologized last July for "a very serious sin in my past."

Don't Miss

Neither Tobias nor Vitter have faced charges in the case.

During her trial, Palfrey insisted she ran only a legal escort service -- "Basically a bunch of benign women who want to make a living," she told CNN in March. "This is not racketeering by any means -- this is running a business."

Palfrey was convicted April 15 in connection with a high-end prostitution ring catering to Washington's elite. She was found guilty of money laundering, racketeering and mail fraud and faced a maximum 55-year prison term at her sentencing, scheduled for July 24.

She had said in interviews that she would kill herself before going to prison.

"I'm looking at 55 years in a federal penitentiary, and at my age, that is virtually a life sentence," Palfrey told CNN Radio's Ninette Sosa in March. "Realistically, we estimate between eight and 15 years. I'm also looking at the complete forfeiture of my entire life savings and work."

advertisement

She said in the interview that the government "went after me. They found out that I'm not who they thought I was, and instead of dropping the whole matter, they decided to press forward and -- what the heck -- she's a woman, she's weak. We'll intimidate her, we'll humiliate her, we'll pounce on this poor lady and she'll give in."

Palfrey also told writer Dan Moldea, who was helping her write a book, that she would commit suicide rather than return to jail, according to Time magazine. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Deborah Jeane Palfrey

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print

Find a local lawyer at Martindale-Hubbell's® Lawyers.com™

Start Your Law Firm Search
Search for attorneys by location and area of practice.
Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.