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D.C. Madam Commits Suicide

May 01, 2008 05:59 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Florida police have discovered a body they believe to be famed Washington madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey, after an apparent suicide.

30-Second Summary

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The body was found in a shed near Deborah Jean Palfrey’s mother’s home about 20 miles northwest of Tampa. Police said the “D.C. Madam” left a suicide note, but have not yet disclosed its contents.

Palfrey, 52, was to be sentenced July 24 on a series of racketeering and money laundering charges in association with the prostitution ring she ran for 13 years in Washington, D.C. She faced up to 55 years in jail.

Her escort service gained national notoriety a year ago when Palfrey gave a list of her 15,000 clients to ABC News. Among them were major Washington players, including USAID head and Deputy Secretary of State Tobias Randall, who resigned over the issue, and La. Sen. David Vitter, who called his patronage “a serious sin.”

Some 130 college-educated women were in Palfrey’s employ, including University of Maryland-Baltimore County professor Brandy Britton, who committed suicide before she was due to go court on prostitution charges.

Palfrey’s attorney, Preston Burton, who has defended other Washington offenders including Enron executives and Monica Lewinsky, did not have immediate comment regarding his client’s alleged suicide. A Web site established for donations to Palfrey’s legal fund was down as of Thursday afternoon, with the homepage blank except for text reading, “deborahjeanepalfrey.com is off line until further notice.”

Headline Links: ‘D.C. Madam Deborah Palfrey Commits Suicide’

Video: 2007 Palfrey press conference

Background: Palfrey’s business

Key Player: Deborah Jeane Palfrey (1956–2008)

Reference: IRS proceedings against Palfrey; Palfrey’s legal defense fund site goes offline

Related Topics: Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss; prostitution; disgraced former N.Y. Gov. Eliot Spitzer

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