Skip to comments.Police: Woman believed to be 'D.C. madam' kills herself
Posted on 05/01/2008 8:52:30 PM PDT by Kimmers
Tarpon Springs, FLA - A woman police believe to be convicted Washington escort service operator Deborah Jeane Palfrey committed suicide, officials said Thursday.
A body police believe to be that of Deborah Jeane Palfrey was found in a shed near her mother's home Thursday morning in Tarpon Springs, about 20 miles northwest of Tampa. There was a suicide note, but police did not disclose its contents or how she killed herself.
Police said they were trying to confirm the woman's identity, and declined to release more details until a news conference Thursday afternoon.
That didn't stop people from reacting to her death.
"This is a tragic news and my heart goes out to her mother," defense attorney Preston Burton said.
Montgomery Blair Sibley, who served for a time as Palfrey's civil attorney, said he was shocked. "I'm personally devastated by this. All I can do is mourn the tragic loss of her life," he said.
A man who answered a phone listed for Palfrey's mother declined to comment. Officers were outside the mother's white and pink home in the community of mostly retirees.
Prosecutors were trying to find out if Palfrey was dead.
"Although we're aware of the media reports, we're still waiting for confirmation from law enforcement authorities," said Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the District of Columbia U.S. attorney's office, which spent years investigating and prosecuting Palfrey.
Palfrey was convicted April 15 by a federal jury of running a prostitution service that catered to members of Washington's political elite, including Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican.
Randall Tobias, a former senior State Department official, resigned his position after admitting to being a Palfrey client. A federal judge refused to allow Palfrey's attorneys to call Vitter and Tobias as witnesses during her trial, and a federal jury refused to believe Palfrey's claim that she did not know the escorts she provided had sex her customers.
She had denied her escort service engaged in prostitution, saying that if any of the women engaged in sex acts for money, they did so without her knowledge.
She was convicted of money laundering, using the mail for illegal purposes and racketeering. Palfrey faced a maximum of 55 years in prison and was free pending her sentencing July 24.
Prosecutors said Palfrey operated the prostitution service for 13 years.
Her trial concluded without revealing many new details about the service or its clients. Vitter was among possible witnesses, but did not take the stand.
Vitter, a first-term senator who is married and has four children, has acknowledged being involved with Palfrey's escort service and has apologized for what he called a "very serious sin." But he avoided commenting further.
One of the escort service employees was former University of Maryland, Baltimore County, professor Brandy Britton, who was arrested on prostitution charges in 2006. She committed suicide in January before she was scheduled to go to trial.
Last year, Palfrey said she, too, was humiliated by her prostitution charges, but said: "I guess I'm made of something that Brandy Britton wasn't made of."
(Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This story may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.)
if something really immoral is going have a morbid ending, Florida usually figures into the equation somewhere.
From a site manager helping people leave the sex industry:
I was in regular contact with Jeanne Palfrey. I don't believe it
was suicide. It's too "coincidental" also - when Brandy Britton "supposedly" killed herself (a woman who worked for Palfrey as an escort), the media reported she'd also hung herself. A proper investigation was never done (I contacted the police and they just wrote it up as suicide).
Jeanne was even quoted as saying she would never do such a thing when they asked her about Brandy's death. There have been other madams also found hung - one even supposedly in her own jail cell (which I don't believe either). I had warned Jeanne many times about the potential for being murdered with the high profile road she decided upon - and she told me she was scared and this was one of the reasons she was with her mother in the first place.
I had told her when I was having cops try and kill me during my arrest in the 1980's - I went to stay with my mom because I didn't think they would dare kill me while staying with my mother and grandmother (who was in her 70's at the time). Jeanne was very pumped about a movie deal, book deal, a documentary, and she probably was even working on her appeal. I knew something was "weird" when I went to email her last week and found her website had been taken down and her email closed. Knowing people wanted her dead and knowing her personality - I don't think she'd give anyone the satisfaction of killing herself. Does anyone know where the rest of her phone records are?
Heidi Fleiss disappeared from her Pahrump home a few weeks ago. People in regular contact with her tell me they don't know where she's at. It's like she's gone underground.
This all sends a chill down my spine and I did not know about Heidi..... I felt kind of sad for Heidi she seemed lost... Not that I agree with what these women do but I never understood why they seemed to be hung out to dry and their customers seemed to walk away....
I wonder if she may have left a list of her clients to be released in the event of her death....
Suicide on mom’s property seems an odd choice, unless one doesn’t like mom.
Better be done anonomously, or else their will be another suicide.
Oh great, prostitution troofers....
This country is losing its’ marbles.
Which "their" are you referring to?
“Prosecutors were trying to find out if Palfrey was dead.”
I suppose an autopsy is needed to confirm it?
Really conspiracal stuff that have me going hmmmmm and I have not hmmmmm any conspiracy theories since the my young naive days here at FRepublic when whats his name was around (hispanic sounding name cant think of it off hand, some one will know).
Waiting for your post to be debunked now...
Let me guess, two rounds to the back of the head.
she hung herself.
Whoa. Slow down.
Please ping me to this thread if more develops...thanks
I think just about anyone in her shoes would.
Lotsa copies to different people.
No Micheal Rivera....yep he started out pretty good in the ole days.
Been wrackin’ my brain all night trying to remember that name! Now I can sleep!
I'd love to hear from a forensics expert about this.
One question I have...would a MURDER by hanging have any evidenciary advantages to other methods? Might it be more difficult for investigators to tell "who dun it"?...
And, another question... would a MURDER by hanging be a good way to send a message to any others considering flipping?