Mark Madoff suicide

By Razib Khan | December 11, 2010 10:43 am

Long time readers know that I’ve been fascinated with the whole Bernie Madoff saga over the past few years. It looks like one of Bernie’s sons, Mark, committed suicide on the two year anniversary of his father’s arrest. If you haven’t, I strongly suggest you read this profile of the elder Madoff’s time in prison:

Madoff was accustomed to hearing other inmates call his name. From July 14, the day he arrived, he’d been an object of fascination. Prisoners had assiduously followed his criminal career on the prison TVs. “Hey, Bernie,” an inmate would yell to him admiringly while he was at his job sweeping up the cafeteria, “I seen you on TV.” In return, Madoff nodded and waved, smiling that sphinxlike half-smile. “What did he say?” Madoff sometimes asked.

But that evening an inmate badgered Madoff about the victims of his $65 billion scheme, and kept at it. According to K. C. White, a bank robber and prison artist who escorted a sick friend that evening, Madoff stopped smiling and got angry. “Fuck my victims,” he said, loud enough for other inmates to hear. “I carried them for twenty years, and now I’m doing 150 years.”

I don’t think we have to worry about Bernie ending his life by his own hands.

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  • diana

    “Bernie Madoff saga”

    Why do people continually refer to Madoff as “Bernie” – as if he’s our slightly dotty uncle who tells bad jokes at Thanksgiving?

    I had read of his prison notoriety. It seems he’d the kind of guy that people trust, despite their better judgment.


  • Sandgroper

    #2 Because the human default assumption is that people are not psychopaths?

  • Billare

    That particular quote always struck me as journalistic embellishment and/or credulously swallowed bullshit spread by some prisoner eager to share in Madoff’s infamy. Madoff was a cultured, elite, New York Jew and yet as soon as he gets to prison apparently he starts acting like a Mafio don or some bit-level drug pusher. The line’s more appropriate to a movie script.

  • diana

    #4 – “cultured, elite NY Jew”

    Watch it buster. He was from Queens. I’m from Queens. Very working class area. Madoff pere was a plumber – at first. This is prosperous, but prole. Don’t confuse smarts with couth.

    #2 – Well, maybe but why after all the harm he has done, do we still call him “Bernie”? Why the affectionate nickname? I find this puzzling.

  • Sandgroper


    d – In the Australian press he’s “Bernard”.

    Dunno. Yes, almost like there is some sneaking regard for him, which I would find dumbfounding.

  • dearieme

    If he’s from Queens, should it be “Boynie”?

  • morris wise

    With Bernie out of the way investors can sleep well at night knowing that their money is now safe and in honest hands. But Cynics claim that the Devil rules and 99% would do what Bernie did if they thought they would get away with it. Let us pray that God watches over our investments and keeps those 99% out of Wall Street.

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  • diana

    #7 “If he’s from Queens, should it be “Boynie”?

    In a word, no. Impossible to explain the proper old NY pronunciation of the “oi” sound on the net. But even so, no.

    #6 “Bernard” – well someone still has standards! :)

    I have to admit to some sneaking sympathy for Mrs. Madoff. First the mistress writes a book, now one of her sons is dead. Yeah, she should have known….she wouldn’t be the first woman to fool herself about the nature of her husband….

  • Razib Khan

    bernard sounds too distinguished for a man of his character.

  • diana

    #11 – good observation. The name Bernard sounds as if it should be preceded by an honorific like “Sir.”

    Sir Bernard Madoff. Chancellor of the Exchequer….

  • Sandgroper

    I’d settle for “that ***** Madoff”.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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