After Mark Madoff committed suicide by hanging himself with a dog leash from a pipe in his Soho apartment—with his two-year-old son sleeping in another room—on Saturday, more details about his recent state of mind have emerged. A friend tells the Daily News that the 46-year-old son of the infamous Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff was stressed out about not being able to find a job and impending lawsuits. And another family friend claims that Ruth Madoff is blaming Bernie for their oldest son's death; Ruth allegedly believes that Mark "would not have died if it weren't for what [Bernie] had done."
Mark Madoff worked for his father's investment securities firm until Bernard Madoff confessed to him and younger brother Andrew that their wealth was built on a $50-60 billion Ponzi scheme. The brothers consulted a lawyer, who told them to report their father to the authorities, and the elder Madoff was arrested on December 11, 2008. Mark Madoff had not spoken to his parents since his father's arrest. Author Jerry Oppenheimer tells the Post that he spoke to one of Ruth Madoff's friends, who said that the prison widow is "totally disgusted with [Bernie] and blames him for her son's death. She thinks this is the end of the family," and other "family members don't think [Bernie's] going to survive this... It has made him realize what this whole thing has all been about. It's a Greek tragedy."
It's possible that Bernie Madoff, who is serving a 150-year prison sentence, might not even get to go to his son's funeral. A prison handbook says, "Furloughs are a privilege, not a right, and are only granted when clearly in the public interest," and a prison expert weighed in, "I would question whether they'd grant him a furlough because of heightened publicity. He could be a target. He could be shot."