Mother Found 'DC Madam' Hanging, Fla. Police Say

Deborah Jeane Palfrey, 52, faced prison time after conviction
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2008 3:29 PM CDT
Deborah Jeane Palfrey, left, accompanied by her lawyer Montgomery Blair Sibley, right.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – The so-called “DC Madam” hanged herself in Florida, police said today, committing suicide two weeks after her conviction for money laundering and racketeering. Officials say her mother found Deborah Jeane Palfrey, 52, hanging in a storage shed this morning, along with suicide notes whose details they did not divulge. Police said Blanche Palfrey had no indication her daughter was contemplating suicide.

"She didn't want to go to jail, from what I hear," a neighbor of Palfrey's mother in the Tarpon Springs mobile-home park told the St. Petersburg Times. "That's the rumor around here this morning." Palfrey faced up to 55 years in jail for her role in a prostitution ring whose clients included Republican Sen. David Vitter, but likely would have received about 6 years.