'Horrific' Situation Led Bernard And Ruth Madoff To Try Suicide, She Says | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

'Horrific' Situation Led Bernard And Ruth Madoff To Try Suicide, She Says

"I thought, 'I just can't, I can't take this. I don't know how I'll ever get through this, nor do I want to.' So we decided to do it."

So says Ruth Madoff — wife of the mastermind behind what's thought to be the biggest Ponzi scheme ever — to The New York Times about the Christmas Eve 2008 suicide attempt by the couple.

She and Bernard Madoff, Ruth said in interviews with the Times and with CBS News' 60 Minutes, each took handfuls of what they thought was Ambien and then climbed into the "chintz-draped canopy bed" in their Manhattan penthouse. But instead of dying, they both woke up.

Ruth tells the Times she's glad she didn't die. "I'm not sure how I felt about him waking up," she adds.

Ruth calls the situation her husband put them in "just horrific."

Bernard Madoff, who stole billions from investors who trusted him with their money and cost those investors nearly $90 billion in cash and paper losses, is serving a 150-year sentence at a federal prison in North Carolina.

The couple's son Mark, 46, committed suicide last December. He and his brother Andrew were never charged with any crimes and in fact had alerted authorities to what their father was doing.

Bernard Madoff tells ABC News' Barbara Walters that he hasn't spoken with Ruth since just after their son's death. ABC's Good Morning America reports that:

"Not seeing my family and knowing they hate me" is the worst thing about being in prison, he said. "I betrayed them."

Much more from Ruth's conversation with 60 Minutes' Morley Safer is due on Sunday night's broadcast (7 p.m. ET). The Times says she is giving interviews "to help promote a new authorized biography, Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family, to be published Monday by Little, Brown."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Passages' Author Reflects On Her Own Life Journey

Gail Sheehy is famous for her in-depth profiles of influential people, as well as her 1976 book on common adult life crises. Now she turns her eye inward, in her new memoir Daring: My Passages.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go To The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

In San Diego, A Bootcamp For Data Junkies

Natasha Balac runs a two-day boot camp out of the San Diego Supercomputer Center for people from all types of industries to learn the tools and algorithms to help them analyze data and spot patterns in their work.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.