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Mark Madoff, 46, Kills Himself

Elder son’s fate is not entirely unlike his father’s

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Mark Madoff with wife and son Nicholas.(Facebook/NY Daily News)

In December 2008, after Bernard Madoff finally informed his oblivious sons that the legendary family investment fund was nothing more than a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, all kinds of people were quick to call it a tragedy—even, grandly, “a tragedy of epic proportions.” Lots of people, including some old and feeble individuals and some important and well-known charities, were bankrupted, which was upsetting, and at least two high-profile investors took their own lives in the immediate aftermath. But, fundamentally it was really just a sad morality tale about people’s blind faith in the face of lots of cash.

That changed on Saturday, when Madoff’s elder son, 46-year-old Mark, was found hanging by a dog leash from a ceiling pipe in his SoHo loft, on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest and in the shadow of new lawsuits filed against the extended Madoff clan. The death, which the medical examiners quickly ruled a suicide, propelled the scandal into the realm of Greek tragedy—because it has now visited misfortune on one of the only members of the family to be definitively innocent in the mess: Mark Madoff’s two-year-old son, Nick, was peacefully asleep in the apartment where his father killed himself.

In the predawn hours, Mark sent emails to his wife—who was vacationing with their four-year-old at Disney World—telling her to “send someone to take care of Nick,” evidence that he knew exactly what he was risking: That his toddler, effectively left home alone, would wake up and come across the grisly scene himself.

Even if the boy, who reportedly slept through the whole thing, is too young to remember this weekend’s events, he’ll inevitably grow into a teenager and a young man left to struggle with a legacy not just of a grandfather but a father pathologically willing to make their own children their greatest victims.

Madoff Son Found Dead in NYC Apartment [ABC]
Death of Bernard Madoff’s Son Ruled a Suicide by Hanging [LAT]
Related: Life After Madoff’s ‘Big Lie’ [WSJ]
Madoff Lawsuits Are Headed for Court [NYT]

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This is such a tragedy, I feel very badly for the late Mark Madoff, and his wife and children. He couldn’t deal with the pressures and ended his life.

What a horrible tragedy…It is unfortunate that Mark Madoff didn’t have any real friends ready to help him in his darkest hours…He must have grown up in a toxic environment..We don’t know what kind of threats to his family he had to deal with on a daily basis..We don’t know what was running through his brain, all we do know is that people who think money is the most important thing in the world better wake up…None of us have the right to pass judgement that is Gd’s job…What Mark Madoff did was absolutely horrendous, but for him to carry out the act of taking his own life means one thing, he was very disturbed, and was lacking support from people when he really needed it…

I am not sure that Mark Madoff knew anything at all about the scheme. I believe he should have known where his money was coming from, but through ignorance and blind faith in his father, he really could have been completely innocent. Others have taken their lives over this mess and countless lives destroyed. How much was going to be enough for Bernie Madoff? How many homes and boats and cars would it have taken for him to stop? I just don’t understand any of it.

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Mark Madoff, 46, Kills Himself

Elder son’s fate is not entirely unlike his father’s

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