Tag Archives: DC Madam

Coming Out of the Closet – Part 3

Robert and I eventually wandered back to my apartment, and I had sex for the first time in my life. I had disclosed to Robert that I was a “virgin,” so he was particularly caring and measured. His gentle glances, gestures, and caresses unlocked desires in me that had been an impermeable secret for years, and as he explored my body and I timidly explored his, those secrets ruptured into pyrotechnic bursts of bliss.

After we made love, Robert delicately embraced me. I was slightly surprised that the sheer joy enveloping me wouldn’t be quelled by shame and apprehension. Robert and I dated for approximately three months. When I discovered that he was a priest, my perceptions of him were irrevocably altered, and we gradually drifted apart.

Nevertheless, I continued to patronize Friends on an almost nightly basis. I initially felt socially awkward in the confines of a bar, so I tended to play Pac-Man by myself. But I eventually befriended a couple of guys who were about my age, and they introduced me to Badlands, Cincinnati’s largest gay bar. Badlands was in the warehouse district of Cincinnati, and it was vast. Whereas Friends accommodated maybe 100 patrons a night, Badlands was an undulating sea of 500 men. Over the course of my two years in Cincinnati, I dated ten men whom I met at Badlands.

So I had my first sexual encounter at 20 years of age, and six years later I started running a gay escort service. Some people think that I was might have been making up for lost time. But in actuality, I never set out to run an escort service and the improbable chain of events that led to becoming a “DC Madam” is almost a comedy of errors.

Coming Out of the Closet – Part 2

Shortly after my arrival in Cincinnati, I started riding my bicycle around Eden Park. The park has a maze of paved paths that wind around buildings and sculptures dating back to the early 1900s, and I found the sprawling, densely wooded park to be enchanting. I was inexplicably attracted to the park’s large Moorish-style gazebo that was ornately painted in white and indigo and crowned by a spherical finial. A prominent Cincinnati attorney shot and murdered his wife at the gazebo in 1927, and legend has it that her ghost continues to haunt it.

Although I didn’t encounter paranormal activity at the gazebo, I discovered that it was the epicenter of a burgeoning gay scene. But while I was very curious, I was acutely shy and hesitant to entangle myself with anyone. After riding my bike to the gazebo every day for a couple of weeks, a tall, muscular man in his early thirties finally approached me. His name was Robert. He had thinning black hair and distinctive Mediterranean facial features—an aquiline nose, high cheekbones, and a dark complexion. Robert invited me to Friends, a gay bar near the park, and I agreed to accompany him.

When we entered Friends, I heard blaring disco music and a spinning mirrored ball scattered flashes of light throughout the bar. The bar was dark, and plumes of cigarette smoke wafted near the ceiling. As we crossed the black tiled floor and walked to a table near the bar, I was dumbfounded to see men kissing and holding hands. After Robert and I sat down, I ordered a coke, because I had never imbibed alcohol before. While I sipped my coke, and surveyed Friends’ patrons, I quickly came to the visceral realization that I wasn’t the only gay man in the world, and I was momentarily overwhelmed by jubilance. I finally had an existential affirmation of my sexuality.

Coming Out of the Closet – Part 1

My childhood in Williamson, West Virginia was drenched in fundamentalist Christianity, and I was repeatedly told that homosexuals had a one-way ticket to hell. And throughout my school years in Williamson, I was repeatedly taunted and harassed for being gay. In fact, my classmates knew I was gay even before I did.

I was fifteen when I belatedly came to this realization about my orientation. I say belatedly, because it was quite evident to everyone else around me. After a two-week emotional tug of war, I decided to divulge my homosexuality to my mother, and it took me an additional two days to summon the courage to broach the subject with her. She was sitting at the dining room table when I approached her. I felt steeped in anxiety as I repeatedly cleared my throat and finally said, “Mom, I need to tell you something about me—” She cut me off with a wave of her hand and replied, “I already know everything there is to know about you.”

My mother’s reaction wasn’t exactly the protracted conversation that I had hoped for between the two of us. So the closet door remained shut and padlocked for the next five years. After I attended Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College for two years, I enrolled at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.

How to Indict a Ham Sandwich

Solomon Wachtler, the former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, once quipped that special prosecutors of grand juries have so much power over grand jurors that they could coax grand jurors into indicting a ham sandwich, and the Washington, DC grand jury that indicted me was a ham and swiss on rye.

A grand jury makes the initial decision to indict (formally accuse) a criminal defendant to stand trial, and the phrase “grand jury” has authoritative connotations—like the gods on Mount Olympus have sent down a decree. But grand juries are notoriously susceptible to manipulation. Unlike a standard trial, a grand jury proceeding is cloaked in secrecy: Grand juries aren’t open to the public, and the identity of the witnesses who testify and the content of their testimony are never disclosed. Moreover, there is no cross-examination or presentation of the defense’s case.

The special prosecutor of a grand jury calls the witnesses, questions the witnesses, and selects the evidence that is shown to the grand jurors, and grand jurors are normal, everyday citizens who have shown up for jury duty and have been funneled to a grand jury. Generally, only witnesses and evidence deemed relevant by special prosecutors are presented, and special prosecutors are in a unique position to influence grand jurors’ judgments in a particular direction.

Jay Stephens, the U.S. Attorney for D.C., appointed Alan Strasser, the Assistant U.S. Attorney for D.C. and chief of the felony trial division, to be the special prosecutor of the grand jury investigating me. Strasser received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University in 1974, and he was a 1977 graduate of Harvard Law School. He joined the office of U.S. Attorney for D.C. in 1980.

Despite Strasser’s lofty academic credentials, the grand jury he directed to investigate me served a ham sandwich to the public, and it was a cover up of epic proportions. He never called the three people who helped me run my escort service or me to testify before the grand jury that was ostensibly investigating our operation of an escort service. I’m also not aware of Strasser calling the escorts I employed to testify. Unfortunately, my mother was subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury.

A Washington Times article, commenting on the grand jury investigating me, confirmed my lingering suspicion that it was extremely corrupt. The article revealed that the newspaper’s reporters had contacted “a number of principal witnesses and active participants in the case” and “discovered that few of them had been interviewed, and only a handful had been asked to testify before the grand jury.”

Washington Times reporters interviewed “a longtime acquaintance” of Craig Spence, the CIA asset who used my escorts to blackmail the rich and powerful, who had been called before the grand jury. The Washington Times reported that the “witness was not asked any questions about credit cards, Mr. Spence’s alleged involvement with the homosexual call-boy ring or about the ring itself.” The witness told the reporters that one of the grand jury’s primary concerns was establishing if Spence had been in the possession of purloined White House china that dated back to the Truman administration.

Spence was involved in pandering children, pandering adults, blackmailing powerbrokers, procuring illicit drugs, etc., so I find it mindboggling that one of the grand jury’s primary concerns was whether or not he had absconded with some of the White House’s Truman china.

Instead of indicting Spence, the grand jury overseen by Strasser indicted me on 43 RICO counts that had the potential to imprison me for 295 years! As I look back on that grand jury in retrospect not only was it designed to have me take the fall for all of Spence’s illicit activities, but it’s 43-count RICO indictment with the potential for 295 years was designed to leverage my silence, because I had witnessed activities that would’ve jeopardized the Bush administration and subsequent Bush dynasty.

Henry Vinson: Scapegoat – Part 4

Given the onslaught of erroneous press I’ve received over the years, I’m reluctant to ascribe inordinate intelligence to many in the media, but common sense would dictate that a veteran CBS correspondent could distinguish a bug from a “button-release” on a table. But, perhaps, because of the skeptical guest’s expertise on “architecture and furnishings,” he or she was able to provide the Post with the definitive truth?

And once more, the Post relayed the unequivocal truth from the perspective of the skeptical guest: “Spence confronted them later that night. ‘I heard every word you said,’ Gordon recalls Spence saying. ‘You’re conspiring against me. I’ve got this corner bugged.’ And then he pointed to the ceiling. ‘There was never a bug hanging over Professor Gordon’s head,’ says the same skeptical guest, who was also at that party. Another person there says that it was so obvious that Gordon and Trotta were gossiping about Spence all night he would not have needed bugs to guess what they were saying.”

After the Post deployed the skeptical guest and “another person” to debunk the fact that Spence’s house was bugged for blackmail, it descended into a rather absurd commentary: “Some believe that Spence may have been up to something with the electronic equipment that friends observed in the house. But Spence’s clairvoyance, it seems, was strongest when his bodyguards were present and within earshot of the supposedly bugged conversations.”

So now the Post acknowledged that Spence had “electronic equipment” in his home, even though in the preceding paragraph it had asserted that the bug uncovered by Trotta was, in actuality, a button-release on a table. The Post wanted to have its cake and eat it too by conceding that Spence had electronic equipment in his home, but ridiculing the fact that his home was bugged for blackmail.

And the Post’s remark about Spence’s “clairvoyance” being heightened when his bodyguards were within “earshot” was rather disingenuous too. The Post doesn’t question why Spence had a need for bodyguards. But in all likelihood, Spence needed constant protection, because he was the point man for blackmailing some of the most powerful men in the country—powerful men who almost certainly had access to their own thugs. Given Spence’s penchant for blackmailing the powerful, I think his longevity had the potential to be violently curtailed if his private Praetorian Guard didn’t vigilantly safeguard him.

Later in the article, the Post described Spence’s bodyguards as “clean-cut college guys who also tended bar, parked cars and drove Spence around. Spence later started hiring Army men and Marines, especially large, well-built ones.” I’m aware of Spence collecting bodyguards from the military, but the article made no mention of Spence’s bodyguards being pulled from the ranks of the Secret Service, even though the Washington Times had been meticulous about nailing down that Spence had Secret Service agents moonlighting as his bodyguards.

The Post’s “The Shadow World of Craig Spence” portrayed him as a high society bottom feeder who was more of name-dropper than a powerbroker with high powered connections, and the article also attempted to dispel the notion that he was affiliated with the CIA. The article caricaturized Spence by having his friends discuss his rants of self-importance and name-dropping, which wouldn’t be too difficult because he was a coke-head and megalomaniac. After the Post made Spence appear as a mere cartoon character it dropped in the following paragraph: “Like the tales of espionage, the allegations about bugging were a regular subject of discussion among his friends. And again, they got their information from him [Spence].”

A week after the Washington Post demolished the Washington Times’ reportage on Spence’s illicit activities, I found myself in the Post’s character assassination crosshairs. The Post reported a series of lies that made me appear as a conniving villain who had conspired to cartelize D.C. prostitution as if I were the Richard III of gay escorts.

A later article by the Post conscripted the Los Angeles Times and New York Times to jump on its bandwagon. “’We checked into it; we sent reporters out when they raided the house in February and again when they had the eviction,’ said the Washington bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times. ‘We never did turn up with anything that looked like a national story.’”

After the Post quoted the Los Angeles Times bureau chief, the New York Times’ D.C. bureau chief endorsed the Post’s spin. “’I don’t take the Washington Times seriously as a journalistic entity, so I view with suspicion almost anything that they do,’ he said. ‘I don’t deny a raid on this house and that there’s obviously some kind of investigation going on. But so far I haven’t seen any evidence that it means what they say it means.”

In addition to the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post buttressed its propaganda campaign with sources that were delighted to reinforce its disinformation—government sources. The Post wrote of its first government source: “…a key law enforcement official came to lunch at the Post and assured the staff that the investigation was primarily on credit card fraud.” As I recall, several administration officials, including the U.S. attorney general, were telling the media that Watergate was much ado about nothing, so I find it perplexing that the Post was all ears about non-existence of Spence’s blackmail enterprise, but it was vehement when contesting the administration’s official position about Watergate.

The Secret Service, the Justice Department, and the Washington Post did a masterful job of making me a scapegoat for all the illicit activities committed Craig Spence and his cronies. In retrospect, when that much power is deployed to obfuscate the truth, I didn’t have a chance of being anything other than a scapegoat.

Henry Vinson: Scapegoat – Part 3

As the Washington Times bore deeper and deeper into the enigma of Spence, I was astonished to read about the eddies of his sordid life in black and white—on the front-page of a newspaper. The levy of lies that had suppressed the truth about Spence for years was starting crumble, and I pondered its implications for me. I felt that it would be difficult for the government to cover up Spence’s illicit activities now that the toothpaste was out of the tube. I also had a tendency to think that the government wouldn’t take a chance on indicting me, because a trial would only publicize Spence’s complicity with high-ranking federal officials and his connections to the Secret Service and perhaps even the CIA.

The Washington Post commenced a counteroffensive against the Washington Times. The first blast of disinformation perpetrated by the Washington Post was a protracted article, “The Shadow World of Craig Spence,” published about two weeks after the Washington Times began to expose Spence’s blackmail operation, and it was a concerted effort to dismantle the Washington Times reportage on Spence. The article mocked the earlier headline floated by the Washington Times—”Power Broker Served Drugs, Sex at Parties Bugged for Blackmail”—by providing the veritable, unadulterated truth about Spence’s get-togethers: “People sat around in a perimeter after dinner discussing trade policy, where American policy makers were ushered into circles of foreign visitors to make serious talk; parties to which Koppel would sometimes send a stand-in; parties so dull that even Dossier magazine wouldn’t run the photographs.”

The Post’s “The Shadow World of Craig Spence” also dismantled the idea that Spence’s house was bugged for blackmail, but its hatchet job was transparently disingenuous. The Post deployed a contrivance it coined the “skeptical guest” to debunk the notion that Spence’s home had clandestine surveillance. The Post’s “skeptical guest” was an unnamed source, and the Post even neglected to mention the source’s gender or his or her relationship to Spence.

According to the Post, the “skeptical guest” was in attendance at a party in Spence’s D.C. home when a friend of Spence’s, CBS correspondent Liz Trotta, “got down on her hands and knees in the living room and found wires and cables all over the room at floor level. She also found metal fasteners that could have been listening devices, she says, clipped to the bottom of a coffee table. A skeptical guest who witnessed this—who was familiar with the architecture and furnishings—said that one of the so-called bugs was a button-release on the table and that to his knowledge, there were no bugs.”

 

Henry Vinson: Scapegoat – Part 1

Scapegoating is often defined as a hostile discrediting by which people move blame and responsibility away from themselves and towards a target person or group. The scapegoat target invariably receives misplaced vilification, blame and criticism. Scapegoating always includes a distortion of the facts. As a DC madam, I was privy to the blackmailing of our country’s power elite and also to a pedophile network that provided children to the rich and powerful. These sinister machinations had to be covered up at all costs, and I was the convenient scapegoat. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

My scapegoating started when the Secret Service raided my house. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Jay Stephens, told the media that Washington D.C.’s Metro Police learned of my escort service, because a “local hotel” complained about suspected prostitution activities, and the Secret Service only became involved in the case to assist D.C.’s Metro Police Department in its investigation of credit card fraud. In reality, Secret Service agents were part and parcel of the blackmail operation that had ensnared various powerbrokers and also me, so the Secret Service spearheaded the investigation as a means of damage control. U.S. Attorney Stephens’ remarks would begin the distortions of reality that made me the scapegoat of a sprawling government cover up.

The next phase of me becoming a scapegoat was perpetrated by the Department of Justice when it convened a grand jury to “investigate” my escort service and me. Although “grand jury” has an authoritative ring—like the gods on Mount Olympus have sent down a decree—the grand jury process is notoriously susceptible to manipulation. Unlike a standard trial, grand juries aren’t open to the public, and the identity of the witnesses who testify and their testimony are never disclosed. The special prosecutor of a grand jury calls the witnesses, questions the witnesses, and selects the evidence that is shown to the grand jurors, who are everyday citizens who have shown up for jury duty and have been funneled to a grand jury. A former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals once quipped that prosecutors have so much control over grand juries that they could convince grand jurors to “indict a ham sandwich,” and the federal grand jury investigating me was a ham and Swiss on rye.

The grand jury that investigated me didn’t indict the architects of the blackmail operation and pedophile network, nor did it indict the Secret Service agents who participated in the blackmail operation. Instead the grand jury walloped me with a 43-count RICO indictment. When all the RICO indictments were tallied up, I was staring at 295 years in a federal prison. The grand jury walloped me with a lifetime behind bars, so it could ultimately leverage my silence, because I had witnessed events that could have jeopardized the George H.W. Bush administration and ultimately the Bush dynasty.

 Going Clear: My Bizarre Scientology Odyssey  

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Alex Gibney’s latest documentary, made its jaw dropping debut at the Sundance Film Festival last month. The film is an expose of Scientology’s sinister intrigues against its nonconforming adherents and those who speak out against the “church.”

Scientology has certainly left an indelible imprint on me, because I spent time in its brainwashing machine, but I had the good fortune of being deposited in a federal prison before its brainwashing machine hit the spin cycle and my mind was irrevocably cleansed.

Although my life is abounding with rather bizarre impasses, my odyssey to Scientology was indeed bizarre—even by my standards. The Department of Justice swarmed me with a 43-count RICO indictment for my role as a DC madam, and I was staring at a bewildering 295 years in prison. The Justice Department had made me the scapegoat of a sprawling conspiracy whose primary objective was the blackmailing of politicians and sundry powerbrokers.

Greta Van Susteren was my attorney, and I sincerely hoped that she would allay the government’s zealous prosecution of me. As my case was wending through the federal courts, Van Susteren disclosed to me that she was a Scientologist. I had never met a Scientologist before, so I was both surprised and intrigued by her disclosures about Scientology.

So in 1991, I found myself on an Oklahoma-bound flight to Scientology’s Narconon rehab, which was located near Newkirk, Oklahoma. Although I’ve never suffered from chemical dependency, I had a well-founded distrust of the government’s intent. So I hoped that graduating from Scientology’s Narconon program would demonstrate to my trial judge, Judge Greene, that I had made an assiduous effort to turn around my life, and I would receive lenient sentencing from him even if the government reneged on its proposed agreement with me.

Narcanon was housed on the campus of a former boarding school for Native American children that closed in the early 1980s. The campus’ yellow limestone buildings were like an archipelago of civilization on the remote, sprawling prairies of Oklahoma. My ensuing months at Narconon would essentially be the saga of the D.C. madam meets L. Ron Hubbard.

Upon my arrival, I was quickly drenched in the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. I initially had great difficulties digesting the Scientology dogmas. According to Hubbard, an alien overlord named Xenu was in charge of a “Galactic Confederacy” 75 million years ago that consisted of 76 planets, including earth. Xenu’s planetary confederation was desperately overcrowded, so Xenu devised a genocidal plan. He lured billions of the confederation’s citizens to government offices under the pretense of a tax inspection, and he dosed them with paralyzing drugs and flew them to earth, where they were murdered. The souls or “thetans” of the murdered aliens were then captured and brainwashed, and they eventually incarnated as earthlings.

Although Scientology’s theology initially struck me as outright psychotic, I found the staff nonjudgmental and compassionate, and Narconon was a welcome respite from the unrelenting heat I had faced at the hands of the government in DC. Shortly after my arrival at Narconon, I was assigned an “auditor,” who would be the recipient of my deepest and darkest secrets. The auditing process is designed to “clear” Scientologists of their “engrams,” which are mental impressions of traumatic events. The auditor records the details associated with an engram, and Scientologists believe that this confession process diffuses the engram’s negative effects on our lives.

Believe it or not, I actually started to enjoy my hiatus among the Scientologists. The human experience can be fraught with grueling circumstances, and people often grope for credos or belief systems that will gift-wrap their problems with a tidy bow and offer novel solutions. I think that most people experience excruciating traumas and gridlocks in their lives that leave them highly susceptible to various alternative belief systems or cults. At that particular time in my life, I faced an existential crisis that seemed insurmountable and hopeless, and, groping for relief, I was highly susceptible to the pat solutions offered by the doctrines of Scientology.

Scientology eventually declared that I was cleared of engrams, but the federal government had yet to decide if I were cleared of imprisonment. A federal probation officer flew out to Oklahoma and conducted a pre-sentence interview, and a few weeks later my pre-sentence report arrived in the mail. I read the report in my dormitory room, sitting on my bed. It recommended a sentence between 63 and 78 months in a federal prison! When I read the presentence report, I was stunned and overwhelmed by dread. A prison stint of five or six years was, apparently, an engram that had yet to be thoroughly cleared, and I immediately phoned Van Susteren. She said that the Justice Department had ruled that I had provided “substantial assistance,” and she assured me that I would receive a downward departure from the recommendations in the pre-sentence report.

Judge Greene set June 12th as my sentencing date, so I flew back to D.C. on June 11th. My mother met me at D.C.’s Washington National Airport, and we spent the night at my aunt’s house in Maryland. The next morning, I donned a blue Brooks Brother’s suit, white shirt, and a blue tie, and I rendezvoused in the kitchen with my mother and aunt. After breakfast, I drove my mother’s car to the courthouse.

Despite my substantial cooperation and Van Susteren’s assurances, Judge Greene slapped me with a 63-month sentence. In retrospect, however, I caught a fortuitous break from Judge Greene, because Scientology had nearly purloined my mind, and five years in a federal prison is preferable to a lifetime sentence of Scientology.

Deborah Jeane Palfrey (AKA, DC Madam) RIP – Part 3

Part 3

The federal government subjected both Ms. Palfrey and me to crucible that was designed to ensure our silence—or ultimately crush us. “They just destroy you on every level—financially, emotionally, psychologically,” Ms. Palfrey reportedly said of federal prosecutors. In the case of Ms. Palfrey, the U.S. Attorney for the District of D.C. smacked her with a 14-count RICO indictment that included money laundering, racketeering, and using the mail for illegal purposes in connection with a prostitution ring, and she was facing a bewildering 55 years behind bars. RICO is an acronym for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and it was originally designed to dismantle the Mafia, as RICO allows for mob bosses to be tried for crimes that were sanctioned on their behalf. Ms. Palfrey was merely running an escort service, so it seems that the RICO Act was prosecutorial overkill in her circumstances—unless, of course, prosecutors felt it was imperative to leverage her silence.

I, too, was merely running an escort service, but the U.S. Attorney for the District of D.C. walloped me with a 43-count RICO indictment. I was potentially staring at 295 years behind bars. I was also looking at the possibility of a $2 million fine, and, as I’ve previously mentioned, the feds were threatening to indict my mother.

Although my case and Ms. Palfrey’s share numerous parallels, a major point of divergence is the proficiency of our respective attorneys. D.C.-based attorney Montgomery Sibley represented Ms. Palfrey, and Greta Van Susteren represented me. Mr. Sibley vigorously defended Ms. Palfrey, but he had to contend with the feds judicial chicanery and sleight-of-hand. Ms. Palfrey’s initial trial judge had authorized Mr. Sibley’s subpoenas of the White House, State Department, CIA, etc., and he also authorized subpoenas for AT&T Mobility, Sprint/Nextel, T-Mobile USA, and Alltel, which would have mandated those carriers to provide Ms. Palfrey with the names and addresses of the individuals who contacted her escort service. Inexplicably, Ms. Palfrey’s initial trial judge was replaced by a judge who quashed Mr. Sibley’s subpoenas en masse, and thereby eviscerated the defense’s case.

At the outset of my case, Greta Van Susteren, seemed very committed to a vigorous defense on my behalf, and she deployed a nearly identical tactic as Mr. Sibley—she filed an eleven-page motion to mandate the release of my clientele list that the government had previously seized from me. Ms. Van Susteren argued that the names of my patrons should be released, because, if the government’s assertion was accurate and my “escort” service was, in actuality, a prostitution ring, my clients aided and abetted a criminal enterprise.

But the Assistant U.S. Attorney for D.C. vehemently contested Ms. Van Susteren’s motion and my trial judge sided with the prosecution and barred the public disclosure of my clientele. After my trial judge acquiesced to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Ms. Van Susteren started to change her tune, and she urged me to take the government’s plea bargain.

By then, my family and I had been subjected to a relentless campaign of terror, and I faced life in prison—I felt as if the feds were wielding the Sword of Damocles over my head. At Ms. Van Susteren’s behest, I accepted the government’s plea bargain. The feds also included a caveat that wasn’t overtly stated in my plea agreement: My 5-year sentence was based on the contingency that I not divulge a word about the particulars of my case to the media.

Conversely, Ms. Palfrey opted to fight City Hall, but the U.S. Attorney for D.C. triumphed in her case, and she was found guilty on all counts. As Ms. Palfrey awaited sentencing, she purportedly committed suicide. Ms. Palfrey’s death is mired in conjecture, rumor, and innuendo, and the Internet is rife with speculation that Ms. Palfrey’s suicide was indeed a murder.

Ms. Palfrey publicly stated on a handful of occasions that she would never commit suicide, which buttresses the contentions that she was murdered. Moreover, after Ms. Palfrey’s demise, an Orlando affiliate of CBS interviewed the building manager of the Park Lake Towers in Orlando, where Ms. Palfrey owned a condo. The building manager disclosed that he had talked to Ms. Palfrey just three days before her lifeless body was found in her mother’s aluminum shed. “Jeane Palfrey was a class act,” said the building manager. “Her way out of this world certainly would not have been in an aluminum shed attached to a mobile home in Tarpon Springs, Florida.” The manager also discussed a disturbing conversation that he had with Ms. Palfrey: “She insinuated that there is a contract out for her, and I fully believe they succeeded.”

The Washington Post was quick to declare that Palfrey had taken her own life—despite the possibility of indications to the contrary. I mention the latter point because the Washington Post reported a myriad of details about my case that were inaccurate—despite the possibility of indications to the contrary—or solely based on the word of federal law enforcement officials. Although I’m unwilling to speculate whether or not the death of Ms. Palfrey was a suicide or a murder, I feared for my life when I was a D.C. madam due to the threats discharged by government officials and also by individuals who were reportedly affiliated with the government.

Deborah Jeane Palfrey (AKA, DC Madam) RIP – Part 2

Part 2

Before Ms. Palfrey’s trial, she imparted flurries of sound bites to the media intimating that she was the custodian of too many secrets, and the government would be unlocking a Pandora’s Box if it prosecuted her. “I am sure as heck am not going to be going to federal prison for one day, let alone, you know, four to eight years here, because I’m shy about bringing in the deputy secretary of whatever,” Palfrey told ABC. “Not for a second. I’ll bring every last one of them in if necessary.”

I, like Ms. Palfrey, thought that the secrets I had amassed over the years would discourage the government from prosecuting me. After the Secret Service’s initial raid and ransacking of my home, and prior to being indicted, I remarked to a reporter: “Somebody set us up because they were scared about what we knew about high government official. . . . And anyways, if they do try to indict me, I’ll have some good stories to tell.” I was a mere 29 years old when I dispensed that quote, and, regrettably, I had the aplomb and inexperience of youth, which is an extremely flawed tandem when locking horns with the federal government. I woefully underestimated the ruthlessness and absolute power of my adversary.

Ms. Palfrey followed through on her threat and attempted to unfurl her secrets: She presented ABC News with 43 pounds of printed pages that contained the phone numbers of the thousands of johns who frequented her escort service over the years. Ms. Palfrey had no idea of the names accompanying the vast majority of the phone numbers, and she hoped that ABC would decipher that information. She felt that the potentially pyrokinetic scoop she handed to ABC would force the government on the defensive and impede its zealous crusade to imprison her.

But her counter-offensive spectacularly backfired: ABC refused to follow through on the revelations contained in the 43-pound printout. ABC correspondent Brian Ross announced that “based on our reporting, it turned out not to be as newsworthy as we thought in terms of the names,” even though it would emerge that Palfrey’s patrons included, for starters, a U.S. Senator, a Department of Defense consultant who developed the “shock and awe” doctrine deployed on Iraq, and State Department official Randall Tobias. In a stunning demonstration of hypocrisy, Tobias was the Agency for International Development’s Director of Foreign Assistance, and he managed agencies that required the foreign recipients of AIDS assistance to condemn prostitution. Moreover, it’s recently been demonstrated that Brian Ross has difficulties telling the truth.