Accused of running a Washington prostitution ring for 13 years, the woman known best as the "D.C. Madam" took her own life when faced with the prospect of a prison sentence of up to 55 years. Deborah Jeane Palfrey was convicted on April 15 of charges associated with what she called a sexual-fantasy service and what prosecutors alleged was a cover for a prostitution ring that counted many high-profile politicians among its clientele. In the 1990s, Palfrey was incarcerated for her links to another prostitution circuit and vowed never to return to prison. Author Dan Moldea, whom Palfrey contacted about...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!