May 2, 2008

Very interesting

The "D.C. Madam", the one with the lists with all the high-placed officials who patronized her "escort service" and likely a few tid-bits about their predilictions as well, has turned up permanently silent.

Two weeks after being convicted on federal charges for running a prostitution ring, "DC Madam" Deborah Jean Palfrey has committed suicide at a Florida home, according to several news reports.

Police in Tarpon Springs, Florida say the body was found in a shed near Palfrey's mother's home Thursday morning. There was a suicide note, but police did not disclose its contents.

I'm not normally prone to conspiracy stuff, but this is really suspicious. Wonder just how "thorough" the investigation will be? Not too, I'd wager.

The article also mentions that one of the women employed by this person, Brandy Britton, a former University of Maryland professor, also, oddly enough, comitted sucide in January.

Commenting on that death, Deborah Palfry remarked that she was humiliated by the prostitution charges, but, "I guess I'm made of something that Brandy Britton wasn't made of." Not anymore.

This brings to mind the woman who worked for Jeb Bush's family that was also found dead of what was termed a suicide. The woman, they maintained, had somehow managed to run herself over with her own car. (I'm not making this up.) No foul play was suspected, natch.

Or that young, athletic, fit staffer for then Congressman Joe Scarbourough. Remember that situation? This young woman was found dead in Joe's office. The entire investigation was a sham and badly botched by anyone's standard. The cause of death? Why this woman, who was in the habit of running marathons, had apparently fell and hit her head on a desk. Oh, and maybe something went wrong with her heart too. It was all very sketchy and was in the news exactly one second.

Joe coincidentally decided not to run next time around, despite being a shoe-in for re-election.

And of course the guy who wrote the book on Bush including eye-witness accounts of Bush's supposed cocaine use. That guy turned up dead in a motel room shortly before the book was to appear. Again, "suicide".

And of course, there's the mysterious plane crash which killed Paul Wellstone at a very oportune time just before an election.

Not that I'm saying there's any funny business going on with this stuff, but I'd go as far as saying that if it were ever discovered that there was, I wouldn't be surprised.

The "vast right wing conspiracy" spent literally hundreds of millions spreading ridiculous stories about how the Clintons were all-powerful fiends who had people killed on a whim.

But somehow that doesn't quite pass the laugh test.

But when right wingers, who have employed absolute nut cases such as G. Gordon Liddy and are known to recruit and hire former CIA spooks to do their dirty work, it's not quite as much of a stretch to imagine that someone might "off" someone who's about to reveal some dirty laundry and make it look like a suicide. I'm sure there's people who would jump at the chance.

Just sayin'.


At 5/02/2008 12:33 PM, Blogger Dave Barrett said...

Well, it would certainly explain why the right wingers were so quick to suspect that the Clintons were having people killed if that is what the right wingers were in fact doing or were prepared to do. People almost always seem to suspect others of doing what they themselves are doing.

At 5/02/2008 7:01 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Interesting point Dave.

That phenomena is called "projection" in psychological terms, and it's long been part and parcel of the right wing's entire effort.

Witness the efforts to try to paint Dems and liberals as "racist" or "haters".

Witness what the party whose entire administration is full of chicken hawks and led by a spoiled brat who went AWOL did to two Dems who actually volunteered and served in Vietnam, branding them as cowards or wimps.

It's long been a hallmark of Republican tactics, particularly where Rove was involved, to take your own obvious defincientcies and to loudly accuse your opponent of being guilty of them.

At 5/02/2008 8:03 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

I tend to believe what local police conclude and the Fla. investigators dialed up a suicide right away.

Still, I've seen a lot of death scenes and read a lot of crime scene professional journals but I can't recall an adult checking out in his/her mother's house. It's almost a taboo.


At 5/03/2008 5:59 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Just to make a point that I neglected to make in the post....

What do you think would be happening in the press right now if this had happened during Bill Clinton's administration?

Seriously. What type of coverage would this story be given?

Would it be a one day story, reported straight, called a suicide and then dropped?

Or would it be eating up more air time than Rev. Wright? Would it be topic one on every single show on cable and featured 24/7 on Fox "News"?

What do you think? Think anyone might suggest that it was a murder if it were done during a Democratic administration?

At 5/03/2008 6:01 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

It's quite possibly legit. I have yet to see any reports about the competency of the investigation or how it was handled, so I can offer no opinion.

I know that in some questionable cases such as this in the past, thinking particularly of the Scarbourough case, upon closer scrutiny the investigation and ruling on cause of death was clearly rushed and suspicious as hell, with those involved running from the press, unable to, or unwilling to justify their actions, and so on.

But of course, it's not irrational to raise an eyebrow in a case like this where many powerful people stood to get hurt were the deceased to tell what she knew, and where the victim had made a clear statement indicating that she wasn't the type who would deal with the situation by committing suicide, and when no one ever imagined her taking that way out.

Gotta wonder.

I should note this piece in WaPo

quotes Dan Moldea, an author that I respect who was working with Palfrey, as saying that she'd remarked to him on at least three occasions that she'd kill herself before spending more time in prison. She'd served time previously for running a prostitution ring and it was a terrible experience (not that it's ever pleasant).

Given that info from a person who has no apparent vested interest in pushing the suicide angle, it makes it much more plausible that it was indeed a suicide.


On the other hand, I also came across this radio interview

with the Palfrey in her own voice, in which she clearly and forcefully states, not once, but twice, that she would NOT consider committing suicide, that she intended to fight the government and win.

She also speculates that even Dick Cheney might have been involved, and also says that the suicide of the other woman was highly unusual and suspicious.

Worth a listen for what it's worth.

At 5/03/2008 3:45 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Good points all,

Scarborough thing was all FEDERAL police though. My default position is that local, donut-eating, pension calculating, contract-negotiating muny cops, particularly detective divisions, are day out and day in, your best crime scene analysts. If a team of hard bitten robbery-homicide investigators say she checked out voluntarily, it would take pretty compelling evidence.

People say a lot of crap before they go to trial. Billy "never win" Martin said Michael Vick was going to prove he was innocent. All Michael proved was that he was sufficiently a dipwad to piss away a king's ransom.

Continue Success.


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