Building Manager: DC Madam's Death Not Suicide

WESH NBC 2 | May 2, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The building manager of a Central Florida condo said he spent time talking to Deborah Jean Palfrey on Monday as she packed to go to her mother's house and she did not seem suicidal.

Deborah Jean Palfrey has many ties to Central Florida. For the past 12 years she's owned a condo at Park Lake Towers in Orlando.

The building manager, who did not want to show his face, talked with Palfrey Monday before she left for her mother's in Tarpon Springs. He strongly believes Palfrey's death was not a suicide.

"Jean Palfrey was a class act. She wore very good clothes. She was well educated. Her way out of this world certainly would not have been in an aluminum shed attached to a mobile home in Tarpon Springs, Florida," he said.

Palfrey was convicted of running a high-profile escort service for Washington's elite and faced a sentencing this summer that would likely lead to many years in prison. But she was found hanged Thursday at her mother's home and investigators said they have no doubt it was a suicide.

"A couple handwritten notes. At least one note was found inside residence indicating her intent to take her life," Capt. Jeffrey Young of the Tarpon Springs Police Department said of Palfrey's death.

Palfrey’s building manager said she often told him she believed she was being followed and he thinks there may have been some former clients of her escort service who wanted her dead.

"She insinuated that there is a contract out for her and I fully believe they succeeded," her building manager said.

Palfrey's Lexus is still parked in the Park Lake garage and the staff said on Monday, she asked about making sure her condo fees would continue to be paid during what Palfrey anticipated would be six years in prison.

They said she left that day with some suitcases and a box.

"She had one white paper file box that she told me had some important paper with her and then she just kind of raised her eyebrows like you're supposed to think oh yeah, that's all the information that she had on her business in Washington," her building manager said.

Palfrey never denied running an escort service for 13 years, but she did deny any knowledge that any illegal sexual activity was occurring.

Building Manager: D.C. Madam's Death Suspicious

WESH NBC 2 | May 6, 2008

The death of Deborah Jean Palfrey, also known as the D.C. Madam, continues to be plagued by uncertainty.

Among the conspiracy theorists is Joe Strizack, the manager of Park Lake Towers, an Orlando condo building where Palfrey owned a unit.

Strizack said even after reading Palfrey’s suicide letters, he does not believe her death was a suicide.

"No one will get into that unit until her mother does," Strizack said. "That place is sealed."

Strizack said he talked to Palfrey the day she left for her mother’s home in Tarpon Springs, where she was later found hanged.

Strizack looked over the suicide notes, but he questioned if the notes were actually written by Palfrey, and if they were, he thinks they may have been written under duress.

"She could sign her signature a hundred times and it would be identical," Strizack said. "That is not her signature."

He remains adamant that Palfrey was murdered.

"Monday morning a woman tells you that she’s afraid for her life, she told me several instances where people we following her, and Thursday she’s dead," Strizack said. "What do you think? If someone would put a hit out for her and id someone wanted something done they could do it."

Despite the speculation, the Tarpon Springs Police Department is sticking by their original statement. They said there has been no new evidence to suggest Palfrey’s death was anything other than suicide.