Following recent suicide revelations by Ruth Madoff, a leading Evangelical pastor has said that while Christians must feel compassion for Bernie Madoff and his wife, their plight also shows the consequences of greed.
Bernie Madoff perpetrated the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, and his wife recently admitted that she and her husband attempted suicide. In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” to be aired Oct. 30, Ruth Madoff says she and her husband tried to commit suicide on Christmas Eve 2008, just weeks after Bernie Madoff admitted to financial crimes that robbed investors of an estimated $20 billion.
"I don't know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening," Mrs. Madoff told CBS. "We had terrible phone calls. Hate mail, just beyond anything and I said '...I just can't go on anymore.'"
According to CBS, the Madoffs attempted suicide by taking pills including Ambien and possibly Klonopin. The fact that it was Christmas Eve only “added to the whole depression,” said Mrs. Madoff. But the pills proved insufficient, to Mrs. Madoff’s ultimate relief.
“We took pills and woke up the next day,” said Mrs. Madoff in the CBS interview. "It was very impulsive and I am glad we woke up.”
Leading Evangelical pastor Don Wilkerson, who co-founded both Times Square Church and Teen Challenge alongside his brother, David Wilkerson, spoke with The Christian Post about his reaction to the news.
“I don’t know whether she bears the blame, how much she knew, but you had to have some compassion for what they went through,” Wilkerson told CP.
He added that it’s undeniable that poor choices were made - choices that inevitably bring consequences.
“The people that are hurting are the people that they cheated,” Wilkerson told CP. “It’s a lesson for all of us of what greed can do to you. Not only Madoff’s greed, but the greed of the people investing large profits without questioning.”
Bernie Madoff may already have learned some lessons from his fall. Barbara Walters interviewed him at his prison in North Carolina, where he is serving a 150 year sentence. No cameras were allowed there, but Walters reported her findings on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday morning.
Walters said Madoff told her, “I feel safer here (in prison) than outside… I lived the last 20 years of my life in fear. Now, I have no fear because I’m no longer in control.”