Don Lapre — the boyish infomercial shyster who lulled millions of insomniacs into pants-wetting states of catatonia via the relentless repetition of the phrase "tiny classified ads!" — has committed suicide inside an Arizona prison cell. Lapre, 47, was facing 41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and promotional money laundering in connection with his latest snake oil scam, "The Greatest Vitamin in the World," which parted 220,000 suckers with $52 million.
Faced with anywhere from five to 25 years in a federal prison, Lapre instead opted to to take his own life — which TMZ reports involved "self-mutilation" and the discovery of a "large amount of blood" in his cell on Sunday morning.
Lapre's personal website bears what might now be considered a suicide note. In it, he insists, "I have been accused of something I did not do," and that he was facing a legal battle "that will for sure destroy what energy I have left inside." Beneath it are photos of the homes his pyramid-scheming bought ("never stop dreaming..."), and, disturbingly, the young children he left behind ("My 3 best friends:-)"). [CBS News, DonLapre.com]