Mark Madoff's Widow Opens Up About Her Aversion to Dog Leashes

Stephanie Madoff Mack, widow of Bernie Madoff's son Mark, has written a book — The End of Normal: A Wife's Anguish, A Widow's New Life — about losing a husband to suicide after he played a central and implicit role in the biggest financial fraud in history. (First sentence: "Every night before going to sleep, I put a fresh towel down on my side of the bed, knowing it will be drenched with perspiration by the time I bolt awake, precisely and without fail, at 3:51 in the morning." Imagine the audiobook, voiced by the author, lulling you to sleep!)

If you find that impulse odd, Madoff Mack tells The New York Times Magazine that she's what you call "an instrumental griever" — "instrumental" in this instance meaning "capitalizing on a scandal that ruined thousands of lives by writing a memoir that features a wedding photo on its cover that nudges my dead husband halfway off the dust jacket."

Stranger yet, though, is the portrait used to illustrate the interview: Madoff Mack, smiling huge, in a grieving-widow-chic outfit strategically cut to her accentuate her Pilates body.

Juxtaposed with this:

NYTM: When I read about the December 2010 suicide of your husband, I remember being disturbed by the image of him hanging himself with the family dog's leash. Does this still haunt you?

Madoff Mack: It haunts me every time I have to walk the dog and every night when I try and go to bed. What haunts me most is that he tried it with a vacuum-cleaner cord first, and it didn't work, and he tried again. The determination of it is gruesome.

That story is shocking. A Madoff knew where the vacuum cleaner was stored?

[NYT Magazine, Screengrab via nytimes.com, Book Cover via Penguin]