She's said to be furious with her husband, convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, blaming him for the death of their son Mark. Reportedly despondent over lawsuits and a criminal investigation, Mark Madoff, 46, hanged himself Saturday with a dog leash in his New York City apartment.
"She claims that Bernie Madoff has blood on his hands," Madoff biographer Jerry Oppenheimer said today on NBC's "Today" show. "She calls him an SOB ... that he's totally ruined his family, and the death of their son was the final straw."
The author of "Madoff With the Money," Oppenheimer told the New York Post that Ruth Madoff feels her son "would not have died if it weren't for what [Bernie] had done."
"Her wrath is aimed at her husband," Oppenheimer told the newspaper, quoting a family friend.
Bernard Madoff, meanwhile, has decided not to seek permission to leave his North Carolina prison to attend his son's funeral, his lawyer said.
"Mr. Madoff will not be attending the funeral out of consideration for his daughter-in-law's and grandchildren's privacy," lawyer Ira Sorkin said, according to The Associated Press. "He will be conducting a private service on his own where he is presently incarcerated."
No date for a funeral has been announced. The body was still unclaimed as of Monday.
Mark Madoff and his brother, Andrew, both worked for their father, but turned him in to authorities, claiming no knowledge of his crimes. Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence for the largest financial scam in U.S. history, in which investors were bilked out of their life savings.
Authorities are said to be investigating the actions of the brothers and other family members to determine if they took part in the fraud. They've been included in lawsuits accusing them of profiting from their father's scam.
Last week, the court-appointed trustee of seized Madoff assets, Irving Picard, sued the Mark and Stephanie Madoff Foundation, seeking $2 million it allegedly got in 2007 from Mark's parents, the Post reported.