Mark Madoff 'Wore His Heart On His Sleeve'

PHOTO: Mark Madoff, with his wife and child, from a Facebook photo
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Since his death friends and associates have come forward to say that Mark Madoff, who committed suicide, was a kind and sensitive man who doesn't deserve to have his reputation tarnished by his father's sins.

Madoff, 46, killed himself Saturday on the two-year anniversary of his father Bernie's arrest, almost to the very hour. Police say Mark's father-in-law found the body hanging from a pipe, with Mark's two-year-old son Nick asleep in another room.

Friends posted remembrances on a Facebook memorial page Monday, and in an exclusive interview, Bernie Madoff's former secretary told ABC News said she was sad that Mark, who used to greet her with a smile every morning, had grown so depressed he thought there was "no light at the end of the tunnel."

"It hurts me because that's not who he was," said Eleanor Squillari. "He was in a very bad place."

As Bernie Madoff's secretary for 25 years, Squillari saw Mark and his brother Andy grow up and come to work in the family business.

Squillari said she knew Mark was having a hard time with the shame of being a Madoff.

"I always knew that Mark wore his heart on his sleeve, and he wanted to be liked," said Squillari. "I could see him thinking that his family would be better off without him, and it makes me so sad because that's not true. But when you're that depressed you don't see it."

Squillari said it "shook her to the core" to think that Madoff, who she described as "jubilant," sweet, and "supersensitive," decided to kill himself despite his four children. "He was an outstanding person . . . When I think about him, I think about his smile and that sparkle in his eyes."

"For somebody so wonderful and so kind to think he was worthless, it breaks my heart."

'No One Wants To Hear the Truth

Mark Madoff was more interested in fishing than Wall Street -- so much so that he invested in a company that makes fishing reels -- and even when he joined the family firm he was never part of what turned out to be the illegal side of the business.

After Bernie Madoff confessed his crimes to his sons on Dec. 10, 2008, it was Mark who turned his father into authorities, ignoring a request from the elder Madoff that he wait a week before calling the FBI.

Since that day two years ago Mark had not spoken to his father or to his mother Ruth, who he called an enabler of his father's crimes.

Hours before Mark died he sent an email to his lawyer that said, "No one wants to hear the truth."

"He had to live for the last two years under the scrutiny and the innuendoes and people alluding to the fact that he should've known or he had to have known," said Squillari. "Well, you know what, he didn't. And I would bet my life on it."

Said Squillari, "I was sitting there every day for 25 years and I know, I know [Mark and his brother Andrew], who grew up to be wonderful , outstanding people. I know they weren't involved."

Squillari said she empathized with Mark's sense of loss. Mark and Andrew both stopped speaking to their mother Ruth after their father's arrest. "It's just too much to have everything you know be gone overnight," said Squillari. "To have your parents gone and to find out your father wasn't who you thought he was."

"Mark and Andy are paying for the sins of their father, and it's so wrong."

The money stolen from investors, however, allowed all the Madoff family members, including Mark, to live lives of luxury.

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