Madoff originally requested that he be sent to the medium-security Federal prison in Otisville, New York, which would have been far more convenient for visits from wife and family. Located near the Pennsylvania/New Jersey border, Otisville is neither as prominent nor as exclusive as prisons like Leavenworth, Lompoc, or Alcatraz, but still retains a discreet charm all its own. It once housed famed cocaine dealer (and Blow inspiration) George Jung, as well as Zvonko Busic, the (relatively) famous Croatian hijacker. For all intents and purposes, however, Madoff would have been the most famous inmate in Otisville.
In Butner, however, Madoff would have to deal with some serious competition. The prison, located in North Carolina's "Research Triangle" area of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, contains some of the twentieth century's most notorious white-collar criminals. For the next few years, Madoff will be able to trade New York stories with John Rigas, former CEO of Adelphia, and Carmine Persico, who was boss of the Colombo crime family. Granted, he might not have much to say to fellow inmate Omar Abdel-Rahman, a.k.a. "The Blind Sheik," who masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; it will be interesting to see how he hits it off with fellow traitor Jonathan Pollard, a US intelligence analyst who was convicted of spying in 1987.
On the bright side, real estate in rural North Carolina is much cheaper than New York. If Ruth Madoff is looking for a place where nobody knows her name, she could do a lot worse.
Of course, if his fellow inmates start to bore him or Ruth never shows up, Madoff will always have the option of reading his mail. Madoffmail.com, a new service, will ensure that he will receive fresh notes, drawings, poems and doodles on every six-month anniversary of his prison term. The company accepts electronic submissions in almost any form, and promises to display some pieces on its website.
Between the stimulating company, the bucolic setting, and the friendly missives headed his way, it seems likely that the next 150 years will fly by!