He's the man responsible for killing "trust," and Palm Beach County was one of his many victims. That's what Diana Henriques, a senior financial writer for the New York Times, says about Bernie Madoff in her new book, The Wizard of Lies.
Henriques had the chance to sit down with the Ponzi schemer in prison twice.
"I had a perception in my second visit with Madoff in prison, which was last February just two months after his son had committed suicide, that Madoff was moving towards a more sincere remorse," she said.
One hundred more interviews - some with Madoff's victims - help make up her book, The Wizard of Lies.
"If you were one of his victims, I'm not sure that there's anything that Bernie Madoff could say to you by way of apology or explanation that you would find satisfying," Henriques said.
The so-called wizard mainly showed off his manipulative powers here in Palm Beach County. That's why it's no surprise the crowd at Henriques' speech, put on by the Forum Club at the Kravis Center, is the largest crowd the writer has ever spoke in front of.
"This was indeed almost ground zero for so many victims," Henriques said.
But the spell was cast on everyone. Not just his neighbors, but his family members lives were turned upside down as well. News reports this week now suggest that they are not likely to face charges.
"I don't know why people find it surprising that a man who was able to lie so well, who was able to inspire so much trust, would've been able to fool the people who trusted him most," she said.
That's why Henriques says the deceptive sorcery Madoff displayed should be a lesson, especially to the people like the youngest ones in this audience who were from John I. Leonard High School.
Two students were able to ask her the first questions in a question and answer session, and both said they learned not to trust every person they meet or that comes to them with an offer without looking into their financial background first.