Did Bernard and Ruth Madoff Really Attempt Suicide?

Did Bernard and Ruth Madoff Really Attempt Suicide?

The wife of swindler Bernard Madoff says they both tried to take their own lives in a suicide pact—but is it just another Madoff lie?

"I don't know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening," Ruth Madoff told 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer in her first interview.

Ruth told Safer that they were inundated with hate mail and threats after investors were bilked out of billions of dollars.

She claims the suicide pact was made at the luxury apartment they once shared on Manhattan's Upper East Side. It was Christmas Eve 2008. She says they took handfuls of prescription pills and went to bed expecting never to wake up again.

"We took pills...and woke up the next day!" she said.

"What did you take?" asked Safer.

"I think Ambien."

"Did you leave notes?" Safer asked her.

"No. It was very impulsive. And I'm glad we woke up," she said.

The Madoffs' son Andrew, in his first ever interview, says his mother sent him some of her cherished antique jewelry just before the suicide attempt.

"She told me that she and my father planned to kill themselves," Andrew told Safer.

"Did they try to kill themselves?" he asked.

"Yes, they did," Andrew said.

But many of the victims of Madoff's Ponzi scheme are expressing complete skepticism.

"Somehow it just doesn't have the ring of truth to it and if it doesn't have the ring of truth it probably isn't true," said victim Michael DeVita.

And in an INSIDE EDITION poll, 81 percent of viewers say they don't believe the Madoffs attempted suicide.

And Barbara Walters revealed she just spent two hours with Madoff at the medium security prison in North Carolina where he is serving a 150-year prison term.

Cameras were not allowed inside.

"He says he's happy there because for sixteen years he has lived in fear that he was going to be found out and now he's not in control of his life and so he is happier there than he was on the outside, that the prisoners treat him well," Walters said on The View.

Ruth stopped visiting Bernie behind bars after their son Mark killed himself. During one prison visit she told him she wouldn't be back, saying, "Let me go."

"And he did, and she has not been with him and he has not seen or heard from her since," Walters said.