tonight on "nightline," gone for good. the president makes a stunning announcement. the troops in iraq, all of them, are coming home. the war is over. and new details emerge on the chase to find and kill gadhafi and the ongoing manhunt to bring his son to justice. madoff family secrets. what went on inside bernie madoff's family as his epic ponzi scheme unraveled? for the first time ever, his son's widow talks about the husband who worshipped his father, but turned him into d l dealing billions and took his
own life. >> if i saw him bernie now, i'd spit in his face. plus, fighting wives. one husband, three wives and countless conflicts equals modern polygamy. we find out how a truly unconferenceal family really works. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city this is "nightline," october 21st, 2011. good evening. since invading iraq, 4,482 americans have died there. over 32,000wounded, over $700 billion spent. tonight a new number. zero. sticking to a date chosen by president bush years ago, president obama has ordered the withdrawal of all troops. and ten weeks from tonight, the war in iraq will finally be over. >> across america, our servicemen and women will be reunited with their families. today, i can say that our troops
in iraq will definitely be home for the holidays. >> abc's christiane amanpour has covered this war and region extensively. aside from family members, who else is happy with this announcement? >> i think iran, because there will be no more u.s. combat troops in iraq. some in iran want it. the u.s. basically has been asked to leave iraq because the prime minister could not get it past the pro-iranian faction in parliament. some are very worried here in the u.s. that progress which has been made now might not be able to consolidated. >> let's pivot to the other major story of the day, libya, final hours of moammar gadhafi. new details. >> reporter: indeed. no accident that the iraq announcement was made on this day, where they are claiming success in libya. big questions about how gadhafi was killed. as bad as he was, it seems like he could have been executed. >> a warning to you at home. some of the images here are very graphic.
>> reporter: in the end, it proved to be a 21st century war. cell phone cameras captured gadhafi's final moments. you can even hear rebel fighters shoufting, "keep him alive" as he is beaten and bloodied. most reports say that gadhafi had been pulled from a hiding place in this drainpipe after nato bombs stopped his convoy. just before his death, gadhafi can be heard pleading for mercy, telling his captors that what they're doing is wrong. >> bye-bye, moammar gadhafi. see you when i die, i will go -- you will go to hell. >> reporter: the brutal nature of his killing has raised questions in the international community. and the u.n. has asked for a full investigation. on the other hand, he had so terrorized generations of libyans that many saga daffy's grisly end was his kind of justice. people lined up for hours outside this cold storage
facility where his body's being held, hoping for a glimpse of it. >> because in libya, people there are somebody who don't believe that gadhafi is dead. >> reporter: now that the war is officially over -- >> we did it! we did it! >> reporter: we're learning more details about how gadhafi lived out his final days. in an interview with al arabiya television, hiss security chief said that gadhafi had been hiding in his hometown of sirte since august, when rebels took over tripoli. but then, he said, as sirte came under attack, gadhafi grew anxious, but was never afraid. also captured and killed in sirte was gadhafi's son, a national security adviser, mutassim. here he is, just two years ago, in washington, meeting with secretary of state hillary clinton, during libya's short-lived reconciliation with america. >> thank you. delighted you're here. >> thank you. >> reporter: what a differences a revolution makes.
this was mutassim yesterday, beerlded and dirty, smoking what must have been his final cigarette. later images show him dead from a chest wound. a summary execution? still on the lam is gadhafi's son and heir apparent, saif al islam. are you aid grade? >> afraid of what? >> reporter: that was saif when we spoke in february. before all this happened, you were known certainly in the west for being a reformer, speaking of the language of reform for libya. but it didn't happen. why did it take this kind of crisis for you to start talking about reform again? wouldn't it have been better to implement -- >> of course. it was a big mistake. >> reporter: saif was once the darling of the west. he was often sent by his father to meet with foreign dignitaries.
>> he was very progressive and westernized and democratic-thinking. but when the crisis happened, he hunkered down. >> reporter: jacquelyn frazier, an american who was working with the gadhafis, trying to bring foreign investment to libya, says saif changed after the war began. >> saif was always the reformer and he was pushing very western concepts. >> reporter: you still believe that's true, given what he said during the uprising? >> absolutely. this is a family in crisis. this is a man who has reacted according to what's put on him. >> reporter: saif, who like his father, called the rebel fighters rats, now seems to be running from them. >> listen. nobody is leaving this country. we live here, we die here. >> reporter: and with the dictator dead, the future doesn't look bright for his offspring, who have been living off the country's massive wealth, using it as a private piggy bank, which the new libyan authorities want back. saif is wanted by the international criminal court for war crimes. gadhafi's glamorous daughter
aisha has been hiding in algeria with some of her siblings, but libya's new rulers have asked for her extradition. and another son, saadi, is under house arrest in the african nation of niger. why didn't he stay and fight until the last man? >> he tried to fight. and the last time, i think, he finally realized that his father and brother were never going to give those people the freedoms they wanted. >> reporter: now that the people of libya have the freedom they wanted, the world watches to see what they will do with it. certainly what the united states is going to be looking for is the national transitional counsel, trying to unify the factions which have been fighting gadhafi. >> much more on "this week" i assume. >> absolutely. >> christiane, thank you. when we come back, the people he stole from may never forget bernard madoff. no one is more angry than his former family member, who is speaking out tonight.
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with bill weir. >> for all the families who suffered at the dishonest greed of bernard madoff, none suffered more pain with less sympathy than his own family. but tonight, we get a first ever view from the inside, and the sheer scale of their loss is astounding. here's abc's chief law and justice correspondent, chris cuomo. >> reporter: to the outside world, they were the picture of the prosperous family. ruth and bernard madoff, the mighty money man of wall street, and their sons, mark and andy.
who both worked with their po r powerful father. that is, until december 10th, 2008, when it all fell apart. stephanie madoff was busy decorating her apartment and getting ready for the holidays. suddenly, she received a panicked phone call from her husband, mark. >> he was out of breath. and he said, "where are you?" i said, "what's wrong?" he goes, "i'm fine, stephanie, but it's my father. my father's done something really bad." >> reporter: her husband, she says, had grown increasingly concerned about his father's business. finally, confronting him that fateful afternoon. >> he marched into his father's office and said, "what the -- is going on here?" and they went to his house on 64th street and told them that his business was just one big lie and that he was billions in debt. he said that bernie delivered
the news like that. >> reporter: flat affect. >> flat affect. ruth was sitting on a couch, like a zombie, saying nothing. >> reporter: mark and andy turned in their father that day. >> what do you have to say for yourself? >> reporter: bernie confessed to running the biggest ponzi scheme in history. all told, $65 billion conned out of investors. he used his fund as a personal piggy bank. he was convicted and sentenced to 150 years in prison. bernie's hideous scam was crushing for mark. especially the accusations that he was complicit in his father's crimes. to date, neither mark nor andy have been charged or even made subject to a criminal investigation. >> my husband knew nothing. he knew nothing. i could tell how he reacted. he was in pure shock and you could see the betrayal on his face and in his body and he was destroyed.
>> reporter: but the most devastating division may have been between mark and his mother, ruth. >> he couldn't understand how she could continuously stand by this man who ruined so many lives, who ruined his life. >> reporter: that broken man was a far cry from the handsome, yet humble millionaire stephanie married in 2004. >> i was so happy that day. >> reporter: she could never have predicted what happened in december 2010. the two-year anniversary of per knee's arrest, the day her mother told her mark had hanged himself in their apartment. >> i just hear her say, "oh, my god, oh, my god." and i went running around and she's like, "he's dead, stephanie. he's dead." >> reporter: on the day mark died, ruth e-mailed stephanie. in it, what mark had wanted to hear most.
"i'll regret until my dying day that i didn't do what he asked about me not seeing bernie. this week was a brutal one and i was about to change. it's too late. what a fool i was." you blame ruth. >> yes. i'm angry at her. very angry at her. >> reporter: if you're angry at her, how do you feel about bernie? >> i hate bernie madoff. if i saw bernie madoff right now, i would tell him that i hold him fully responsible for killing my husband and i'd spit in his face. >> reporter: you say in the book, to the people out there who were victimized, you identify with them. >> i do. >> reporter: you feel for them. >> i do feel for them. my parents were victims of bernie. >> reporter: you were a victim. >> i was a victim of bernie. my children are victims of bernie. >> reporter: she also writes, there would be one more betrayal to endure. after she told andy about her memoir. >> he did everything to stop it.
he called my publicist up and said, she will be single down.dly bringing the family >> reporter: you'lbe bringing the family down? >> right. and then i learned in june that he was behind a tell-all madoff book that was coming out and since june his requests to visit me and the kids have completely stopped. >> reporter: she says her memoir is the bookmark couldn't write for himself, stifled by his trones. >> i think it was a huge mistake that he was not allowed to have a voice in this nightmare. and it's one of the reasons i've written this book. it's to give mark a voice. >> reporter: in two days, stephanie madoff mark wouck woue celebrated her seventh wedding anniversary. mack is the new name she and mark agreed on for their family, for a new life she will have to face alone. >> if after reading my book five people out there believe he's
innocent, then i think i've done my job. >> reporter: how do you think he would feel? >> he'd be really proud of me right now. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm chris cuomo in new york. come on in. (camera flashes) leanne...leanne! how do you feel about your new focus? oh my god, i love it. (laughs) what would you say to a friend who might be skeptical about ford? just that they make a quality vehicle. does the sound system stand out for you? yes. and when do you use it? um, i use it all the time. i love listening to jazz in the car. you know the only thing that stinks is you can't have a martini. (laughs)
to a lot of folks out there, a four-person marriage may not sound to peachy. just imagine the communication demands, the jealousy, the logistics. well, tonight, we meet a family who took the plunge anyway. so, how does it work? well, you be the judge. here's a preview of "our america" with lisa ling. >> one for you. >> reporter: 42-year-old michael is a schoolteacher, a husband of three and father of 15. he lives in centennial park, a polygamist community. this is his first wife, rose. rose and michael were married 19
years ago and have had eight children together. and this is michael's second wife, connie. their union, 12 years ago, added another six children to the family. >> i was taught that we should ask the lord to guide us. to the person we had to be married. i started praying at a young age that i would meet him. >> reporter: the message from god came through loud and clear. >> i was in sixth grade math and all of a sudden, the thought came to me. i'm like, oh, my gosh, really? seriously? that's so embarrassing, right? ew, really? my math teacher? ew. >> reporter: how old were you? >> 12. >> reporter: what do you do with it then? >> just that. i'm way too young. i'll sit on it. >> reporter: connie waited until she was 19 that she believed
michael was her intended husband. a few weeks later, she was married. how are the die name irks with rose, initially? >> initially, they were fine. after awhile, they were strained because we were all just learning how to do it. learning how to live this way. >> reporter: while connie and rose have worked out their differences, there's an empty room at the stop of the stairs that speaks to another conflict within the family. >> do you want to put it in the bag? >> reporter: michael has a third wife, teresa, who has not been living with him and his other wives for several months. >> when you add a personality to a family a new child or a new lady, it just totally changes the dynamics. >> reporter: teresa tells me the problems came up primarily between herself and michael's second wife, connie. >> it was over the smallest things, i mean, just the most ridiculous things. she had done the grocery shopping for the weekend and
purchased two loaves of bread and i didn't realize she was using them for her male the next day. i used one of them for sandwiches. and that caused a fight, a fight over, why didn't you ask if you could use the bread. and i'm just like, because it's bread. and that's what families use is bread. i approached michael and asked him, i'm having a lot of these issues with connie particularly, and the way he perceived that is that i was tearing her down and that wasn't okay with him. it really contributed to my feeling of, wow, there's really not a way to work these problems out, then. now, of course, i have options. vir the option to not live with the family. >> reporter: unable to resolve their conflicts, teresa and her 2-year-old daughter left home and moved back in with her parents. now, teresa's weighing her options. to move back in with the rest of the family or live apart from the other wives.