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New Emails Paint Clearer Picture Of Bernie Madoff's Mindset

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Letters from Bernie Madoff indicate the disgraced ponzi schemer is apparently trying to clear his name. In newly-published emails, obtained by a Madoff biographer, he tries to justify his actions.

Opening day for the New York Mets is just two weeks away, but the big story so far has been off the field. The owners settled with Irving Picard, the trustee charged with recovering money for victims of Madoff's massive scheme.

"He was desperately disappointed that the Mets' case didn't go to trial. He was hoping the Mets' defense would make the case he'd been making to me -- that they had no reason to doubt Madoff," biographer Diana Henrique told CBS 2's Rob Morrison.

The Mets agreed to pay $162 million, instead of the billion dollars Picard initially sought. In recent jailhouse emails to Henrique, Madoff had a harsh view of Picard.

"He calls Picard a fool, an amateur, says he doesn't understand the market, says he never understood the market -- that he's just lost on Wall Street," Henrique said.

Picard is just one of Madoff's targets. The emails, published Tuesday on, critique his clients too. In one email, Madoff writes "I can tell you these people were very instrumental in creating my problems."

"He, I think, just has a pathological fear of failure," Henrique said. "He finds it much easier to live with himself as a liar than to live with himself as a failure."

One area where he feels he failed is his family life.

Madoff's wife, Ruth, and son, Andrew, refuse to speak with him. His eldest son, Mark, committed suicide in December 2010. His daughter-in-law recently published a book.

Madoff told Henrique that he watched his son's wife discuss Mark's death in televised interviews.

"He wrote me and said it was every bit as painful as he'd been warned it would be and said...I think really searching honestly, I can't dispute a word she says. He clearly feels personally responsible for his son's suicide," Henrique said.

Madoff also refutes claims that his fraud started earlier -- in the 1980's -- rather than the 1990's because he wants to be known as someone who was also capable of running a successful legitimate business.

Share your thoughts on Madoff's comments below...

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