Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Family Affair: The Story of the Canal Street Brothel

The Little Black Book

Jeanette Maier outside court
Jeanette Maier outside court

After the sweetheart deal the feds offered Jeanette and after Judge Lemelle handed out those lightweight sentences, talk about the brothel case died down.  Then Jeanette, Tommie and Monica started showing up on national television and making vague references to a few of their more bizarre customers.  That was followed by talk of Jeanette coming out with a tell-all book and helping with a made-for-TV movie about the brothel.  According to published reports, one network, which gave a green light to develop the movie, says that a primary source for the script is Jeanette's diary.  Turns out there really is a little black book.

But sometimes little black books can be dangerous.  In 1995, Sylvia Landry, another famous Louisiana madam, also had a book, a book in which she claimed to have written a lot of important names.  After she was arrested, Landry tried to use her book to leverage a deal with prosecutors, but something went wrong.  Despite her threat to name names, Landry ended up with a six-year prison sentence.  Less than a month later she was found dead in her jail cell, a bed sheet tied around her neck.

If Jeanette does go ahead with a book or a movie, a lot of the gossip and apprehension that got stirred up in the higher echelons of New Orleans society when the brothel case first came to light will very likely come bubbling to the surface again. 

Will Jeanette ever name names?  She isn't exactly saying--not yet.  But she did tell ABC news, "There were a lot of men who were nervous, and they have every right to be."

Asked if the idea of making enemies of all of those rich and powerful men makes her fear for her life, Jeanette just shakes her head and smiles.  "I'm not afraid of dying.  I'm afraid the guy at the funeral home is going to have sex with me and not pay me for it."

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