Bernie Madoff’s death in prison Wednesday doesn’t change much for his victims, many of whom are still waiting to be made whole on their share of $20 billion that vanished with the con man’s 2008 arrest.

The recovery effort, still under way in court more than a decade later, has been remarkably successful at recouping the lost principal, under the circumstances. But that’s little comfort to investors who lost their life savings or otherwise had their lives turned upside down. And none of them will ever see a cent of the $45 billion in fake trading profits Madoff assured them was safely tucked away in their accounts for retirement.

"There are still people suffering vitally from what he did,” Burt Meerow, an 82-year-old Vermont retiree who declined to disclose how much he lost, said in an interview about the new king of the Ponzi scheme, also 82 when he died. "The tragedy goes on. He doesn’t.”