In July 2019, financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was arrested by federal officers on a charge of sex trafficking. Several weeks later, in August, he was found dead in his prison cell in Manhattan.
The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death a suicide by hanging. However, this ruling has been shrouded in controversy, and various theories suggesting he was murdered have been touted online and elsewhere.
Conspiracy theories have been fuelled by the fact Epstein had very noticeable connections to some very powerful people, including former President Bill Clinton and the current president, Donald Trump. (However, neither man has ever been named in relation to his sex crimes.)
Powerful politicians have questioned the manner of his death
Even New York Mayor Bill de Blasio voiced his suspicions when he said his death was “way too convenient.” He added: “What a lot of us want to know is, what did he know? How many other millionaires and billionaires were part of the illegal activities that he was engaged in?”
In a letter to Attorney General William Barr, Republican Senator Ben Sasse said, “heads must roll.” He added: “Every single person in the Justice Department… knew that this man was a suicide risk and that his dark secrets couldn’t be allowed to die with him.”
Many questions have swirled around the manner of Epstein’s death, such as why he was not on suicide watch given he had been found semiconscious just a month before his death. On July 23, he was found “on the floor of his cell with a strip of bedsheet around his neck.”
The prison made a series of mistakes
The authorities said he’d tried to commit suicide, but the prisoner claimed his cellmate had attacked him. His cellmate thoroughly denied the allegation. He was put on a suicide watch but was taken off a week later.
The prison authorities maintained that he must always have a cellmate, but his new cell companion was released the day before he died and was never replaced.
Shortly after the death, Preet Bharara, former Attorney for the southern district of New York, tweeted that there should be video footage of the prisoner’s suicide. he expressed the hope that it would be complete, conclusive, and secured.”
There should be — and almost certainly is — video of Epstein’s suicide at MCC. One hopes it is complete, conclusive, and secured.
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) August 10, 2019
The prison authorities then announced that no such footage existed as the two cameras outside his cell had malfunctioned.
The prison guards who were supposed to be watching Epstein and the other inmates that night are facing charges of falsifying records and not performing adequate checks.
New York lawyer David Boies who represented nine of Epstein’s victims, stated in an interview with 60 Minutes Australia that he believes Epstein committed suicide because the idea that someone could penetrate the prison walls and murder the alleged pedophile was “inconceivable” to him.
However, he also stated that his suicide was “incomprehensible” and asked how could a prisoner with such a high profile be taken off suicide watch, have his cellmate removed, not have the guards check on him regularly, and that the cameras are turned off.
While some of Epstein’s victims rejoiced at the news of his death, others said they’d been robbed of justice.
On August 29, 2019, a judge formally ended the criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein.
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Who killed Jeffrey Epstein airs from 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.