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Jeffrey Epstein (1953–2019) was a well known financier; now infamous for two things — his sex trafficking operation (arguably the largest-scale crime revealed under the aegis of MeToo challenged only by Keith Raniere/NXIVM), and the… controversial circumstances of his death in prison, which has been ruled a suicide. Many have doubted this ruling, especially as these revelations came around the time conspiracy theories claiming to link the international elite to pedophile cults were rapidly growing.
Though initially a teacher in New York City, he would leave that for a seemingly much more lucrative career in the finance sector. The word "seemingly" is invoked because, well, it's a bit of a mystery where his billions actually came from or if he was a billionaire at all. Theories as to the origin of his fortune range from money laundering to work in espionage. Dodgy conduct was associated with him from fairly early on — he was fired from both Bear Stearns and his teaching position, and indeed he only got this job at Bear Stearns because he had befriended their CEO, Alan Greenberg. He nonetheless managed to achieve acceptance among the American aristocracy and even made contacts abroad! Some prominent acquaintances of his (who have since had to make some really embarrassing denials) included Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Ehud Barak, and Donald Trump.
The infamous part
Now, he had been accused of sex-related crimes since 2005, and was even convicted in 2008 (though his sentence was a mere 13 months), but this really only caught up with him in 2018 and 2019. After numerous accusers came forward influenced by similar events like the fall of Harvey Weinstein, numerous vile details were brought to the public eye and he was arrested on federal charges of sex trafficking. Whilst awaiting trial, he was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. How did he die? How could the guards have let this happen? Who did the deed? What secrets did he take to the grave about his rich and powerful clientele? Such questions gripped the popular consciousness, and in many ways Epstein is more remembered for his mysterious death than for the horrible things he did.
Epstein didn't kill himself
His death was officially ruled as a suicide, specifically saying he hanged himself with his bed sheet. Naturally scores of people in the perpetually paranoid American body politic believe that Epstein was killed, usually by some powerful person who did not want their connection with his crimes revealed. The Clintons are common "suspects" because of course they are. This is encapsulated in the phrase "Epstein didn't kill himself," which went viral very quickly. Such widespread acceptance can be traced to three things — legitimate procedural fuck-ups that the prison staff made in regards to him, mass resentment of the well-off elite that he was intricately linked with, and some supposed discrepancies in the autopsy.
Not one but two cameras malfunctioned in front of Epstein's cell when he died. This is beyond suspicious and is evidence of tampering with evidence. However, this doesn't prove an assassination (though camera footage would help disprove it), but there really is a simpler explanation…
During the night of Epstein's death, two guards assigned to him were allegedly both asleep. This is suspicious and a colossal screw-up, of course, but never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence. Anyone who's worked in the prison system could tell you, there's a good chance that the guard in the tower is busy playing a handheld game or reading some internet site dedicated to debunking spiritualist woo, unlike our readers who never stop work to goof off. That both did so simultaneously for such a long time is much more suspicious, of course, but not impossible. At the same time, combined with the "malfunctioning" video cameras, they were charged with falsifying records. If there's a conspiracy, the conspiracy seems to be one where a pair of utterly incompetent guards struggle to cover their tracks after letting a notorious inmate commit suicide. Had there been an actual assassination, well, the guards are "loose threads" so to speak, and, well, firing them or charging them with a crime is the exact opposite way of getting them to keep quiet.
Epstein's death involved a broken hyoid bone. It's actually unclear how often a broken hyoid bone occurs in a suicide by hanging, but it is more likely to happen in strangulations than in suicides, due to the angle of the choking pressure. The older the suicide victim is, however, the more likely the hyoid bone would break. Epstein was hardly a young man, so a broken hyoid bone is not all that unusual, and so by itself doesn't really provide much evidence for a death being a murder or a suicide.
- How Jeffrey Epstein Made His Money: Four Wild Theories by Matt Stieb (July 9, 2019) New York Magazine.
- from Reuters
- NY Times, guards asleep
- Epstein guards charged with falsifying records
- Slate's take on the hyoid bone