The details of Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy are finally in and
the results are… inconclusive.
The Washington Post reported on Wednesday revealed that the autopsy revealed that Epstein’s neck was broken in several places. Although some outlets are reporting that the findings indicate that Epstein was strangled, the truth is that such injuries can occur in hangings as well, especially among older people. Epstein was 66.
Although the autopsy does not rule out the possibility that
Epstein was murdered, it also does not rule out the possibility that he
committed suicide. So far, no other evidence indicating murder has been released,
but there have been numerous reports of incompetence and possible negligence on
the part of the prison staff.
The New York Medical Examiner’s office has not yet commented
on the Post’s report and the autopsy has not been officially released. However, Reuters reported on Sunday that the medical examiner was “confident” that Epstein’s death
was caused by hanging, even though the broken bones must have been known at the
time. An official cause of death has not yet been stated. The report also noted
that a private pathologist observed the autopsy on behalf of Epstein’s estate.
There have been other revelations in the Epstein case as
well. The New
York Times reported that Epstein’s guards, one of who was not a correction
officer but who was filling in due to short staffing, were asleep at the time
Epstein died. Surveillance video showed that the guards never made some of the
checks that were logged on the prison paperwork. A prison official said that
the guards went to sleep and left Epstein unsupervised for several hours. Later,
they falsified the log entries. The two guards have been placed on
York Post reported that Epstein apparently strangled himself with a makeshift
noose fashioned from a bedsheet. He allegedly wrapped the sheet around his neck
and fastened it to the top bunk in his cell. He then kneeled towards the floor,
which put him in a position to be strangled by the noose. He was unresponsive
when guards discovered his body in his cell at about 6:30 a.m. last Saturday.
It was also previously
reported that Epstein was removed from suicide watch after a previous suicide
attempt in July. Suicide watch is not meant to be a long term situation for
most inmates and his lawyers had requested the change.
“It’s just not humane to keep them on those restrictions
indefinitely,” Lindsay Hayes, a nationally recognized expert on inmate
suicide prevention and a project director for the National Center on
Institutions and Alternatives, told ABC
News. “Many times, suicidal inmates will deny they’re suicidal so they
can get their clothes and privileges back.”
Guidelines required that removal from suicide watch be authorized by prison psychologists and
approved by the warden. It is not clear if these steps were followed in Epstein’s
case, but Attorney General Barr reassigned the warden “to the Bureau’s
Northeast Regional Office pending the outcome of the FBI and OIG investigations
into the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein,” per a statement
by the Department of Justice.
What is clear is that other guidelines were not met. Epstein’s
“special observation status” required two guards to make separate checks every
30 minutes. It also required that Epstein have a cellmate. Neither requirement
While the preliminary autopsy reports do not prove that Epstein
was murdered, they will no doubt stoke the rampant conspiracy theories that
already surround the billionaire sex criminal’s death. Whatever the ultimate
outcome of the investigations surrounding Epstein’s death, it is a certainty that
a large share of Americans will always believe that he was murdered.