Two prison guards who were supervising Jeffrey Epstein
before his death last summer will face criminal charges this week. However, the
guards will not be charged with murder and the development sheds no light on
Mr. Epstein’s mysterious death.
The Associated Press reports that the two corrections officers will face criminal charges relating
to falsifying documents. The pair, who had been working overtime due to staffing
shortages, are suspected of failing to carry out the required half-hour checks
on Epstein and faking logbook entries to cover up their actions.
The officers were placed on administrative leave pending the
outcome of the investigation by the FBI and Justice Department Inspector
General. If the officers are indicted by a grand jury, they will be placed on
unpaid suspension until the outcome of the case is determined.
Jeffrey Epstein, a millionaire playboy with connections to the
Clintons, Donald Trump, the royal family as well as numerous other celebrities
and politicians, was arrested earlier this year on charges of sexually abusing
and sex trafficking underage girls. He allegedly attempted suicide on July 23
in his cell and was placed on suicide watch. He was eventually removed from
suicide watch at his lawyer’s request and was found
dead in his cell on August 10.
Epstein’s death sparked a nationwide conspiracy frenzy, but
the coroner reported that the cause of death was suicide. In October, Michael
Baden, a private pathologist hired by the Epstein family, said that
injuries to Epstein’s body, such as fractures to the larynx and hyoid bone, were
“extremely unusual in suicidal hangings” and more consistent with
However, Barbara Sampson, the chief medical examiner for New
York City, stood by her initial determination, noting that Epstein’s injuries
were consistent with a hanging death in an older person. Epstein was 66.
“In forensics, it’s a general principle that all
information from all aspects of an investigation must be considered
together,” Sampson told US
News. “Everything must be consistent and nothing can be inconsistent,
and no one finding can be taken in isolation. You can’t draw a conclusion from
one finding. Everything about the case has to be considered.”
While we don’t know exactly what happened to Jeffrey
Epstein, the preponderance of the evidence that we currently have points toward
suicide. The rub is that much of the evidence also points toward a gray area
where murder was at least possible.
The criminal charges against the two guards are another
example of evidence that can be viewed through either lens. Under the official
view, the neglect of Epstein by the guards allowed the prisoner to seize the
opportunity to kill himself. Under the view of the conspiracy theorists, the
guards turned their heads while he was murdered. More evidence is required to
prove either theory conclusively.