It is simply amazing that millionaire financier Jeffery Epstein, who was jailed on multiple charges of sex trafficking minors, died in federal custody Saturday in what authorities called an apparent suicide.
Lifesaving measures were “initiated immediately by responding staff,” and Epstein was transported to hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the Bureau of Prisons said on Saturday. The Bureau called his death an “apparent suicide,” although an investigation has yet to determine this conclusively.
At the time of his death, Epstein was rumored to have been on suicide watch. According to Bureau of Prisons policy, inmates on suicide watch are to be kept under “direct, continuous observation,” in a room that allows “unobstructed vision of the inmate at all times.”
Epstein was supposedly kept under this supervision after he was found semi-conscious on the floor of his cell two weeks ago, with marks on his neck. Speculation in the media immediately turned to how a man on suicide watch could have possibly killed himself.
However, one source told Reuters that Epstein had been taken off suicide watch some time since his first apparent attempt on his own life. Photos published by the New York Post lend some credence to this report, as they show Epstein’s body being wheeled into hospital on a gurney, clad in the standard-issue prison jumpsuit, instead of the paper dress or ‘suicide smock’ usually given to these inmates. He was supposedly removed from suicide watch on July 29 and returned to the special housing unit, a segregated area of the prison with extra security.
The authorities did not immediately explain why he was taken off suicide watch. The F.B.I. said it was investigating, and Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement that a special inquiry would be opened into what happened.
With Epstein now dead, what exactly could he tell the court and how many powerful friends of his might have had a sigh of relief on Saturday is a question that now bothers not only conspiracy theorists. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called Epstein’s death “way too convenient,” and wondered how many “other millionaires and billionaires were part of the illegal activities that he was engaged in?”
The US authorities have vowed to continue the probe into Epstein and his accomplices.
The unanswered questions
How did this happen to such a high-profile inmate who was in segregation and who was supposed to heavily monitored? Why was he taken off a suicide watch that could have prevented his death?
The first question is why Epstein was in solitary confinement in the first place, something so totally inappropriate for a prisoner already at risk of suicide. There is a valid use for solitary confinement in a penal institution. If you’re a threat to the institution or a threat to its staff, an escape risk or a threat to national security, then solitary confinement should be considered.
But not in this case. Jeffrey Epstein, in spite of his previous pleas or the new serious charges, was none of the above.
Inmates at Metropolitan Correctional Center are said to be checked-in-on every 30 minutes throughout the night. When guards are away on their patrols, video surveillance usually picks up the slack.
According to a former Al Qaeda prisoner, however, MCC staff monitor high-security cells with two video cameras, one above the shower and another above the toilet or bed. Epstein had been kept in this same extra-security area of the prison, a New York Times source said.
Additionally, an audit last year found that cameras are “placed strategically throughout the institution,” and are “sufficient” to ensure the safety of inmates and staff.
The Metropolitan Correctional Center is a federal prison that handles the worst of the worst criminals and is well-staffed. Clearly, Epstein should have been under constant observation to make sure he could not kill himself or someone else could do so.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons, which had custody over Epstein, and federal prosecutors certainly knew his earlier suicide attempt was real. Yet, instead of putting him into an administrative segregation unit, into a real, true suicide watch, they put him into solitary confinement and, in so doing, enabled him to finish what he had tried before.
Was that their intent? Who knows, but it raises serious questions about his death and the investigation surrounding him.
Rumors circulated on Saturday that the cameras supposedly monitoring Epstein had mysteriously “malfunctioned” at the time of his death, adding fuel to the theories of foul play already circulating. However, these rumors can be traced back to an unsubstantiated tweet by right wing commenter Michael Coudrey, which was picked up and spread by a suspicious public.
Though it may still emerge that there was a “camera malfunction” overnight, that claim has not yet been verified.
Until further investigations are done, rumors will likely continue to circulate. Epstein’s death came at a suspicious time, occurring just one day after court documents were unsealed alleging that Epstein had procured young girls for some of the world’s most powerful and wealthiest men, including British prince Andrew, billionaire investor Glenn Dubin, former governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson, and a number of other unnamed foreign political and business figures.
The conspiracy theory is already alive
It didn’t take long before rumors started circulating on the internet claiming foul play in the death of Jeffrey Epstein. According to unverified information, Jeffrey Epstein might not have been dead while he was wheeled out of the MCC. One of the people that supposedly works there wrote that the van that picked Epstein up wasn’t signed in and it was accompanied by a man in green military clothes.
At this point in time, there are no way of saying if there’s any truth to the conspiracy theories and the idea that Jeffrey Epstein might still be alive somewhere in the world. We do know that this is not over and the death of Jeffrey Epstein wont stop this case from going forward. The US authorities already has an “ongoing investigation of uncharged individuals” connected to Epstein, and US Attorney Geoffrey Berman confirmed on Saturday that the investigation will continue despite Epstein’s death.