Convicted sex offender and wall street financier Jeffrey Epstein has died via ‘suicide’ in the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York. After being found unconscious at 6:30 am on Saturday, he was taken to a Manhattan hospital and pronounced dead shortly afterwards. The Federal Bureau of Prisons, which operates the facility, has at this point provided no statement.
Epstein was being held without bail relating to fresh sex-trafficking charges pertaining to events between 2002-2005, after being arrested on July 6 this year at New Jersey’s Teterboro airport. Simultaneously, Police executed a search Warrant of Epstein’s Upper-East Side New York mansion, uncovering thousands of nude photographs of what they believe to be underage girls. By consequence of his exorbitant wealth, he was denied bail on July 18th by US District Judge Richard Berman.
On July 24, whilst jailed in a cell with former Orange County Policy Officer Nicholas Tartaglione, Epstein was found non-responsive with bruising around his neck. Tartaglione had been arrested in December 2016 on suspicion of killing four men in a cocaine distribution conspiracy but has denied causing Epstein’s injuries. Washington Post’s Carol Leonning reported that “Epstein told authorities someone tried to kill him in a previous incident weeks earlier.”
There has been no official confirmation as to the cause of Epstein’s Injuries. Epstein was then placed on 24/7 suicide watch, yet incredibly, he was then returned to the jail’s special housing unit on July 29th.
There has also been no official statement of the rationale for taking Epstein off suicide watch and moving him to SHU. According to Reuters’ Sarah Lynch and Karen Freifeld, there is no reason, on late Friday night and early Saturday morning the MCC staff must have deviated from routine policy.
At the MCC, two jail guards are required to make separate checks on all prisoners every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed overnight, according to the source. In addition, every 15 minutes guards are required to make another check on prisoners who are on suicide watch.
Even if he wasn’t on suicide watch, there is no reason why he shouldn’t have been checked up on before 6:30 am.
Epstein’s death comes barely hours after Federal Prosecutors unsealed more than 2,000 court documents on Friday detailing victim Virginia Giuffre’s 2016 testimony as part of her defamation case against Epstein’s ‘Madam’ and heiress socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. Guiffre alleged that Epstein employed her as an underage ‘sex slave’ between 2000 & 2002.
Giuffre testified that she was forced to have sex with several high profile men including former Senator George Mitchell (D-Maine), New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D), Duke of York Prince Andrew, MIT Scientist Marvin Minsky & Billionaire financier Glenn Dubin.
The documents also detail testimony from a former house manager of Dubin, Rinaldo Rizzo, who described his encounter with a highly distressed 15-year-old Swedish teen, who confessed to Rizzo that she had been pressured to have sex on Epstein’s private island. The Swedish teen also described to Rizzo her horrifying encounter with Maxwell, who has been accused of finding and soliciting many of the underage girls who would later have sex with Epstein and his clientele.
In 2008, Epstein was convicted of soliciting prostitution of an underage girl back in 2005 but was provided with an extraordinarily lenient non-prosecution agreement by then Florida Federal Prosecutor Alexander Acosta.
Epstein was allowed to leave Palm Beach County Jail six days a week for twelve hours a day to work, and the case was sealed. Acosta had been President Trump’s secretary of Labor until news of fresh Epstein allegations had broken, causing him to resign. A Daily Beast investigative journalist Vicky Ward, received third-hand news from an anonymous White House official, that when pressed about the circumstances of the arrangement, Acosta said that Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence.’
Of course, this is very difficult to verify, however on a circumstantial basis the claim seems to have legs. The FBI at the time of the deal was armed with written and sworn testimony from at least 40 accusers, however, Epstein was only charged with soliciting prostitution from a single minor. Presumably, Epstein would provide highly sensitive material on his rich and powerful friends in return for a slap on the wrist. If in fact Acosta had been leant on by top brass in intelligence to reduce the severity of Epstein’s sentence, as means of facilitating the acquisition of information, disclosing the machinations of a state-sponsored child sex racket would certainly be reason enough to have Epstein killed, even in clearly suspicious circumstances.
Epstein’s network was substantial. According to Flight-logs Bill Clinton flew on Epstein’s infamous Boeing 272-200 known as the ‘Lolita Express” a total of 27 times. Whilst Epstein had been seen several times with now-president Donald Trump, he had been banned from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort for harassing an underage staff member.
Meanwhile, SDNY prosecutors have promised to continue investigating the case, with a formal statement reasserting that “Our investigation of the conduct charged in the indictment – which included a conspiracy count – remains ongoing.”
The Conspiracy count refers to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. However, there is substantial speculation that since Epstein is the only individual thus far indicted, the case dies with him.
At this point, none of the men named in the testimony have been indicted, and many of Epstein’s accusers are fearful that their chance for closure has been removed. One such accuser, Jennifer Araoz, released a statement which read, “I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court.”
However, according to some media reports, the FBI is opening an investigation to determine whether proper procedures for prisoner safety were held In place. With so many powerful people involved and the grotesque nature of the allegations, it’s easy to see why there is substantial suspicion surrounding Epstein’s untimely demise. Several, British royalty among them, have already been compromised in unsealed court documents, & Epstein’s testimony would undoubtedly put many more at risk.
For the staff at MCC to have deviated from routine policy so substantially, and for it to coincide with the death of arguably the state’s most high-profile and high-risk individual is certainly irksome.
There are several imminent questions which at this point remain unanswered.
1. How was the original non-prosecution agreement authorised?
2. Who was responsible for Epstein’s injuries on July 24th and why was he not in solitary to begin with?
3. Why did he not remain on suicide watch after he was found unresponsive on July 24th?
4. Why did the MCC staff deviate from standard policy regarding check-ups? Who authorised this deviation?
5. What is preventing prosecutors from arresting and indicting those named in the 2016 testimony?
6. Is there any validity to claims made that Epstein was in fact linked to intelligence?
For justice to prevail, these questions must be answered, and fast.