The suspicious “suicide” of high profile sex offender Jeffrey Epstein while in custody has prompted outrage, concerns, and speculation.
The early reports of events leading up to his death contradict long-established prison protocol and common sense. In the aftermath of Epstein’s demise, everyday Americans are left wondering how the second-most valuable asset in the U.S. prison system died and what happens next.
These are five things you should know.
1: Prison Guards Allegedly Falsified Records
The pair of guards assigned to conduct prisoner checks every 30 minutes have been accused of sleeping through their shifts and doctoring logs to cover their tracks. Footage from hallway surveillance cameras at the Metropolitan Correctional Center reportedly demonstrates that the officials responsible for monitoring Epstein left him unchecked and unattended for hours prior to his death. One of the Federal Bureau of Prisons employees was reportedly not even a correctional officer. Questions swirl as to why a trained guard was not assigned, why one was absent, and why officials allowed such sub-par oversight given the magnitude of the case.
2: Cause of Death Appears Suspicious
The medical examiner who performed the initial autopsy had further questions about the circumstances before making a final determination. The inability to quickly pronounce death by suicide prompted speculation about foul play. Those concerns have only been heightened by reports that Epstein suffered broken bones in his neck when allegedly committing suicide by hanging. While certain broken bones in the neck may occur when committing suicide, they are reportedly more common during murder by strangulation. The looming question, however, is why would Epstein be given a bedsheet while on suicide watch?
3: Attorney General William Barr Launches Independent Investigation
Trump-appointed A.G. Barr expressed outrage over the untimely death of sex offender Epstein. He says he is furious at the failure to monitor the prisoner and the conditions in the prison.
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Barr said. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered.”
Barr has since reassigned the warden, and placed the employees tasked with checking cells on leave. Barr does not have a track record of sweeping problems under the rug. He has already enlisted the impartial Inspector General’s office on top of an ongoing FBI investigation into the suspicious circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death.
4: Grand Jury Testimony Died with Epstein
With Epstein no longer standing trial, the evidence of influential people and the parts they played in the criminal sex trafficking trade will not likely see the light of day. Had Epstein been delivered safely to trial, the fact-finding mission of police and prosecutors would have been made public.
“Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide ends the criminal case against him because no one else was charged in the indictment. (It) means that there won’t be a public trial or other proceedings that could reveal evidence of his wrongdoing. Evidence collected via grand jury subpoena won’t be released to the public” former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said.
His death in a prison cell may prove beneficial for those who took advantage and molested underage girls on Epstein’s “orgy island” and “Lolita Express” private plane. Names such as disgraced ex-Pres. Bill Clinton, British royal family member Prince Andrew, and many others have been linked to Epstein’s activities. The rich and shameless are enjoying a sigh of relief.
5: Lawsuits Will Go Forward
Those directly harmed by Epstein’s sex trafficking will still have the opportunity to recoup at least monetary damages against his estate. The full breadth of his wealth has yet to be determined. The convicted sex offender reportedly has assets spread around the world.
One of the primary targets of the Epstein lawsuits will be Ghislaine Maxwell who is widely regarded as Epstein’s best friend, “madam,” and potential co-conspirator. A New York woman has filed suit against Maxwell and three other co-conspirators claiming she was forcibly raped when she was 15 years old. Numerous other civil lawsuits are expected to be filed against the Epstein estate. However, none of the victims will get closure by seeing him found guilty of the crimes he perpetrated against them.