5 Truths And A Lie About The Death Of Jeffrey Epstein

The disgraced financier was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell a little more than a month after his arrest on federal sex trafficking charges. What really happened to Epstein?

August 10, 2021

Jeffrey Epstein [via Discovery Inc.]

Jeffrey Epstein [via Discovery Inc.]

Truth: Epstein was not on suicide watch at the time of his death

Despite a suicide attempt on July 24, 2019, just a couple weeks before the 66-year-old was found dead, he was not on suicide watch at the time of his death. According to NBC News, Epstein had been taken off suicide watch by a doctoral-level psychologist who no longer believed the inmate was a danger to himself.

Truth: The guards on duty the night of Epstein’s death were criminally charged

Tova Noel and Michael Thomas were responsible for checking on Epstein overnight between August 9 and 10, but a review of what happened that night revealed the pair spent time sleeping or browsing the internet for sports news, furniture sales, and deals on motorcycles, and never checked on any of the inmates in the unit. They didn’t find Epstein until about 6:30 a.m. on August 10. Noel and Thomas were criminally charged with falsifying prison records for claiming they’d done their overnight rounds to check on inmates, but they served no jail time under a plea agreement.

Truth: Epstein was supposed to have a cellmate, but the person had been moved

While Epstein was off suicide watch, officials at the Metropolitan Correctional Center mandated Epstein have a cell mate. According to the Justice Department, Epstein’s cellmate had been moved in a “pre-planned transfer” on the morning of August 9. He did not receive a new cell mate that day, which was in violation of the mental health staff’s directive.

Truth: Former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr was initially suspicious of the suicide story

Barr told the Associated Press in November 2019 that while he was initially concerned that Epstein had been killed, he ultimately realized “a perfect storm of screw-ups” had given Epstein the time and materials needed to take his own life.

Truth: Criminal charges against Epstein were dismissed after his death

Because the defendant in the criminal case was dead, prosecutors were forced to drop the charges. Epstein’s victims have been able to collect money from the millionaire’s estate. So far, More than $125 million dollars have been paid out to about 150 victims. While Epstein will not have to face his accusers in court, his associate Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in July 2020 for her role in finding minors for Epstein to have sex with.

Lie: The hyoid bone only breaks with strangulation, not with hanging

Epstein’s brother hired private forensic pathologist Mark Baden to review the autopsy findings. Baden went on to say that Epstein’s broken hyoid bone (a small, bony structure near the Adam’s apple in the throat) was indicative of “homicidal strangulation” and not suicide by hanging. Several prominent physicians and forensic anthropologists pushed back against that claim, saying that it’s not unusual at all for the hyoid bone to break in hangings.

To learn more about the death of accused sex trafficker and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, stream Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein? now on discovery+.

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