Accused Sex Trafficker Jeffrey Epstein Has Died Of Apparent Suicide

This post has been updated with the information that Jeffrey Epstein was not under 24-hour suicide watch as has been reported.

Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide early Saturday morning, ABC News reports. Epstein was a famous billionaire with connections to many other rich and powerful men, some of whom may have been implicated in the charges against him.

He was awaiting trial in a Lower Manhattan correction facility, facing federal sex trafficking charges and sexual abuse charges in New York and Florida. He supposedly hung himself in his cell and subsequently died from cardiac arrest.

Reports vary, but Epstein was supposedly being monitored after a previous attempt, although he was not under 24-hour suicide watch.

Civil rights lawyer Sam Bagenstos, who was involved in similar cases as part of his career, tweeted that when someone dies by suicide at a correctional facility, it represents a major mistake by the staff, as they’re largely preventable:

Basically, the whole thing is making people pretty suspicious. While it’s entirely possible that a man who was used to being in control of his world (and the lives of many other innocent people he abused) would be deeply depressed in jail, the circumstances are causing speculation on Twitter. Epstein might have revealed a lot about his partners in sex crime during the trial. Some people see his death as a convenient way to silence him.

Other with legal expertise are suggesting Epstein’s death actually clears the way for more people in his sex trafficking ring to be exposed. Reporter Adam Klasfeld tweeted that with his death, no one can challenge the search warrant on his house. No motions can be launched to suppress anything found in the home that implicates others:

This is one of those stories that will probably take years to unravel, if ever. It’s also kind of the perfect fodder for conspiracy theories. It’s got rich and powerful people, politics, and pedophilia—all hot topics for the sort of Redditors who made a pizza place basement into a fantasy sex ring online. The main difference is that this is real, and it’s only fanned the flames of scandal.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez summed it up pretty simply:

Good luck getting to the truth.

UPDATE: The FBI is investigating the circumstances of Epstein’s death and Attorney General William Barr is also launching an Inspector General investigation as well: