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.
NEW YORK (AP) — Jeffrey Epstein had been taken off suicide watch before he killed himself, a person familiar with the matter says.— Mike Balsamo (@MikeBalsamo1) August 10, 2019
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:
Scandalous. I supervised jail suicide investigations at DOJ. Experts will tell you that it’s essentially always true that jail inmate suicides are preventable, so when one happens it represents a *major* failure on the part of the jail. https://t.co/U3qRUxI2Vq— Sam Bagenstos (@sbagen) August 10, 2019
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.
William Barr’s DOJ runs the jail where #JeffreyEpstein was able to commit “suicide”. We know that Barr’s good buddy, Tang is on the list of high profile men who “knew” Epstein AND the underage girls he trafficked for sex. We all know how Barr protects his president. #SITMAC— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) August 10, 2019
Epstein’s deal with Acosta mysteriously immunized unnamed co-conspirators who are now conveniently off the hook again.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) August 10, 2019
Anyways, if a bunch of top DOJ officials want to come before congress and swear that the only story here is their routine systematic of human life rather than anything particular to the Epstein case that could be a constructive development too.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) August 10, 2019
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:
Second reaction: A former federal prosecutor informs me about this secord-order effect in terms of legal procedure. pic.twitter.com/SeHoSxbzzQ— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) August 10, 2019
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:
We need answers. Lots of them.https://t.co/4DMckiZnVB— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 10, 2019
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:
16. NEWS: In a statement, AG William Barr says that he was “appalled” to learn that Epstein died of an apparent suicide while in federal custody.
AG Barr confirms the FBI is investigating Epstein’s death and that the Inspector General has also opened up an investigation pic.twitter.com/erKTBEZKxm
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) August 10, 2019