• Official Ruling Released: Epstein’s Death a Suicide … More Controversy to Follow

    Surge Summary: The medical examiner officially rules Jeffrey Epstein’s prison cell death a suicide. Expect that statement to settle nothing. 

    When news broke last weekend of billionaire and accused sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s prison death, the hot-takes were that he’d taken his own life in his cell earlier that morning. Friday, the Associated Press reported the medical examiner’s office officially ruled his death suicide by hanging.

    Epstein, 66, was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City on Aug. 10, touching off outrage and disbelief over how such a high-profile prisoner, known for socializing with powerful people including presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, could have gone unwatched.

    The Bureau of Prisons verdict?  Epstein had apparently killed himself … but it’s a dependable guess that announcement will do approximately nothing to shoot down the conspiracy theories that have been swirling around the incident for a week now.

    Epstein, who was charged with sexually abusing numerous underage girls over several years, had been placed on suicide watch last month after he was found on his cell floor on July 23 with bruising on his neck.

    But multiple people familiar with operations at the jail say he was taken off the watch after about a week and put back in a high-security housing unit where he was less closely monitored, but still supposed to be checked on every 30 minutes.

    Attorney General William Barr noted “serious irregularities” at the jail had been uncovered. Epstein’s death is being investigated by both the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general – which makes sense since this chain of creepy and head-scratching events is so weird and suspicious it could qualify as part of a cheesy, fictional big-screen thriller.

    Jail guards on duty the night of Epstein’s death are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on inmates every half-hour as required, according to several people familiar with the matter.

    A guard in Epstein’s unit was working a fifth straight day of overtime and another guard was working mandatory overtime, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they lacked authorization to publicly discuss the investigation.

    The U.S. District Judge in charge of Epstein’s criminal case, Richard Berman, asked the jail’s warden this week for answers about the earlier episode. Many thought it had suggested a failed suicide attempt. Writing in a letter Monday, Berman said that it had “never been definitively explained.”

    The warden replied that an internal investigation was completed but that he couldn’t provide information because the findings were being incorporated into investigations into Epstein’s death.

    The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Thursday that the autopsy revealed that several bones in Epstein’s neck had been broken, leading to speculation his death was a homicide.

    Experts have insisted that detail means different things: that it suggests it was not a self-inflicted act or, conversely, that it can be consistent with hanging.

    Again, count on this Bureau of Prisons statement to settle nothing in a good part of the public mind. Expect doubts and conspiracies to continue to flourish.

    Responding to those articles, Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson issued a statement Thursday:

    “In all forensic investigations, all information must be synthesized to determine the cause and manner of death. Everything must be consistent; no single finding can be evaluated in a vacuum.”

    The day previous to this medical examiner’s ruling two more women sued Jeffrey Epstein’s estate in a federal court in New York, saying they’d been targets of his sexual predations.

    The women claim they were recruited to give Epstein massages in 2004 while working at a popular Manhattan restaurant, ages eighteen and twenty at the time.

    The lawsuit says an unidentified female recruiter offered the hostesses hundreds of dollars to provide massages to Epstein, saying he “liked young, pretty girls to massage him,” and wouldn’t engage in any unwanted touching. The women say Epstein groped them anyway.

    These plaintiffs – one now lives in Japan, the other in Baltimore – are seeking $100 million in damages for depression, anxiety, anger and flashbacks.

    Other lawsuits, filed over many years by other women, accused him of hiring girls as young as 14 or 15 to give him massages, then subjecting them to sex acts.

    In the midst of this murky mess, one thing is conspicuously evident at the moment: the darkness generated by the salacious doings of this mysterious financier/sex offender persists even after his death; persists even around the literal circumstances of his demise; persists in the lives of those who represent themselves as his victims; even persists in the media’s treatment of this story.

    That’s a lot of darkness and it’s how darkness operates: prevailing and growing until it is purposefully checked.

    The remedy for darkness, of course, is light. Regrettably, one Bureau of Prisons statement isn’t going to shine brightly enough to expunge the questions around this man, his crimes or his untimely end. An investigation into the story behind Epstein’s death and the nature and extent of his perversions must continue until everything is brought into the light.

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    Image: Adapted from: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department – Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department [1][2], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5616285

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