Jeffrey Epstein's death was suicide by hanging in jail cell, coroner confirms

Disgraced financier's death has sparked conspiracy theories, some of which have been spread by his former friend, Donald Trump 

Clark Mindock
New York
Friday 16 August 2019 17:28 BST
Drone captures FBI raiding Jeffrey Epstein's Caribbean home

Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein‘s cause of death has officially been ruled a suicide, an autopsy has found.

After he was found hanging in his cell at a Manhattan jail over the weekend, the cause of the convicted paedophile’s death has been the subject of rampant speculation.

Even Donald Trump has suggested the multi-millionaire may have been the victim of an assassination by powerful people who feared Epstein may have revealed secrets about them.

The 66-year-old was known to associate with Bill and Hillary Clinton and had previously maintained a friendship with the current US president, although Mr Trump has said that he fell out with Epstein years ago.

However, New York City’s chief medical examiner has now revealed that he took his own life. ”It is suicide by hanging,” said spokeswoman Aja Worthy-Davi.

The autopsy showed that Epstein’s neck had been broken in several places, two law enforcement sources told the Reuters press agency.

Epstein, who was arrested last month and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14, had been placed on suicide watch in the New York Metropolitan Correctional Facility, after he was found in the fetal position in his cell.

But, he was taken off of that watch after about a week.

Reports have nonethelss indicated that standard protocol was not met in the jail. Two guards have been put on administrative leave, after it was determined that they had fallen asleep, and had falsified records in a log to indicate they had been checking on the disgraced financier every 30 minutes, as was required. Falsified entries such as those could constitute a federal crime.

The warden of the jail has also been reassigned.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Attorney general William Barr, whose Justice Department oversees the Bureau of Prisons that runs the New York facility where Epstein was being kept, has instructed the departments inspector general to conduct an investigation into the circumstances that allowed for his death.

“We will get to the bottom of what happened,” Mr Barr said earlier this week.

Two women who said they were recruited 15 years ago to provide massages to Epstein, only to be later sexually molested by him at his Manhattan mansion, have also filed a $100m (£82m) lawsuit against the financier’s estate. The lawsuit was at least the second against the estate over Epstein’s alleged misconduct following his death.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in