Jeffrey Epstein was not murdered, it was a 'perfect storm of screw-ups', William Barr says

Friend to many celebrities died before he could face trial on charges of sex trafficking

Vittoria Elliott
New York
Friday 22 November 2019 20:06
Epstein 'preyed upon' and sexually abused vulnerable teenager says latest accuser's lawyer

The death of financier and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein has been the subject of continued interest, debate and conspiracy theory - but today the attorney general dismissed it as the result of a "perfect storm of screw-ups".

Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York City on August 10, 2019 after being arrested on charges of trafficking of minors.

His death was ruled a suicide by the New York City medical examiner’s office, but many, including Epstein’s own defence lawyers, said that his death looked “far more consistent with assault”. An independent forensic pathologist hired by Epstein’s family also disputed the medical examiner’s conclusion, saying it appeared Epstein had been strangled.

Epstein, who had connections to some of the world’s richest and most powerful people and institutions, died before a trial would have revealed the full extent of his crimes. To many, this seemed highly suspicious.

But in a conversation with the Associated Press, attorney general William Barr said that Epstein’s death was indeed a suicide, and the result of a “perfect storm of screw-ups”.

Epstein attempted to take his own life in July and was put on suicide watch at the jail.

The two federal corrections officers who were on duty the night of Epstein’s death did not perform the mandatory checks on Epstein. Both were charged this week with falsifying records indicating that they had regularly checked on him.

A 2018 Pulitzer-winning investigation from the Miami Herald revealed that Epstein’s abuse of young girls was well-known, but he received a sweetheart deal from Florida prosecutors in 2007.

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