Saturday, August 10, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein's Apparent Suicide. Echidne Investigates.

And why shouldn't she investigate?  After all, most political social media is creating conspiracy theories about Epstein's death, without any more access to facts than I have, and they have much louder voices.

Here are the facts which can be verified.  Notice that it's the prison authorities who said that he killed himself:

Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who was long dogged by accusations of sexual abuse of girls and who was able to cultivate a stream of high-profile friends despite his lurid lifestyle, killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell, officials said on Saturday.
Mr. Epstein hanged himself, the officials said. He was found at roughly 6:30 a.m. Saturday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the federal Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.

His death provides immediate space for various conspiracy theories because of its timing: 

It was only yesterday that the documents from a lawsuit against Ghislane Maxwell, Epstein's one-time girlfriend (of the adult type) were ordered unsealed.
And so it was only yesterday we learned which famous and powerful men Virginia Giuffre, the plaintiff in that case, named as the alleged "customers" of Epstein's and Maxwell's sexual abuse shop. 

The proximity in time between these two events and the order in which they happened  suggests that Epstein's death should be very carefully investigated, and so should the fact that Epstein was put on suicide watch after an earlier alleged suicide attempt but was supposedly taken off it in late July:

Mr. Epstein had been on suicide watch after he was found injured on July 23 and received a daily psychiatric evaluation, according to a person familiar with his detention. He was removed from suicide watch on July 29 and returned to the special housing unit, a segregated area of the prison with extra security, this person said.
The authorities did not immediately explain why he was taken off suicide watch. The F.B.I. said it was investigating, and Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement that a special inquiry would be opened into what had happened.
After that pompous title of this post, I have to admit that my investigation is not of the intrepid Nancy Drew type.  Rather, it consists of reading various conspiracy theories in the political social media.  My favorite is probably the suggestion that Hillary Clinton offed Epstein...

Other conspiracy theorists speculate that Epstein was offed to frighten Maxwell so that she will keep her mouth shut.  Or even that he was offed to frighten any women who might come forward from doing so.  Many milder conspiracy theories abound, including the chance that Epstein is not dead at all but was spirited away for a new face and a new life.

Whatever one thinks of those stories or of Epstein's manner of death it's pretty clear that a thorough investigation of what exactly happened is absolutely necessary.  That should cover the reasons why someone in Epstein's situation was taken off suicide watch, who made that decision, whom Epstein's speedy death would benefit and how.*


* Other than himself.  One conspiracy theory proposes that Epstein bribed someone in the prison system so that he could kill himself.