It was only a few weeks ago that reports emerged that wealthy financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein — who had recently been arrested and charged with conspiracy and sex trafficking — attempted to hang himself in his cell and was placed on suicide watch while held in federal custody without bond.
Questions now surround the issue of whether that the suicide watch either failed or was withdrawn altogether, as reports indicate that Epstein succeeded in killing himself by hanging in his cell on Saturday morning.
Epstein found dead
ABC News reported that Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center and was later pronounced dead at New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan Hospital.
The Bureau of Prisons confirmed that Epstein hanged himself, and the Associated Press reported that a “person familiar with the matter” informed the media outlet that the suicide watch imposed following Epstein’s attempted suicide several weeks ago had inexplicably been lifted.
The reported suicide came less than a day after the release of hundreds of documents from a defamation lawsuit against Epstein filed by one of his accusers. The documents were reportedly filled with extremly damning information suggesting guilt on the part of Epstein and a number of other prominent public figures.
AG Barr “livid” at news
A source in the Department of Justice said that Attorney General William Barr was “livid” at the news that Epstein had successfully killed himself while awaiting trial and that he was “determined to get to the bottom of this” via an FBI investigation.
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Barr said in an official statement on Saturday.
“Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death,” Barr added.
Investigations to continue
ABC News noted that, according to unnamed law enforcement sources, the investigation into Epstein’s alleged crimes — perhaps especially into those who may have also been involved — will not stop simply because Epstein is now dead.
Both the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan — both of which have been actively seeking former victims and potential witnesses able to come forward with pertinent information — will continue to review the gathered evidence and collect any additional material that may exist.
While there will obviously no longer be a prosecution of Epstein for his alleged crimes, there remains the possibility that other individuals involved in his conspiracy to sexually abuse and traffic in underage girls could be charged with federal crimes.
To be sure, there will be many who feel cheated that Epstein escaped justice by way of suicide, and there will undoubtedly be all sorts of theories positing that he was actually killed to be kept quiet, but if there is any silver lining it is that Epstein will never abuse anybody else again. His suicide may very well serve as the impetus to take down and criminally charge other prominent figures that were allegedly involved in his debauched brutality.