The FBI is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the financier and convicted sex offender who was found dead in his prison cell on August 10th.
“With a case this high profile, there is a major system malfunction or a criminal enterprise afoot to let this happen,” argues Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
Epstein was arrested July 6th on federal sex trafficking charges and was placed in a cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan pending trial. He was moved to a suicide watch unit on July 23rd after he was found unconscious with a bedsheet tied around his neck. After a short stay in a unit with 24-hour observation, Epstein was returned to the jail’s main housing unit and ordered to have a cellmate.
He was housed as close as possible to the prison guards’ office.
On August 9th, hundreds of pages of documents were revealed in court detailing new accusations against Epstein and his associates. That same day, Epstein’s cellmate was removed and he was left alone.
Epstein’s body was found later with a noose around the neck. The death was ruled a suicide, but things just didn’t add up.
- Why is there no video surveillance of Epstein in his cell?
- Why was Epstein’s cellmate relocated?
- If Epstein’s cell was so close to the prison guards’ office, why didn’t they notice his suicide?
- Did Epstein kill himself to avoid implicating others?
At least one of those questions can be answered by a recent indictment against Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, the two prison guards on duty the night of Epstein’s death.
That night, Noel completed more than 75 count slips falsely stating she and Thomas had conducted mandatory inmate counts. Internal video footage shows both officers surfing the web or asleep at their desks. Both officers had recently worked a 16-hour shift.
“The defendants had a duty to ensure the safety and security of federal inmates in their care at the Metropolitan Correctional Center,” argues attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. “Instead, they repeatedly failed to conduct mandated checks on inmates, and lied on official forms.”
Noel and Thomas were charged with conspiracy and records falsification after rejecting a plea deal last week. Both pleaded “not guilty” on Tuesday and were released on bail packages including a $100,000 bond for each officer.
Author’s Note: Not only did Epstein’s arrest and death rattle his elite social group, disrupt a federal sex trafficking investigation, and disappoint accusers who had hoped to face him in court, but it also exposed serious problems throughout the federal prison system including staffing shortages and overworked prison guards.
Edtior’s Note: The conspiracy theorist in me says that Epstein was murdered and that the guards are complicit. The question is how well did the murderers cover their tracks? Will the guards come clean or were they also somehow duped? Will the FBI be able to squeeze the truth out?