A new investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death of Jeffrey Epstein has made public several new pieces of evidence, including photos of his jail cell showing a number of bed sheets, prescription medicine and an apparent note written by the convicted sex offender complaining about jail conditions before his death.
The paedophile financier was awaiting trial in New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Centre in downtown Manhattan when his body was found in his cell in August. The circumstances of his death, ruled a suicide by the New York medical examiner, have sparked considerable speculation, given the powerful company he kept that included Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew.
The newly revealed letter, a photo of which was obtained during a months-long investigation by CBS News’ 60 Minutes, includes claims that the writer was locked in a shower for hours, sent burnt food and that “giant bugs” had crawled across his hand.
"Giant bugs crawling over my hands. No fun!!“ he apparently wrote, with a blue pen.
The investigation has also revealed photos showing the apparent noose used in Epstein’s hanging and photos of the jail cell where he died. Further photos from the autopsy show the man’s discoloured neck and torso.
60 Minutes has obtained a copy of a handwritten note found in the Manhattan jail cell where convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found dead last year https://t.co/fYvnUi2cu7— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes)January 6, 2020
While the official ruling is that Epstein killed himself, forensic pathologist Dr Michael Baden — who was hired by Epstein’s brother, Mark — has said that it is concerning that there were no photos taken of the body while it was in the cell, and that knowing its position would be helpful to clarify certain questions.
Among those are where the noose was on the 66-year-old’s neck, as well as the way that lividity settled, which is how blood pools in a body after death.
“At this length of time, [we] still don’t have that information,” he told CBS. “So if this was called a suicide without all that information, it was a premature judgment.”
In previous interviews, Mr Baden has suggested that Epstein’s death may likely be a homicide, given what he called “unusual” activity surrounding his death.
During an interview with Fox News in October, Mr Baden said that he believes that the broken bones found in his neck are more consistent with strangulation than hanging. He was hired by Mark Epstein amid concerns that the convicted sex offender was killed because he had damaging information on powerful people, and that others with information might likewise be in danger as well.
“I think that the evidence points toward homicide rather than suicide,” Mr Baden said during the earlier interview.
He continued: “Hanging does not cause these broken bones and homicide does. A huge amount of pressure was applied.”
Beyond those physical markers, questions have arisen over the general circumstances surrounding his death. He was reportedly taken off of suicide watch just days before his body was found, and officials have said the two guards who were tasked with checking in on him regularly both fell asleep on the night in question — an explanation Mr Baden has called “extremely unlikely”.