NYU Medical Professor: Epstein Death ‘More Likely’ A ‘Homicide Than A Suicide’ | Daily Wire

Dr. Marc Siegel told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday that the recent revelation that convicted sex offender and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein had certain broken bones in his neck make it more likely that his death was a homicide and not a suicide, based on statistics.

The Fox News segment came in response to The Washington Post reporting late on Wednesday night that Epstein’s autopsy found that he sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, which “deepen[ed] the mystery about the circumstances around his death.”

“Among the bones broken in Epstein’s neck was the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam’s apple,” The Post added. “Such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject. But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation, the experts said.”

“The hyoid bone in the neck being fractured and other fractures in the neck, make it more likely, and again, this is a percentage call, more likely that it was a homicide than a suicide,” Siegel, who is a Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, told Fox News.

“It can either be a suicide or a homicide still… I am now more suspicious than ever that this could be a homicide,” Siegel continued. “That answer is going to come to us because if someone attacked, you see signs of the attack on the body… It hasn’t been released yet. I’m waiting to see that.”

“If someone holds you down and strangles you, you see evidence on the body – bruises,” Siegel added. “The other question that has come up … is about the suicide watch situation which is shocking to me as a physician who has dealt with severely depressed and suicidal patients.”

“Six days on a suicide watch, prison officials reportedly removed it. Prison officials, guided by who? What self-respecting psychiatrist would say, ‘okay, he’s no longer suicidal,'” Siegel concluded. “There was evidence on July 23rd that he may have done something to his neck, or someone did… suddenly six days later he waves his hand, says he’s fine, and he’s put in an area where ultimately he’s unobserved — because as you know, people fall asleep and they falsify records reportedly.”

WATCH:

Dr. Marc Siegel on Jeffrey Epstein’s death: “The hyoid bone in the neck being fractured and other fractures in the neck, make it more likely, and again, this is a percentage call, more likely that it was a homicide than a suicide” pic.twitter.com/tbHoWQrcyy

— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra)

The New York Post reported on Monday that Epstein was found in his jail cell with a bedsheet wrapped around his neck, apparently killing “himself by kneeling toward the floor and strangling himself.”

On Tuesday, news broke that the two prison guards who were supposed to be monitoring Epstein supposedly fell asleep for three hours, did not check on him, and then allegedly falsified prison records to cover up their actions.

Hours prior to his alleged suicide, Epstein’s cellmate, who Epstein claimed tried to kill him in late July, was reportedly transferred out of the cell, leaving Epstein alone.

“The convicted pedophile also told his lawyers that the neck injuries he suffered in an earlier incident at the Metropolitan Correctional Center were inflicted by his hulking, ex-cop cellmate, which led the lawyers to request that he be taken off a suicide watch, according to a source familiar with Epstein’s case,” The New York Post added.

Respiratory illness related to vaping claims first life in U.S.; Canadian health officials watching situation closely | Globalnews.ca

Health authorities in Illinois say a patient who vaped has died after being hospitalized with a severe respiratory illness.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has not revealed the patient’s gender, age or even how the patient died. The death comes as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigates 153 cases of severe lung illness across 16 states. In all cases, the CDC says patients reported using e-cigarette products or “vaping”

Seventeen-year-old Tryston Zohfeld of Aledo, Texas, spent ten days on life support earlier this summer after his lungs began to fail.

WATCH (Aug. 21, 2019): New concerns about vaping and young people

“I could just feel my heart pounding out of my chest, going a hundred miles an hour,” Zohfeld said.

The teenager was otherwise healthy, though he says he began vaping a few years ago when he was in the eighth grade.

“I think the day they intubated him was probably the worst day of my life,” Zohfeld’s father Matt recalls. “They did the X-ray and it was completely cloudy, all the way through his lungs.”

Health Canada says it has no evidence of any similar illnesses related to vaping but it is monitoring the situation carefully.

“Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, has reached out to her provincial and territorial counterparts so that any similar cases regarding vaping are reported federally as quickly as possible,” a Health Canada spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement to Global News.

WATCH (Aug. 19, 2019) CDC announces investigation into possible link between vaping and lung disease in teens

According to David Hammond, a public health researcher at the University of Waterloo, most of the health risks associated with vaping come from long-term chronic use. Hammonds believes the outbreak of illness in the U.S. is likely related to contaminated products.

“There are thoughts that (some of the patients) may have been vaping THC and so there are contaminants, for example fungicides that are used that when you vape them can release really toxic chemicals.”

The CDC says its working with State Departments of Health to test patient specimens and e-cigarette products for possible contamination.

Health Canada says between January 2015 and August 2019 it has received 14 reports of adverse health effects related to e-cigarette use.

The US won’t vaccinate migrant children against the flu at border camps

The U.S. won’t be vaccinating migrant families in holding centers ahead of this year’s flu season, despite calls from doctors to boost efforts to fight the infection that’s killed at least three children at detention facilities in the past year.

“In general, due to the short-term nature of CBP holding and the complexities of operating vaccination programs, neither CBP nor its medical contractors administer vaccinations to those in our custody,” a Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

At least three children who were held in detention centers after crossing into the U.S. from Mexico have died in recent months, in part, from the flu, according to a letter to Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., from several doctors urging Congress to investigate health conditions at the centers.

The U.S. had previously gone almost a decade without any children dying while under U.S. immigration custody.

“I can tell you from personal experience that child deaths are rare events,” Harvard pediatrics professor Dr. Jonathan Winickoff said in an email. Winickoff, who is also the director of pediatric research for Harvard’s Tobacco Research and Treatment Center, signed on to the Aug. 1 letter with forensic pathologist Judy Melinek and Johns Hopkins public health professors Dr. Joshua Sharfstein and Dr. Paul Spiegel.

They said the U.S. death rate in children from the flu is about one in 600,000. So far, three children have died out of 200,000 people held at detention facilities along the border, they wrote.

“When I learned that multiple children had died in detention from potentially preventable causes, it truly disturbed me,” Winickoff said. “The country needs urgent answers to that question so that children stop dying in detention.”

Winickoff said that current holding conditions, like being placed in close proximity to other immigrants, make it easy to spread infectious diseases from person to person. He added that contracting the flu weakens a child’s immune system, making it harder to fight off other illnesses.

“A child might start out with flu but then die of another infection,” he added.

If conditions don’t improve, Dr. Julie Linton, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Immigrant Child and Family Health, said more children will needlessly die.

“There’s a number of things that we can do to prevent deaths and infection. Those do not include holding children in cage-like facilities and warehouses altogether,” Linton said.

Children come into holding centers with a sense of resilience, Linton said, and potentially stronger immune systems. But the stress from being held against their will can cause immune systems to tank, she said.

That, paired with unsanitary conditions, such as open toilets and “insufficient supplies” to wash hands, is a breeding ground for infection, Linton added.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends annual flu shots for everyone over 6 months old in the U.S.

The U.S. has seen an influx of people crossing the southern border, seeking relief from their home countries over the past year. From October through July, nearly 70,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended at the border, according to CBP data. In the same time period, 432,838 “family units” were taken into U.S. custody.

That’s led to dangerous overcrowding of migrant facilities, where investigators for the Department of Homeland Security reported prolonged holding children without access to showers or laundry facilities. DHS inspectors said adults were being held in standing-room-only areas for up to a week and some had gone a month without a shower, contributing to unsanitary conditions and health risks, according to a July 2 report by the agency’s Office of Inspector General that was obtained by NBC News.

“Flu deaths are particularly tragic in my opinion because they are almost always preventable with good public health measures,” Winickoff said.

When asked about health-care access for people in custody, a CBP spokesperson said there’s been a “dramatic increase” in medical personnel working along the southern border. CBP currently engages about 200 medical personnel, compared to the 20 personnel a year ago.

“Medical personnel on site are available 24/7 to provide medical diagnosis and treatment, address infectious disease issues, and coordinate referral to and follow up from local health system/emergency rooms,” the spokeswoman said.

Migrants who “require vaccination” are referred to local health systems where they “may receive vaccinations … if determined necessary,” she said.

Linton acknowledged the government was employing more pediatricians, but said more legislation needs to be passed to increase care and conditions.

“When you’re border patrol, whose responsibility is law enforcement, and giving them the responsibility of medical care, that’s a complicated mission,” Linton said. “It’s critical to speak up as doctors.”

Jeffrey Epstein has died: Financier facing sex trafficking charges dies from apparent suicide today – CBS News

Financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was facing federal sex trafficking charges, died Saturday from an apparent suicide, federal officials said. The federal Bureau of Prisons said in a statement the FBI was investigating his death.

Epstein, 66, was found unresponsive in his cell at a holding facility in New York City at around 6:30 a.m., according to the statement. Staff at the Metropolitan Correctional Center tried to revive him, and he was eventually taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The New York City medical examiner’s office was also investigating Epstein’s cause of death, a spokesperson told CBS News, and will conduct an autopsy and toxicology test to determine the cause. Federal prosecutors in New York alleged Epstein abused dozens of underage girls as young as 14.

Epstein was found injured on the floor of his cell in late July. At the time, law enforcement sources told CBS News Epstein was found semi-conscious with slight bruising around his neck.

Epstein was charged last month with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking with underage females. He pleaded not guilty.

The indictment came 11 years after Epstein cut a deal with attorneys in Florida to avoid a similar charge. “Over the course of many years, Jeffrey Epstein, the defendant, sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations,” the indictment reads.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier calls for investigation

“Jeffrey Epstein was a serial child molester who evaded accountability because he was rich, powerful, and well-connected,” Congresswoman Jackie Speier said in a statement. “His suicide doesn’t change that. We need answers as to how this could have happened. Most importantly, we need justice for his victims.”

Speier, a co-chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and member of the House Oversight Committee, pointed to Epstein’s connections to people in power and said more investigation is needed.

“A cache of documents unsealed yesterday shows Epstein had a vast network of young girls he abused and trafficked and that he was aided and abetted by law enforcement, prosecutors, and others who looked the other way. Their complicity in his crimes didn’t just fail these young girls in their bid for justice, it was a further violation of their trust and lives,” the statement says.

“With the criminal proceedings against Epstein over, it is time for the Committee on Oversight and Reform to conduct an investigation as to how this preferential plea deal happened in the first place. Epstein’s crimes were not contained to him. Congress has a duty to ensure all those who played a role in this travesty of justice answer to those crimes. The survivors of Epstein’s exploitation demand and deserve nothing less.”

An attorney who has represented more than a dozen women accusing Epstein of sexual abuse called the apparent suicide “unfortunate and predictable.”

“While we engaged in contentious legal battles for more than a decade, this is not the ending anyone was looking for,” Brad Edwards said in a statement. “The victims deserved to see Epstein held accountable, and he owed it to everyone he hurt to accept responsibility for all of the pain he caused.”

“We will continue to represent his victims and will not stop in their pursuit of finality and justice,” Edwards said. In a statement on Twitter, Lisa Bloom, who represents three accusers, said civil cases would continue.

“Predator Jeffrey Epstein killed himself. On behalf of the victims I represent, we would have preferred he lived to face justice. Our civil cases can still proceed against his estate. Victims deserve to be made whole for the lifelong damage he caused. We’re just getting started.”

Bloom later posted to Twitter a statement from one of her clients. “I will never have a sense of closure now,” the statement said. “I’m angry as hell that the prison could have allowed this to happen and that I and his other victims will never see him face the consequences for his horrendous actions. I hope that whoever allowed this to happen, also faces some type of consequence. You stole from us, the huge piece of healing that we needed to move on with our lives.”

Epstein autopsy reveals neck injuries more common in homicides than suicides

Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy revealed multiple broken bones in his neck that are more commonly found in homicide by strangulation than suicide by hanging, sources told the Washington Post.

Epstein, a convicted sex offender who was in prison on charges of child sex trafficking, was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan on Saturday morning, having apparently hanged himself.

The autopsy, which has not yet revealed a definitive cause of death, showed that Epstein’s hyoid bone was broken. The hyoid bone is near the Adam’s apple. Although that bone can break during a hanging, especially if the person is older, the hyoid bone more commonly breaks during strangulation murders.

Barbara Sampson, New York City’s chief medical examiner, cautioned against taking a single factor from an autopsy and using it to draw a wider conclusion about the cause of death.

“In all forensic investigations, all information must be synthesized to determine the cause and manner of death,” Sampson said in a statement. “Everything must be consistent; no single finding can be evaluated in a vacuum.”

Epstein’s autopsy was completed on Sunday, but the cause of death is still listed as “pending.” Epstein was found in his cell by guards having apparently hung himself with a bedsheet.

While the broken hyoid bone does not automatically indicate a homicide, it is cause for additional scrutiny by medical examiners, and sources told The Washington Post that Sampson’s office is seeking information about Epstein’s condition just before his death, including video evidence of the jail hallways and a toxicology screening.

According to the New York Post, Epstein was in good spirits in the hours before his death, having told his lawyers “I’ll see you Sunday” during their last meeting.

“He was delusional,” a source told the Post. “He thought he was going to get the same deal he got in Florida.”

Epstein received a favorable plea deal in 2008 that granted him immunity from federal sex trafficking charges in exchange for a guilty plea on a state charge. Epstein served a 13-month prison sentence that included a work-release agreement that allowed him to spend six days per week in an office.

Jeffrey Epstein told guards that someone tried to KILL HIM weeks before he hanged himself | Daily Mail Online

Jeffrey Epstein told prison guards and fellow inmates that he believed someone had tried to kill him weeks before his death, a source has revealed to DailyMail.com. He was found hanging in his jail cell on Saturday morning

Jeffrey Epstein told prison guards and fellow inmates that he believed someone had tried to kill him in the weeks before his death, a source has revealed to DailyMail.com 

The insider, who had seen the disgraced financier on several occasions during his incarceration at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, also claims that the normally reserved Epstein seemed to be in good spirits.

‘There was no indication that he might try to take his own life,’ the source told DailyMail.com

‘From what I saw, he was finally starting to adjust to prison. I think he was comforted by the rigidity of his new life.’

The world was left stunned early Saturday after news that Epstein was found hanging in his prison cell shortly before 7am. 

The 66-year-old was rushed to nearby New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan hospital where he was pronounced dead.

On Saturday afternoon, a black bag believed to contain Epstein’s body was pictured being taken out of the hospital.   

The body was later switched into a white van belonging to a medical examiner, before it was transported away. 

A coroner will now perform an investigation.

A black bag believed to contain Epstein’s body was pictured being taken out of New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan hospital on Saturday afternoon

The body was loaded onto a stretcher and placed in the back of a black SUV, before it was later switched into a white van for transportation to the medical examiner’s office

Epstein hanged himself inside his prison cell at Manhattan Correctional Center early on Saturday morning

Hospital staff are seen preparing a white coroner’s van before Epstein’s body was loaded inside 

A coroner will now examine Epstein’s body, while both the FBI and the Inspector General will open investigations into the circumstances surrounding his death

In a statement, Metropolitan Correctional Center told DailyMail.com that the FBI is now launching an investigation into Epstein’s death.  

The former financier, 66, was awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking and was being held at the high-security complex without bail.  

Epstein – who once boasted an array of high-profile friends including Prince Andrew and President Bill Clinton – was arrested on July 6, accused of arranging to have sex with underage girls at his residences in New York City and Florida between 2002 and 2005.  

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.  

Epstein’s suicide comes just two weeks after he was hospitalized following what may have been an initial attempt to take his own life. 

On July 24, Epstein was rushed to hospital under police guard after he was discovered semi-conscious on the floor of his prison cell in the fetal position. 

Epstein was being held without bail at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking

Epstein’s suicide comes just two weeks after he was hospitalized following what may have been an initial attempt to take his own life. He is pictured in New York in January

Epstein was incarcerated at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (pictured). Police are pictured patrolling outside the prison on Saturday afternoon

He spent several hours receiving medical attention before he was transported back to the Metropolitan Correctional Center.    

It has not been confirmed whether Epstein attempted suicide, or whether he may have been attacked inside his prison cell.  

The billionaire had been taken off suicide watch before taking his own life on Saturday morning – sparking outrage from Attorney General William Barr who has now vowed to look into the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death. 

‘Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,’ Barr said in a statement on Saturday afternoon. 

‘In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of the death’. 

According to a prison officer, Epstein was being kept in a special unit with additional security, but he was not being actively surveyed by officials at the facility. 

The decision to remove Epstein, who was possibly the most high-profile inmate in the federal jail system, from suicide watch has both baffled and outraged former wardens and veterans of the federal prison system alike.

‘For them to pull him off suicide watch is shocking,’ Cameron Lindsay, a former warden, told NBC News

‘For someone this high-profile, with these allegations and this many victims, who has had a suicide attempt in the last few weeks, you can take absolutely no chances. You leave him on suicide watch until he’s out of there.’

Meanwhile, a number of other high-profile Washington figures have demanded more information as to what happened to Epstein.  

Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter shortly after news of the millionaire’s death broke, stating: ‘We need answers. Lots of them’.  

2020 Presidential hopefuls Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand also demanded transparency as to the details of Epstein’s death.  

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Following news of the Epstein’s death, several purported victims spoke of their anger at the fact the millionaire will not face justice for his alleged crimes. 

Jennifer Araoz – who claimed she was raped by Epstein at the age of 15 – told NBC News: ‘I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face survivors of his abuse in court. We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed.’ 

Attorney Lisa Bloom – who represents three of the millionaire’s alleged sex trafficking victims – shared a statement from one of her anonymous accusers.

‘I will never have a sense of closure now. I am angry as hell that the prison could have allowed this to happen and that I and his other victims will never see him face the consequences for his horrendous actions,’ the statement read.

‘I hope that whoever allowed this to happen also faces some type of consequence. You stole from us, the huge piece of healing that we needed to move on with our lives.’

Epstein is pictured with his associate and one-time girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005. On Friday, explosive court documents pertaining to a 2015 lawsuit filed against Maxwell were unsealed, revealing damning new details about Epstein’s alleged crimes

Epstein’s shocking suicide comes just 24 hours after court documents from Virginia Roberts Giuffre (pictured) were unsealed

BOMBSHELL COURT DOCUMENTS UNSEALED

Epstein’s death comes just 24 hours after more than 2,000 pages of documents detailing the lurid allegations of his sexual abuse of underage girls were unsealed to the public. 

On Friday morning, a federal appeals court published explosive documents pertaining to a 2015 lawsuit that Virginia Roberts Giuffre had filed against Epstein’s associate, socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.  

Giuffre claimed Epstein and Maxwell kept her as a ‘sex slave’ in the early 2000s, whilst she was underage. 

The unsealed papers – which made international news on Friday – implicated a number of high-profile men in sex scandals.    

They include transcripts of a May 3, 2016 deposition made by Giuffre, in which she alleged that she was trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell to have sex with and provide erotic massages for politicians and affluent businessmen. 

Giuffre claimed that she was ‘instructed’ by Maxwell to have sex with former Senate Majority George Mitchell and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. 

Both Richardson and Mitchell have denied the allegations. 

According to the documents, Giuffre claimed she also had sex with Epstein’s friend Prince Andrew on multiple occasions, including once in London when she was 17 years of age. 

Jeffrey Epstein’s former sex slave Virginia Roberts Giuffre alleges that she was intimate with Prince Andrew on multiple occasions. She is pictured with Prince Andrew and Maxwell at Maxwell’s London townhouse in 2001

Prince Andrew is pictured with Epstein in Central Park in December 2010

The Prince has always denied any wrongdoing and in a 2015 court application, a judge threw out Guiffre’s allegations that she had sex with the Prince. 

The judge ordered the allegations to be struck from the record as being ‘immaterial and impertinent.’

Buckingham Palace also issued on the record statements in January 2015, stating: ‘Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.’ 

Giuffre was working at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort at the time she met Ghislaine Maxwell, who then went on to introduce her to Epstein.

Epstein is known for his previous friendship with President Trump but Giuffre has denied ever having sexual relationships with the Commander-in-chief. 

Jeffrey Epstein (left) and Donald Trump together at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1997. Giuffre says she never had sex with Trump

Trump is pictured with then-girlfriend and now-wife Melania Trump alongside Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago club in 2000

Epstein was also an associate of President Bill Clinton – but the unsealed court documents reveal that Giuffre similarly denied ever being intimate him. 

Giuffre was the first woman to go public with accusations against Epstein – and is the most high profile of his alleged victims.

The alleged ‘sex slave’ has previously recounted how she found herself being shuttled around the world and raped by men three times her age in court papers after she met Ghislaine Maxwell. 

‘Epstein had promised me a lot, and I knew if I left I would be in big trouble. I also knew that I was a witness to a lot of illegal and very bad behavior by Epstein and his friends,’ stated one filing.

‘If I left Epstein, he knew all kinds of powerful people. He could have had me killed or abducted, and I always knew he was capable of that if I did not obey him. He let me know that he knew many people in high places… I was very scared, particularly since I was a teenager.’ 

‘When I was with him, Epstein had sex with underage girls on a daily basis. His interest in this kind of sex was obvious to the people around him,’ she also stated. 

‘The activities were so obvious and bold that anyone spending any significant time at one of Epstein’s residences would have clearly been aware of what was going on.’

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S UNDOING: A TIMELINE OF THE MILLIONAIRE PEDOPHILE’S DOWNFALL

1999 – Virginia Roberts Giuffre is allegedly recruited by Ghislaine Maxwell to became Epstein’s ‘sex slave,’ at 17. She also claimed that he forced her to have sex with his friend Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth.

2002 – Trump tells New York Magazine that his friend Epstein ‘likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.’

2005 – A 14-year-old girl tells police that Epstein molested her at his Palm Beach mansion.

May 2006 – Epstein and two of his associates are charged with multiple counts of unlawful sex acts with a minor. State attorney of the time Barry Krischer, referred the case to a grand jury who heard from just two of the 12 girls law enforcement had gathered as potential witnesses. They returned just one single count of soliciting prostitution.

July 2006 – The case is referred to the FBI by the Florida Palm Beach police who were unhappy with how the case was handled.

2007 – Epstein’s lawyers meet with Miami’s top federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta, who would later become the Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration. They secretly negotiate the ‘deal of a lifetime’.

June 2008 – After pleading guilty to two prostitution charges, the millionaire was sentenced to 18 months in a low-security prison in exchange for prosecutors ending their investigation into his sex acts with minors and give him immunity from future prosecution related to those charges. In reality, Epstein was able to work from his office six days a week while supposedly incarcerated at the jail.

July 2008 – Accusers learned of the deal for the first time.

July 2009 – Epstein is released from jail five months early.

July 2018 – The Miami Herald publishes investigative journalist Julie K. Brown’s exposé on Epstein’s long history of alleged sexual abuse and news of the ‘deal of a lifetime’ after Acosta was made Labor Secretary.

February 2019 – The justice department opens an internal review into Epstein’s plea deal.

July 7, 2019 – Epstein is arrested after his private jet lands at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport from Paris. At the same time, federal agents break into his Manhattan townhouse where they uncovered hundreds of photographs of naked minors.

July 8, 2019 – Epstein is charged with sex trafficking charges which detail how he created a network of underage girls in Florida and New York, paying girls as young as 14 to provide ‘massages and sex acts.’ The charges carry a sentence of up to 45 years in prison.

July 11, 2019 – More than a dozen women, not previously known to law enforcement, came forward to accuse him of sex abuse.

July 24 – Epstein was found unconscious in his cell after an apparent suicide attempt. He was moved to suicide watch at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

August 9, 2019 – More than 2,000 documents are unsealed which reveal the lurid allegations against Epstein in detail.

August 10, 2019 – Epstein is found dead in his cell.

CHARGES OF CONSPIRACY AND SEX TRAFFICKING

At the time of his suicide, Epstein was facing up to 45 years in prison on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking following his arrest on July 7. 

The millionaire was taken into custody at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport after his private jet landed from Paris. 

On the same day, federal agents raided his $77 million Manhattan townhouse where they uncovered hundreds of photographs of naked minors. 

Prosecutors claim Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage teenagers, some as young as 14, at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida, between 2002 and 2005.

They allege the businessman was ‘well aware that many of the victims were minors.’

The girls were paid hundreds of dollars in cash to massage him, perform sexual acts and to recruit other girls, prosecutors allege.

They say Epstein had an army of recruiters, often not much older than their targets, who would approach vulnerable teens. 

After his arrest, Epstein was subsequently denied bail.  

After Epstein’s arrest, federal agents raided his $77 million Manhattan townhouse (pictured) where they uncovered hundreds of photographs of naked minors

PREVIOUS CONVICTION AND ‘SWEETHEART DEAL’

Epstein is a convicted pedophile who was previously served 13 months in a Florida prison after pleading guilty to procuring an underage prostitute in the state. 

Prior to his conviction in June 2008, Epstein’s lawyers met with Miami’s top federal prosecutor, Alexander Acosta, to negotiate a ‘lenient plea deal’.   

Epstein pleaded guilty in exchange for the short prison sentence in a low-security jail, as well as immunity from future prosecution related to his charges. 

It was later revealed that Epstein was allowed to leave prison on a regularly basis to work at a nearby office.

In recent months, critics have been outraged by the lenient sentence, dubbed ‘a sweetheart deal’. 

Last month, Acosta – who negotiated the deal – was forced to resign from his post as Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration over the fallout.  

Epstein was released from prison in early 2010 and quickly managed to make his way back into high-powered New York circles. 

He was spotted walking in Central Park with Prince Andrew later that same year. 

Katie Couric, Woody Allen, Chelsea Handler and George Stephanopoulos were invited to a dinner at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion alongside the Prince in 2010. 

FROM MIDDLE CLASS TO MULTI-MILLIONAIRE: HOW EPSTEIN ACQUIRED HIS FORTUNE  

Epstein was born to a middle-class family in Brooklyn, New York. He attended public school before dropping out of an undergraduate degree at Cooper Union. 

Despite having no formal qualifications, Epstein commenced work as a physics and mathematics teacher at the prestigious Dalton School in Manhattan. He was hired by then- headmaster Donald Barr – the father of current Attorney General, William Barr.  

It proved to be the beginning of four decades spent in the midst of power and privilege. 

During his two-year tenure at the elite private school, Epstein met Bear Stearns CEO Alan Greenberg, whose two children were students at Dalton. 

Greenberg was reportedly impressed by Epstein’s quick mind, and offered him a job as a trader at Bear Stearns in 1976.

Epstein quickly found success in the field, and went on to work as a financial consultant.

He opened his own financial management firm, J. Epstein & Company, in 1988. 

Epstein had pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls from at least 2002 to 2005. He is pictured in 2005

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S ALLEGED VICTIMS  

VIRGINIA ROBERTS GIUFFRE 

 Virginia Roberts Giuffre is pictured above at a museum in New Mexico in 2001 in a photo snapped by Epstein)

Virginia Roberts Giuffre is perhaps the most high-profile of Epstein’s alleged victims. 

She claims she is a former sex slave of Epstein and says the millionaire asked her to be a surrogate when she was just 18, around the same time he said she was too old for his sexual perversions.

Her allegations were made public when her since-settled lawsuit against Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell was included among the more than 2,000 pages of documents made public by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

In a deposition included in the newly released papers, Giuffre said that her father, who worked at Mar-a-Lago as a maintenance manager, got her a job there in summer 2000 as a locker room attendant at the club’s spa when she was 16.

She said she was reading a book on massage therapy one day when she was approached by Maxwell, who noticed the book and told her she knew someone seeking a traveling masseuse. When Giuffre said she had no experience or credentials, she recalled Maxwell said: ‘We can train you. We can get you educated.’

The court records contain graphic allegations against Epstein, portraying him as a sex slave-driver with an insatiable appetite for underage girls.

‘My whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy,’ Giuffre said. ‘Their whole entire lives revolved around sex.’

Giuffre said Maxwell instructed her to take off her clothes and give oral sex to Epstein the first time she met him after bringing her to Epstein’s Florida home near Mar-a-Lago with the expectation she would be trained as a masseuse.

Prosecutors have not accused Maxwell of any wrongdoing. They say they continue to investigate.

In her own deposition, Maxwell called the claims another one of Giuffre’s ‘many fictitious lies and stories to make this a salacious event to get interest and press. It’s absolute rubbish.’  

Giuffre managed to escape, after being sent to Thailand for her 19th birthday to take a massage course. She now lives with her husband and children in Australia. 

JENNIFER ARAOZ

Jennifer Araoz (pictured left as a teenager, and right in 2019)  claims she was a victim of Jeffrey Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein was hit with a lawsuit from Jennifer Araoz on July 23 of this year. 

Araoz, now 32, claims she was 15-years-old when she met Epstein after a ‘recruiter’ targeted her outside of her Manhattan high school and lured her to the millionaire’s house, located several blocks away. 

For the next year, Epstein allegedly manipulated Araoz into giving him massages that ended with him masturbating while he showered her with gifts and cash.

The illicit contact ended after Epstein ‘forcibly raped’ her, according to Araoz. 

Araoz claims she dropped out of school to avoid Epstein and her life quickly deteriorated. She is seeking damages for her emotional injuries.

JOHANNA SJOBERG

Johanna Sjoberg is pictured in 2007

One of the women who alleges she was ‘lured’ to Jeffrey Epstein’s New York City mansion says the multimillionaire sex offender told her he needed to have ‘three orgasms a day.’

‘It was biological, like eating,’ Epstein is alleged to have told Johanna Sjoberg.

Sjoberg’s testimony was revealed after a federal appeals court on Friday unsealed about 2,000 pages of documents related to Epstein, the financier facing charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls.

The documents were released by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, as part of a defamation lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers, against Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime friend of Epstein.

Sjoberg gave statements in a deposition as part of a lawsuit brought against Maxwell by Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

She said that she was recruited by Maxwell in 2001, when she was a student at Palm Beach Atlantic College.

Sjoberg was under the impression she was being hired as a personal assistant, but she soon realized her job was to provide ‘sexual massages’ to Epstein.

According to The New York Times, Sjoberg was ‘punished’ when Epstein failed to orgasm as a result of one of her massages.

Giuffre alleges that Maxwell recruited her when she was 16 years old to be Epstein’s ‘sex slave.’

The lawsuit was settled in 2017 while the terms were kept confidential.

JENA-LISA JONES

Jena-Lisa Jones (left) stated on Saturday: ‘God will have his judgement now’. Michelle Licata (right) said: ‘I just wanted him to be held accountable for his actions’

 Jena-Lisa Jones claims she was just 14 years old when she was allegedly molested by Epstein in Florida. 

The purported incident, which occurred in the mid-2000s, left Jones feeling traumatized. 

 ‘You beat yourself up mentally and physically,’ the now-30 year old previously told The Miami-Herald. 

Jones has become one of the first women to speak out following news of Epstein’s death. 

‘God will have his judgement now,’ she told NBC. 

COURTNEY WILD

Alleged victim Courtney Wild (left) is pictured with her lawyer. She claims she was just 14 years old when she met Epstein

Last year, Courtney Wild told The Miami Herald that she first met Jeffrey Epstein in 2002, when she 14-years-old and still wearing braces.

She alleges that she helped recruit underage girls for the financier for seven years, alleging that he preferred those who were ‘white and easy to manipulate’.

‘By the time I was 16, I had probably brought him 70 to 80 girls who were all 14 and 15 years old… He wanted as many girls as I could get him. It was never enough,’ she told the paper. 

Wild was wracked with guilt following her association with Epstein and her life fell apart. 

She served three years in prison on drugs charges and was only released in November of last year.  

MICHELLE LICATA AND ANNIE FARMER 

 Michelle Licata (left) and Annie Farmer (right) say they were both victims of Jeffrey Epstein

Michelle Licata claims she was a 16-year-old virgin living in Florida when she was recruited by a high-school friend to give ‘massages’ to Epstein. 

Soon after arriving at the millionaire’s Florida mansion, she says she felt uncomfortable and he allegedly began calling her ‘beautiful and sexy and gorgeous’.

She described an encounter with Epstein to The Miami Herald in excruciating detail last year. 

Believing she was going to give the financier an innocent massage, she was left traumatized when he began masturbating in front of her. 

‘He kept trying to put his fingers inside me and told me to pinch his nipples. He was mostly saying ‘just do that, harder, harder and do this…

‘He ruined my life and a lot of girls’ lives,’ Licata told the paper last year. 

  Meanwhile, Annie Farmer said she was 16 when she met Epstein in New York.

‘He was inappropriate with me,’ she told reporters earlier this month, although she did not disclose further details. 

She was one of Epstein’s alleged victims who appeared in court on July 15 urging a judge to keep the millionaire behind bars, rather than release him on bail.  

UNNAMED 15-YEAR-OLD SWEDISH GIRL

 Court documents also revealed that a 15-year-old Swedish girl was allegedly confined to Epstein’s private island (pictured) and kept there as a sex slave

Court documents also revealed that a 15-year-old Swedish girl was allegedly confined to Epstein’s private island and kept there as a sex slave.

The horrific allegations were made by a butler who worked for hedge fund millionaire Glenn Dubin and his wife, Eva Andersson-Dubin.

During a 2016 deposition which was revealed publicly for the first time on Friday, the butler, Rinaldo Rizzo, tearfully described seeing a 15-year-old girl in his boss’s kitchen in 2005.

Rizzo testified in the deposition that the girl was brought to the home by Andersson-Dubin, a former Miss Sweden who once dated Epstein.

The butler said that the girl reminded him of other girls he saw at Epstein’s home, according to The Daily Beast.

Rizzo said the girl sat in a stool next to a kitchen counter in the Dubins’ home. She was ‘distraught and shaking…literally quivering’ as she described her treatment at the hands of Epstein’s alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, and his assistant, Sarah Kellen, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

He claims he told her that they had demanded sex from her and taken away her passport and threatened her when she refused.

Rizzo testified in a deposition which was part of Giuffre’s defamation lawsuit brought against Maxwell.

Giuffre also accused Glenn Dubin of participating in the sex-trafficking ring, according to court documents.

Dubin has denied the allegations.

HOW EPSTEIN ‘STOLE MILLIONS’ FROM HIS LONGTIME FRIEND AND VICTORIA’S SECRET FOUNDER LESLIE WEXNER WHILE MANAGING HIS FINANCES

The retail titan behind Victoria’s Secret has accused the financier Jeffrey Epstein of misappropriating ‘vast sums’ of his fortune while managing his personal finances more than a decade ago.

Ohio billionaire Leslie Wexner said in a letter Wednesday that he recovered ‘some of the funds’ but severed ties with Epstein in 2007 as sexual abuse allegations first surfaced against him in Florida.

The letter was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which put the amount of misappropriated money at more than $46 million.

It’s unclear whether Wexner reported the allegations to law enforcement.

‘This was, frankly, a tremendous shock, even though it clearly pales in comparison to the unthinkable allegations against him now,’ Wexner wrote.

He added that he was ‘sickened’ by Epstein’s alleged abuse of dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida.

Wexner is the founder and chief executive officer of L Brands, a fashion retailer based in Ohio. The company’s board recently hired an outside law firm to review any role Epstein may have played at the business.

Epstein managed Wexner’s fortune beginning in the late 1980s and helped straighten out the finances for a real estate development Wexner was backing in a wealthy Columbus, Ohio, suburb.

It was through Wexner that Epstein acquired his seven-story Manhattan mansion less than a block from Central Park, a 21,000-square-foot residence that has been valued at about $77 million.

Wexner said he believed he could trust Epstein at first based on ‘friends who vouched for and recommended him as a knowledgeable financial professional.’

‘I am embarrassed that, like so many others, I was deceived by Mr. Epstein,’ he wrote in the letter. ‘I know now that my trust in him was grossly misplaced and I deeply regret having ever crossed his path.’

Leslie Wexner, the founder and CEO of Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands Inc, accused Jeffrey Epstein of stealing more than $46million from his family’s fortune. Wexner (above with model Stella Maxwell in 2016) hired Epstein as his money manager in 1991 and cut ties with him in 2007 after the financier was accused of sexually abusing underage girls

JEFFREY EPSTEIN AND HIS BIZARRE LEGACY: HE PLANNED TO SEED THE HUMAN RACE WITH HIS DNA AND HAVE HIS HEAD AND PENIS FROZEN WHEN HE DIED 

Multiple sources told The New York Times that over the years, Epstein revealed to scientists and close friends that he ‘hoped to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating women at his vast New Mexico ranch.’

A NASA scientist who attended one of Epstein’s dinners after he served time for soliciting a minor said that the disgraced moneyman had based this idea on the Repository for Germinal Choice.

That was a bank which had been created with the intent of only accepting the DNA of Nobel prize winners, and ultimately closed down after getting a single submission.

Some suspected that Epstein’s dinners were a ploy to kick-start his plan, gathering attractive college-educated women who he saw as candidates to carry his offspring.

Epstein also told one person that upon his death, ‘he wanted his head and penis to be frozen’ and donated to charities that supported transhumanism, the belief that the human race can further advance and evolve using advancements from the worlds of science.

Dozens of acquaintances – including one of Epstein’s former defense attorneys – told the Times this was all fueled by his veiled fascination for eugenics, the idea that the human race could be improved through selective breeding.

Epstein mingled with the cream of the scientific community, and was heavily involved in many scientific pursuits.

He called himself a ‘scientific philanthropist’, donating a rumored $20 million a year, and hosting parties in the US and on the Virgin Islands.

Jeffrey Epstein dead of apparent suicide.

Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, awaiting sex trafficking charges, dead of apparent suicide


Doug Stanglin and Kevin McCoy


USA TODAY
Published 7:17 PM EDT Aug 10, 2019

NEW YORK — Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier who was being held in a Manhattan jail awaiting federal sex trafficking charges, died early Saturday from an apparent suicide, according to federal authorities.

After being found “unresponsive in his cell” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center at around 6:39 a.m. and receiving life-saving measures, Epstein was transported to nearby New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to a statement by the MCC. The center referred to his death as an “apparent suicide.”

Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled” that Epstein’s died of apparent suicide while in federal custody at the MCC, which is part of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility under the Department of Justice.

“Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said in a statement. “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.”

U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, in turn, took Barr to task over the affair with a stinging letter to the attorney general demanding that “heads must roll.”

“Every single person in the Justice Department — from your Main Justice headquarters staff all the way to the night-shift jailer — knew that this man was a suicide risk, and that his dark secrets couldn’t be allowed to die with him,” wrote Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein, 66, an investment banker who counted among his powerful connections former President Bill Clinton, President Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, had pleaded not guilty to charges of drug trafficking and allegedly sexually abusing dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida.

He repeatedly refused to answer questions regarding the lurid sexual allegations against him or the possible involvement of others, including high-profile figures.

His death came within 24 hours after long-sealed documents were released by a federal court in a since-settled lawsuit against Epstein’s ex-girlfriend brought by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers. 

Among the thousands of pages of documents was the partial transcript of a 2016 videotaped deposition in which Epstein pleaded the Fifth Amendment against incriminating himself when asked a series of explosive questions, including whether he was a member of the Mar-a-Largo resort in Florida owned by Trump. 

Sigrid McCawley, Giuffre’s attorney, said Epstein’s suicide less than 24 hours after the documents were unsealed “is no coincidence.” McCawley called on federal authorities to continue their investigation, focusing on Epstein associates who she said “participated and facilitated Epstein’s horrifying sex trafficking scheme.”

“The reckoning of accountability begun by the voices of brave and truthful victims should not end with Jeffrey Epstein’s cowardly and shameful suicide,” McCawley said in a statement. “The victims await the true justice they have sought and deserve.”

Three weeks ago, Epstein was found unconscious in his cell at the center. He had suffered injuries to his neck in what appeared to be a suicide attempt or jailhouse assault.

A person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that Epstein had been taken off suicide watch. The person wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity. It wasn’t immediately clear when he was taken off suicide watch.

The New York Times, quoting a person familiar with Epstein’s detention, reported that he was removed from suicide watch July 29 and returned to the special housing unit, which has extra security.

Epstein had been housed in the jail’s Special Housing Unit, a heavily secured part of the facility that separates high-profile inmates from the general population, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

Three members of Epstein’s defense team, lawyers Reid Weingarten, Marty Weinberg and Michael Miller, issued a statement saying, “We are enormously sorry to learn of today’s news. No one should die in jail.” They declined to comment on the circumstances of his death.

Another Epstein lawyer, Marc Fernich, issued a personal statement calling Epstein’s death an “unthinkable tragedy” and criticizing prosecutors, plaintiffs’ lawyers, jailers and the press, among others.

“All seem to have a share of Mr. Epstein’s blood on their hands,” he said. “All should be ashamed of their behavior.”

Fernich said in the statement that he was speaking as an “outraged citizen and defense lawyer, not as a representative of Jeffrey Epstein’s defense team.”

Epstein was convicted in 2008 on Florida charges of soliciting and procuring a person under 18 for prostitution.

He avoided what could have been a lengthy prison sentence under a plea deal with then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta. The deal drew intense scrutiny and led Acosta to resign as President Donald Trump’s labor secretary.

New York City medical examiner personnel leave their vehicle and walk to the Manhattan Correctional Center where financier Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, Saturday Aug. 10, 2019, in New York.
Bebeto Matthews, AP

The recently released documents included depositions of years of alleged sex acts involving underage girls. The material, released as a result of petitions by the Miami Herald and other news media, included sordid allegations involving prominent individuals.

Among the documents are police reports, flight logs and even a purported memoir by a woman who says she was a victim of Epstein’s when she was teenager.

Sigrid McCawley and David Boies, lawyers for accusers of financier Jeffrey Epstein, addressed the media after a hearing at Manhattan Federal Court, July 8, 2019, for Epstein, charged with sex trafficking.
Bebeto Matthews/ AP

Jennifer Araoz said in a statement Saturday she and other accusers will be scarred for the rest of their lives, while he won’t confront the consequences of the “trauma he caused so many people.”

Brad Edwards, a lawyer for nearly two dozen other accusers, called Epstein’s suicide a “selfish act” that was “not the ending anyone was looking for.”

Epstein was arrested by federal agents in July at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after his private jet landed from Paris. 

The federal indictment claims Epstein “incentivized his victims” by paying them hundreds of dollars for each girl they recruited. Encounters with his victims would begin with a “massage” before Epstein would “escalate the nature and scope of physical contact with his victim,” the indictment says. It also says unnamed employees of Epstein aided in scheduling the girls.

Nicholas Biase, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, declined to comment on the reported suicide or the future status of the Epstein case.

The federal investigation into the allegations remains ongoing, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.

It was unclear before Epstein’s death whether federal prosecutors were pursuing a superseding indictment that would include additional charges and defendants beyond Epstein.

Julie K. Brown, a reporter for the Miami Herald whose dogged reporting led to a re-examination of the Epstein saga, told CNN Saturday that his death may bring out more witnesses.

“It might open up the case even more,” she said. “There will be people that maybe will not be as afraid to talk now.”

Contributing: Joey Garrison and The Associated Press

Jeffrey Epstein dies by suicide a month after arrest in child sex trafficking case

Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier criminally charged last month with child sex trafficking, has died by apparent suicide, according to the Justice Department

Epstein, 66, hanged himself in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was being held without bail,  sources told NBC News. He was found at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

He was transported by the FDNY-EMS from the jail to New York Downtown Hospital. When they arrived, Epstein was in cardiac arrest, sources told NBC. He was subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff. The FBI is investigating the incident.

Epstein was being held without bail in the jail since his arrest in early July at an airport in northern New Jersey after arriving there on his private plane on a flight from Paris.

He was previously put on suicide watch after he was found semi-conscious on the floor of his jail cell on July 23 with marks on his neck. Multiple people familiar with the investigation say that Epstein was in his own cell, but was not currently on suicide watch at the time of his death.

Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled’ by Epstein’s suicide and said the inspector general was opening an investigation in addition to the FBI.

“Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said. “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.”

Epstein, a one-time friend of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, was accused of sexually exploiting dozens of underage girls, some of whom were as young as 14.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges. He faced a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison if convicted.

The New York City medical examiner’s office said it is investigating Epstein’s “cause and manner of death.”

A federal appeals court on Friday unsealed nearly 2,000 pages of documents, including one that contains records showing that President Donald Trump flew on Epstein’s private plane in 1997.

Another document showed that an accuser said Epstein’s alleged procurer of underage girls, Ghislaine Maxwell, directed the accuser to have sex with former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, a Maine Democrat, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and other prominent people.

Those files released Friday are part of a defamation lawsuit that Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers, filed against Maxwell several years ago. Both Mitchell and Richardson have denied ever meeting Giuffre. Epstein’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz also has denied Giuffre’s claims to have had sex with him at Maxwell’s behest when Giuffre was underage.

Epstein’s criminal defense lawyer Reid Weingarten did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The US Attorney Office in Manhattan and the FBI NY Office have no comment.

But in a statement to The New York Times, Weingarten and two other Epstein attorneys, Marty Weinberg and Michael Miller said they could not confirm his cause of death and trusted it would be investigated by the United States Attorney’s office and the United States Marshals Service.

“We are enormously sorry to learn of today’s news. No one should die in jail,” they said, according to The Times.

Brad Edwards, an attorney representing some Epstein accusers, called his death “both unfortunate and predictable.”

“The fact that Jeffrey Epstein was able to commit the selfish act of taking his own life as his world of abuse, exploitation, and corruption unraveled is both unfortunate and predictable,” said Edwards in a statement obtained by NBC News.

“The victims deserved to see Epstein held accountable, and he owed it to everyone he hurt to accept responsibility for all of the pain he caused.”

Gerald Lefcourt, a New York lawyer who previously represented Epstein in a similar case in the mid-2000s in Florida, was stunned to learn he had killed himself.

“It’s shocking, totally shocking,” Lefcourt told CNBC in a phone interview.

Lefcourt said Epstein’s suicide was shocking not only because of the circumstances of where it occurred, but also because of Lefcourt and Epstein’s current legal team belief that they could win a dismissal of the pending federal criminal case.

“When somebody is suicidal, you just take better care of them,” Lefcourt said. “This is unheard of, where there’s a suicide attempt, and he’s not closely watched so he can’t hurt himself. It’s just crazy. It’s not understandable.”

Lefcourt in recent weeks had been consulting with Epstein’s current defense lawyers about a non-prosecution deal that Lefcourt had cut with the U.S. Justice Department in 2007, that said Epstein would not be federally prosecuted in Florida as part of a probe there involving suspected sexual abuse of underage girls.

The deal called for Epstein to plead guilty to prostitution-related charges involving an underage girl in a case lodge by a state prosecutor, and to register as a sex offender. In exchange, Epstein and his suspected co-conspirators would not be hit with far more serious federal criminal charges.

U.S. Attorney for Manhattan Geoffrey Berman has said that deal did not prevent Berman’s office from filing the new child sex trafficking case against Epstein last month, even though it involves the same time frame, the same conduct and Epstein’s home in Florida. Berman said the 2007 deal did not bar him, or federal prosecutors outside of southern Florida, from charging Epstein for the same conduct and time frame.

Lefcourt said Berman is wrong. “The deal, if you read it, says to cover all federal and state liability, and even mentions this statute” of sex trafficking, Lefcourt said. “We were preparing to argue that the deal covers this.”

“If you read the agreement, and know that it was approved by the deputy attorney general of the United States, and there was no new women” alleged to be abused since 2007 then the current prosecution “should have been precluded,” Epstein said.

Epstein’s bail was denied in mid-July when U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ruled he was a potential danger to “new victims” from his apparently “uncontrollable” sexual fixation on young girls, and the risk that Epstein would flee to avoid prosecution for child sex trafficking charges.

“This newly discovered evidence also suggests that Mr. Epstein poses ‘ongoing and forward-looking danger,'” the judge wrote. “Mr. Epstein’s dangerousness is considerable and includes sex crimes with minor girls and tampering with potential witnesses.”

That tampering included payments to potential witnesses and possible co-conspirators on the heels of a series of stories in the Miami Herald about Epstein last winter.

Those articles looked back a the prior Florida state and federal investigations into Epstein in the mid-2000s. Those probes focused on Epstein’s hyper-obsessive fixation on receiving daily massages from underage girls and young-looking women at his Palm Beach, Florida, mansion.

Epstein received as many as three “massages” each day his home from the girls and women, who were paid several hundred dollars per session.

Multiple women ended up saying that the massages were of a sexual nature. And a number of those women said that Epstein engaged in sexual conduct with them when they were underage.

Epstein hired a group of high-powered lawyers to defend himself during the probes. His legal team grew after local police, frustrated at what they saw as a state prosecutor’s reluctance to bring serious charges in the case, took evidence to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, the top prosecutor for the area.

That office, led at the time by Alex Acosta, did investigate Epstein.

But in what because a highly controversial decision, Acosta ultimately decided to only sign a non-prosecution agreement with Epstein that let the financier off the hook for serious federal charges.

In exchange, Epstein agreed to plead guilty to minor prostitution-related charges involving an underage girl — charges that were lodged by state prosecutors. Epstein served just 13 months in jail in that case, but much of that time was spent on work release, and jailers reportedly kept his cell door open at night.

As a result of that earlier case, Epstein registered as a sex offender. Acosta’s non-prosecution deal with Epstein generated widespread outrage last month on the heels of Epstein’s arrest for the new federal case in Manhattan.

Critics questioned why Acosta, who by then was Trump’s Labor secretary, had given what was now seen as a sweet-heart deal to Epstein. The deal is under investigation by an internal watchdog at the Justice Department, and has already been blasted by a federal judge because of Acosta’s failure to notify Epstein’s accusers at the time it was being crafted.

Acosta resigned as Labor secretary shortly after Epstein’s arrest last month.

This week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis asked his state’s Law Enforcement Department to conduct an investigation into both the original light plea deal Epstein cut with state prosecutors in 2008, and the circumstances of his stay in jail for that case.

Epstein’s suicide came just days after L Brands chairman and founder Les Wexner claimed that Epstein had misappropriated more than $46 million from Wexner and his family more than a decade ago.

Wexner said the money was found to be missing after Epstein was placed under investigation in Florida in the mid-2000s, and as Wexner moved to sever ties with Epstein, who had managed his finances for years. Wexner said some of the money was returned by Epstein in the form of donations to a Wexner-controlled charity.

To get help: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for free and confidential support.

The link between pot, shootings may be closer than we think

You can’t walk through the streets of Manhattan these days without smelling weed.

Even as evidence mounts of the health problems associated with marijuana, New York has insisted on joining other greedy states scrambling to legalize this deceptively dangerous drug.

It makes no sense at a time when American youth is suffering from an unprecedented mental-health crisis.

And, in all honesty, we cannot rule out a connection between increasing marijuana use, mental illness and the recent spate of mass shootings by disturbed young males.

We don’t know yet know much about the mental state or drug use of the El Paso or Dayton killers. But a former girlfriend of Dayton killer Connor Betts, 24, has indicated he was mentally ill and two of his friends interviewed by reporters this week mentioned his previous drug use.

Just last year, the Parents Opposed to Pot lobby group tried to sound the alarm on the link between marijuana and mass shootings, compiling a list of mass killers it claims were heavy users of marijuana from a young age, from Aurora, Colo., shooter James Holmes and Tucson, Ariz., shooter Jared Loughner to Chattanooga, Tenn., shooter Mohammad Abdulazeez.

Until we understand those links, it is nuts to enact lax laws that ­encourage more young people to use a drug proven to trigger mental illness.

President Trump was right to highlight mental illness in his remarks Wednesday on the El Paso and Dayton shootings, not that his unscrupulous critics will listen, so determined are they to brand him a white supremacist.

We know from a 2018 FBI report that 40 percent of “active shooters” in the US between 2008 and 2013 had been diagnosed with a mental illness before the attack and 70 percent had “mental health stressors” or “mental health concerning behaviors.”

So for anyone actually interested in preventing future such massacres, the so-called “red flag” legislation Trump is advocating to deny mental-illness access to firearms is the most logical measure and the one most likely to be embraced by both sides of politics.

The Ohio madman who slaughtered nine people and wounded at…

But it also should apply to marijuana use, seeing as the two go hand in hand.

You can’t address the youth mental-health crisis without considering the effect of rising teen marijuana use.

Among American teenagers, the drug’s “daily use has become as, or more, popular than daily cigarette smoking” according to the National Institute of Health’s 2017 Monitoring the Future study.

We’ve successfully demonized cigarettes while new laws send kids the message that marijuana is harmless.

Yet we’ve known for more than a decade of the link between marijuana and psychosis, depression and schizophrenia.

In 2007 the prestigious medical journal Lancet recanted its previous benign view of marijuana, citing studies showing “an increase in risk of psychosis of about 40 percent.”

A seminal long-term study of 50,465 Swedish army conscripts found those who had tried marijuana by age 18 had 2.4 times the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia in the following 15 years than those who had never used the drug. Heavy users were 6.7 times more likely to be admitted to a hospital for schizophrenia.

Another study, of 1,037 people in New Zealand, found those who used cannabis at ages 15 and 18 had higher rates of psychotic symptoms at age 26 than non-users.

A 2011 study in the British Medical Journal of 2000 teenagers found those who smoked marijuana were twice as likely to develop psychosis as those who didn’t.

Another BMJ study estimated that “13 percent of cases of schizophrenia could be averted if all cannabis use were prevented.”

America’s gone to pot, with the number of marijuana smokers spiking…

That’s more than 400,000 Americans who could be saved from a fate worse than death.

Young people and those with a genetic predisposition are most at risk, particularly during adolescence, when the brain is exquisitely vulnerable.

The evidence of harm is overwhelming, and it defies logic to think that legalizing marijuana won’t increase the harm.

And yet marijuana activists pretend there is no problem and baby-boomer lawmakers, perhaps recalling their own youthful toking, ­ignore the science.

To make matters worse, the marijuana sold at legal dispensaries today is five times more potent than the pot of the 1970s and ’80s, according to a thoroughly researched new book by former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson: “Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Violence and Mental Health.”

Berenson reports that the first four states to legalize marijuana, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, have seen “sharp increases” in violent crime since 2014.

If we care about mental illness, which has been spiking up at an alarming rate in recent years among young people, especially teenage boys, we should care about the convincing evidence of marijuana-induced psychosis.

We didn’t have to wait for three mass shootings in two weeks to know that young males are in ­crisis.

Youth suicide is at an all-time high and rates of serious mental illness in this country are on the rise, especially among people aged 18 to 25, the cohort most likely to use marijuana.

Young people born in 1999, the birth year of the El Paso shooter, were 50 percent more likely than those born in 1985 to report feeling “serious psychological distress” in the previous month, according to an alarming study published this year in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

With all we know, it’s time to put the brakes on marijuana legalization before it’s too late.

Neo-nutsy Theory

Donald Trump can’t win.

He flew to Dayton and El Paso Wednesday signaling gun-law concessions and trying to unite the nation, but his enemies only stepped up an increasingly unhinged demonization campaign.

Take the MSNBC intelligence analyst who suggested on air that the president was sending a sly code to neo-Nazis by ordering that US flags fly at half-staff through Thursday evening to mark last weekend’s mass shootings.

In his crackpot theory, former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi told MSNBC’s “11th Hour With Brian Williams” that Trump’s choice of Thursday’s date, 8/8/2019, is “very significant in the neo-Nazi and white-supremacy movement.”

That’s because “the letter ‘H’ is the eighth letter of the alphabet and, to them, the numbers “88” together stand for “Heil Hitler.”

This is just madness. When the president’s foes are so determined to paint him as the devil, they only hurt themselves and help him.

Toni Morrison, author and Pulitzer winner, dies aged 88 | Books | The Guardian

Toni Morrison, who chronicled the African American experience in fiction over five decades, has died aged 88.

In a statement on Tuesday, her family and publisher Knopf confirmed that the author died in Montefiore Medical Center in New York on Monday night after a short illness.

Describing her as “our adored mother and grandmother”, Morrison’s family said: “Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well lived life. While we would like to thank everyone who knew and loved her, personally or through her work, for their support at this difficult time, we ask for privacy as we mourn this loss to our family.”

Born in an Ohio steel town in the depths of the Great Depression, Morrison carved out a literary home for the voices of African Americans, first as an acclaimed editor and then with novels such as The Bluest Eye, The Song of Solomon and Beloved. Over the course of a career that garnered honours including the Pulitzer prize, the Nobel prize, the Légion d’Honneur and a Presidential Medal of Freedom presented to her in 2012 by her friend Barack Obama, her work became part of the fabric of American life as it was woven into high school syllabuses up and down the country.

The house where Morrison was born in 1931 stands about a mile from the gates of the Lorain steel factory in Ohio – the first of a series of apartments the family lived in while her father added odd jobs to his shifts at the plant to make the rent. He defied his supervisor and took a second unionised job so he could send his daughter to college. After studying English at Howard University and Cornell, she returned to Washington DC to teach, marrying the architect Howard Morrison and giving birth to two sons.

In 1965, her marriage over after six years, she moved to upstate New York and began working as an editor. It was in Syracuse that she realised the novel she wanted to read didn’t exist, and started writing it herself.

“I had two small children in a small place,” she told the New York Times in 1979, “and I was very lonely. Writing was something for me to do in the evenings, after the children were asleep.”

The book she was missing took Morrison back to Lorain and a conversation she had had at elementary school. Writing in 1993, she remembered how she “got mad” when her friend told her she wanted blue eyes.

“Implicit in her desire was racial self-loathing,” Morrison wrote. “And 20 years later I was still wondering how one learns that. Who told her? Who made her feel that it was better to be a freak than what she was? Who had looked at her and found her so wanting, so small a weight on the beauty scale? The novel pecks away at the gaze that condemned her.”

During the five years it took her to write The Bluest Eye she moved to New York City and started publishing books by Angela Davis, Henry Dumas and Muhammad Ali, but she didn’t tell her colleagues about her own fiction. Speaking to the Paris Review in 1993, Morrison explained that writing was a “private thing”.

“I wanted to own it myself,” she said. “Because once you say it, then other people become involved.”

Published in 1970 with an initial run of 2,000 copies, The Bluest Eye made no bones about its difficult material, wrapping the novel’s hard-hitting opening around the cover: “Quiet as it’s kept, there were no marigolds in the fall of 1941. We thought, at the time, that it was because Pecola was having her father’s baby that the marigolds did not grow.”

The New York Times hailed how Morrison charted the workings of “a cultural engine that seems to have been designed specifically to murder possibilities” in prose “so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry” – a description that dogged the writer for the rest of her career.

Speaking to the New Republic in 1981 , she explained she wanted to write books that were “not … only, even merely, literary” or she would “defeat [her] purposes, defeat [her] audience”.

“That’s why I don’t like to have someone call my books ‘poetic’,” she said, “because it has the connotation of luxuriating richness. I wanted to restore the language that black people spoke to its original power. That calls for a language that is rich but not ornate.”

Morrison’s reputation gradually built as she forged the language of her family and neighbours into three more novels, resigning from Random House in 1983 to devote herself to writing full-time. The publication in 1987 of Beloved, a powerful story set in the middle of the 19th century of a slave who kills her own baby, cemented her status as a national figure. When the novel failed to improve on its shortlisting for the National Book Award, 48 writers signed a letter of protest accusing the publishing industry of “oversight and harmful whimsy”.

“Despite the international stature of Toni Morrison, she has yet to receive the national recognition that her five major works of fiction entirely deserve,” they wrote. “She has yet to receive the keystone honors of the National Book Award or the Pulitzer prize.”

Five months later Beloved won the Pulitzer, unleashing a tide of awards including the Nobel prize for literature in 1993, a National Book Foundation medal in 1996 and a National Humanities medal four years later.

Morrison continued exploring the African American experience – a project she described to the New York Times in 2015 as “writing without the white gaze” – in novels stretching from the 17th century to the present day. She was never afraid to speak up on issues confronting the US, defending president Bill Clinton from criticism in 1998 by calling him the nation’s “first black president”, or reacting to the shooting of Travyon Martin by outlining the “two things I want to see in life. One is a white kid shot in the back by a cop. Never happened. The second thing I want to see: a record of any white man in the entire history of the world who has been convicted of raping a black woman. Just one.”

Speaking after winning her Nobel prize in 1993, Morrison spelled out the dangers of “oppressive language [that] does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge” and offered instead a positive vision of “word-work” which “makes meaning that secures our difference, our human difference – the way in which we are like no other life”.

“We die,” she said. “That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”