Despite being the most high-profile prisoner in the US, Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in federal custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York on August 10, 2019.
The financier, awaiting trial on charges of sex-trafficking underage girls, was found in his cell just after 6.30am.
Throughout the previous night, cameras in the Secure Housing Unit where Epstein was being held weren’t recording, prison guards slept and Epstein was left without a cellmate despite prison psychologists’ direct orders.
Then-Attorney-General Bill Barr would later call the situation a “perfect storm of screw-ups”.
Within a week, a medical examiner had ruled the death a suicide, meaning no further investigation was required.
Eventually, a 128-page report was produced by the Department of Justice which concluded prison staff made errors and blamed “longstanding operational challenges” for Epstein’s death.
However, some have consistently challenged the official version of events, including Epstein’s brother, Mark, 69, who is campaigning for more information to be made public — including video from the cell block.
“I only want to look at facts, but when we consider the facts available, we get more questions,” the property developer told The Post.
“There appears to have been no investigation once it was ruled a suicide, they saw no reason to dig deeper.
“It seems like a cover-up. Why can’t I find his pre-hospital care report and why can’t I get the 911 call?”
The following is a compilation of publicly available information about Epstein’s death as well as findings from Mark’s four-year investigation:
Two medical examiners were present for Epstein’s autopsy, Dr. Kristin Roman and Dr. Michael Baden. The latter was sent by Mark to independently oversee the procedure.
They agreed to list the manner of death as “pending”, saying further investigation was required.
That was overruled a week later by New York Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Samson, who changed it to suicide.
Samson said she had seen “additional evidence”, but has never said what that evidence was.
Baden said Epstein had injuries that were “extremely unusual” in suicides and could “occur much more commonly” in murder.
“I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a (suicide),” he said, of the injuries.
In addition, no photo was taken of the position of Epstein’s body when he was found — which multiple medical examiners have agreed is a key piece of evidence in determining exactly how he died.
The guard who found Epstein, Michael Thomas, claimed that he began chest compressions until prison medics arrived.
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who attended the scene were not interviewed, which is standard protocol in such cases.
Especially in high-profile cases, EMTs and hospital staff are interviewed by police, but in this case, none were. In addition, a pre-hospital care report for Epstein “can’t be found,” according to hospital staff.
The autopsy showed Epstein was dead for at least two hours before he was found, and possibly up to six hours.
However, despite clearly being deceased, he was transferred to a hospital and placed in a hospital gown on a gurney.
Meanwhile, the 911 call made from the prison and its contents have also never been released.
On July 23, while Epstein was in jail, guards were called to the cell he shared with former cop and now-convicted killer of four Nicholas Tartaglione due to an incident in which he had sustained neck injuries.
Following the incident, Epstein told prison staff he had been attacked by his cellmate. He later said he “did not remember” how he got the injuries and refused to speak further about it.
After the incident, on July 30, the prison psychology department said Epstein must have a cellmate at all times and was to be monitored.
The new cellmate, Efrain “Stone” Reyes, was assigned but transferred out of MCC to another facility less than 24 hours before Epstein’s death.
Reyes told his family Epstein seemed “depressed” and “didn’t want to live anymore”, according to the New York Daily News, which also quoted another inmate who said Epstein “was saying he’s going to kill himself because the government is trying to kill him anyway”.
Video evidence from the night of Epstein’s death was “limited”.
According to the Department for Justice’s investigation, “Recorded video evidence for August 9 and 10 for the SHU area where Epstein was housed was only available from one prison security camera due to a malfunction of MCC New York’s Digital Video Recorder system”.
However, it also notes that “between approximately 10.40pm on August 9 and about 6.30am on August 10, no one was seen entering Epstein’s cell tier from the SHU common area”.
Despite Freedom of Information Act requests being filed, the footage from the working camera, particularly showing when Epstein’s body was removed from the tier in the morning, has never been released to the public.
Prison guards Tova Noel and Michael Thomas were stationed 5m from Epstein’s cell.
However, they fell asleep and did not check on prisoners in the Secure Housing Unit at all on August 9, the night Epstein died.
They later admitted to falsifying records that said they had completed the checks.
Both were federally indicted, but struck a deal whereby, in exchange for admitting their guilt and co-operating with the federal probe into Epstein’s death, the charges were dropped.
Neither has ever spoken publicly about Epstein or what happened that night.
The indictment against the officers also lists the presence of two other prison guards, “Officer-1” and “Officer-2,” who were also on duty during at least part of their shift and were supposed to accompany Noel on her rounds. Their identities have never been released.
Mark says he has nothing to gain from his brother’s death, was not a part of his will and has incurred legal fees and had to spend money to protect his family since 2019.
“They had a hearing which was coming up a few days after his death to appeal the bail restrictions … why would Jeffrey kill himself a few days before that hearing? Because if he got bail, he’d be out of jail, awaiting trial in his house with an ankle monitor,” he told investigative journalist Declan Hill on his “Crimewaves” podcast.
“Why kill yourself then? If bail was denied again, then I could understand it.
“Believe me, it would have been easier if [the pathologists] had come out and said, ‘It looks like a suicide,’ then I could put this whole issue behind me,” he added.
This article was originally published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission