- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 11, 2020

Of course Jeffrey Epstein was murdered.

And there’s no reason to whisper around that. It’s impossible to conclude otherwise — particularly in the face of the latest announcement about the final hours of the jailed convicted sex offender’s life, that video footage of his first suicide attempt had been inadvertently destroyed.

Mistakenly erased.

It “no longer exists,” said federal prosecutors.

That’s not just curious. It’s beyond-the-pale outrageously suspicious.

Let’s just take a look at the facts: Epstein was arrested in July on sex trafficking charges and jailed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. That was after a long and wildly horrible life that included a guilty plea of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution, for which he served time; a plea deal tied to sex offense accusations from dozens of females that led to his registration as a sex offender; more allegations of sex offenses; more reported links to the seedy underbelly of the sex trade world; and ultimately, a July 6, 2019, arrest at an airport in New Jersey on sex trafficking charges. And, oh yes, ties to some of the world’s best known, most recognized, most powerful faces. 

While there, while in jail, on July 25, Epstein reportedly attempted suicide. So jail authorities placed him on suicide watch. That meant jail authorities were supposed to watch him, surveil him, walk by him on a regular basis, to make sure he didn’t commit suicide. Weeks later, on August 10, Epstein was found dead in his cell, of what authorities at the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office reported as suicide by hanging.

Except: A forensic pathologist hired by Epstein’s family said in an “60 Minutes” interview that physical evidence — i.e., strange fractures in Epstein’s neck — indicate murder, not suicide.

“There were fractures of the left, the right thyroid cartilage and the left hyoid bone,” said forensic pathologist Michael Baden. “I have never seen three fractures like this in a suicidal hanging. Going over a thousand jail hangings, suicides in the New York City state prisons over the past 40-50 years, no one had three fractures.”

Except: The attorney for Epstein’s cellmate, Nicholas Tartaglione, a former police officer accused of killing four, said he specifically asked jail officials to preserve all evidence from the July 23 attempted suicide, including video — which they didn’t.

Except: FBI agents raiding Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and the U.S. Virgin Islands for evidence of sex offenses and, undoubtedly, trails that could implicate others in these crimes, confiscated computers, pictures and computer disks — a “‘vast trove of lewd photographs’ of young-looking girls, including hundreds of meticulously labeled nude pictures locked in a safe, according to federal court documents,” as USA Today reported it. 

“Hundreds of other people could be implicated” in Epstein’s offense, CNBC wrote, of the raided evidence.

Except: These files were sealed, as Courthouse News wrote.

The mystery ratchets.

Except: Epstein, in 2008, received such a curiously light 13-month jail sentence that put an end to a federal sex abuse investigation into allegations made by 40 or so females that members of Congress widened eyes in surprise. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, for instance, wrote: “Jeffrey Epstein is a child rapist and there’s not a single mom or dad in America who shouldn’t be horrified by the fact that he received a pathetically soft sentence.”

An Epstein by any other name wouldn’t have gotten off so lightly.

Then we come to this, the latest: The surveillance video from outside Epstein’s jail cell from the day of his first suicide attempt is non-existent because authorities “inadvertently preserved video from the wrong tier,” and “as a result, video from outside the defendant’s cell … no longer exists.”

Another “except,” another “hmmm” moment.

There are more curiosities, more improprieties, more red-flag moments dotting all along the paths of Epstein’s life and death — including, but not limited to ABC’s Amy Robach’s hot-mic moment, released by Project Veritas, in which she expressed frustration at the killing of her investigative report into Epstein.

But here’s one that really zings, from the New York Post, just hours after reports that the video of Epstein’s cell area was erroneously wiped from existence, a bit more news: “Photos obtained by The Post on Thursday show former President Bill Clinton posing aboard Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet — dubbed the ‘Lolita Express’ — with the sex fiend’s alleged procuress Ghislaine Maxwell and one of his rape accusers.”

Epstein’s been connected to everyone in positions of high power from presidents to princes. A pertinent detail? Absolutely. Especially when considered in the light of all the other curiosities surrounding his death.

The fact that Epstein died by suicide in his jail cell, after a failed first suicide that placed him on suicide watch, doesn’t just defy logic. It strains even the most tortured of logic.

There’s just no way this guy died at his own hands.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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