A Monday morning emetic from Vanity Fair to help you reset for the week ahead. Second look at capital punishment for pedophiles?
“On multiple occasions I saw Epstein exit his helicopter, stand on the tarmac in full view of my tower, and board his private jet with children—female children,” says a former air traffic controller at the airstrip who asked to remain anonymous. “One incident in particular really stands out in my mind, because the girls were just so young. They couldn’t have been over 16. Epstein looked very angry and hurled his jacket at one of them. They were also carrying shopping bags from stores not on the island. I remember thinking, ‘Where in the world have they been shopping?’”
Another employee at the airstrip, who requested anonymity because he is not allowed to speak about travelers in his official capacity, says Epstein would land at St. Thomas twice a month on average. “There’d be girls that look like they could be in high school,” the employee recalls. “They looked very young. They were always wearing college sweatshirts. It seemed like camouflage, that’s the best way to put it.” Epstein would be dressed in a tracksuit, but the girls carried shopping bags from designer labels: Gucci, Dior…
“The fact that young girls were getting out of his helicopter and getting into his plane, it was like he was flaunting it,” the employee says. “But it was said that he always tipped really well, so everyone overlooked it.”
“How many kids are on board this time?” the airstrip employees would “joke.” One told VF that they simply assumed Virgin Islands police were keeping tabs on Epstein, as he wasn’t trying to hide the fact that seemingly underaged girls were accompanying him in his travels. But when asked about the convicted sex offender in their midst, a billionaire who owned his own island, the chief of police told Vanity Fair that he … doesn’t know who Epstein is.
Makes sense. You know how Jeff Epstein, friend to presidents and princes, liked to keep a low profile.
Epstein’s money bought him not just complicity from bystanders but complacency from law enforcement. By now we all know about the sweetheart deal brokered by Epstein’s well-paid lawyers from Alex Acosta’s U.S. Attorney’s office, but WaPo reported a few days ago that the kid-gloves treatment for Epstein extended to his state sentence. Instead of serving his time at a state prison in 2008, he served it in county custody. He was housed initially in a dorm separated from other inmates, then in an “infirmary.” His cell door was left unlocked and he was allowed to participate in the work-release program, where he picked up the tab for deputies to “supervise” him — or whatever the hell this is called:
Participation in the work-release program was a privilege granted to him at the discretion of the sheriff’s office. Though inmates on work release are not generally accompanied by deputies, Epstein was “monitored by a deputy the entire time he was out,” said Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.
Epstein paid $128,136 for the deputies to watch him, according to the records. One deputy wrote that he sought clarification of his duties and was told his job was to “provide security” for Epstein.
The deputies who monitored him were required to wear suits and to “greet inmate Epstein upon his arrival,” documents show. In internal reports about the work-release program, the deputies often describe Epstein as “the client” or “Mr. Epstein.” Two deputies refer to him as “Jeffrey.”
Reminder: This guy was in for sex offenses involving minors. Apparently he turned PD into his own private security team. I wonder how many hours they had to work, and how diligently, to earn that 128 grand.
Or how much extra they were paid off the books to look the other way when Epstein pursued his hobby.
Take a deep breath and start scrolling through New York magazine’s compilation of the many, many, many — many — famous high-society names linked to Epstein in one way or another. Some worked for him; some are friends; some are merely noted in his little black book, their connection to him unclear. But there are a lot of them. Surely most aren’t guilty of anything criminal themselves but doubtless plenty had suspicions about Epstein — and many continued to associate with him even after his conviction for sex offenses in the previous decade. It wasn’t just airstrip employees who let his money and status talk them into treating his deviance as Not Their Problem. Exit quotation from another ominous Vanity Fair piece that made the rounds last week: “‘Nobody who was around Epstein a lot is going to have an easy time now. It’s all going to come out,’ said Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies. Another person involved with litigation against Epstein told me: ‘It’s going to be staggering, the amount of names. It’s going to be contagion numbers.'”