The report comes from gossip site Radar Online, so caveat lector.

“Jeffrey did attempt suicide by hanging,” the source told Radar, who first broke the story of Epstein’s suicide attempt.

“He was in the act of trying to take his own life when the guard found him.”

A witness described the infamous inmate as being “blue in the face” and “sprawled out on the floor” while jail staff tended to him…

“It wasn’t staged and he wasn’t attacked by another inmate,” the source insisted.

“Any talk that he did this to get a transfer is also misinformed,” Radar’s source added. I’m skeptical. There are four possibilities here and “staged to get a transfer” is the most convincing.

1. Assassination attempt. The Internet loves a conspiracy and thus the Internet loves this theory, with righties naturally pointing a finger at the Clintons. Bill would potentially have a motive. But it’s mind-bending to think that any powerful Epstein enemy would take the enormous risk of arranging an assassination of Epstein right under law enforcement’s nose and not finish the job. The point is to silence him, right? Then how the hell does Epstein not only survive but escape without serious injury, according to one of the NYT’s sources? And why would the assassin attempt to stage the scene as a hanging (Epstein had “bruising around the neck”) instead of a poisoning? Epstein could have been killed quickly by slipping something toxic into his food and explaining it away afterwards as a suicide arranged by the prisoner himself, with the poison somehow smuggled into the jail. As it is, if someone had tried to choke him or hang him but failed, he almost certainly saw the assassin and can identify him. And there likely would have been a ruckus, alerting guards or other prisoners. Makes no sense.

2. His cellmate did it. Possible. It’s common knowledge how child predators are treated in prison, and Epstein’s cellmate happens to be an ex-cop — a very large, musclebound ex-cop, charged with four counts of murder. Maybe the cellmate, Nicholas Tartaglione, was so disgusted by Epstein that he couldn’t resist exacting revenge for the kids that were abused. He’s (allegedly) capable of homicide, he seems to have the sheer mass needed to overpower his victim, and he might have had a motive. Who among us wouldn’t want to wring Jeffrey Epstein’s neck? But then we come back to the central mystery: How’d Epstein survive without serious injury? If Tartaglione had subdued him to the point of leaving him on the ground in the fetal position, as reports last night claimed, he almost certainly could have finished him off. By not doing so, he left Epstein alive and available to testify against him on an attempted murder charge. As Ed said this morning, why would a guy like Tartaglione who’s fighting the murder charges against him choose to flush his defense down the toilet by taking Epstein out? If in fact Tartaglione caused Epstein’s injuries, it seems far more likely that they had a fight and Tartaglione simply wanted to send a message to him rather than do him real harm.

3. Legit suicide attempt. That’s what Radar says but I don’t buy it. This subhuman has spent 40 years talking himself out of trouble for serial sexual predation of children. Literally his entire adulthood has taught him that he can buy his way out of anything, including a previous conviction for sex offenses involving minors. Ain’t no earthly way that Jeffrey Epstein is about to throw in the towel this early in the new process, when his well-paid lawyers haven’t yet had a crack at the prosecution and when Epstein (presumably) hasn’t yet explored what sort of deal he might get from the feds in exchange for spilling the beans on all of his other high-society pedo pals. A man who believes he can operate in the world with impunity won’t be disabused of that belief just because he’s been charged with a crime. If Epstein’s going to try to kill himself, it’ll happen after he’s sentenced, not before.

Which brings us to:

4. He staged the suicide attempt to get a transfer. It’s the only viable explanation, by process of elimination. And it’s understandable under the circumstances. Per Gothamist, the Metropolitan Correctional Center where Epstein is housed has been described as a “gulag” with “filthy conditions, vermin infestations, substandard medical care, and violence and abuse at the hands of guards.” The last time Epstein was in prison, he had work-release privileges and the deputies assigned to watch him were basically treated as a personal security detail. Of course he hates it at MCC and wants out. A fake suicide attempt would be one way potentially to make it happen. And it would answer the central question of why Epstein suffered no serious injury. It was all for show.