Jeffrey Epstein’s prison death has been ruled a suicide by hanging, the medical examiner’s office said Friday.
Epstein, 66, was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City on Aug. 10, touching off outrage and disbelief over how such a high-profile prisoner, known for socializing with powerful people including presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, could have gone unwatched.
The Bureau of Prisons said Epstein had apparently killed himself, but that didn’t squelch conspiracy theories about his death.
Will this end speculation over Epstein’s demise? Not on your life. Until the full medical examiner’s report is published, we’ll still be talking about hyoid bones and the art rather than science of autopsies.
Even a definitive ruling of suicide won’t dispel suspicions, and for good reason. There were so many failures in this case, all running in the same direction, that Epstein’s second attempt at offing himself still looks fishy. Combine that up with rumors of stores of blackmail material on the rich and powerful, and people will be discussing all of the potential angles and cui bonos for years, if not decades.
Speaking of potential angles, investigators tried to close out another earlier today. Nicholas Tartaglione has been cleared of, ahem, facilitating Epstein’s first suicide attempt:
An investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s possible suicide attempt last month — which happened less than three weeks before his death in a Manhattan jail cell — cleared the financier’s former cellmate of wrongdoing, a lawyer told NBC News.
Nicholas Tartaglione, a former New York police officer who was arrested in December 2016 on charges of killing four men in a drug distribution conspiracy, was sharing a cell with Epstein in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center at the time Epstein was found semi-conscious in the fetal position with marks on his neck. …
Tartaglione’s lawyer, Bruce Barket, told NBC that officials at the jailhouse said in an email that Tartaglione would face no charges or internal discipline now that the investigation had concluded.
“We’ve always maintained Nick did nothing wrong and that’s clearly been borne out here by the jail itself,” Barket told NBC. An official familiar with the case confirmed Barket’s statement, NBC reported.
The takeaway on this is that Jeffrey Epstein was indeed suicidal, despite having some cards left to play in dismissing the indictment. At least for now, anyway.