I’d really thought this story was dead and buried if you’ll pardon the rather gruesome pun. The medical examiner hired to oversee the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein by the convicted pedophile’s family went on Fox News today and declared that the autopsy “points toward” a homicide rather than a suicide. How or if this changes the course of the ongoing investigation is a mystery. (NY Post)
New York City’s former chief medical examiner insisted Wednesday that Jeffrey Epstein’s death was a homicide.
Dr. Michael Baden was hired by the pedophile’s family to observe his autopsy after he was found hanged in his federal lockup in Manhattan in August.
“I think that the evidence points toward homicide rather than suicide,” Baden insisted on Fox News Wednesday.
What Dr. Baden is talking about isn’t some new revelation from the examination that hadn’t been made public before. He’s referring to the same things we were debating here when the initial autopsy results were released.
He’s specifically referencing the broken bone(s) in the throat that are “unusual” in suicides performed via hanging. His hyoid bone was broken, a symptom most medical experts seem to agree is more common in strangulations than hangings. But there has only been one study of such suicides published that I’ve seen. It did indicate that the hyoid bone only broke in six percent of 264 cases studied. But the point is that it did happen sometimes, if rarely, so I suppose they couldn’t rule it out.
Will Baden’s opinions reopen that aspect of the investigation? It’s hard to see how. There certainly have been plenty of cases where the findings of an autopsy were later revised by the coroner if significant new evidence came to light. But this is the same autopsy report we had back in the middle of August and Baden doesn’t appear to be claiming that any new information has just become available.
The medical examiner is definitely right about one aspect of the case. He went on to say point out the “total breakdown in security” at the jail and the cascading series of errors that led to Epstein being able to take his own life (assuming he didn’t have help). Nearly everything about the case looked suspicious and there were clearly a lot of powerful people who would likely sleep better at night knowing that Epstein wasn’t flapping his gums to law enforcement or the media.
But I said “nearly everything” for a reason. We can’t entirely discount the fact that he’d already attempted to take his own life once or that he was facing what would amount to a life sentence behind bars after living a life of decadent luxury. In that context, suicide is certainly a conceivable path for him to have taken. Frankly, as much as the entire affair stinks to high heaven, I’ll be surprised indeed if the investigation is reopened as a possible homicide based on nothing more than Baden’s interview.