Epstein autopsy raises additional questions

While officials still haven’t officially released the results of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy, details were leaked out last night by someone familiar with the coroner’s findings. Rather than putting the issue to rest one way or another, the ambiguous details will likely continue to fuel speculation and conspiracy theories. Or are they really conspiracy theories after all? Assuming this report is accurate, Epstein suffered specific injuries to his neck that are generally inconsistent with this type of suicide, though not out of the realm of possibility. (NY Post)

Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy determined the convicted pedophile suffered multiple broken neck bones, according to a report.

One of Epstein’s breaks was to the hyoid bone, an injury that experts told the Washington Post is more common in homicide victims.

The discoveries were disclosed to the paper by two people familiar with the findings of the autopsy, which was completed on Sunday, but warranted more information by the Medical Examiner’s Office before they make a final cause of death ruling.

A lot of this reporting originally came from the WaPo and they did quite a thorough job of sorting out what this could mean. A break to the hyoid bone (which sits in the front of the neck as opposed to being attached to the top of the spine) is more common in cases of strangulation than suicide by hanging. One medical study of suicidal hangings cited in the report found that the hyoid bone was broken in only 16 of 264 cases.

So does that mean Epstein was strangled? We can’t jump to that conclusion yet. Just because something is unlikely doesn’t make it impossible. That specific injury only happened in six percent of the cases studied, but it did happen sometimes.

The frustrating part of this is that we still don’t know the gruesome details of precisely how Epstein allegedly hung himself or what position he was in when the guards finally checked on him. Jail cells don’t tend to be that tall and neither are the bunk beds you typically find in them. When prisoners are executed by hanging, you expect a lot of broken bones in the neck because that’s how the system is designed to work. The convict is dropped several feet before the slack in the rope runs out and the special knot tied into a hangman’s noose is intended to break the neck at the end of the fall, hopefully providing a relatively quick death.

Epstein had to use a bedsheet and likely couldn’t manage to drop himself that far. In that sort of situation, you might expect death to come from the victim first losing consciousness as the blood flow to the brain through the carotid arteries is cut off, followed by asphyxiation. But, as indicated in the study referenced above, that doesn’t mean it was impossible. In other words, we don’t really know much more this morning than we did over the weekend.

Meanwhile, another survivor tells her story of being raped by Epstein at the age of 14. She will be suing the pedophile’s estate for damages. But Epstein’s guilt really hasn’t been in doubt for most people, right? He was an obvious monster. The real question is how many other predators he enabled on his secret island and if we will ever learn all of their identities.