Billionaire paedo Jeffrey Epstein 'hanged himself after his lawyers ordered him to be taken off suicide watch’
JEFFREY Epstein hanged himself with a bed sheet tied to the top bunk in his cell after his lawyers ordered he be taken off suicide watch, it has been reported.
The 6ft-tall paedophile killed himself by kneeling toward the floor and strangling himself with the makeshift noose, police sources told the New York Post yesterday.
And according to the law enforcement sources, Epstein, who had been placed on suicide watch after an incident in July left him with bruises on his neck, had not been checked for several hours before his death.
Questions are now being asked about how such a high profile criminal, who was apparently suicidal, was able to hang himself in one of America's strictest maximum security prisons.
Attorney General William Barr said today that there were "serious irregularities" at the federal jail where Epstein was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
He added that the investigation involving the disgraced financier would continue despite his death on Saturday morning.
The 66-year-old had been meeting with his lawyers for up to 12 hours a day before they allegedly asked that he be taken off suicide watch, which requires a check every 15 minutes, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
'TAKEN OFF' SUICIDE WATCH
The paedo was arrested on July 6 and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14.
At the time of his death, Epstein was being held without bail and faced up to 45 years in prison on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges unsealed in July.
The WSJ reports that Epstein was taken off suicide watch late last month at his lawyers' request, which resulted in him being downgraded to "special observation status" at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan.
The unnamed source said this meant guards were supposed to check on Epstein every 30 minutes and should have also had a cellmate with him.
But, the person added, it appeared that he was in the cell by himself at the time of his suspected hanging and guards had not carried out the necessary checks.
Although he had apparently initially had a cellmate with him, that person had left, possibly for a court appearance or another appointment, and had not been replaced with a temporary cellmate in his absence, despite this being stipulated in the prison's rules, the source claimed.
The jail – where Epstein was held in a unit known for holding notorious prisoners under extremely tight security – is chronically short-staffed.
Epstein had been placed on suicide watch after he was found in his cell a little over two weeks ago with bruises on his neck, a person familiar with the jail's operations told news agency the Associated Press.
But he had been taken off the this close observation at the end of July, said the person, who wasn't authorised to discuss jail operations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Inmates on suicide watch are subjected to 24 hours per day of "direct, continuous observation," according to US Bureau of Prisons policy.
AP reports that on the morning of Epstein's apparent suicide, guards on his unit were working overtime shifts to make up for staffing shortages, the agency's source said.
The person added that one guard was working a fifth straight day of overtime and another was working mandatory overtime.
NBC News reports that the decision to remove an inmate from suicide watch would normally have to have been approved by the prison's suicide prevention programme coordinator, prior to being rubber-stamped by the warden.
Barr told a police conference in New Orleans: "I was appalled, and indeed the whole department was, and frankly angry to learn of the MCC's failure to adequately secure this prisoner.
"We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation.
"The FBI and the office of inspector general are doing just that.
"We will get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability."
There has been a multitude of conspiracy theories on how – and why exactly – he died.
These have been fuelled by Epstein's ties to princes, politicians and other famous and powerful people.
In the wake of his death on Saturday, online theorists quickly offered unsubstantiated speculation — including some retweeted by President Donald Trump — that Epstein’s death wasn’t a suicide, or it was faked.
A top US lawmaker joined the chorus of officials demanding answers from the Bureau of Prisons over the apparent suicide of Epstein in federal custody.
The chairman and ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, Democrat Jerrold Nadler, sent a scathing letter on Monday to the acting director of federal prisons stating that the "competency and rigor of our criminal justice system has been marred."
The way in which Epstein killed himself has not as yet been publicly announced.
An autopsy was performed on Sunday, but New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr Barbara Sampson said that investigators were awaiting further information.
A private pathologist, Dr Michael Baden, observed the post-mortem at the request of Epstein's lawyers.
Baden was the city's chief medical examiner in the late 1970s and has been called as an expert witness in high-profile cases, including O.J. Simpson's 1995 murder trial.
It's been claimed that there's no CCTV showing Epstein's apparent suicide in his cell.
POST-MORTEM RESULTS AWAITED
Dramatic photos show Jeffrey Epstein being wheeled into hospital as medics desperately attempt to revive him.
In the pictures, the disgraced billionaire is seen wearing an orange jump suit and what appears to be a brace around his neck.
His death came hours after a Manhattan court released a 1,200-page dossier detailing lurid abuse allegations against him.
Epstein was a registered sex offender after pleading guilty in 2008 to Florida state charges of unlawfully paying a teenage girl for sex.
Prior to his conviction, he had counted the rich and powerful, including US President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton, among his associates.
Epstein might have paid someone to help kill himself inside the “corrupt” maximum security prison, one ex-mobster claimed.
Lewis Kasman, an associate of former gangster John Gotti, told the New York Post that the Metropolitan Correctional Center was a nest of corruption in the 1990s.
Stating he believes that the disgraced financier couldn't have carried out a suicide by himself in the jail, Kasman suggested: "If he killed himself, someone had to have helped him.
“There are cameras going 24/7 and they’re watching 24/7.
“Someone had to give (Epstein) the equipment to kill himself and he had to pay for it dearly.”
He added: “That facility for years had issues of corruption, with correction officers bringing in food or cellphones for wealthy people.”
I know for a fact many people are breathing a sigh of relief today because they feared what would come out in court.
One of Epstein’s long-time advisers and closest friends said he had predicted that the ex-investment banker would be dead within a couple of weeks.
The man, who did not want to be named, told The Sun on Sunday: “There's no way he killed himself.
“In a maximum-security confinement it’s impossible that Jeffrey took his own life.
“I know for a fact many people are breathing a sigh of relief today because they feared what would come out in court.”
There have been plenty of theories, too, shared across social media, questioning who knew what about Epstein’s alleged sex crimes.
Meanwhile, a manipulated photo , shared by thousands on Twitter and Facebook, falsely claimed to show Epstein with Trump and a young Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter.
Both Clinton and Trump have denied being privy to Epstein’s alleged crimes.
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