Report: Prison guards failed to follow protocol on night of Jeffrey Epstein’s death

August 12, 2019

The strange circumstances surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s Saturday death are only getting stranger.

According to reports, Epstein, the most high-profile prisoner in the United States, was left alone for hours by prison guards before his apparent suicide in a Manhattan federal prison. Guards were supposed to be checking up on him every half hour.

Epstein guards failed to follow protocol

Many are wondering how Epstein’s death in jail was even possible, considering the high-profile nature of his case. Conspiracy theories took flight Saturday when it was reported that Epstein, for whatever reason, had been taken off suicide watch only weeks after an apparent suicide attempt.

Epstein was found unconscious in his cell in July with marks on his neck, but sometime before his death, he was taken off suicide watch and placed in the Special Housing Unit of the highly secure Metropolitan Corrections Center (MCC) in Manhattan. He was found dead in his cell Saturday morning.

Oddly, there is no surveillance video of Epstein’s suicide. A rumor that the video feed was cut off prior to his death has not been proven.

According to reports, Epstein’s guards failed to follow the correct procedure for monitoring him the night before his death. Two guards are supposed to check in on prisoners every 30 minutes, and for inmates on suicide watch, every 15 minutes.

Although Epstein was no longer on suicide watch, he was apparently alone long enough to kill himself. The New York Post reported Monday that Epstein strangled himself with a makeshift noose made out of a bedsheet.

It has been reported that Epstein’s guards were overworked from overtime shifts to make up for a staff shortage. One guard was on his fifth night of overtime when Epstein died. But these just-so accounts have not satisfied everyone, including Attorney General William Barr, who said he was “appalled” at “serious irregularities” at the prison and vowed to get to the bottom of the matter with investigations by the FBI and Justice Department.

“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Barr said in a statement. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.

Official story fails to discourage conspiracies

The prosaic answer to Epstein’s puzzling death has done little to tamp down on the speculation that he was targeted by people implicated in his crimes. The well-connected money manager counted a who’s who of the global elite among his former associates, including President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton, Victoria’s Secret mogul Leslie Wexner, Britain’s Prince Andrew, and others.

But even discounting these more outlandish theories, it is hard to understand why Epstein was taken off suicide watch and left alone for so long. For many, bureaucratic incompetence and short-staffing are unsatisfying answers — and no less an outrage, considering Epstein’s heinous crimes.

Epstein died one day after 2,000 documents were unsealed in a now-settled defamation lawsuit against Epstein’s former girlfriend and madame, Ghislaine Maxwell. The documents named several powerful men, including lawyer Alan Dershowitz and former Sen. George Mitchell, who turned down an offer from Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court in 1994.

Epstein’s death has drawn attention to his links with Clinton, who flew on Epstein’s jet numerous times, and Trump, who once hosted a party at Mar-A-Lago with just him, Epstein, and calendar girls, according to MarketWatch. President Trump retweeted over the weekend a conspiracy theory that the Clintons killed Epstein to cover up alleged wrongdoing by Bill.

New York City’s medical examiner completed an autopsy on Sunday, but said that more information was needed to rule an official cause of death. A representative of Epstein’s, forensic pathologist Michael Baden, was present at the autopsy, which the medical examiner called “routine” procedure.

On Monday, federal agents raided Epstein’s infamous private island, Little St. James, where Epstein is believed to have brought girls for himself and his friends to abuse, according to Reuters.

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.