Upon hearing that convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein had been found unresponsive in his cell in a federal lockup in Manhattan Saturday and was pronounced dead at a hospital later, many observers—including people who had accused the 66-year old multimillionaire of molestation, rape, and coordinating the sex trafficking of underage girls and young women—sadly figured the case was over. But maybe it’s not. JIm Mustian, Michael R. Sisak and Michael Balsamo report:
The federal investigation into the allegations remains steadfast, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said. He noted in a statement Saturday that the indictment against Epstein includes a conspiracy charge, suggesting others could face charges in the case.
Epstein had been placed on suicide watch and given daily psychiatric evaluations after an incident a little over two weeks ago in which he was found with bruising on his neck, according to the person familiar with the matter who wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly. It hasn’t been confirmed whether the injury was self-inflicted or the result of an assault.
Epstein was taken off suicide watch at the end of July, the person said.
What “steadfast” will actually mean in practice remains to be seen.
Earlier it was erroneously reported that Epstein had been taken off suicide watch just hours before he was found in his cell. Authorities said he apparently hanged himself. Even Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled” by the death and said there were many questions about it needing answering. He called on the Department of Justice’s inspector general to carry out an investigation.
Epstein was being held without bail charged with two counts of trafficking juveniles and other women for prominent men. He faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted. Although he was the only person being so charged, it appeared to many that his trial would produce information leading to the indictment of some of those men.
Since the death was announced, a deluge of frequently wild speculation has appeared on social and some traditional media questioning whether Epstein killed himself and suggesting someone or someones fearful of what the case against Epstein might reveal about their own connections to the trafficking had arranged to have him murdered.
With his usual obscene twistedness, Donald Trump joined this behavior by retweeting this wacked-out claim that the Clintons had had Epstein offed:
It would almost be comforting if grotequeness on the part of the squatter in the White House was the product of some mental disturbance, something outside Trump’s control. But he knows exactly what he’s doing every time he lies, every time he promotes a conspiracy theory, every time he dogwhistles white supremacist thugs. Trash talking is one of his fortes.