Jeffrey Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck, according to the billionaire’s autopsy report.
The Washington Post reports that Epstein’s hyoid bone – near a man’s Adam’s apple – was broken, a common break seen in those who hang themselves but even more common in victims of strangulation, according to forensic experts.
The autopsy was completed Sunday, but the office of New York City’s chief medical examiner Barbara Simpson listed the 66-year-old’s cause of death as pending and not a suicide.
These are the first details to emerge from Epstein’s autopsy as questions deepen and conspiracy theories continue to swirl around the convicted pedophile’s apparent suicide by hanging while in federal custody Saturday.
The details come as it’s also revealed Epstein was in ‘great spirits’ before his death and even believed he would be bailed out in order to cooperate with authorities, according to a source.
The paedophile met daily with lawyers at Metropolitan Correctional Center at 8am for around 12 hours and believed his legal team would win an appeal to get him bail on charges of child sex trafficking, according to an insider.
Epstein was was taken off suicide watch and given his own cell after allegedly telling his lawyers that his accused murderer cellmate Nicholas Tartaglione was the one who inflicted the neck injuries that were suspected to be marks from a July suicide attempt.
‘Every day he was very positive and the night before he was real positive,’ the source told the New York Post about Epstein’s attitude last Friday. ‘He was in great spirits the night before.
‘He was like, “I’ll see you Sunday”.’ But on Saturday at 6.30am he was discovered dead from an apparent hanging. Epstein told his lawyers that former police officer Tartaglione ‘roughed him up, and that’s why they got him off suicide watch’.
While Epstein was in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) at the time of his reported first suicide attempt on July 23, he shared a cell with the former police officer who was under extra security.
Tartaglione was charged with kidnapping and murdering four people in a 2016 drug deal gone wrong.
‘I spoke to his lawyers and they never hinted at that to me, but he must have said something to get off suicide watch,’ Tartaglione’s attorney Bruce Barket told the New York Post on Wednesday. I do know that Nick was not brought up on any charges at all in the institution, so they cleared him. It’s simply, patently false to say that [Epstein] did anything other than try to kill himself at least twice, and succeeded when he succeeded.’
Barket previously claimed his client was being implicated because he had complained about the conditions at MCC. He also claimed Tartaglione saved Epstein’s life in July by alerting guards.
But a source said Epstein ‘had hope of getting bail on appeal’
The Post reported that Epstein’s legal team was planning to file a motion related to his 2008 conviction in Florida where after pleading guilty to two prostitution charges, he was sentenced to 18 months in a low-security prison in exchange for prosecutors ending their investigation into his sex acts with minors.
It also gave him immunity from future prosecution related to those charges and Epstein was able to work from his office six days a week while supposedly incarcerated.
‘What he really wanted to do was get bail so he could cooperate,’ the source told the Post. ‘He thought he was going to win the double-jeopardy motion.’
Epstein was transferred to the SHU when he was targeted for extortion, a source told The Daily Beast.
It was claimed last Saturday that the 66-year-old was constantly requesting toilet paper while he had his own cell and ‘lived like a pig in a sty’, eating his meals off the floor.
Barket added: ‘We were a little worried that he would make up something to get out of suicide watch or try and argue for bail, but it’s pretty clear what happened, given the end result here.’
West Palm Beach attorney Spencer Kuvin said he was sceptical of Epstein’s apparent suicide because he said the billionaire paedophile was too vain and always believed he was right.
Kuvin, who represented three of the women who sued Epstein in 2008 to 2009, told BBC Radio Wednesday that he had met Epstein at various settlement meetings.
‘I am still not convinced that ultimately he took his own life, he said. I’m not convinced because I knew him as a vain man, a very intelligent man who was a person who always defended what he did, even in light of all the evidence against him. He basically took the position, that no matter how old these young girls were, that they chose to be with him and he didn’t care (about) their age. So someone like that, I just find it very hard to believe that he would take his own life.’
And last Saturday one of Epstein’s lawyers, Marc Fernich, partly blamed the judicial system for his client’s death and called out ‘jailers who appear to have recklessly put Mr. Epstein in harm’s way, heedlessly placing his life at risk and failing to protect him’.
Fernich expressed that his statement did not represent the views of everyone on Epstein’s defence team.
Fernich complained that his client was not a flight risk and was not being treated as innocent before proven guilty after authorities found child porn images during a raid at his home and dozens of women came forward with claims of abuse.
Attorney General William Barr has called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death. Barr said ‘it raises serious questions that must be answered’.
Fernich ended his statement: ‘The public needs to know exactly what happened and why – and how his custodians could have let it occur.’