As much as Jeffrey Epstein's victims, if not the entire American public and others around the world, desperately want answers to the accused sex trafficker's death in prison Saturday, we are left with a flood of questions – and conspiracy theories.
After all, "a dead man tells no tales."
"There's no way that man could have killed himself," a former Metropolitan Correction Center (MCC) inmate told the N.Y. Post. "I've done too much time in those units. It's an impossibility."
But, a deluge of news reports based on theory and conjecture will tell the tales for the dead man – a rumor of a prison camera failure has not been corroborated – feeding our collective curiosities in wide-ranging ways and delivering an American mystery too complex to deliver in one book.
"People close to Epstein, noting that he seemed recently to be in good spirits, were surprised by reports of suicide, according to one person familiar with their discussions Saturday, and expressed concern about the possibility of foul play," according to The Washington Post.
Suicide? Murder? Criminal justice malfeasance? The MCC has been accused of substandard conditions.
Personal justice exacted by fellow prisoners? He did at one point share a cell with a former police officer jailed for murder, per The Washington Post.
Assisted suicide? He was reportedly taken off suicide watch.
Russian meddling? We assume this was a real accusation by one of President Donald Trump's most fervent critics.
"Today's events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein's many victims their day in court," U.S. attorney Geoff Berman said in a statement, The Washington Post reported.
"To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the indictment — which included a conspiracy count — remains ongoing."
Attorney General William Barr is "appalled" the accused sex trafficker tied to presidents, past presidents, world leaders, and billionaires was not kept from allegedly killing himself, announcing a Justice Department inspector general investigation into prison management and potential criminality by the FBI.
"Serious questions that must be answered," Barr wrote in a statement.
AG Barr was called on to answer questions about how the prison system allowed Epstein to commit suicide, if not murdered.
"Obviously, heads must roll," Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., wrote in a letter to the AG.
The death is by an apparent suicide, after Epstein, 66, was found hanging in his cell Saturday morning – as many accused sex predators so often commit, according to former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein via tweet:
"Pedophiles facing federal criminal charges are at high risk for suicide. It happened in several of my Maryland cases when defendants were released on bail. Detained pedophiles require special attention. Stopping people from harming themselves is difficult."
Rosenstein's reminder is fact-based, but conspiracy theorists might just see it as another cover, because the suicide answer is not yet readily accepted.
"Authorities couldn't keep Epstein alive by putting him under 24 hour surveillance?" MSNBC's Joe Scarborough tweeted, fanning the conspiracy flame. How convenient for a lot of rich and powerful men.
Adding: "A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men's lives ends up dead in his jail cell. How predictably...Russian."
And: "Powerful Democratic and Republican figures breathing a huge sigh of relief — as well as a Harvard professor or two."
Hours after Epstein's death Saturday, as the hashtag #EpsteinMurder was trending worldwide on Twitter, President Trump, a former friend of Epstein, jumped in on sharing speculation, retweeting a conspiracy theory that linked his death to former President Bill Clinton, who reportedly was even a closer former friend of Epstein.
"Ridiculous, and of course not true — and Donald Trump knows it," Bill Clinton press secretary Angel Ureña responded via Twitter. "Has he triggered the 25th Amendment yet?"
But even one of Epstein's lawyers is pointing fingers at a wide range of culprits who have "Mr. Epstein's blood on their hands," blasting "overzealous prosecutors," "pandering politicians," judges, jailers, "an hysterical press corps," and "greedy plaintiff's lawyers."
All of it comes back to how Epstein, who once allegedly failed at suicide, was ultimately given the opportunity to finish the job – something extremely difficult at his holding unit, according to the former MCC inmate.
"Between the floor and the ceiling is like eight or nine feet," he told the N.Y. Post. "There's no way for you to connect to anything.
"You have sheets, but they're paper level, not strong enough. He was 200 pounds — it would never happen.
"When you're on suicide watch, they put you in this white smock, a straight jacket. They know a person cannot be injurious to themselves.
"The clothing they give you is a jump-in uniform. Everything is a dark brown color.
"Could he have done it from the bed? No sir. There's a steel frame, but you can't move it. There's no light fixture. There's no bars.
"They don't give you enough in there that could successfully create an instrument of death. You want to write a letter, they give you rubber pens and maybe once a week a piece of paper.
"Nothing hard or made of metal."
The ex-prisoner concluded: "But it's my firm belief that Jeffrey Epstein did not commit suicide. It just didn't happen."
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