New revelations are emerging in the death of Jeffrey Epstein, which left his alleged victims unable to seek justice. Epstein died in prison on Saturday, in spite of the careful supervision he should have been under. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that he was actually off of suicide watch for some time.
Epstein was found dead in his cell in the early hours of Saturday morning. The financier stood accused of sex trafficking of underage girls and was periodically on and off of suicide watch from the beginning of his incarceration.
The 66-year-old was brought to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan on July 6. On July 23, he was reportedly found with bruising on his neck, prompting prison officials to put him on suicide watch. This meant that different guards checked up with Epstein several times per hour to make sure he was safe.
Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Epstein had been meeting with his lawyers for up to 12 hours each day. During that time, they had requested that he be removed from sucide watch. Acquiescing, the prison dropped him to a special observation status, which meant that guards would visit his cell ever 30 minutes.
Still, even this lowered protocol was reportedly not followed. Sources told The Washington Post that Epstein had not been visited in several hours before he was found dead. He was also supposed to have a cellmate, yet Epstein was alone in his cell, with another prisoner scheduled to join him transferred away hours before his death.
Here there is a lot more uncertainty about what was going on in Epstein's head. Some speculated that the financier was trying to get away from his former cellmate, Nicholas Tartaglione, a former New York police officer accused of killing four men in a bad drug deal. However, Tartaglione reportedly felt that Epstein trusted him, as it was Tartaglione who called for help when Epstein collapsed last month.
Epstein's death is under a full investigation by both the FBI and the Inspector General. On Sunday, New York City's chief medical examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson, conducted a full autopsy on his remains, despite the fact that Epstein was reportedly found hanging by the neck. Sampson officially stated that her results were inconclusive, and more investigation were required. However, according to the New York Times, a source close to Sampson said that she was "confident" Epstein had acted alone in his suicide.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).