Myriad questions remain around the issue of Jeffrey Epstein's suicide inside Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center: How did so many different people know about his special status and still fail to do their jobs? Why was his cellmate transferred out when Epstein was never meant to be left alone for any stretch of time? Did the security cameras not capture anything that might illuminate the murky center of so many apparent errors?
On that last question, it turns out the answer is: no. According to the Washington Post, one of the two cameras positioned outside the sex offender's cell returned "unusable footage," even though "other, clearer footage was captured in the area." The paper's sources did not say anything about the nature of the flaws, or what else the video might have shown; as such, we don't know whether or not "unusable" just means within one suspiciously timed portion of the tape, or whether malfunctioning cameras are typical in a facility plagued by infrastructural issues and notorious for its inhumane conditions. Reuters reports that the FBI will examine both cameras in its Quantico, Virginia, forensics lab, part of the agency's ongoing effort to figure out what the hell happened.
At a Tuesday hearing to dismiss the charges against the now-deceased financier, Epstein's defense team reportedly cast doubt on the New York Medical Examiner's determination that Epstein hung himself. Days before the official ruling, sources familiar with the autopsy told the Washington Post that the bone breakage in Epstein's neck was particularly common in people who had been strangled to death, although (and said sources subsequently emphasized this a second time) it's also consistent with suicide by hanging in older men. Still, attorney Reid Weingarten seemed to latch onto the outside interference theory in court. Visiting their client in the MCC — where Epstein was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges before guards found him unconscious in his cell on August 10th — "we did not see a despairing, despondent, suicidal person," Weingarten said, noting that the injuries appeared "far more consistent with assault."
But as Epstein's attorneys demanded the court investigate the circumstances surrounding their client's death (and there are currently many, many probes underway on that matter), some of his alleged victims seemed to suggest it was time to turn full attention to Epstein's apparent accomplices. Some of them, according to NBC, also met with U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, and the FBI, after the hearing — quite possibly with an eye toward furthering the "conspiracy" portion of the investigation.
"Jeffrey Epstein is no longer alive, but this is not about how he died," said Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of the dozen-plus women who spoke at Tuesday's hearing. "It’s about how he lived. The reckoning must not end. It must continue. He did not act alone."
Giuffre has long maintained that, when she was 15 and working at Mar-a-Lago, Epstein's alleged madam — Ghislaine Maxwell — recruited her into what prosecutors believe was a sprawling sex ring. Giuffre says Epstein lent her out to his powerful friends, forcing her to have sex with a number of men, including Britain's Prince Andrew, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, former Maine Senator George Mitchell, and "a well‐known Prime Minister and other world leaders," as stated in a recently released tranche of documents pertaining to a 2015 defamation case. All of those named directly have denied Giuffre's allegations; Prince Andrew reportedly plans to cooperate with the FBI's investigation, and has released a statement distancing himself from a man who appeared to have been one of the royal's close friends. "At no stage during the limited time I spent with him [Epstein] did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction," the statement read.
On Tuesday, Giuffre called on Prince Andrew to "come clean," but so far confession doesn't appear to be part of his plan. Indeed, an alleged "pal" of Prince Andrew's recently called into question an infamous photo, in which a man who strongly resembles the Prince poses with his hand slung around a teenage Giuffre's waist, while Maxwell smiles in the background. This photo would seem to support the idea that Maxwell and Andrew did in fact know Giuffre, and spent time with her when she was a minor, but according to the unnamed friend, it's a fake!
"Look at the picture," this insider advised. "Andrew’s fingers appear quite slender, like a girl’s fingers. They are also a strange shade of red. His real fingers are actually much chubbier, quite small and chubby."
In any case, those two are not the only Epstein associates who've come under the microscope in the course of this investigation. The Wall Street Journal reports that his longtime attorney, Darren Indyke, has been attached to many of the money manager's dealings over the past few decades. Although Indyke was not Epstein's criminal defense lawyer, the Journal notes that he often visited Epstein in jail in 2008. He kept an apartment in an Epstein-owned building, according to the Journal. He reportedly made donations and investments in tandem with the financier, in addition to representing him in financial matters. He bought a condo in St. Thomas, the neighboring island to Epstein's Little St. James and Great St. James. In addition to helping Epstein facilitate a number of his real estate deals (including his New Mexico baby ranch), the Journal reports:
In 2013, Mr. Indyke requested records from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on behalf of Mr. Epstein. The types of records obtainable under such requests, according to the CBP website, are information pertaining to an individual’s U.S. entries and exits, apprehensions, detentions and results of background checks.
In March 2014, Mr. Indyke asked the National Security Agency for “documents, communications, memorandums, orders, agreements and/or instructions” relating to Mr. Epstein dating back to 2000. The record for the request is marked “Denial of Information” and below that “Not Closed.”
Indyke is also one of the executors of Epstein's will, and has reportedly retained a criminal defense lawyer — Marc Agnifilo, whom you may remember from his spirited defense of NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, and who declined to comment to the Journal — even though he has not been charged with anything, yet. We have contacted Agnifilo for comment, and will update it we hear back.
In conclusion, the NY Times also released a troubling report this afternoon, detailing the hierarchical, pyramid scheme-type system through which Epstein allegedly enlisted his recruits. Read all about it here.