As Jeffrey Epstein’s connections to the rich and powerful were churned up following his arrest last month, there has been no shortage of armchair commentators predicting the billionaire charged with sex trafficking might die ahead of his trial. Then, his body was found lifeless on Aug 10. in his a New York prison cell.
Perhaps one of those more qualified predictions came from Larry Lavine, a former federal prisoner turned prison consultant who stayed at a similar facility, and predicted that Epstein would be found dead from an apparent suicide.
Lavine now theorizes that someone may have been paid to provide the means for Epstein’s apparent suicide, which followed the release of court documents the day before revealing accusations that a woman was forced to have sex with world leaders, leading businessmen and other powerful men in Epstein’s circle.
Admitting that currently no one knows what happened to Epstein, Lavine speculated he was suspicious that Epstein had been pulled off suicide watch.
No cause of death has officially been revealed for Epstein, who according to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney was found dead in his cell on Aug. 10 after what was officially called an “apparent suicide”.
According to a source quoted by the New York Post, he hanged himself with his bedsheets.
Lavine, who spent 10 years in the federal prison system, and now runs a consultancy, questioned how Epstein could have committed suicide so unaided, noting that he would have been provided with paper sheets precisely to guard against it.
He said that the key questions that need answer are whether something had been planted in Epstein’s cell to assist his suicide, why he was so poorly monitored, and how he got pulled off suicide watch.
“As all inmates in any SHU (solitary confinement] have limited access to items that could be used as a weapon or could be harmful to themselves, it’s unlikely that anything that should have been in the cell was used to facilitate him hanging himself,” he wrote on Facebook on Aug. 10.
“That’s the real question, what was in Epstein’s cell that shouldn’t have been, and who reclassified him and deemed him not to be suicidal. Did a BOP employee purposely leave something in the cell that should not have been, and knew given the opportunity Epstein would kill himself?” he wrote.
“I believe, and I don’t know, nobody really knows — that someone got a big paycheck out of this somewhere,” he told Fox News. “Somebody planted something in his cell and he had the motive and he had the means to kill himself,” he said.
He also poured scorn on the fact that Epstein reportedly was not found for hours after taking his own life.
“So you mean to tell me that these staff members for four or five hours sat around doing nothing? I don’t buy it,” he said.
Attorney General William Barr said on Aug. 12 that the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General is investigating the death of Epstein
“I was appalled, and indeed the whole Department was, and frankly angry to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner,” he said in a statement. “We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation,” he added.
“We’ll get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability.”
“Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein,” Barr said. “Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice and they will get it.”
At the time of his death, Epstein was being held without bail and faced up to 45 years in prison on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges unsealed in July. According to court documents, Epstein sexually exploited and abused dozens of under-age girls at his homes in New York City and in Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations.
A day before Epstein’s apparent suicide, a federal appeals court released almost 2,000 pages of documents relating to Epstein and his former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell. The records named powerful men who were allegedly involved in Epstein’s trafficking ring.
Questions about Epstein’s connections to the rich and powerful—including former President Clinton—and the apparent mysterious source of his wealth—had been circulating for some time.
According to flight logs, Clinton flew on Epstein’s personal jet 27 times.
Giuffre claimed she was “forced” to have sex with many powerful men in Epstein’s circle, “including numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known Prime Minister, and other world leaders,” according to court documents pdf.