Financier Jeffrey Epstein’s prison confidant Bill Mersey said he is sure the convicted sex offender killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell in August.
Bill Mersey, 69, a former fellow prisoner, told the Daily Mail that Epstein was terrified of spending life in prison.
“He didn’t strike me as suicidal but sometimes you could see it in his eyes, ‘Oh my God, I’m never getting out of here.’ He would kind of drift off and I would try to bring him back,” Mersey, who was released from prison recently, told the outlet.
Mersey also claimed it would be quite difficult to murder someone inside the jail where he was found unresponsive after there were questions raised about the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death.
“I am 99.999 percent [sure] that he committed suicide,” Mersey claimed. “I wasn’t there to see it so I can’t be 100 percent, but I wouldn’t bet 2 cents against $1 million that somebody did him. He did himself.”
Epstein didn’t speak to him about the sex trafficking charges against him and didn’t speak about high-profile associates including Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew, who have both denied the allegations.
Mersey pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion and agreed to pay $3.5 million, according to a report from the New York Daily News in October 2016.
Mersey said that he spent more than two dozen hours alone with Epstein, 66, after the financier was placed on suicide watch while in the Manhattan Correctional Center. He was arrested on July 6 for sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy before he was jailed without bail.
Epstein “never complained” and “didn’t whine” about the allegedly deplorable conditions at the jail, he added. “Epstein was mostly unshaven as there was next to no hot water in the suicide cells. It’s really threadbare,” Mersey said, adding that the multi-millionaire would cover his eyes with a sock as the lights weren’t ever turned off.
“We were a similar age, race, religion and background. I was the obvious guy to relate to Jeffrey Epstein,” Mersey said. “My first impression was that he was unassuming, regular. He didn’t seem super intelligent.”
During his last encounter with Epstein, Mersey said his behavior became more unusual.
“The last time I saw him, he was eating his dinner sitting on the floor, with his food between his legs. I asked him what he was doing and he said, ‘It’s easier this way.’ He had just kind of spiraled down to the floor. I thought that’s a long way down from a $77 million mansion to eating prison food sitting on a stone floor,” Mersey told the Mail.
Mersey said that another inmate in the jail “said he definitely killed himself, nobody killed him. About six o’clock in the morning, the guards came through. They did not come through during [the] night,” according to the report.
Although the coroner who inspected Epstein’s body after his death concluded he killed himself via hanging, one expert hired by Epstein’s brother, Mark, said they believe he could have been killed by strangulation. A small bone near his Adam’s apple was broken, which is an uncommon injury suffered in hangings.