John Connolly, Investigative Journalist Who Co-Wrote Jeffrey Epstein Book, Dies at 78

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
January 17, 2022 Updated: January 17, 2022

Investigative journalist and former NYPD detective John Connolly, who investigated convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, died on Jan. 15 at the age of 78.

The well-known journalist’s partner, music insider, and author Dorothy Carvello, confirmed Connolly’s passing in a statement to the New York Post. She said her long-time partner died after a short illness.

Connolly’s first stint in the media industry was as an investigative reporter at Vanity Fair, according to the U.S. Sun. He then spent a decade with Time magazine, from 1995 to 2005, and worked at entertainment news outlet Radar Online for six years, from 2001 to 2007, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He also contributed to outlets including Spy, Premiere, and the Daily Beast, according to The Post.

During his time as a journalist, he notably wrote articles on former President Donald Trump, Steven Seagal, Michael Jackson, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 2016, Connolly, Tim Malloy, and crime novelist James Patterson co-authored the bestselling book “Filthy Rich: The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein — The Billionaire’s Sex Scandal,” which was adapted into a hit documentary on video streaming service Netflix.

The four-part documentary, “Filthy Rich,” aired on May 27, 2020, and features interviews with women who say they were abused by Epstein, including Virginia Giuffre and Maria Farmer. It also features several of Epstein’s former workers.

Patterson told Rolling Stone that while the documentary was in production, he received letters from Epstein’s attorney every week. Its production began nine months before Epstein’s arrest.

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Jeffrey Epstein (C) appears in court in West Palm Beach, Fla., on July 30, 2008. (Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP)

“I knew I was going to be careful. I knew I wasn’t going to put anything in the book that I really couldn’t prove was accurate, so I wasn’t really that afraid. Hollywood is a little slower, and I think maybe there was more concern, a little bit of a fear, until Epstein died, and then I think people stopped being afraid of him,” he said.

Patterson said his book with Connolly and Malloy tells the story of “justice breaking down.”

“The justice system breaking down and about how could we, since 2006, not pay attention to this story,” Patterson said CBSN’s “Red & Blue” in July 2019.

Connolly also played a role in the Investigation Discovery documentary “Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein?”

He had been working on another book prior to his death, titled “The Sin Eater” based on disgraced and convicted former private investigator Anthony Pellicano, 77.

Prior to becoming a journalist, Connolly worked as a detective at the New York Police Department and as a stockbroker.

Carvello told The Post that a memorial service for Connolly has been planned for the spring.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.