NYC Medical Examiner Stands by Conclusion That Epstein Died of Suicide

October 30, 2019 Updated: October 30, 2019

New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson, rejected claims by forensic specialist Dr. Michael Baden that Jeffrey Epstein may have died from homicide.

Baden made the claims on Fox News, saying that he was hired by the brother of the disgraced financier and convicted sex offender. Epstein was found hanging in his jail cell in August, and Sampson ruled his death a suicide.

After Baden’s comments on Tuesday night, Sampson issued a statement.

“Our investigation concluded that the cause of Mr. Epstein’s death was hanging and the manner of death was suicide. We stand by that determination,” Sampson told the Washington Examiner. “We continue to share information around the medical investigation with Mr. Epstein’s family, their representatives, and their pathology consultant. The original medical investigation was thorough and complete. There is no reason for a second medical investigation by our office.”

Baden served as New York City’s chief medical examiner in the 1970s.

A protest group called "Hot Mess" hold up signs of Jeffrey Epstein in front of the federal courthouse on July 8, 2019 in New York City.
A protest group called “Hot Mess” hold up signs of Jeffrey Epstein in front of the federal courthouse in New York City on July 8, 2019. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Baden said that Epstein’s neck injuries were “extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.”

“I’ve not seen in fifty years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging,” he said.

“The brother is concerned that if [Epstein] was murdered, then other people who have information might be at risk,” Baden said in the Oct 30 interview, suggesting that powerful individuals may have been involved in the death.

“If they think he has information, his life could be in jeopardy,” he said.

Later, he called on investigators to release the findings from Epstein’s DNA samples.

“They took fingernail clippings to see if there’s anybody else’s DNA on it and that hasn’t been released, neither has information about whose DNA is on the ligature out of torn strips of orange sheets,” he said. “Whoever made it has to have a lot of DNA on it and the brother has been asking for that from day one.”

What’s more, he questioned the claim that two security guards at the jail were asleep when Epstein was found hanging in his cell.

U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in court where he pleaded guilty to two prostitution charges in West Palm Beach
In this July 30, 2008, file photo, Jeffrey Epstein, center, appears in court in West Palm Beach, Fla. (Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP, File)

“Occasionally a guard falls asleep—never two guards at the same time,” he said on Fox News. “The issue would be, did somebody come in and cause his death?”

Epstein’s brother, Mark, believes he hasn’t been told the entire story, Baden also claimed.

“He thinks that his brother wasn’t the type to commit suicide but he wants to get the information that he hasn’t been able to get so far,” he said.

Suicide Hotlines

If you are in an emergency in the United States or Canada, please call 911. You can phone the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1 800 273 8255. Youth can call the Kids Help Phone on 1800 668 6868.

In the United Kingdom, people can call Samaritans at 116 123, Papyrus at 0800 068 41 41, or Childline at 0800 1111.

In Australia, the suicide prevention telephone hotline at Lifeline is 13 11 14. You can also visit the Lifeline website at lifeline.org.au. Youth can contact the Kids Helpline by phoning 1800 551 800 or visiting headspace.org.au/yarn-safe

If you are in an emergency in India, call Befrienders India – National Association at +91 33 2474 4704.

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