Leland Whaley was live on Talk 99.5 when the news broke from the medical examiner’s office Friday that the prison death of Jeffrey Epstein was officially ruled a suicide by hanging. Epstein, 66, was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City on Saturday, August 10 where he was awaiting trail on federal sex trafficking charges.
The suicide comes after what appeared to be another attempt to kill himself on July 23 and he had just been removed from suicide watch.
Since Epstein’s death, there has been outrage over how such a high-profile prisoner could have been left alone after making an apparent attempt on his life a few weeks prior. He was supposed to have a cellmate and monitored regularly by two guards who patrolled his special housing unit. According to the New York Times, he was left alone after his cellmate transferred and the two employees assigned to guard him had not checked on him.
Numerous news outlets including The Washington Post and The New York Times reported that the autopsy revealed that several bones in Epstein’s neck had been broken which led to widespread speculation that his death was not a suicide, but in fact a homicide. Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson issued a statement Thursday to respond to those articles which said, “In all forensic investigations, all information must be synthesized to determine the cause and manner of death. Everything must be consistent; no single finding can be evaluated in a vacuum.”
Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement that a special inquiry would be opened into what happened. “I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Barr said. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered.”
The FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general are investigating Epstein’s death.
You can listen to Leland every day from 3-7 pm on Talk 99.5, the Talk 99.5 mobile app and talk995.com.