Updated: Aug 14, 2019
The shocking Saturday morning suicide of degenerate billionaire Jeffrey Epstein sparked an instant pair of federal probes amid myriad questions about his sudden death in a Manhattan prison cell. The 66-year-old Epstein, barely two weeks removed from a failed attempt to take his own life, managed to hang himself shortly after sunrise inside the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center — where he was taken off suicide watch “relatively quickly” after his first try, according to a source. Word of his death just one day after a massive cache of documents in his sex-trafficking case were released set off a torrent of Twitter conspiracy theory rants, with many suggesting he was silenced before a trial where the sexual peccadilloes of high-profile pals like ex-President Clinton, President Trump and Prince Andrew might be exposed. The FBI and the federal Inspector General each launched investigations into the accused sex trafficker’s stunning, self-imposed demise. “I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early (Saturday) from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” said U.S. Attorney General William Barr. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered.” A body, believed to be that of deceased Jeffrey Epstein, is seen here being removed from the New York Presbyterian Downtown Hospital on Gold Street in Manhattan on Saturday August 10, 2019. A body, believed to be that of deceased Jeffrey Epstein, is seen here being removed from the New York Presbyterian Downtown Hospital on Gold Street in Manhattan on Saturday August 10, 2019. (Theodore Parisienne/for New York Daily News) The convicted sex offender was pronounced dead at New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan Hospital shortly after he was discovered around 6:30 a.m. inside the MCC, officials said. The FDNY answered a call at 6:39 a.m. reporting Epstein was in cardiac arrest, and rushed him to the medical facility about a half-mile south. Last month, Epstein was discovered on the floor of his cell in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) with bruises on his neck after a botched suicide try, with authorities placing him under a suicide watch and providing daily psychiatric evaluations. The reasons for lifting the restrictions, where inmates wear a hospital-style gown and are monitored around the clock, were not clear, a source told the Daily News. Epstein was ordered held without bail in the SHU, until recently also the home to infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman. An autopsy was slated to determine the exact cause of death for Epstein, a spokeswoman for the city’s Medical Examiner’s Office said Saturday. His accusers were upset that the sexual predator’s day in a Manhattan courtroom will never come to pass. “I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court,” said Jennifer Araoz, who accused the financier of raping her when she was just 15. “We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crime he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people.” The financier was expected to go to trial on sex trafficking charges next year for bringing the young girls to his homes on the Upper East Side and Palm Beach, Fla., officials said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman issued a statement assuring Epstein’s accusers that his death did not end the federal probe. “We remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged ... remains ongoing,” he said. The prison authorities “appear to have recklessly put Mr. Epstein in harm’s way, heedlessly placing his life at risk and failing to protect him,” wrote Fernich. “The public needs to know exactly what happened and why — and how his custodians could have let it occur." One day earlier, a treasure trove of documents was made public in the Manhattan Federal Court prosecution of Epstein. Those named in the revealing papers included Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, Britain’s Prince Andrew and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Dershowitz, who was accused in documents made public Friday of getting oral sex from one of Epstein’s teen sex partners, declined to comment on his client’s death. “It wouldn’t be appropriate,” he said. A lawyer for alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accused Epstein of turning her into his “sex slave” at the age of 16, noted the timing of the suicide appeared odd and urged prosecutions to continue their work. Epstein, who was facing up to 45 years in prison for sex trafficking, was rattled last month when a judge kept him locked up instead of allowing his return to a $77 million Upper East Side mansion. He was arrested last month at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after his private jet landed from Paris. “No way this guy was going to talk,” said one of his neighbors. “He knew too many powerful people. The sad thing is I hope the cases aren’t closed for all the sad girls who suffered at his hands.” Last month’s arrest of Epstein led to investigations into the alleged mishandling of his 2008 prosecution in Florida on similar charges. U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned after coming under fire for overseeing that sweetheart deal for Epstein when he was U.S. attorney in Miami.