Nearly an hour before news outlets reported Jeffrey Epstein had been found dead in a Manhattan jail, a 4chan user posted about his death in detail.
Buzzfeed News reported that the New York City Fire Department looked into whether a first responder may have leaked the information onto the controversial messaging board, which has a reputation in the mainstream as a hub for conspiracy theorists, internet misfits and trolls.
A FDNY spokesperson told Buzzfeed News that the post in question is “under review” and that the “alleged information did not come from the Fire Department.”
The post came approximately 40 minutes before ABC News first reported that Epstein was dead, according to Buzzfeed News.
“[D]ont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this,” read the post, which was published at 8:16 a.m.
According to Buzzfeed News, the first tweet about Epstein’s death came 38 minutes later, from ABC News reporter Aaron Katersky. ABC News’ main Twitter account tweeted out a link to a report on the incident five minutes later.
Jeffrey Epstein is dead. Sources tell @abc Epstein committed suicide at MCC Manhattan
— Aaron Katersky (@AaronKatersky) August 10, 2019
Subsequent posts on 4chan by the user in question contained detailed descriptions of the procedures supposedly used to resuscitate Epstein, according to Buzzfeed News, thereby suggesting the person may have been a first responder or medical professional.
The FDNY told Buzzfeed News that while they are “reviewing” the incident, “there is no investigation.” The department did not clarify the difference between an “investigation” and a “review.”
Pundits, social media users, politicians raise questions about the death of Jeffrey Epstein
On both the political left and right, alternative theories about Epstein’s death have quickly proliferated, with many pointing to his former powerful friends. #ClintonBodyCount and #ClintonCrimeFamily were trending on Twitter on Saturday along with a competing hashtag, TrumpBodyCount.
The official cause of Epstein’s death has yet to be determined. New York City chief medical examiner Barbara Sampson said on Sunday that the results of his autopsy are “pending further information.”
CBS News reported on Tuesday that “shouting and shrieking” was heard from Epstein’s cell on the morning he died.
Epstein’s death has spurred outrage by critics who say the prison should have prevented it. The FBI said it was investigating, and Attorney General William Barr said 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 in a statement. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered.”
The development came a day after The New York Times reported that one of the two people guarding Epstein when he died in a federal jail cell was a “substitute.”
The stand-in guard did not normally work as a correctional officer, three prison officials with knowledge of the case told The Times on condition of anonymity. The sources, one prison official and two law enforcement officials, did not identify the person or say what type of job he usually worked.
Meanwhile, a former inmate at the Metropolitan Correction Center, the federal prison where Epstein was held, said Saturday that there is “no way” he killed himself there.
Epstein, who was facing up to 45 years in prison on charges of sex trafficking girls as young as 14, was found unconscious Saturday morning in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. He was pronounced dead that morning after apparently hanging himself.