A forensic pathologist hired by Jeffrey Epstein’s brother to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death says burst capillaries in the late financier’s eyes suggest he died of strangulation.
Footage obtained by the New York Post shows Dr. Michael Baden discussing findings from Epstein’s autopsy during an appearance on daytime TV show “Dr. Oz.”
Epstein, who was facing up to 45 years in prison on charges of sex trafficking girls as young as 14, was found unconscious in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City on Aug. 10. He was pronounced dead that morning.
New York City Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson officially ruled Epstein’s death a suicide.
“The blood settles after we die. The so-called lividity, if you’re hanging, the lividity is on the lower part on the legs. These would be like maroon/purple, front and back and they aren’t,” Baden told the show’s host, Dr. Mehmet Oz.
“These little hemorrhages, tiny little blood splotches. What do these particular hemorrhages, burst blood vessels, tell you? Why is it a red flag?” Oz asked Baden after graphic post-mortem photos of Epstein’s eyes flashed across the screen.
“In a hanging, the arteries and the blood vessels, the veins are both clogged off and the person is pale. The face is pale,” Baden said.
“With a manual strangulation, there’s a backup of a pressure and the little capillaries can rupture and they’re best seen in the eye.”
Baden also said it was “very unusual” for a cause of death to be changed to hanging after initially being deemed inconclusive, as occurred in the case of Epstein.
“Five days later it was changed to hanging suicide and one of the things the family wishes to know, the estate wishes to know is, what was that additional information that caused them to change it when five months later and the family still doesn’t know what happened to in the first encounter and what happened to him when he was found dead,” he said.
Baden, a former New York City Medical Examiner, has expressed doubts in various media appearances about Epstein’s death being ruled a suicide.
In an interview with “60 Minutes” earlier this month, Baden said forensic evidence pointed “much more to murder and strangulation than the suicide and suicidal hanging.”
The release in January of new autopsy photos sparked a debate on Twitter between commenters who suspected Epstein had killed himself and those who dismissed such allegations as mere conspiracy theorizing.
In late October, Baden said during an appearance on Fox News that the findings of an autopsy conducted on the deceased financier are more consistent with homicide than suicide.
“Those three fractures are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation,” Baden told a “Fox & Friends” panel. “I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging case.”
In November, Attorney General William Barr told the Associated Press that Epstein’s death came about as a result of a “perfect storm of screw-ups,” but that he died by suicide.