Graphic autopsy photos shed more light on the circumstances surrounding the death of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
The photos were obtained by CBS’ “60 Minutes” and first shown publicly on Sunday during a segment on Epstein’s death.
“60 Minutes'” report featured an interview with Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City Medical Examiner hired by Mark Epstein to investigate his brother’s death.
“The forensic evidence released so far, including autopsy, point much more to murder and strangulation than the suicide and suicidal hanging,” Baden said.
One element Baden found particularly curious was an autopsy photo showing Epstein’s hyoid bone broke in three places.
“Going over — over a thousand jail hangings, suicides in the New York City state prisons over the past 40, 50 years — no one had three fractures,’’ Baden said.
Law enforcement sources told the New York Post that authorities believe Epstein hung himself by tying one end of a bed sheet to his neck and another to a bed railing, then leaned forward on his knees until he asphyxiated.
Federal correction officers who found the already deceased Epstein moved the body to an emergency room, according to “60 Minutes.”
Baden told “60 Minutes” that moving the body was not “normal protocol.”
“The EMS people, normally, especially in a jail, should not move a dead body,” he said.
A source told “60 Minutes” that correction officers who found Epstein could be heard chanting “Breathe, Epstein, breathe.”
“What’s kind of eerie is that after that, the prisoners that were in that secure area all started chanting ‘Breathe, Epstein, breathe,” Sharyn Alfonsi, a correspondent for “60 Minutes” said during an interview with “CBS This Morning” on Friday.
Alfonsi said sources had told “60 Minutes” that surveillance footage of Epstein’s cell had been “corrupted.”
An electrical cord, prescription pills and pen and paper used to write a note were also found in Epstein’s jail cell, according to “60 Minutes.”
The condition of the cell might raise questions, considering Epstein had reportedly tried to kill himself weeks before his eventual death, Alfonsi told “CBS This Morning.”
“It had been reported that he made a first failed suicide attempt weeks earlier, and yet his cell was covered in bedding and sheets,” she said. “He was the only person in the cell.”
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.
But Baden, and others, have floated alternate theories.
The release of the 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.
Some said Epstein’s neck looked like it had been strangled with a wire.
Benny Johnson, creative director for Turning Point USA, said doctors had determined the new autopsy photos pointed “to evidence of murder.”
“Former NYC medical examiner claims photos of Jeffrey Epstein‘s autopsy raise questions about his death—and indicate murder rather than suicide. Makes you wonder whether Epstein was killed to prevent him from dishing dirt on Trump & other powerful friends,” tweeted Jon Cooper, Barack Obama’s former Long Island campaign chairman.
Ian Miles Cheong, managing editor for Human Events, noted that the marks on Epstein’s neck appeared to “show two separate tracks of bruising.”
“Figure that out,” Cheong tweeted.
“Is there anyone left who insists this was a suicide?” tweeted Washington Free Beacon reporter Brent Scher.
Meanwhile, some commenters averred that contrary to the increasingly popular meme, it was possible that Epstein did kill himself.
Emily Zannoti, a writer for the Daily Wire who trained as a crime scene investigator, claimed the marks on Epstein’s neck in the newly released photos were “generally consistent with death by hanging.”
THESE WOUNDS ARE NOT TYPICALLY ASSOCIATED WITH STRANGULATION BY WIRE. ?♀️
Seriously. Those are post-mortem bruises & ligature marks consistent with hanging by a strip of cotton at a moderately high distance. There are no scratches, open wounds, or cuts that would indicate metal. https://t.co/LfWaACxvVT
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) January 6, 2020
“Seriously. Those are post-mortem bruises & ligature marks consistent with hanging by a strip of cotton at a moderately high distance,” Zanotti said in response Johnson.
“If it was strangulation with wire, his neck would look completely different and his skin would be torn up. As fun as the meme has been, sorry to break it to you but Jeffrey Epstein did kill himself,” tweeted conservative social media guru Caleb Hull.
If it was strangulation with wire, his neck would look completely different and his skin would be torn up.
As fun as the meme has been, sorry to break it to you but Jeffrey Epstein did kill himself. https://t.co/AN3Y20UECj
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) January 6, 2020
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.