Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy reveals ‘multiple breaks in his neck bones,’ oh…

Jeffrey Epstein found dead in prison cell

Everything I know about autopsies, I learned from Law & Order, Bones and The Closer. So I know from my extensive TV police procedural research that it’s somewhat common in hanging-suicides for people to have a broken hyoid bone (Adam’s apple). Usually in those police procedurals, it’s more about the angle of the break and whether it would be reasonable for someone to break their own hyoid bone at a certain angle by hanging themselves, or whether the more reasonable answer is that someone strangled the victim and then used “hanging” as a way to cover up the crime. Well, I really wish The Closer’s Brenda Leigh Johnson was here right now because she would find some answers:

An autopsy found that financier Jeffrey Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, according to two people familiar with the findings, deepening the mystery about the circumstances around his death. Among the bones broken in Epstein’s neck was the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam’s apple. Such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject. But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation, the experts said.

The details are the first findings to emerge from the autopsy of Epstein, a convicted sex offender and multimillionaire in federal custody on charges of sex trafficking. He died early Saturday morning after guards found him hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and he could not be revived.

The office of New York City’s chief medical examiner, Barbara Sampson, completed an autopsy of Epstein’s body Sunday. But Sampson listed the cause of his death as pending. Asked about the neck injuries Sampson said in a statement that no single factor in an autopsy can alone provide a conclusive answer about what happened.

“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.”

The revelation of Epstein’s neck injuries follows reports that officers at the Metropolitan Correctional Center broke protocol and failed to properly monitor him. Corrections officers had not checked on Epstein for “several” hours before he was found hanging in his cell, a person familiar with the matter said, one of a series of missteps in the hours leading up to his death.

[From The Washington Post]

“Multiple breaks in his neck bones…” Do any coroners read Celebitchy? Hit up the comments, please. My take is that this is shady as hell. Of course it’s possible for a man who hanged himself to break multiple bones in his neck, but it feels like the more likely scenario is that Epstein died a more violent death. I would also be interested in knowing if Epstein’s body showed evidence of any other injuries, or any signs that he “fought back,” or if he had recently scratched anyone (skin cells under his nails). Woof, this is a mess.

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88 Responses to “Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy reveals ‘multiple breaks in his neck bones,’ oh…”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    “Woof, this is a mess.” I echo that sentiment completely.

    Like I said yesterday, if he was NOT killed then the suicide was arranged (like someone paid the guards to be absent for a while.) but at this point I’m really leaning towards he was killed. It will be interesting to see how much else comes out over the next few days/weeks about this.

    • Ertia says:

      Listen to some former federal prosecutors and people like that.

      Inmates, even pre-trial ones, die like this all the time. Guards sleep through shifts and falsify records. It’s endemic.

      • ChillyWilly says:

        No suicides in that facility for 25 years. And it holds lots of people who are looking at life sentences. He was killed.

      • Paige says:

        I know even writing this will probably put me put in an internment camp- however, El Chapo survived here and yet the billionaire with info on everyone from MBS to prince Andrew-did not… The person with the most to lose-Donald Trump had Bill Barr-the person that was in control of the prison and everyone that works there did his dirty work once again-he is also muddying the waters just like after the Mueller report was released by declaring that it was a suicide-how convenient that they’re blaming the flunkies for this-the guards that were supposed to check him were sleeping? Please-the warden has been reassigned-really?and Bill bar is ‘appalled’ that this happened in his facility on his watch? will anyone be accountable I don’t think so…. Bill bar had to re-cues himself from this case because of his father’s involvement with him and of his own involvement with the Acosta plea deal he conveniently in recused himself the next day and said that this was too important and he had to make sure it was done right-I guess this was what he meant…. I better go now I have to dye my hair and get a new ID….

      • SM says:

        I agree. And I am sticking to the version it was a suicide unless the evidence by ppl doing autopsy or someone’s confession prove 100% the opposite is true. Because right now it is turning out into another conspiracy. With a conspiracy enthusiast who made a political career out of conspiracies, it is important not to indulge in any of them, no matter the political side. With that in mind it is important to understand how much damage the speculations and opinions based on TV shows and experts with no direct knowledge of the case do. The thing is – detention/correction system staff is underpaid and overworked working multiple shifts. This is what they do. They skip steps and bend rules. The other things with Epstein is that he is an offender and he was in the criminal system and yet the system was working in his favour and was protecting him. This is how he got out fast and continued to make his dirty businesses and mingle with important people. Maybe, just maybe this time he lost his protection and system treated him like any other regular offender. Put those two things together and here is the result, that is indeed a very common thing in the correctional setting.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      when I first read he had died by suicide, I immediately though of Frankie Five Angels…took one “for the team”, if you will.

      but now, with the reports of “screams and wails” from his cell and this info about broken bones, I’m leaning toward homicide. but “this is a mess” is how I feel, too.

    • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

      I believe he was murdered. He KNEW *too* much, HAD *too* much info on people who prefer to operate in the dark… There was no way they were going to leave him alive. I know he didn’t talk in his last trial (answered “Fifth” to every question), but to someone facing the rest of his life in prison this time, I don’t know… Too many things surrounding this to not be suspicious (no guards, falsified records, no pics of how they found him in the cell…)

    • PointingScreaming says:

      Why didn’t trump keep this guy on 24hr Elite Surveillance? That’s all.

    • Catfoodjunkie says:

      He was previously found to have attempted suicide.

    • Felicia says:

      Tin foil tiara time, but I don’t believe he’s actually dead.

      Suicide by hanging is either long drop or short drop. Clearly if he had actually managed to hang himself, it would have been short drop… aka asphyxiation and not a broken neck.

      The picture of his body, and notably his face, did not show the face of a person who asphixiated themselves by short drop hanging.

      Also, just because I want to bring this up… both Epstein and R. Kelley had second Saudi Arabian passports in their names.

  2. Sierra says:

    From watching numerous tv shows, my guess is that they broke his neck first, reset it and then broke it again with a rope to make it look like suicide.

    • Tourmaline says:

      Reset a broken neck? Nah.

      • Bryn says:

        Lol right? Not everything is a conspiracy or a cover up. The guy was f%*ked, of course he killed himself.

      • PlainJane says:

        Bryn – Agree. He had absolutely NO reason to live. Had he lived, he would have spent the rest of his life in jail as a pedo.

        I CAN see this as a suicide, it actually does make sense.

      • Kitten says:

        @ Bryn-Seriously lol.
        He was paying his lawyers just to sit with him all day so he wouldn’t have to be in that cell. He HATED being in jail and he knew he would be there the rest of his life after that big document dump last Friday.

        That being said, I could completely believe that someone powerful greased the palms of the prison guards to get them to leave him unattended so he could carry out his suicide.

      • Megan says:

        I wonder if the reason Ghislaine Maxwell has not been arrested is because she is negotiating a plea deal. She has been in MA this whole time so its possible the feds are working with her. If Epstein found out Maxwell had flipped, that would be incentive to commit suicide.

  3. Cidy says:

    Hi, mortuary school graduate who currently works in finance:

    Bones in the neck CAN break during a hanging if that is the cause of death, especially as the person is ‘suffocating’ so to speak because the body jerks around and is only held by the “rope” in question and then becomes totally limp once post mortem the dead weight again can cause multiple breaks.

    • Arizona says:

      I’m intrigued by your career path.

    • Ertia says:

      According to my husband, the older someone is the more likely these bones are to break.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      From what I remember from med school and my morgue rotation (fairly distant past, but I do remember some stuff), I concur.

    • Dani says:

      So does that mean he was suffocated/strangled/murdered or he did in fact hang himself?

      • paranormalgirl says:

        It could go either way. The bones could be broken in pretty much either scenario. Yeah, I’m so not helpful.

      • Cidy says:


        Manual Strangulation is unlikely with the amount of broken bones they are insulating, it could go either way however as the body becomes loose and flails the bones in the neck will break.

      • Megan says:

        Reluctantly taking off my tinfoil hat …

  4. Bryn says:

    Pretty sure you can break multiple bones in your neck when you hang yourself.

    • Mego says:

      Yep and you don’t exactly have the best tools at your disposal in a jail cell so it would have been messy. Also this was the second attempt after an initial unsuccessful attempt which points to this being a suicide. Doubt a hit would have been unsuccessful.

    • Arpeggi says:

      Yeah, it’s not like it could have been a “clean” hanging from the ceiling so I could imagine that it takes a while for death to finally come. I’m not sure that someone else was involved in his death but it really looks like no one was really trying to make sure he’d stay alive until trial

    • Ali says:

      Agree. It’s sometimes forgotten that hanging can be a very violent death, so it’s not surprising that those bones would be broken.

    • Paige says:

      He had no reason to kill himself. He would have no issue with selling everyone down the river to get out of prison-he was a billionaire …. he was with his lawyers every day from 8 AM to 8 PM 12 hours every day to avoid his cell…. The timing of the release the day before of all of those pages of evidence was no coincidence that he died the next day powerful people were nervous ….

      • Arpeggi says:

        To be fair, he had every reasons to kill himself: he was the head of the scheme, all the people he could have named were under him/benefitted from his traffic but he was on top so there was no deal he could make to get out of jail. It’s likely he killed himself, though it’s also likely that no efforts were put in place to avoid his suicide

  5. Cidy says:

    My tinfoil hat is staying on for this.

    • Lucy says:

      So is mine. The guards were “sleeping?????” Autopsy says a bone broken in his neck is more common in homicides than suicides. He was murdered.

      • Meghan says:

        @Lucy- guards work an insane amount of overtime. In an interview yesterday a woman was saying that some guards were forced to work 48 hour shifts, then would get to go home for about 8 hours and return the next day. And if you said no to the overtime, you were fired. So it is very common for guards to fall asleep “for hours” while on the job.

        The for hours part really threw me because honestly I can see one or two guards falling asleep at their desk for an hour or less. Kind of how I imagine a security guard might at 3am if it’s a slow night.

        We desperately need more guards and COs.

      • C says:

        Yeah, the “sleeping “ thing is so fishy

      • Megan says:

        @Meghan – we desperately need to incarcerate fewer people so we won’t need as many guards.

      • Some chick says:

        The prison industrial complex is way out of hand.

        The cops are way out of hand.

        And the politicians are encouraging the whole thing.

        It’s disgusting.

        I wish I could afford to leave the country but I can barely afford to stay.

    • Ertia says:

      Good, I have a few questions for you then.

      Every professional in the federal legal system has been saying for years the conditions in places like this is inhumane, and injuries, suicides, and murders are common.

      If someone wanted to kill Jeffrey Epstein, why do you think they’d do it in such a ridiculously sloppy way? Who has the power to do this, but also, ehhhh can’t really give enough of a fig to do it right?

      Ground up pills in food and a faux heart attack seem less obvious, no?

      • broodytrudy says:

        Why wouldn’t they do it in a sloppy way? What are we all going to do about it? Oh, right. Nothing. It doesn’t matter. They could have a “guard” or his cellmate bump him off in the middle of the day, we would be in the exact same place we are now. A cover up is to just keep up appearances.

        I’ll be interested to hear what you have to say when the evidence mysteriously disappears, or when Barr (whose dad was bffs with epstein) closes the case because Ghislaine Maxwell is nowhere to be found (and dead) and they couldn’t possibly proceed with the case. It’s incredibly obvious what they’re doing, and no one gets to do anything about it.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Whitey Bulger was killed in prison by getting beat with a lock. A hit isn’t always “clean”..

      • Ertia says:

        There’s no point in spreading untrue information.

        Bill Barr’s father was not “bffs” with Epstein. Epstein was hired to work at a school run by Barr’s father – AFTER the father left. This information is freely available. Please don’t sink to the level of those who run with untrue information.

        Also, when Barr closes what case? The criminal case against Epstein is closed now.

        Because he’s dead.

        Civil cases can move forward though.

      • Another Anne says:

        Ertia, the criminal case is not closed. There are co-conspirators, and the investigations will continue. While Epstein can’t be charged criminally, anyone who aided and abetted him can.

  6. Seraphina says:

    I’d put my money him being killed. Most of these people who have gotten away with so much at others’ suffering usually think they are above the law so he may have been waiting it out. That said, who knows the heinousness of his acts and what he knew. Maybe killing himself would be less painful that what he knew would be done to him if he lived (by those trying to shut him up). It’s a mess is right.

  7. aquarius64 says:

    Murder staged as a suicide? Plausible given the situation. People involved have the motive and definitely the means to pay someone to do the deed and erase evidence.

    • Myrtle says:

      Reportedly, “shrieks and screams” were heard coming from his cell the morning he died. I read that on multiple outlets. Not typical for suicides.

      • Lucy says:

        I heard that last night on the radio. This is all going to be covered up and they’ll blame it on the “sleeping” guards.

      • Ali says:

        It’s not atypical either. He could have been in a state of extreme mental distress immediately prior and shrieks and screams are not uncommon in such states.

      • ByTheSea says:

        @Ali – Okay, but “he” were screaming and shrieking while he did it, then that would’ve awoken the guards, who could’ve either intervened or provided aid, no?

        (What I read was that people were screaming for help from his cell after he was found. A little different.)

      • Ali says:

        I didn’t comment about the circumstances surrounding his death, merely pointing out that shrieks and screams are not atypical. Suicide, and suicidal states, are very rarely peaceful things.

      • B n A fn says:

        My take when reading about the “screaming and shrieking” on the morning of the death was when the guards found him unresponsive. I believe the guards were screaming at the body to “breath Epstein, breath”. Not Epstein screaming . I’m guessing the other prisoners told people they heard the guards “screaming.”

        I’m thinking Epstein was a very cunning individual who got his lawyer to get him off suicide watch by talking to the psychiatrist for him. I thinking he said he would be better off if not watched 24/7. Then he acted appropriate for a while before requesting no cell mate because the person he had before tried to kill him, so he got a cell without a cell mate. Epstein knows the guards generally sleep say 3 am to 6 am that would give him ample time to hang himself. I believe he conned everyone, his lawyers, drs and guards acting appropriate, pretended he was in a good frame of mind, then he “offed himself.” Just trying to figure this out.

    • Betsy says:

      I agree with you. I don’t discount overworked guards and “regular” hanging breaking multiple bones, but let’s not pretend that there aren’t many many powerful people who don’t want their pedophilia and rapist histories becoming public knowledge.

      Also his previous suicide attempt was thought to have possibly been an assault, wasn’t it?

  8. smcollins says:

    The more I read about his death the more I keep hearing Robert Stack’s voice in my head. I don’t think we’ll ever know what truly happened, though. He was connected to way too many rich & powerful people who had reason to silence him (even if they did distance themselves publicly after his 2005 (?) conviction).

  9. TheHeat says:

    I really have no doubt that JE hanged himself.
    Was he encouraged to do so? Possible.
    Could money have exchanged hands at the jail to prevent him from being caught in the act? Probable.

    • Lucy2 says:

      That’s what I’m leaning towards.

    • Harper says:

      Yeah, why proactively murder someone who’s suicidal? He was a billionaire megalomaniac who was looking at life in a cell and never experiencing freedom again, who had already tried to kill himself once.

      The people running the prison system are either grossly incompetent, or incredibly corrupt. I’m on the side of incompetence with a dash of petty corruption, because people die in custody far too often. If the people who wanted him dead knew anything about how incompetent prison officials actually are, they wouldn’t have done anything. They could have just thought that Epstein would be successful eventually, and all of their problems would be solved.

      • Tourmaline says:

        Totally agree with you. I can accept that this guy wanted to end it all. Time was up for him– he wasn’t getting away with it this time. Being in that jail was nothing like being in his previous Palm Beach ‘jail’ situation where he was treated like a king.

    • Christin says:

      Psychological “egging on” is a possibility I’ve considered as well.

      The mysterious first incident is one clue. Did someone rough him up two/three weeks prior, as he claimed, and he then fully realized prison was not for him. Or, if it truly was a first self-inflicted attempt, then just let him proceed again.

      Of course, both incidents could have been done by someone else. I just don’t understand how he would have known both guards were not going to check on him that particular night.

    • PlainJane says:

      @TheHeat, THIS! I think he could have done it himself. I think people could have been ENCOURAGED to stay away from his cell for hours. This seems like the most plausible theory, IMHO.

    • Kitten says:

      Yes I’m with you, TheHeat.

  10. Mitzy says:

    So…………………………where did the rope come from?

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Its telling that they haven’t released what he used to hang himself.

    • roseplot says:

      There was no rope. A sheet was used.

    • ByTheSea says:

      A sheet was used, but other former employees at that facility said the sheets were “paper grade” because of the risk of suicide for many of the inmates. Truly, we may never know.

    • Nadja Natascha says:

      Did they supply him with a nice tough sheet that would carry his weight? I guess that would be one of the less complicated ways: death by supported suicide …

  11. Beech says:

    Why was he taken off suicide watch?

    • Ertia says:

      Because it’s expensive to keep someone constantly surveilled and they were understaffed, so the impetus is to move people off suicide watch as quickly as possible. This involves it being okay’d by the mental health professional there, as well as a face-to-face with (basically) the person in charge of the facility.

    • Ann says:

      Because his lawyers requested him to be taken off.

  12. Yennefer of Vengerburger & fries says:

    A little hard to break a neck when a fall is short. Hangings from a short rope tend to kill by suffocation rather than the breaking of the neck, and I doubt Epstein had a sufficiently long rope, sufficiently tall table to step off of etc etc. I have no doubt this dude died more violently. Broken neck strangulation from what I’ve been told tends to happen when someone’s strangled by someone else with the help of something.

    Source: close family member’s dealt with a lot of death and investigation as a part of her job. Of course, she’d maintain that ‘anything is possible’, but by statistics, it’s more likely that someone else was involved, or he just got real lucky that whatever he used managed to snap his neck. Dying by hanging in a suffocating manner’s a very ugly way to go.

    • Nadja Natascha says:

      Broken neck is a quick death, yes.
      But dying by hanging in a suffocating manner often means that the blood supply to the head is cut off as well and they become unconscious.

  13. Amelie says:

    My question is if he didn’t hang himself then who “killed” him? The only answer is a CO. It couldn’t have been another inmate if Epstein was locked in his cell alone, I don’t think inmates can freely roam in this prison. And if Epstein had any visitors from outside the prison, they’d have to log in and give official ID they’d be very easy to find. It’s possible Epstein may have had visitors the day he died but I think the media would have found that out by now.

    And sure maybe a CO did it but stuff like that leaves DNA evidence unless they had time to wipe down the ENTIRE scene. Unless someone was pressuring the entire prison to stay quiet and prisons are places of gossip… there’s no way an entire prison would be able to keep quiet a murder of a high profile inmate like that (especially a super shitty one like where Epstein was). None of it makes sense.

    My guess is maybe some powerful people planned to put a hit on Epstein if he ever walked free. He knew he faced a life in prison and he wouldn’t get away with it twice (and might face retaliation in prison for being a pedophile, it’s a known fact that pedophiles are often attacked by other inmates). If he somehow miraculously walked free a former associate would probably take him down. He only had one way out of this situation and he took the “easy” way out.

    • Steph says:

      My hope is that he did kill himself since Trump is already starting to blame the Clintons for his “murder”.

      • PlainJane says:

        And the Cheeto Mussolini will blame anyone and everyone. That man speaks ridiculous all day long.

    • Nadja Natascha says:

      As there was video surveillance in the hallway we should know. Unless there are people who can switch that off…

  14. reg says:

    When Chris Cornell supposedly hanged himself he had multiple body injuries including 9 broken ribs, same with Micheal Hutchence. My guess they will still rule it a suicide because certain people want it this way to protect themselves. Look at the people in his pictures, royalty, politicians, actors….

  15. Citresse says:

    What type of cell was he in? Did he have a separate shower with a door? That’s the only way he could have killed himself ie: a rolled up bedsheet over the top of the door or doorknob, either way not enough of a drop to cause several broken bones. I still believe Epstein was murdered.

  16. Eleonor says:

    We will never know the truth, and as I have already said: this death is convenient.
    His associate in crime is nowhere to be seen, and I bet these people have some sort of escape plan with tons of money to live a quite life.

  17. Original T.C. says:

    Yet Bernie Madoff who was arrested for a huge Ponzi scheme with the rich and famous as the victims was watched all the time and guarded to make sure no suicide was attempted. Terrorist and mass shooters also since they are high profile. Sorry but I’m not buying this excuse of tired and sleep deprived guards. Regardless of how he died (murder or suicide), if the rich and powerful cared about this man making it to trial, it would have happened. Period, end of story.

    • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

      This same prison managed to get El Chapo to trial, sentenced, and sent to a super max prison in Colorado. I’m sure there were a LOT of people that didn’t want a major drug lord to make it to trial either. But he did. Epstein is dead because he knew too much AND had blackmail vids and pictures.

      • ChillyWilly says:

        Absolutely. No way all these breaches of protocol occurred with an inmate as high profile as Epstein.

    • Nadja Natascha says:

      There is this conspiracy theory that they had a dead corpse body double. There is this pic of his body on a stretcher and his ears and his nose don’t look like his, actually.

      If he is really dead, yeah, I believe he was suicided.

  18. Oliviajoy1995 says:

    I think he committed suicide. He knew he was never getting out, and eventually he’d be thrown in with all the other prisoners and would have to constantly watch his back. Officials at the jail said he was already being extorted by other inmates to put money on their books. Its a boring non- conspiracy theory, but I think its just that simple.

  19. Citresse says:

    Cause of death is still pending.

  20. Alyse says:

    Side note: can we stop having pictures of him in the posts about him? That face make my skin crawl… fkn monster

  21. Diamond Rottweiler says:

    Trump and Barr had a pretty simple, not particularly difficult job–keep one of the most high profile monsters in criminal history alive until he could be brought to justice. The minute the news broke that Epstein had been arrested, my very first thought was, “Wonder how long till he dies under suspicious circumstances.”

  22. Nadja Natascha says:

    I would like to see his corpse, t.b.h., to confirm it is really him.

  23. Udi says:

    Actually the hyoid bone is not the Adam’s apple. Adam’s apple is the angle formed by the thyroid cartilages of the larynx. Hyoid bone is up there at the root of the jaw to which the muscles of the tongue and jaw are attached.

  24. CairinaCat says:

    The ear on the dead guy DID NOT match JE ear, at all