Two weeks earlier than ending his life, Jeffrey Epstein sat within the nook of his Manhattan jail cell along with his arms over his ears, determined to muffle the sound of a bathroom that wouldn’t cease operating.
Epstein was agitated and unable to sleep, jail officers noticed in data newly obtained by The Related Press. He known as himself a “coward” and complained he was struggling to adapt to life behind bars following his July 2019 arrest on federal intercourse trafficking and conspiracy expenses — his lifetime of luxurious lowered to a concrete and metal cage.
The disgraced financier was underneath psychological commentary on the time for a suicide try simply days earlier that left his neck bruised and scraped. But, even after a 31-hour stint on suicide watch, Epstein insisted he wasn’t suicidal, telling a jail psychologist he had a “great life” and “can be loopy” to finish it.
On Aug. 10, 2019, Epstein was useless.
Almost 4 years later, the AP has obtained greater than 4,000 pages of paperwork associated to Epstein’s dying from the federal Bureau of Prisons underneath the Freedom of Info Act. They embody an in depth psychological reconstruction of the occasions resulting in Epstein’s suicide, in addition to his well being historical past, inner company studies, emails and memos and different data.
Taken collectively, the paperwork the AP obtained Thursday present probably the most full accounting so far of Epstein’s detention and dying, and its chaotic aftermath. The data assist to dispel the various conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein’s suicide, underscoring how elementary failings on the Bureau of Prisons — together with extreme staffing shortages and staff slicing corners — contributed to Epstein’s dying.
They shed new gentle on the federal jail company’s muddled response after Epstein was discovered unresponsive in his cell on the now-shuttered Metropolitan Correctional Middle in New York Metropolis.
In a single electronic mail, a prosecutor concerned in Epstein’s felony case complained a couple of lack of expertise from the Bureau of Prisons within the crucial hours after his dying, writing that it was “frankly unbelievable” that the company was issuing public press releases “earlier than telling us primary info in order that we are able to relay it to his attorneys who can relay it to his household.”
In one other electronic mail, a high-ranking Bureau of Prisons official made a spurious suggestion to the company’s director that information reporters should have been paying jail staff for details about Epstein’s dying as a result of they have been reporting particulars of the company’s failings — impugning the ethics of journalists and the company’s personal employees.
The paperwork additionally present a recent window into Epstein’s habits throughout his 36 days in jail, together with his beforehand unreported try to attach by mail with one other high-profile pedophile: Larry Nassar, the U.S. gymnastics group physician convicted of sexually abusing scores of athletes.
Epstein’s letter to Nassar was discovered returned to sender within the jail’s mail room weeks after Epstein’s dying. “It appeared he mailed it out and it was returned again to him,” the investigator who discovered the letter wrote instructed a jail official by electronic mail. “I’m not positive if I ought to open it or ought to we hand it over to anybody?”
The letter itself was not included among the many paperwork turned over to the AP.
The evening earlier than Epstein’s dying, he excused himself from a gathering along with his attorneys to make a phone name to his household. Based on a memo from a unit supervisor, Epstein instructed a jail worker that he was calling his mom, who’d been useless for 15 years at that time.
Epstein’s dying put elevated scrutiny on the Bureau of Prisons and spurred an AP investigation that has uncovered deep, beforehand unreported issues inside the company, the Justice Division’s largest with greater than 30,000 staff, 158,000 inmates and an annual funds of about $8 billion.
AP reporting has revealed rampant sexual abuse and different felony conduct by employees, in addition to dozens of escapes, prisoner deaths and extreme staffing shortages which have hampered responses to emergencies.
An inner memo, undated however despatched after Epstein’s dying, attributed issues at the now-shuttered jail to “significantly lowered staffing ranges, improper or lack of coaching, and observe up and oversight.” The memo additionally detailed steps the Bureau of Prisons has taken to treatment lapses Epstein’s suicide uncovered, together with requiring supervisors to evaluate surveillance video to make sure officers made required cell checks.
The employees tasked with guarding Epstein the evening he killed himself, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, have been charged with mendacity on jail data to make it appear as if they’d made their required checks earlier than Epstein was present in his cell.
Prosecutors alleged they have been sitting at their desks simply 15 toes (4.6 meters) from Epstein’s cell, shopped on-line for furnishings and bikes, and walked across the unit’s frequent space as an alternative of creating required rounds each half-hour.
Throughout one two-hour interval, each appeared to have been asleep, in response to their indictment. Noel and Thomas admitted to falsifying the log entries however prevented jail time underneath a cope with federal prosecutors. Copies of a few of these logs have been included among the many paperwork launched Thursday, with the guards’ signatures redacted.
Epstein arrived on the Metropolitan Correctional Middle on July 6, 2019. He spent 22 hours within the jail’s normal inhabitants earlier than officers moved him to the particular housing unit “because of the vital enhance in media protection and consciousness of his notoriety among the many inmate inhabitants,” in response to the psychological reconstruction of his dying.
Epstein later mentioned he was upset about having to put on an orange jumpsuit supplied to inmates within the particular housing unit and complained about being handled like he was a “dangerous man” regardless of being properly behaved behind bars. He requested a brown uniform for his near-daily visits along with his attorneys.
Throughout an preliminary well being screening, the 66-year-old mentioned that he had 10-plus feminine sexual companions inside the earlier 5 years. Medical data confirmed he was affected by sleep apnea, constipation, hypertension, decrease again ache and prediabetes and had been beforehand handled for chlamydia.
Epstein did make some makes an attempt to adapt to his jailhouse environment, the data present. He signed up for a Kosher meal and instructed jail officers, via his lawyer, that he wished permission to train exterior. Two days earlier than he was discovered useless, Epstein purchased $73.85 price of things from the jail commissary, together with an AM/FM radio and headphones. He had $566 left in his account when he died.
Epstein’s outlook worsened when a choose denied him bail on July 18, 2019 — elevating the prospect that he’d stay locked up till trial and, probably longer. If convicted, he confronted as much as 45 years jail. 4 days later, Epstein was discovered on the ground of his cell with a strip of bedsheet round his neck.
Epstein survived. His accidents didn’t require going to the hospital. He was positioned on suicide watch and, later, psychiatric commentary. Jail officers famous in logs that they noticed him, “sitting on the fringe of the mattress, misplaced in thought,” and sitting “along with his head in opposition to the wall.”
Epstein expressed frustration with the noise of the jail and his lack of sleep. His first few weeks on the Metropolitan Correctional Middle, Epstein didn’t have his sleep apnea respiration equipment he used. Then, the bathroom in his cell began performing up.
“He was nonetheless left in the identical cell with a damaged rest room,” the jail’s chief psychologist wrote in a electronic mail the subsequent day. “Please transfer him to the cell subsequent door when he returns from authorized as the bathroom nonetheless doesn’t work.”
The day earlier than Epstein ended his life, a federal choose unsealed about 2,000 pages of paperwork in a sexual abuse lawsuit in opposition to him. That growth, jail officers noticed, additional eroded Epstein’s earlier elevated standing.
That, mixed with a scarcity of great interpersonal connections and “the thought of probably spending his life in jail have been probably elements contributing to Mr. Epstein’s suicide,” officers wrote.