MIAMI — A noted forensic pathologist who viewed Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy said that the sex trafficker’s injuries were more consistent with strangulation than with suicide, and he called upon law enforcement authorities to dig deeper into how Epstein died.
In an interview on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday, Dr. Michael Baden said that Epstein, who was found hanging in his Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10, had two fractures on the left and right sides of his larynx.
“Those fractures are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation,” said Baden, who was hired by Epstein’s brother, Mark Epstein, to oversee Epstein’s autopsy.
Baden, a Fox News contributor, added that there were hemorrhages in Epstein’s eyes that are more common in strangulation than in hangings.
Baden’s opinion contradicted New York City Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson, who ruled Epstein’s cause of death to be a suicide by hanging.
Baden, 85, who once led the New York City Medical Examiner’s office, is one of the nation’s best known forensic pathologists, having participated in some of the country’s most famous death investigations, including the congressional committee probing the death of John F. Kennedy.
Most recently, he conducted one of the private autopsies of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baden also hosted the HBO series “Autopsy.”
Epstein’s death launched a series of conspiracy theories, mostly centered on whether Epstein was murdered to keep him from revealing information about the rich and powerful men in his social circle who may have been involved in crimes, including sex trafficking.
Sampson, however, ruled out foul play, but her findings did little to quell conspiracy stories.
Following the autopsy, it was revealed there were major security lapses at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, and two prison officers were suspended and the warden was reassigned.
A federal investigation, ordered by U.S. Attorney General William Barr, is ongoing.
Epstein was arrested in July, more than 10 years after the top federal prosecutor in South Florida, Alexander Acosta, signed off on a controversial non-prosecution agreement despite having nearly three dozen underage victims who said they were sexually abused by the multimillionaire, many of them at his waterfront estate in Palm Beach. He also had homes in Manhattan, the Virgin Islands, Paris and New Mexico.
Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell a month after his arrest.
Interest in the long-dormant case was rekindled last November when the Miami Herald published Perversion of Justice, a series of stories examining the machinations behind the non-prosecution agreement. Four of Epstein’s victims were interviewed as part of the series, and described their frustration with the disposal of the federal case.
If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.