The death of high-rolling sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein is turning into a “he said, she said” whodunnit. A former New York City medical examiner has issued findings in the autopsy of Epstein that directly contradict that of the current city coroner.
Dr. Michael Baden went on Fox News to say he has concluded that Epstein’s corpse shows signs more consistent with homicide than suicide. This, after New York Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson ruled Epstein’s death to be self-inflicted.
It All Comes Down to the Hyoid
A broken hyoid bone appears to be the sticking point. The hyoid is shaped like a horseshoe that sits in the middle of the neck. It’s located in front of the third cervical vertebra and holds the tongue in place; the bone is not the well-known Adam’s apple but located directly above it. Medical experts know that a fracture of the hyoid is relatively rare and often connected to strangulation.
A study in 2010 published by the National Institutes of Health examined 20 men who died by suicide. Experts concluded that the hyoid bone was fractured in only 25% of cases – mostly in older men. “I’ve not seen in 50 years where that [a hyoid fracture] occurred in a suicidal hanging case,” asserted Baden.
The doctor also pointed out that hemorrhages were evident in Epstein’s eyes, which is more commonly found in cases where people were strangled to death, though it can occur in suicidal hangings. While shying away from the conclusion that Epstein died by strangulation, the famed coroner made it clear there was too much evidence to the contrary to determine that Epstein’s death was a result of hanging.
Baden is somewhat of a legend in the field of forensic pathology. He has worked on high-profile cases, including those of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. A host of HBO’s Autopsy television program, the 85-year-old has examined upwards of 20,000 bodies in his tenure as a pathologist.
After hearing of Baden’s findings regarding Epstein, New York’s M.E., Dr. Barbara Sampson, is quoted in The New York Times as saying, “I stand firmly behind our determination of the cause and manner of death in this case.”
Conflict of Interest?
Dr. Baden was privately hired by Epstein’s brother to conduct an independent autopsy. While one could argue that Baden was doing the bidding of his employer in doubting Sampson’s findings, a similar claim can be made that the city of New York had nothing to gain by ruling Epstein’s death a murder. Then it would be incumbent upon the city to dig into the myriad questions that would naturally follow a homicide ruling.
Those queries would prompt an investigation into who could have gotten access to Mr. Epstein while he was held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. There are also questions about how and why. How would someone be able to gain entry to Epstein’s cell without being seen, and what reason would someone have to kill him?
Critics of the suicide ruling say there are plenty of high-profile people who participated in Epstein’s sexual offerings of beautiful, young girls – allegedly including presidents and princes. The thinking is that these powerful persons would not want their names dragged through a lengthy trial, not to mention the possibility of being hauled into court as a witness for the prosecution.
But these are just theories. At this point, the public is only privy to a few morsels of information in a wide-ranging and scandalous case. The facts as they presently stand are that Jeffrey Epstein is dead, and no one is clear as to whether it was by his own hand or that of another.