How Holmes Would Work the Epstein Case

Given the roll call of high and mighty involved, Michael Brenner inspects the many dead ends investigators are likely to hit.    

Jeffrey Epstein, center, is dead. (YouTube)

By Michael Brenner

Jeffrey Epstein is dead. An alleged suicide who was found strangled in his prison cell Saturday morning at the federal Metropolitan Correction Center in NYC. He made an apparent previous attempt on July 23 – after which he was placed under suicide watch and received daily psychiatric examinations for six days. On July 29 he was returned to his original cell with the suicide watch removed, but scheduled to be checked by guards every 30 minutes. They did not do so the night of his death. There is a suggestion that they were working an unnaturally long overtime shift.

That’s all we know for sure. Let’s put ourselves in the position of those famed fictional detectives and consider their methods for dealing with hundreds of such cases. What lessons have Jules Maigret, Cain, Inspector Salvo Montelbano, et al, taught us?  

First, we should attempt to ascertain with as much exactitude as the evidence permits what happened. Epstein choked to death – by what means? A belt?  The legs of his trousers? By his own hands?  If the first, why wasn’t the elementary rule of removing every possible instrument of self-destruction from the cell observed – especially whatever it was he used in the first attempt? Where did he hang himself from – an overhanging pipe or other protuberance? If so, why was he placed in a cell so designed? 

Forensics  

Bruno Crémer as Jules Maigret. (Wikimedia Commons)

How long had Epstein been dead when the body was discovered? Do we know with certainty the cause of death, i.e. could he have been killed by poison, for example, before the hanging? How long would it normally take for one to die from a self-administered hanging of this sort? How does that relate to the sequence of look-ins by guards? Are there any other observable marks on the cadaver?  

Motives 

Numerous. All those associated with Epstein before his 2006 conviction, during his virtual imprisonment, and subsequently by whomever might appear in his little black book, or remembered by pilots or other staff (e.g. one pilot testified that former President Bill Clinton was on 10-to-20 “Lolita Express” flights; the doorman at Epstein’s Manhattan apartment saw President Donald Trump join the party on several occasions). We are talking about a large slice of the American elite – political, economic, legal, entertainment. More than a cross-section, it is a veritable roll-call of the high and mighty. In addition, there is Prince Andrew and an array of Gulf sheiks. They all had compelling reason to want to keep Epstein’s mouth shut. So, too, those who arranged his unprecedented, highly dubious plea bargain in 2006.  

That may include the FBI and/or CIA which had a strong situationally defined interest in getting their hooks into Epstein who was in a position to blackmail all of the above. So, too Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency. Let’s note that Ghislaine Maxwell (Epstein’s No. 2 and sometime “partner”) is the daughter of the British publisher Robert Maxwell who is now known to have run an extensive intelligence network for Mossad among the London elite for which he was honored by President Shimon Peres and six former intelligence chiefs when buried in Jerusalem after a mysterious death off his private yacht in 1991. 

Cooperation from any of this list of suspects is unlikely. 

Interrogation 

Appropriate methods vary by person and circumstance. Here are a few standard techniques to get tongues wagging. 

No. 1. Build an irrefutable case against one of the suspects and then use that as leverage to induce a denunciation of others – particularly the most exposed and vulnerable. This is an old standard that retains its effectiveness. Blackmail holds its value. Some of the young women who served as sex slaves for our lords and masters should be able to identify the most recognizable figures. Doubtless, though, most have either been bought off (as Trump did Stormy Daniels and others), will be bribed, or blackmailed by virtue of their reluctance to put at risk their present lives. And they will need guarantees of protection. From whom? – accidents happen.

No. 2. Physical coercion.  Fortunately or not, this method is ruled out because of the case’s high visibility. Moreover, CIA Director Gina Haspel is currently unavailable as she is fighting tooth-and-nail to stay in the good graces of her boss. In addition, the Thai government reportedly has withdrawn its grant of access to the local “black sites” out of fear that the country’s highly lucrative sex tourism trade could be harmed by further exposure of the unsavory goings-on beyond the world of massage parlors. 

No. 3. Psychology. There are a variety of approaches that evidently are more effective for eliciting vital information than physical coercion. Only morons like those in the CIA believe that you can beat the truth out of resistant suspects – of course, for them the real satisfaction came in the torture rather than in the solicitation of vital information. Revenge is what the War on Terror has been all about. There is also the risk that they will fabricate information in order to stop the pain and/or because they have paid to do so. 

Those more subtle methods may run into other obstacles. 

For one thing, the high and the mighty have developed over their years in power both a sense of impunity/immunity and a pathological conviction that they can do no wrong – whatever the action involved.  Defense mechanisms are elaborate and well- practiced. They are habitual liars; many are clinical narcissists who may be unable to differentiate truth from falsehoods altogether, e.g. Trump.  Second, appeals to honor, morality or sense of embarrassment may also be fruitless because these people tend to be shameless.   Can anyone recall the last time that a prominent public figure in the United States has demonstrated genuine remorse? 

NYC prison where Jeffrey Epstein died. (Jim Henderson, CC0, Wikimedia Commons)

A Strategy 

If there were some intervention by another party that facilitated or encouraged Epstein’s death – an admittedly overriding IF – then the best way of determining who it was is to concentrate on the narrow end of the funnel. IF someone arranged for a lifting of the suicide watch with an ulterior motive in mind, or instructed guards to space out widely their look-ins at Epstein’s cell, or “forgot” to remove the drawstring from his pajamas – that conjectured person (or his intermediary) could be identified by whomever implemented the instructions/suggestions. Said person(s) could be more easily intimidated, blackmailed or induced to spill the beans than any of the big shots. 

The behavior of the psychiatrists who gave permission to lift the suicide watch is also suspect.  Their action is being described as unheard-of by renowned psychiatrists. One distinguished professor has told me in confidence that they will be in deep professional trouble for their warped judgment alone – whatever other circumstances obtain. All of their communications with outside parties should be examined. Any signs of evasion should evoke intense grilling – psychiatrists are easier to break than al-Qaeda fanatics, Mafia hitmen or narcissistic politicos. 

Conclusion 

We are assured that the investigation will cover the whole gamut of Epstein’s illicit actions, including the 2006 cover-up, which will be pursued.  At the moment, most powers-that-be seem to agree on that. Doubtless, will see a long editorial from that holier-than-thou/pillar of the republic, The New York Times board, calling for a full and thorough inquiry as to what happened. They will cite the public interest in reaffirming the impartiality of our hallowed judiciary – including looking back at 2006. They will make no mention of the awkward fact that they themselves paid the matter little heed for 13 years. Understandable – numerous persons cited are folks they run into at Upper East side cocktail parties and the Hamptons. 

Prediction: The Department of Justice, led by Trump’s lackey Attorney General William Barr, will insist on controlling all aspects of the investigation. If they can turn up a few snippets regarding the Clintons, they will leak them. Then, the entire affair will slip from public view. We have become expert at losing the past in the mists of the present – like the fog rolling through the Golden Gate — that erase all images on a regular 24-hour cycle. 

So, a year of two from now, there will be a low-key announcement that the investigation has found nothing that calls into question the conclusion that Epstein indeed committed suicide – alone and of his own volition. His earlier alleged crimes will be said to be excluded by the statute of limitations or the absence of credible evidence due in part to the deaths of certain principals. One negligent guard will be singled out for dereliction of duty; a letter of reprimand will be placed in his personnel file and he will be punished by a denial of coffee breaks for a full two weeks.  Maybe, just maybe, the American Psychiatric Association will devise some new guidelines re. Suicide Watches in prison – without specifically mentioning this incident. 

Michael Brenner is a professor of international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. mbren@pitt.edu

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65 comments for “How Holmes Would Work the Epstein Case

  1. Gerry L Forbes
    August 16, 2019 at 17:14

    I come to CN for investigative journalism and informed commentary, not content-free clickbait.

    How Holmes Would Work the Epstein Case. And that’s the last mention of “Holmes” (clickbait and switch?). Presumably the author meant Sherlock although since the case threatens the well-being of a British royal it would seem to be more in Mycroft’s wheelhouse (but only as a consultant; if he had been personally involved we would have discussed the amazing coincidence of Epstein’s murderer’s wife winning the lottery and that discussion would have occurred three weeks ago).

    “He made an apparent previous attempt” should be “He apparently made a previous attempt”. Epstein claims he was assaulted which would not be an action “he made”. Professor Brenner’s clumsy wording prematurely concludes that Epstein was responsible for whatever happened on July 23rd. Also the suicide watch should be “rescinded” not “removed” All prisoners have their watches removed on entering a corrections facility. Since Epstein was heavily involved in science and technology it would be no problem for him to have his own personal “Q” whip up a suicide watch. In fact I’m pretty sure James Bond had a garrote concealed in a watch. Epstein was not “returned to his original cell” –there are reports that he claimed his former cellmate was the one who assaulted him. It is inaccurate to say that the guards did not check on Epstein on the night of his death. The official wording was “in the hours before his death” and later reports specify the three hours before his death. “Unnaturally long overtime shift”? I doubt that anybody (including Professor Brenner) knows what that means. The guard who actually was a corrections officer was on his fifth consecutive night of overtime; no mention was made of previous overtime shifts for the other MCC employee who was pressed into guard duty that night so we can infer that he had not worked overtime on the previous night.

    The second and third sentences of the second paragraph should be switched so that “those” has a referent.

    “First, we should attempt to ascertain with as much exactitude as the evidence permits what happened. ” This is what one might believe after watching only the last ten minutes of detective shows, since it is the last thing that happens. “Jeffrey Epstein choked to death…” Wrong. Choking occurs when a foreign body obstructs the windpipe (or sometimes when the foreign body is lodged in the esophagus, putting pressure on the trachea). And it turns out that the author has no evidence, only speculation. What would Holmes say?

    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” – A Scandal in Bohemia

    “It is an error to argue in front of your data. You find yourself insensibly twisting them round to fit your theories.” – The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge

    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.” – A Study in Scarlet

    “To let the brain work without sufficient material is like racing an engine. It racks itself to pieces. … Let us get a firm grip of the very little which do know, so that when fresh facts arise we may be ready to fit them into their places.” – The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot

    And so on. The passage of time has upgraded Professor Brenner’s speculations on the instrument of Epstein’s demise from ridiculous to pointless as we now know that if it was a suicide it was accomplished with a bed sheet affixed to the top of a bunkbed. However the author did skip over an important point without realizing its significance when he wrote “why wasn’t the elementary rule of removing every possible instrument of self-destruction from the cell observed – especially whatever it was he used in the first attempt?” But none of the reports that I saw of the first incident mention a weapon or “instrument of self-destruction”. This is what Holmes might call “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

    “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

    “That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

    Sometimes the evidence that isn’t there is more important than the evidence that is. The dog didn’t bark because it knew the intruder and no weapon was found in Epstein’s cell because the assailant took it with him.

    The Forensics section mostly relies on the Medical Examiner’s report but Professor Brenner seems to have forgotten that he claimed there were no look-ins on the night of Epstein’s death. Those darn beverages!

    Motives. Epstein’s conviction was in 2008, not 2006. “Numerous” possible motives are claimed but only one (“to keep Epstein’s mouth shut”) is given, apparently shared by all those listed (there seems to be a strange affliction among internet writers wherein they begin one sentence but complete another. Professor Brenner has taken this to a new level by cramming three incompatible sentence fragments into his first list). If only one motive is to be given it would be more accurately expressed as “to keep Epstein’s trial from proceeding”. Successful prosecution of the case might require investigation into Epstein’s financial records which could uncover crimes unrelated to little girls. Click on the “Jeffrey Epstein” tag at the end of the article you will find that this is the first article on him at CN but it contains no mention of what he was convicted of in 2008 or what he was charged with this year and there are no links to relevant information. A little context would be nice; the reader shouldn’t have to do more research than the writer. One piece of information missing from the article was the recent unsealing of 2,000 pages of documents relating to Epstein”s unsavory activities. This speaks to motive because it may have caused Epstein to realize that his case was hopeless and life in prison as a kiddie diddler is not a pleasant prospect. I think suicide unlikely but haven’t ruled it out completely.

    Interrogation. Professor Brenner is naive if he thinks any detective would be able to discover which Epstein associate ordered the hit; there are just too many levels between him and the perpetrator. To get the job done in an NYC prison you would have to go through the Mob, the gangs or police/corrections. They might nab a low level mobster on conspiracy to commit murder but they wouldn’t even get a description of the anonymous individual who solicited the hit on behalf of an unnamed client. When Mycroft congratulates him on discovering the identity of the strangler Sherlock will understand that the case is to go no further. The author’s personal feelings about torture do nothing to advance our understanding of how the case could be solved.

    A strategy. “IF someone arranged for a lifting of the suicide watch … or instructed guards to space out widely their look-ins… or “forgot” to remove the drawstring from his pajamas …” Epstein performed the hit on himself! Brilliant! He secretly converted to Islam and went all jihad on himself to collect his 24 virgins in heaven.

    Conclusion. “We are assured that the investigation will cover the whole gamut of Epstein’s illicit actions…” “They will make no mention of the awkward fact that they themselves paid the matter little heed for 13 years.” Professor Brenner can’t seem to make up his mind whether his famed detectives are to investigate Epstein’s murder, prosecute the case against the now deceased Epstein or determine whose incompetence allowed Epstein to commit suicide (hardly a job for super-sleuths). “The Department of Justice… will insist on controlling all aspects of the investigation.” There will be multiple investigations across many jurisdictions and the DOJ will not be able to control them all. Additionally, the prosecutors have promised that Epstein’s death will not prevent them from seeking justice for the victims. Since many, if not most, of those victims are from Florida the Trump administration will have to tread carefully because they can’t afford to lose the state’s electoral votes. “the American Psychiatric Association will devise some new guidelines re. Suicide Watches in prison – without specifically mentioning this incident.” Wrong. They will cite this case (and only this case) to defend the integrity of the profession — the old “a few bad apples” canard.

    In summary, a rambling, poorly written piece riddled with errors and inaccuracies that should never have appeared on CN.

    CN shouldn’t be attempting to scoop other outlets with its timeliness, but to embarrass them with its thoroughness. The ascension of a Coney Island college dropout to the ranks of privilege and his subsequent fall gives us a rare glimpse into the shady fringes of that world and CN should exploit that opportunity. At the very least tell us if his head and penis were cryogenically preserved.

  2. Jill
    August 13, 2019 at 17:44

    Mr. Brenner,

    I really have a problem with this sentence: “Doubtless, though, most have either been bought off (as Trump did Stormy Daniels and others)”. I feel it is demeaning to this victims and to Stormy Daniels, who was actually given a death threat.

    I don’t know if you have ever had to face down someone who has a lot of power but it is very scary. These victims understand only too well what can happen to them. Taking money and shutting up is a legitimate option. It might save your life. Not everyone can say I don’t really care if I’m killed. I think this demeans these women. Saving your life should not be portrayed as being “bought off”. Powerful people can be “bought off” but not victims of the powerful.

    Thus, Acosta was “bought off” when he made this deal. The prison personnel were ‘bought off” when Jeff was allowed to bring women into his cell. All of Jeff’s so called friends and acquaintances were “bought off” when they knew full well what was happening and did nothing to stop it. The highest level of the DOJ was “bought off” and is likely still “bought off”. Please reconsider saying that anyone who has been abused and threatened by the powerful has been “bought off”. They have not.

  3. Jeff G.
    August 13, 2019 at 16:30

    One question is to ask whether someone could have sneaked a cyanide capsule into his cell, maybe with his food, letting him bite it, like Hermann Goering did before his scheduled hanging at Nuremberg. Isn’t that a possibility?

  4. LarcoMarco
    August 13, 2019 at 14:38

    Michael Brenner: Speaking of the cleansing mists rolling through the Golden Gate, KCBS radio here in SF has just announced that Placido Domingo has been accused of sexual harassment by several women at LA Opera. “We will be following this story all day.”

  5. SteveU
    August 13, 2019 at 12:57

    P.S. Regarding the difference in nose and ear appearance between corpse on stretcher and Epstein, if you send me a reply to e-mail I will share you what I have and you can look at for yourself…
    Steve

  6. Michael Weddle
    August 13, 2019 at 12:12
  7. Cascadian
    August 13, 2019 at 12:08

    That renowned psychologist Gag Halfrunt has got form in these matters. If I were in charge I’d pull him in for some intense interrogation.

  8. August 13, 2019 at 12:04

    One only has to look at the sex scandal in Great Briton of a a few years ago, involving snuff parties where kids from orphanages were killed for the entertainment of the elites and underage children were supplied to the Upper Classes for their sexual pleasure. There was at least one ex prime minister, the police chief from the City of London and numerous business elites and members of parliament involved. Who went to jail?’ Who even got charged ? Where is that story now?

    So we can see where the Epstein story is going to go. It will be filed under lost in a year or so, or given the attention span of the American public it will dissappear in a matter of a few weeks, no doubt for many americans it is all ready off their radar.

    • Kat Swift
      August 13, 2019 at 22:47

      ….Or look at the case of Marc Dutroux, the Belgian child rapist and serial killer who tortured and raped children in his dungeon of horrors. Recall that when investigators began implicating top-level Belgian society, officialdom shut them down. There was finally a nation-wide strike over the repeated failure of Belgian police to look at Dutroux’s connection to Europe’s elites.

      Or the case of Jerry Sandusky where he raped little boys in Penn State locker rooms with tacit approval of Penn state officials. Again, when his crimes began to reveal a wider circle of pedophiles, the case was shut down.

      Or the case of Lawrence King Jr. of Franklin Savings and Loans who provided children for the depraved appetites of Nebraska elites as part of a child sex trafficking ring going straight up to the White House and the Bush family.

      Epstein’s friends and associates – including Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Prince Andrews, and Alan Dershowitz – were all covered under Alex Acosta’s non-prosecution agreement. Both Trump and Epstein have been implicated in the rape and beating of two little 13 year old girls. check out Katie Johnson’s court case here:

      https://www.scribd/com/doc/310835987/Donald-Trump-Lawsuit

    • August 15, 2019 at 04:57

      There was one accuser. His name is Carl Beech. He has just begun a lengthy sentence imposed for perverting the course of justice and possession of indecent images of children. You can read up on the disposition of this case here-
      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/carl-beech-trial-jail-sentence-vip-paedophile-ring-court-a9022311.html

    • Piero Colombo
      August 17, 2019 at 14:14

      “Sex scandal”? As if the main story here were in the sex.
      The sex and filming stories are just a tool for the blackmail operation of the Zionist state over the most powerful people on earth. The sex-and-minors angle is just an afterthought.

  9. SteveU
    August 13, 2019 at 11:54

    Anyone believing the official narrative that it is Epstein that was wheeled out on the stretcher needs to look at the photographs that were supplied by the news media far more closely. If you compare a recent side photo of Epstein with what was supplied by the media you will come to the conclusion that the nose and patterning in the ears are quite different and the only conclusion that you can arrive at is that the corpse is not Epstein.

  10. Jill
    August 13, 2019 at 11:43

    Just saw this: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jeffrey-epstein-death-shrieking-heard-jail-cell-morning-he-died-metropolitan-correctional-center/

    “On the morning of Jeffrey Epstein’s death there was shouting and shrieking from his jail cell, a source familiar with the situation told CBS News. Corrections officers attempted to revive him while saying “breathe, Epstein, breathe.”

    So maybe it would be a good idea to interview these guards and look at the camera footage on the floor leading up to Jeff’s cell? I’d also be interviewing his fellow inmates. Mostly, I’d be arresting Maxwell right now and asking Wexner to come in for a long interview.

    • Jeff G.
      August 13, 2019 at 16:27

      One question is to ask whether someone could have sneaked a cyanide capsule into his cell, maybe with his food, letting him bite it, like Hermann Goering did before his scheduled hanging at Nuremberg. Isn’t that a possibility?

  11. August 13, 2019 at 11:10

    I love the photo of Bruno Cremer, the wonderful, definitive Maigret.

    But I think even Maigret would find himself stymied in the Jeffrey Epstein case.

    It not only involves some of the biggest names in America’s establishment, but almost certainly involves connections in other countries.

    I’ve been fascinated by the set of events.

    Much as with the Kennedy assassination, or the subsequent killing of Oswald by Jack Ruby, America will absolutely not receive the truth of what happened.

    Indeed Jack Ruby killing Oswald in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters strikes me as the best historical analogy for Epstein’s dying in a secure modern federal prison while being the most important prisoner in the country. And a little knowledge of Epstein just pretty much excludes suicide. His prison was regarded as almost suicide-proof. The bed sheets were even paper.

    Readers will find interesting observations here:

    https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/john-chuckman-comment-some-new-observations-on-the-death-of-jeffrey-epstein-why-i-believe-it-impossible-for-him-to-have-killed-himself-what-this-death-vividly-demonstrates-about-america/

    • Gunther
      August 13, 2019 at 12:32

      Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, McCloud, Jane Tennison, and Columbo would have also been prevented from doing their jobs.

  12. Jeff G.
    August 13, 2019 at 10:43

    Could he have blackmailed his way out of jail on a fake death ruse? Dead man’s switch?
    Didn’t I see this plot in an old Peter Sellers movie, “After the Fox”? https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060200/
    Did I detect a little smile on Epstein’s “gurney photo?”

  13. Zhu
    August 13, 2019 at 08:22

    Interesting speculations, although more likecthe Fantomas novels than inspector Maigret.

    Note that all recent presidents have killed largw numbers id innocents with drones, bombs, and none are ever punished. But have some connections to a sex scandal and their a_s is grass.

  14. Skip Scott
    August 13, 2019 at 08:11

    The news last night showed the FBI raiding Epstein’s private island. I strongly suspect that if Epstein had a “dead man’s switch” to protect himself, he has been whisked away to get a new face and a new identity. If he didn’t, he’s probably really dead. The FBI is probably gathering up the tools of blackmail in order to keep the blackmail victims under control, rather than seeking to prosecute them. Some “smaller fish” may end up cooked to satisfy the proles, but the “big ones” will be safe as long as they continue to do their master’s bidding. The names may change, but the game remains the same. The victims will be told who they can finger and who they can’t if they want to continue to breathe. Carrots and sticks will be employed with abandon. The script writers are working on the final chapters. I’m keeping my tin foil hat on for this one.

  15. geeyp
    August 13, 2019 at 03:21

    As I posted elsewhere: There is no NY Post type front page photo of Epstein dead on gurney anywhere so his actual death I have a difficult time swallowing. More of a chance he was sequestered to a remote island where Ken Lay resides and allowed his girls in order to continue with his lifestyle. This would keep Epstein’s evidence against the Powers away from everyone. That would deal him into a “safe house” life in perpetuity.

  16. ML
    August 13, 2019 at 00:46

    I wouldn’t doubt that Madam Ghislaine Maxwell might be sweating a few bullets right about now. She knows too much, so if Epstein did get “suicided,” she’d better hire extra security for the foreseeable future. But who knows? A guy as despicable as Epstein had nothing much to live for anyway since his 800 thread count sheets were taken away. And I am so sorry his victims may never get the justice they deeply deserve. What a filthy rotten bunch of miscreants, the uber-wealthy seem to be…

    • Skip Scott
      August 14, 2019 at 06:36

      Ghislaine’s whereabouts are unknown, last I heard. Maybe her daddy taught her well. Probably on the beach in the Caymans with a new face and a new name.

  17. Michael Brenner
    August 12, 2019 at 23:35

    I have received one detailed comment from a reader which is noteworthy. He is a retired NYC senior homicide detective whose jurisdiction was Manhattan South where Epstein’s detention facility is located. I met him on a transatlantic flight some time ago. I’ll try to summarize the points he’s made.

    This is an exceptional case. The peculiar circumstances, the anomalies, and the political static surrounding the affair compel a thorough, impartial inquiry. We should avoid a presumption of wholly volitional suicide without any facilitation.

    My first step would be to talk with my chief/commissioner to determine what if any communications he has received from higher-ups. Are there any red lines, forbidden zones that I should be aware of. Too, will the FBI have a role in this since it’s federal prison; if so, what are the terms of our collaboration? Wherever possible, I would want to keep the FBI at a distance – whether it be identifying and interrogating persons of interest or forensics.

    I’d start the investigation by looking at the earlier failed ‘suicide’ attempt on July 16. I’d want to know exactly what happened, the condition of the body, and who did what while examining it. Of course, the (possible) ‘crime’ scene had been corrupted by all the goings in-and-out (So, too, on August 10). Questions: how is it possible that Epstein was found on the floor, as reported, with bruises around his neck – has he tried to hang himself by the door lock? Who saw him/spoke to him that day? Was Epstein’s neck and whatever he supposedly used to tie around his neck brushed for fingerprints?

    Latter questions apply to the suicide on August 10. Who was overseeing the initial actions taken? Who gave instructions?

    My focus would be on first the psychiatrists who judged the suicide watch unnecessary. Why? What was their personality assessment of Epstein? Did he mention what his cell mate reported? (MB: see news clip below) My other focus would be on prison administrators and officers who ordered that his cell mate be removed on Friday night – why? Why was no provision made for close monitoring? Exactly when and why was his body eventually found?

    How thorough was the autopsy? (MB: see my questions of yesterday)
    My investigation then would proceed more or less along the lines that you (MB) outlined.

    cheers

    Michael Brenner
    mbren@pitt.edu

    ADDENDUM

    Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano on Monday said that something might have been “introduced” into Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell that provided him with the means to commit suicide.

    Napolitano said that Epstein’s suicide was an “enormous embarrassment” for Attorney General Bill Barr and the Department of Justice.

    “The Bureau of Prisons works for the Justice Department,” he explained. “So ultimately these people who run the Metropolitan Correctional Center, which is a 750 bed facility in lower Manhattan, where people are kept while they are waiting to be on trial… the people who run that ultimately report to the Attorney General, which is why you saw him so angry. There really doesn’t seem to be a rational explanation for how [Epstein] slipped through the cracks.”

    Fox News host Bill Hemmer noted that a former inmate of the prison had claimed in an anonymous New York Post article that committing suicide in the cell would have been impossible.

    “The piece you talked in the Post said no belt, no shoe laces, no hooks, sheets tissue-paper thin so they couldn’t possibly hold the weight of a human body if you attempted to make a noose out of the sheets,” Napolitano explained.

    “My interpretation was that the sheets themselves were made of paper,” Hemmer said.

    “Either way, the point of this person, a former mafia person — supposedly, the Post did not identify him — who was in that very facility said no way could these sheets hold the weight of a human. What’s that mean? That means something else was introduced into his cell to facilitate his death,” Napolitano claimed.

    • David G
      August 13, 2019 at 07:05

      “My [i.e. Brenner’s retired NYPD acquaintance] first step would be to talk with my chief/commissioner to determine what if any communications he has received from higher-ups. Are there any red lines, forbidden zones that I should be aware of.”

      His first step! To what purpose? So he can obediently keep clear of the “forbidden zones” laid out by his bosses (and their bosses), and to hell with justice and truth and the public good? He’d actually proactively seek out the ways he was expected to act corruptly, rather than at least starting down the path of doing his job and waiting to get slapped down?

      Most goddamn revealing thing in this whole article, above or below the line.

    • hetro
      August 13, 2019 at 11:53

      Wouldn’t the autopsy show what happened? If suicide, surely experienced personnel doing the autopsy could identify cause via physical trauma at the neck, or if by drug by what was ingested? And shouldn’t this have been available by Monday, 2 days later?

  18. Meremark
    August 12, 2019 at 23:15

    Michael Brenner, typolike alert,

    In the first paragraphs “June” dates should be July.

    • Litchfield
      August 13, 2019 at 11:25

      Also, Professor Brenner,
      Please learn the difference between nominative “who” and objective “whom.”
      Two “whom” errors in this piece that should have been nominative “who.”

  19. August 12, 2019 at 23:13

    The silence of Epstein’s attorneys is deafening.

  20. Joe Lauria
    August 12, 2019 at 23:05

    After Epstein’s death we have a bi-partisan feeding frenzy now: the Dems want to get Trump and the Repubs want to get Clinton…we may actually learn something here. A pox on both of them.

    • Tom Kath
      August 13, 2019 at 00:20

      I had also hoped that “we may actually learn something here”, although I had hoped for some “faith damaging” revelations about the vileness of our surveillance and intelligence agencies.

    • Zhu
      August 13, 2019 at 08:41

      Amen and amen!

  21. Antiwar7
    August 12, 2019 at 22:57

    Note: the CIA are not fools. They used torture to get fake evidence, not real evidence, to build the fraudulent case for going to war against Iraq.

  22. Hawaiiguy
    August 12, 2019 at 21:40

    Or Holmes could arrest Epstein number 2. Maxwell has been implicated by more than enough people to issue an arrest warrant, and this time put the damn secret service on watch instead of the extremely corrupt Southern district of New York, which every good journalist warned about from the moment Epstein was arrested.

    • LarcoMarco
      August 13, 2019 at 00:38

      Ghislaine Maxwell has certainly gone underground. Figuratively, maybe even literally.

    • Marko
      August 13, 2019 at 00:57

      I wouldn’t count on it. Her deceased father , Robert Maxwell , is considered a hero in Israel. She probably has a home there for life if she wishes , safely out of the grasp of US authorities.

      • IvyMike
        August 13, 2019 at 20:24

        B’cept no one knows who tossed her Dad off his Yacht…

      • Skip Scott
        August 14, 2019 at 06:40

        Did they recover Robert Maxwell’s body? It may be possible that he died of old age in parts unknown.

      • Skip Scott
        August 14, 2019 at 12:27

        I’ll answer my own question. Robert Maxwell’s body was recovered.

  23. Hawaiiguy
    August 12, 2019 at 21:33

    I posted immediately after his arrest that the white house via DOJ needed to put secret service on Epstein until his trial was completed, specifically for the asinine stories we have to deal with now.. My God how long are we going to protect pedophiles? Pedophiles! Decades and decades and decades pedophiles have been protected, it’s the singular most disgusting coverup(s) of the western world. And apparently it continues, unabated and with glee.

  24. Willow
    August 12, 2019 at 21:22

    Jeffrey Epstein was intelligence. Intelligence had the most to lose if this case went to trial. JE was silenced to protect the identity of his handlers and prevent him from revealing methods. Mission accomplished. The “Pedo-Johns” can now be publically named and shamed.

  25. Mara Rivera
    August 12, 2019 at 21:12

    >

    > In addition, the jail had transferred his cellmate and allowed Mr. Epstein
    > to be housed alone in a cell just two weeks after he had been taken off
    > suicide watch, a decision that also violated the jail’s normal procedure,
    > two officials said.
    >
    > The disclosures about apparent failures in Mr. Epstein’s detention at the
    > Metropolitan Correctional Center deepened questions about his suicide and
    > are very likely to be the focus of inquiries by the Justice Department and
    > the F.B.I.
    >
    > Officials cautioned that their initial findings about his detention were
    > preliminary and could change.
    > The federal Bureau of Prisons has already come under intense criticism for
    > not keeping Mr. Epstein under a suicide watch after he had been found in
    > his cell on July 23
    > with
    > injuries that suggested that he had tried to kill himself.
    >

  26. Jill
    August 12, 2019 at 20:17

    Actually, we don’t know most of what you said that we know. There are so many conflicting reports even on time of death, that he was dead in his cell, alive for a while at the hospital etc. The MSM story has changed so many times already. The only confirmed official statement I’ve seen is from the medical examiner who needs more time to determine the cause of death (no information on what addition info she seeks to help make the determination). The rest of the information has been from anonymous sources quoted in the MSM.

    There is info that could and should come out showing when he was actually taken off suicide watch, by whom, at whose request (we are told it was his lawyers) and why. Prisons are big on paperwork so that paperwork should exist. As we have no rule of law in the US, what should happen is no guarantee of what will happen.

    I see many alternative journalists digging into this and agree with another poster here that Whitney Webb’s series on Mint Press News is excellent. I believe it will be the small print journalists who will really find out the information about what happened. As this will take time and a lot of difficult research. Still, there is a very logical starting point. That starting point is Maxwell.

    The testimony is that she not only procured victims, she also raped them and handed them over along with Epstein to be abused by other powerful people. There will be a ruling on the NPA rather soon. I believe that NPA was illegal as the victims were not consulted about it and in fact, were actually lied to concerning its existance. Further, there are new victims coming forward who are not covered by the NPA. The justice dept. could charge and arrest Maxwell within days if they really wanted to. With Barr running the show I am doubtful this will happen. However, public pressure may force him to at least pretend he cares about these victims enough to charge her.

    By all accounts Maxwell knows as much or more than Epstein. I very much fear for those victims. They understand very well who they are dealing with. Powerful sexual sadists who wouldn’t think twice about harming them. Their abusers already showed that. This is an international ring of child rapists who don’t mind sending their victims to hospital because of their rape of a child. To my mind, those are people who will do anything, who already have done heinous things.

    So I hope there is enough of our population left who won’t accept government/MSM lies. That there is enough of us to raise a ruckus on the victims’ behalf. And I hope the true reporters will pull things together, a piece from each one. And I hope that at least one witness will have enough of a conscience to risk it all to tell what they saw happen to these victims.

  27. michael
    August 12, 2019 at 20:03

    “Nothing to see here. Move along.”

    Or better yet, bring back Robert Mueller! He can pin it on the RUSSIANS!!!

    • LarcoMarco
      August 13, 2019 at 00:26

      Last night on CBS national radio, Marco Rubio claimed that Russian bots have been promulgating conspiracy theories around Epstein’s death to divide the American people.

      • August 13, 2019 at 11:58

        I heard on both NPR and PBS that ” we will not participate in any conspiracy theories” on the Epstein case.
        But Russia? Keep them coming!

  28. Jane
    August 12, 2019 at 19:27

    The USA is the most corrupt country on the planet, while at the same time muricans hysterically believe that they live in the Land of the Free.

  29. lou e
    August 12, 2019 at 19:04

    Where’s the beef? We have an assumption that said scumsucker is dead. How about a DNA chain that is open to inspection? Killing said scumsucker off leaves the option of unknown dead-man files! I would. If no dead man files pop up either Said scumsucker is still alive and enjoying his new face, lack of fame, new fortune, and new name. Another possibility is that said scumsucker is still alive and someone is playing ‘hurt the monkey’ in an effort to defuse the abovementioned dead-man files. Habeas Corpus …Deliver the Body!!!

  30. nom de pleb
    August 12, 2019 at 16:47

    Mr. Brenner, I liked this so thank you. It was fun. Admittedly, I watch a lot of detective shows (old and new) so this stuck a cord. Your observation that the most obvious questions aren’t being asked (about this item et al.) is our contemporary elephant in the room. What is this place? Banana Republic?

    • Raymond Comeau
      August 13, 2019 at 13:50

      It is worse than a banana republic because of the trich and deviously criminal men and women who RULE the USA!

  31. hetro
    August 12, 2019 at 16:38

    Wouldn’t Holmes start with the question cui bono?

    Then that “roll call of the high and mighty” associated with Epstein could be arranged at podiums across the recent debate stage put on by CNN, with Anderson Cooper on hand to summon some answers.

    Gina Haspel might be seen standing by with a bucket of water plus table with straps and inclined at the correct angle.

    I believe the advertising industry would be quite interested in this show.

    • August 13, 2019 at 12:05

      I would watch it. If anyone deserves to be tortured, it’s these perverted monsters.
      Then in the epilogue, Gina could have a taste.

  32. hetro
    August 12, 2019 at 16:26

    Now being said Epstein’s previous “suicide attempt” was an attack on him by another prisoner(s). He is reputed to have said this himself. (Noted for example on Democracy Now today.) Also that he was in a 9 foot high cell with no protrusions from which to execute a hanging, with sheets the quality of paper.

    Also:

    7 questions about Epstein’s death including HOW did he do it if suicide?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-12/7-unanswered-questions-about-epsteins-death-mainstream-media-not-talking-about

  33. Daniel Rich
    August 12, 2019 at 16:13

    Justice… where did it go?

  34. Seer
    August 12, 2019 at 15:57

    This is but a distraction. How he died is irrelevant. Those ultimately behind his death will NEVER be held to the light of day. Epstein was, essentially, working FOR the CIA and the Mossad. Here’s some incredible reporting on all of this (first of three out of four available parts):

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/shocking-origins-jeffrey-epstein-blackmail-roy-cohn/260621/

    After reading this I now understand why Trump won’t release his tax returns.

    This is the Mother Of All Conspiracies (based on FACTS). One can now start to understand the possibility of Pizza Gate: I was never a believer, but now I do not see it as being beyond out of question.

    • Realist
      August 13, 2019 at 16:37

      Seer,

      I went over and read that piece on your advice. What it seems to suggest is that, unless you are born into the insider elites, you have to be absolutely fearless and shameless, you must have an untempered willingness to destroy and/or intimidate any other person to advance your standing amongst the moral wretches who call all the shots in Western civilisation. Most of us normals are too kind and decent to carry the water that Roy Cohn or Jeffry Epstein were tasked with.

      • Patty
        August 15, 2019 at 22:42

        Absolutely one of the best post. Thank you!

  35. Dave
    August 12, 2019 at 15:55

    Unmentioned in any of the accounts of Epstein’s demise or the umpteen comments supplementing these articles, there is one major topic not addressed; has there been a post mortem autopsy of Epstein’s body to determine unequivocally the cause of death and the time at which it happened? If an autopsy has been performed, who conducted it, when did it take place, what authority ordered it, where was it performed, who signed the death certificate, where does the corpse currently reside, has the body already been cremated or buried, is there a next-of-kin controversy? If Epstein is genuinely as wealthy as claimed in the press and media, will there be a public reading of his will since he died in public custody? Perhaps I’ve seen too many foreign TV detective stories, but it seems to me that a proper and formal forensic examination should have been conducted due to the case’s extremely high profile with the findings formally released to the public.

    • mark
      August 12, 2019 at 23:44

      There has been a report of a post mortem without a cause of death being specified.
      This would be quite normal, without ruling out the possibility of a cover up.
      The body is examined for external marks and injuries, probably photographed.
      The body is dissected and the brain and all internal organs examined for evidence of any medical conditions.
      Organs like the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, are weighed and dissected.
      Samples are taken for toxicology.
      These results normally take at least several days.

  36. Drew Hunkins
    August 12, 2019 at 15:09

    Acosta was told to lay off b/c Epstein’s connected to intelligence [likely Mossad].

    One of Epstein’s accusers stated under oath that Epstein specifically said he wanted video footage of powerful men and their peccadilloes in order to have a lever on them in order to have control of them down the line.

    To make the Captain Obvious point: this is classic organized crime intel machinations.

    What’s also fascinating is George Mitchell is alleged to be one of the men who indulged in activities with Epstein’s underage victims. What’s fascinating is Mitchell was Obama’s point man in attempting to resolve the Middle East conflict. Again, Captain Obvious: did the Mossad have its hooks in Mitchell while he was engaged in a high profile effort to resolve the Israeli Palestinian dispute?

    By the way, don’t expect our corporate-militarist-Zio media to focus focus focus on what I just addressed above. They will concentrate on everything but the aforementioned.

    • Seer
      August 12, 2019 at 16:55

      Drew,

      See my link above. This might be the biggest can of worms ever. TPTB would fire off nukes before they’d let this get any real light.

    • AnneR
      August 13, 2019 at 09:04

      Drew, we shall all be dismissed as either conspiracy theorists or Russian bot disseminators – or both.

      The rich, powerful ruling elites (what *is* in the water they drink?) will simply ignore the public’s demands for a full, honest, open and thorough inquiry, ignore our scepticism (Brit spelling, just in case, some things I won’t change), and carry on with this weight lifted from their shoulders.

      Whitney Webb’s tri-part series on Mint Press is almost unbearable to wade through (actually couldn’t finish the third chapter). Not that as a Brit I am surprised at the levels of corruption, criminal behavior and the like that the aristo-oligarchic-political class of this country (and definitely Britain) are involved in. Over there in the UK there was – for instance (just one instance) – the Christine Keeler, John Profumo et al … of course he was guess what a “Russian [Soviet, but hey what’s the difference] spy” business…

      It would be nice to see a few of the ruling elites charged and their “peccadilloes” revealed – demonstrating who really are the “Deplorables.” But it won’t happen.

      • Drew Hunkins
        August 13, 2019 at 15:19

        Interesting comments.

        I’ve yet to read the entire Webb article, I’ve skimmed it and read a few articles that cite some of its revelations.

        You always bring quality comments from across the pond (I’m in the United States, Wisconsin to be specific).

  37. Ed
    August 12, 2019 at 14:45

    The only good to come of this episode is the legitimacy of those who rule us will be further undermined.

  38. bjd
    August 12, 2019 at 14:22

    So right at this unusually long overtime shift, Epstein happened to be in possession of the requisite materials to off himself.

    Don’t the fabricators of such nonsense realize there’s TWO extraordinary and unlikely events happening AT THE SAME TIME their narrative has to account for?

    I.o.w. Epstein pulling the bag with those materials from under his bunk, at the same time guards are unusually fatigued, has a likelihood of close to zero.

    Ask Bill Binney.

    • Zhu
      August 13, 2019 at 09:04

      “… Fabricators of such nonsense…. “. As politics is show biz for ugly people, so conspiracy theories are fantasy fiction for those who can’t hope to get into Weird Tales or Black Mask Detective Stories.

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