NEW YORK (JTA) — A forensic pathologist hired by the family of the late financier Jeffrey Epstein says the autopsy “points to homicide rather than suicide.”
Dr. Michael Baden told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday morning that the evidence suggests that Epstein, a convicted sex offender who was facing new sex trafficking charges for allegedly abusing dozens of minor girls, was strangled to death. Baden, 85, observed the autopsy.
Dr. Baden is an American physician and board-certified forensic pathologist known for his work investigating high-profile deaths and as the host of HBO’s Autopsy. Baden was the chief medical examiner of the City of New York from 1978 to 1979. He was chairman of the House Select Committee on Assassinations’ Forensic Pathology Panel that investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
The official cause of Epstein’s death was suicide.
Epstein, 66, was found in his jail cell early on Aug. 10 at the Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan. An unnamed official told The Washington Post that he hanged himself with a bed sheet attached to the top of a bunk bed.
Baden cited the specific fractures on Epstein’s neck, saying they are unusual in hangings by suicide and more common in death by strangulation. He also said there were hemorrhages in Epstein’s eyes that were common in homicidal strangulation and uncommon, though not unheard of, in suicidal hangings.
His death spawned online conspiracy theories, including that Epstein was killed to keep him from incriminating others.
Two weeks before his death, Epstein was found unconscious in his cell with bruises to his neck and was placed on suicide watch.
Baden told Fox that his independent investigation was not complete.
The FBI and the Justice Department are investigating how mistakes made by Bureau of Prisons personnel may have contributed to Epstein’s death, including taking him off suicide watch.
Epstein was set to face trial next year for alleged offenses in New York and Florida, which include paying and coercing girls as young as 14 into performing sexual acts.