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Death of Jeffrey Epstein, chaotic aftermath at the New York City prison is illuminated in new records: report

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

New records obtained nearly four years after the death of Jeffrey Epstein have reportedly shed light on the disgraced financier’s final moments and what came after. 

Thousands of pages of documents were released to The Associated Press from the Federal Bureau of Prisons under the Freedom of Information Act. 

The agency said Friday that they included a detailed psychological reconstruction of the events that transpired before the billionaire’s suicide, as well as his health history, internal agency reports, emails, memos and other records. 

Epstein, 66, died on Aug. 10, 2019, after being arrested on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges the month before. 

He was found unresponsive in his cell at the now-closed Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. The closure was announced in the summer of 2021, and inmates were transferred out later that year, according to WNBC. 

Two weeks before his suicide, reports stated, the internet entrepreneur sat in the corner of his cell with his hands over his ears. A toilet in his cell would not stop running. 

The Associated Press also said documents showed Epstein had attempted to reach out to Larry Nassar, the U.S. gymnastics team doctor convicted of sexually abusing scores of athletes. The letter was found returned to sender in the jail’s mail room after Epstein’s death.

A memo from a unit manager said Epstein told a jail employee that he was calling his mother the night before his death, excusing himself from a meeting with his lawyers. However, his mother had been dead for 15 years.

Epstein arrived at the facility on July 6, 2019, spending almost 24 hours in the jail’s general population before being moved to the special housing unit “due to the significant increase in media coverage and awareness of his notoriety among the inmate population,” according to the psychological reconstruction of his death.

Two days before Epstein was found dead, he bought $73.85 worth of items from the prison commissary, including an AM/FM radio and headphones. 

The agency said Epstein’s outlook had worsened when a judge denied him bail on July 18. If convicted, he would face as many as 45 years in prison. 

He was subsequently found on the floor of his cell with a strip of bedsheets around his neck – but survived. 

Martin Weinberg, Epstein’s lawyer, told The Associated Press Thursday that conditions at the facility were “medieval.” 

“It’s sad, it’s tragic, that it took this kind of event to finally cause the Bureau of Prisons to close this regrettable institution,” he remarked. 

“In an effort to address the issues at MCC NY as quickly and efficiently as possible, the Department has decided to close the MCC, at least temporarily, until those issues have been resolved,” the Justice Department said in 2021.

Prosecutors alleged the guards were sitting at their desks just 15 feet from Epstein’s cell, shopped online for furniture and motorcycles and walked around the unit’s common area instead of making required rounds every 30 minutes. For two hours, both appeared to have been asleep, according to their indictment. 

Noel and Thomas admitted to falsifying the log entries but avoided jail time under a deal with federal prosecutors. Copies of some of those logs were included in the documents released Thursday. The Associated Press said their signatures were redacted.

Another investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general is still ongoing.

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