NYC Chief Medical Officer Who Ruled Epstein Killed Himself Resigns The First Day Of The Ghislaine Maxwell Trial
A retrospective following the recent NYC Chief Coroner’s Resignation:
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On November 29th 2021, the first day of the Ghislaine Maxwell, ABC reported that NYC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Barbara Sampson would be resigning. It had been over two years since Sampson had ruled Jeffrey Epstein’s prison death as a suicide, determined by process of “careful review of all investigative information, including complete autopsy findings”. The autopsy was performed by Kristin Roman, MD.
This ruling was heavily scrutinized by several observers following Sampson’s announcement (reported by ABC at 2:30am the morning of August 17th, 2019). Several medical professionals provided their perspective to journalists in efforts to explain the specific assessment of available information pertaining to Epstein’s death and the peculiar events that had proceeded it. Dr. Michael Baden provided his medical opinion during a 60 Minutes special, focusing on collective evidence to determine if it was feasible for Epstein (at 6 ft, 185 pounds) to asphyxiate himself using a thinly torn bed sheet strip that had been rigged from the lower bunk bed in his cell.
Baden also made reference to Epstein’s Autopsy report specifically noting several abnormalities to previous alleged suicides he had conducted, or reviewed such as a broken hyoid bone, an injury which Baden claimed was typically sustained from blunt trauma or force related strangulation of the neck (suggesting another individual may have been present). It is important to note that Epstein sustained injuries only weeks before his death when found semi-unconscious in his cell with bruising on his neck.
In the interest of disclosing Baden’s professional history of medical testimony, he has been criticized in the past by government officials for “sloppy record keeping, poor judgment, and a lack of cooperation” although it is unsure if political posturing played a role in Baden’s unfavorable treatment, as he had worked on many high-profile cases during his time with Brooklyn M.E’s office (including a case involving the death of one, Nathan Rockefeller). This does not invalidate present inquiry into Epstein’s cause of death but is indicative that Baden may have established a reputation of failing to unquestionably take direction from government officials.
Several medical experts agree with Baden’s assessment of questioning the cause of the broken hyoid bone in Epstein’s neck. The National Association of Medical Examiners has stated:
“If, hypothetically, the hyoid bone is broken, that would generally raise questions about strangulation, but it is not definitive and it does not exclude suicide by hanging,” National Association of Medical Examiners President Jonathan Arden told The Washington Post.
Although a suicide note was found in Epstein’s cell, Rolling Stone reported that Epstein had specifically stated that he was not suicidal in the days leading up to his alleged suicide. Epstein had been described as being “in great spirits” during his last interaction with his legal team hours before his death. According to a source acquired by the New York Post, “What he (Epstein) really wanted to do was get bail so he could cooperate”. This suggests Epstein was willing to cooperate with authorities to identify individuals that were implicated within his operation, leading to further scrutiny of the irregular events that allowed Epstein’s death.
Epstein had requested to be moved to the Special Housing Unit for higher security. When stating the reason for requesting a cell change, Epstein stated that he was aware of “many members of MS-13 in his current cell block” and believed he was unsafe. According to CNBC, “on July 23, Epstein was found semiconscious on the floor of his cell with marks on his neck.” Epstein’s cell mate (Nicholas Tartaglione; charged with 4 homicides) was transferred out of his cell in the facility's Special Housing Unit following Epstein’s being placed on suicide watch. It is believed that Tartaglione was relocated to another cell within Special Housing Unit lock up. After this time Efrain Reyes was housed within Epstein’s cell, but was relocated days before the alleged suicide.
The New York Times reported that Epstein "was supposed to have been checked by guards every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed" the night before his death. It is also important to note that CBS reported shrieking was heard from Epstein’s jail cell the morning of his alleged suicide, which occurred mere hours after the release of over 2,000 documents from Epstein's prior lawsuit, including testimony from alleged victim Virginia Giuffre.
Two separate cameras were located outside of Epstein’s cell however, these recordings would not be made available, with prison guards reportedly recording and saving video feeds related to another portion of the prison all together. Prosecution described this as “deeply troubling” but has been criticized for failing to seek harsher legal punishment for such an egregious error.
Guards Michael Thomas and Tova Noel testified under oath to “willfully and knowingly” falsifying prison inmate wellness check records. It is still unsure as to why further inquiry into these procedures was not pursued. Both guards received a deferred sentence, it is unknown why such leniency has been granted.
Questions remain, one particularly
Throughout Epstein’s time at Metropolitan Correctional Centre, where was respect for due process?
Blame cannot be cast at those that question overt proclamations that “Epstein didn’t kill himself.” However, when honestly reviewing the series of coinciding irregularities in the days leading up to Epstein’s death, it becomes painfully obvious that conjecture only arises from believing that a 6 ft man (who denied he had attempted suicide and was described just hours earlier as “in great spirits”) knotted a thinly ripped bed sheet around his neck, leveraged it underneath (then rigged it on top of) his bunk bed frame and proceeded to generate enough force to break his hyoid bone. Couple this alongside subsequent mishandling of fallout related to Epstein’s death, serious questions are posed as to the respect for due process throughout Metropolitan Correctional Center and existing United States legal institutions.
Did Jeffrey Epstein kill himself? Was it a coincidence that NYC Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson had resigned the morning of the Maxwell Trial? Unlikely is an understatement.
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This is a great column. Thank you for writing it. Hope I will be forgiven for pointing out that some editing would make things a lot clearer. For example, what does this phrase mean: "it becomes painfully obvious that conjecture only arises"?? I have read this several times and I still can't figure it out. If it is "painfully obvious" that E. couldn't have done it, just come out and say so directly. Also, there is this one: "serious questions are posed as to the respect for due process throughout Metropolitan Correctional Center and existing United States legal institutions." -- I think this means that there are doubts about procedures followed at MCC. If I'm right, it would be a lot clearer to just say that. I'm not clear what the connection to "due process" is. (I'm a former copy editor and vastly prefer simple, clear prose. Let me know if you want any free assistance.)
Thank you for your reporting and updating that Dr. Sampson resigned the first day of the Maxwell trial. I was unaware of that fact. I followed the Jeffrey Epstein arrest and incarceration and “suicide” intensively. It’s all very suspicious to me to this day? And now with Barbara Sampson’s resignation, my suspicion is accelerated!! This playbook is becoming more familiar on a regular basis!! Lost footage, resigning Judges and a Medical officer in a high profile case resigning the day of another high profile case? Forgive me but I’m becoming quite cynical of late!!