A former prisoner at the Metropolitan Correction Center in Lower Manhattan, where Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire, was found unresponsive, told the New York Post on Aug. 11 that there was “no way” that he could have killed himself.
The inmate prisoner, who was not named, said he spent several months at the facility, inside the 9 South special housing unit for prisoners like Epstein.
“There’s no way that man could have killed himself. I’ve done too much time in those units. It’s an impossibility,” the inmate wrote. “Between the floor and the ceiling is like eight or nine feet. There’s no way for you to connect to anything.”
He said that the sheets provided to inmates are like “paper” and are not “strong enough” to make a makeshift noose. Epstein also weighed around 180 pounds.
“When you’re on suicide watch, they put you in this white smock, a straight jacket. They know a person cannot be injurious to themselves,” the person also wrote, adding: “Could he have done it from the bed? No sir. There’s a steel frame, but you can’t move it. There’s no light fixture. There’s no bars.”
“What’s more, prison officials don’t give inmates enough to make something they could kill themselves with,” he added.
“Jeffrey Epstein did not commit suicide. It just didn’t happen,” the inmate claimed.
Epstein had been placed on suicide watch after he was found a little over two weeks ago with bruising on his neck, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly. But he was taken off the watch at the end of July and therefore wasn’t on it at the time of his death, the person said.
Attorney General William Barr, calling for an investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office, said he was “appalled” to learn of Epstein’s death while in federal custody.
“Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said in a statement.
Epstein’s death raises questions about how the Bureau of Prisons ensures the welfare of such high-profile inmates. In October, Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger was killed in a federal prison in West Virginia where had just been transferred.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote Saturday in a scathing letter to Barr that “heads must roll” after the incident.
“Every single person in the Justice Department—from your Main Justice headquarters staff all the way to the night-shift jailer—knew that this man was a suicide risk, and that his dark secrets couldn’t be allowed to die with him,” Sasse wrote.