A former inmate at the Manhattan jail where accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein died of an apparent suicide this weekend has insisted there is “no way” Epstein took his own life.
The New York Post published an account from an unnamed ex-convict who reportedly spent several months in a special housing unit reserved for high-profile prisoners awaiting trial. The former inmate said it was an “impossibility” that Epstein could have hanged himself in the jail.
“Between the floor and the ceiling is like eight or nine feet. There’s no way for you to connect to anything,” he said in the first-person account.
“You have sheets, but they’re paper level, not strong enough. He was 200 pounds — it would never happen.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Epstein had been taken off suicide watch on July 29, six days after a possible suicide attempt, when he was found injured in his cell with abrasion marks on his neck. A prison official told the New York Times that Epstein had been in a private cell in a special housing unit at the time of his death.
According to the former inmate’s account, an officer checks the door of each cell about every “nine minutes,” whether or not the inmate is on suicide watch. He also said it was unlikely that Epstein could have procured an item that he could use to kill himself.
“They don’t give you enough in there that could successfully create an instrument of death,” the inmate said. “You want to write a letter, they give you rubber pens and maybe once a week a piece of paper.”
The inmate also said that conditions inside the jail were intolerable.
“I told my parents not to come there. God wasn’t in the building … It’s like you’re an animal and you’ve been brought into a kennel,” he said.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a source with knowledge of Epstein’s confinement told the Daily Beast that he behaved like a “pig in a sty” in the weeks leading to his death, and had been eating his meals off the floor.
“If the guards see that the guy is breaking, they’re going to help you break,” the former inmate told the New York Post, while insisting that it was his “firm belief” that Epstein did not take his own life.
On Saturday, United States Attorney William Barr released a statement calling for an investigation into Epstein’s death. The convicted pedophile was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges, and had been denied bail following his July 5 arrest.
“Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said in the statement.
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