UPDATE, 2:25 p.m. ET:
A spokesperson for the Fire Department of New York told BuzzFeed News that the FDNY has reviewed the posts made on the 4chan message board about the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein at the Metropolitan Correctional Facility on Saturday morning. The spokesperson said that the information shared on 4chan “does not match our medical records,” and the department has concluded the posts were not made by an FDNY employee.
“An investigation is a formal act which brings about a process which includes interviewing witnesses, serving notice, determining credibility of witness statements — and that was not warranted nor did it take place here. This determination was made after a review of the incident. We looked at the information provided by [a BuzzFeed News] reporter and we looked at our own records and there was no match,” FDNY spokesperson Frank Dwyer said in a statement to the news outlet.
Possible details of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s suspected suicide were posted to the online message board 4chan before news media reported his death, citing authorities.
BuzzFeed News reports that an unknown 4chan user posted detailed messages about Epstein’s apparent suicide on Saturday morning, and that the first post was shared 38 minutes before ABC News first broke the news of Epstein’s death.
“[D]ont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this,” the post read, according to the report. The user then reportedly posted five follow-up messages in response to questions about the original post. Those message included details about the efforts to revive Epstein, raising questions about the possibility that the poster had intimate knowledge of the circumstances, and may have been a first responder themselves.
“Pt transported to Lower Manhattan ER and worked for 20 minutes and called. Hospital administrator was alerted, preparing statements,” read another post. The user also reportedly said on 4chan that staff at the Metropolitan Correctional Facility in Lower Manhattan attempted to revive Epstein for 40 minutes before he was transferred to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Frank Gribbon, a Deputy Commissioner for the Fire Department of New York, told BuzzFeed News that the FDNY will be reviewing the incident, and said that he could not verify the accuracy of the information posted to 4chan.
A Barcelona-based developer who had been researching Epstein’s death online reportedly tipped off BuzzFeed News to the 4chan posts.
As the Buzzfeed News report notes, some of the details in the posts appear to be consistent with information that authorities have released — though many questions remain about the circumstances of Epstein’s death, which came just over two weeks after a previous, possible suicide attempt in the federal jail, where Epstein was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
An expert on EMS procedures, Dr. Keith Wesley, told BuzzFeed News that the details outlined in the post are consistent with EMS standard practices. Oren Barzilay, president of the union for EMT workers Local 2507, told the news outlet that union members would not be authorized to share the type of information included in the 4chan posts, and speculated that the details may have been posted by a “third party.”
“There’s serious consequences for those violations. Discipline. Suspensions. Civil penalties, etc,” Barzilay reportedly said in an email.
This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.