At least eight Federal Bureau of Prisons employees were aware of a directive to avoid leading Jeffrey Epstein alone in his cell, according to a recent report.
Sources familiar with the investigation told the Washington Post that investigators are working to determine if any of the staffers with knowledge of the directive were also aware that Epstein was alone in his cell in the hours preceding his death on August 10, which a coroner ruled was suicide by hanging.
While investigators reportedly suspect that some of the staffers did know Epstein had been left alone, it is not clear if the failure to follow the order is a result of organizational failures or a possible criminal act, according to the report.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Epstein was placed on suicide watch following a July 23 incident in which he was found unresponsive and injured in his cell, in a possible suicide attempt. But Epstein remained on suicide watch for only six days, and his own lawyers may have requested he be taken off. The convicted sex offender was then placed in a special housing unit, where he was supposed to have a cell mate and check-ins from guards every 30 minutes. But the cell mate was transferred out and was not replaced, and guards did not check on him for three hours the morning before he died.
Robert Hood, a former chief of internal affairs for the Bureau of Prisons, told the Washington Post he was unclear why Epstein was taken off suicide watch only to be given special monitoring — and also did not understand why the staff did not comply with the orders.
“You’re either on suicide watch or you’re not. If you have any concern at all, you maintain the suicide watch,” he told the newspaper.
“If people were given instructions that Epstein should not be left alone, I don’t understand how they were not followed.”
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