This is an opinion article.

The earth isn’t flat, America made it to the moon, Paul McCartney is still alive, but did Epstein kill himself?

“Conspiracy theory” has become a pejorative term, immediately lumping any argument, no matter how plausible, in with the crazies. But all the oddities surrounding Jeffery Epstein’s death point to something shady, with a coincidental suicide appearing the least likely of all explanations.

Epstein was found dead in his locked cell in New York on Aug. 10 while awaiting trial for numerous sex crimes involving an alleged pedophile ring. He reportedly hanged himself from his bunk bed; the New York City examiner Barbara Sampson ruled his death a suicide.

If that’s all there was to the story, it wouldn’t be so hard to believe. Prisoners offing themselves in jail is a common enough occurrence, especially ones facing such heinous charges as Epstein was.

In fact, he had apparently tried to commit suicide once before on July 23, when he was found unconscious in his cell. He claimed he was attacked by a cellmate, but the correctional staff put him on suicide watch. Then, not a week later, he was taken off of it and moved to a different cell.

On the day of his death, the prison guards who were supposed to check on Epstein every 30 minutes fell asleep. The two cameras outside of his cell malfunctioned. His cellmate, who was supposed to act as a suicide deterrent, was removed. The bed sheet which he reportedly used to hang himself from the top of his bunk bed was said to be “paper thin.” And there were broken bones in his neck — not uncommon for a hanging suicide but more common in cases of strangulation homicide.

A pathologist, Michael Baden, hired by Epstein’s brother recently disputed the findings of Sampson, claiming that Epstein’s injuries pointed more toward foul play.

“[The injuries] are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation,” Baden said. “I think that the evidence points to homicide rather than suicide.”

When Epstein was arrested July 6, him turning up dead was already a half-joke. He led a mysterious life, hobnobbing with the world’s rich, famous and powerful, including British royalty, prominent lawyers, government officials and big-business men. Many notable people took rides aboard his airplane — nicknamed the “Lolita Express” after the 1955 novel by Vladimir Nabokov about an older man’s relationship with a young girl — and visited his private island in the Caribbean.

Thanks to the viral “Epstein didn’t kill himself” meme, where the phrase is tacked on as a non-sequitur to a list or paragraph, Epstein’s death is back in front of our cultural consciousness. It was all but forgotten thanks to society’s Planck-length attention span and general media suppression.

A video released by Project Veritas — an undercover investigative reporting outlet led by journalist James O’Keefe — showed ABC News’ Amy Robach on a hot mic complaining she had the story on Epstein’s crimes for three years but was told by her bosses to drop it. She had been receiving threats and pushback the whole time she was investigating it by the same powerful people who risked being implicated.

Someone didn’t want us to know about Epstein years ago, didn’t want us to hear what he could expose and tried to make us forget about his death. Occam’s razor states the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

Which makes more sense: coincidences on a cosmic scale lined up just so allowing a valuable asset (read: evil man with the dirt to stop more evil men) to off himself, or that incredibly powerful people conspired in some kind of cover up?

Daniel Taylor is a staff writer for The Reporter. His email is daniel.taylor@sandmountainreporter.com.

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