Jeffrey Epstein was found hanging in his prison cell shortly before 7am and was rushed to nearby New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan hospital where he was pronounced dead
Guards at Jeffrey Epstein's Manhattan jail did not follow procedure and check on prisoners every 30 minutes the night the pedophile took his own life, a source has revealed.
The former financier, 66, was found hanging in his prison cell shortly before 7am and was rushed to nearby New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A photo has emerged of the pedophile's body being wheeled into hospital on a gurney.
The source told the news agency that two jail guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center are required to make separate checks on all prisoners every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed overnight.
In addition, every 15 minutes guards are required to make another check on prisoners who are on suicide watch.
The decision to remove Epstein, who was possibly the most high-profile inmate in the federal jail system, from suicide watch has both baffled former wardens and veterans of the federal prison system alike.
A separate source revealed to DailyMail.com that Epstein actually told prison guards and fellow inmates that he believed someone had tried to kill him in the weeks before his death.
The insider, who had seen the disgraced financier on several occasions during his incarceration at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, also claims that the normally reserved Epstein seemed to be in good spirits.
'There was no indication that he might try to take his own life,' the source told DailyMail.com
'From what I saw, he was finally starting to adjust to prison. I think he was comforted by the rigidity of his new life.'
The news that guards failed to follow procedure and Epstein's fears of being a target come amid growing outrage that the pedophile escaped justice and his alleged victims may never get closure they so desperately need.
The New York Post has published a photograph of Jeffrey Epstein being wheeled into hospital shortly before he was pronounced dead on Saturday morning
The fury was led by Preet Bharara, a former Manhattan-based U.S. attorney, who explained that guards generally remove any prisoner placed on suicide watch from the Special Housing Unit where Epstein was housed. The unit separates inmates such as accused sex offenders from the general population for their protection.
'So it seems that Epstein was in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) but not recently on suicide watch, which according to BOP’s Suicide Prevention Program, requires removal from the SHU,' he tweeted on Saturday.
Bharara said he was dumbfounded, adding: 'It’s possible Epstein was placed on suicide watch for some time and then returned to the SHU, prematurely. DOJ says FBI is investigating. Public deserves answers.
'There will both an FBI investigation + Inspector General investigation into Epstein’s death.'
Epstein's suicide was likely recorded by jail cameras, said Bharara. 'One hopes it is complete, conclusive, and secured,' he tweeted.
Attorney General William Barr has now vowed to look into the circumstances surrounding Epstein's death.
'Epstein's death raises serious questions that must be answered,' Barr said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.
'In addition to the FBI's investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of the death'.
According to a prison officer, Epstein was being kept in a special unit with additional security, but he was not being actively surveyed by officials at the facility.
'For them to pull him off suicide watch is shocking,' Cameron Lindsay, a former warden, told NBC News.
'For someone this high-profile, with these allegations and this many victims, who has had a suicide attempt in the last few weeks, you can take absolutely no chances. You leave him on suicide watch until he's out of there.'
Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida suggested the possibility that a criminal act was involved in Epstein's death
Meanwhile, a number of other high-profile Washington figures have demanded more information as to what happened to Epstein.
Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter shortly after news of the millionaire's death broke, stating: 'We need answers. Lots of them'.
2020 Presidential hopefuls Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand also demanded transparency as to the details of Epstein's death.
Following news of the Epstein's death, several alleged victims spoke of their anger at the fact the millionaire will not face justice for his alleged crimes.
Jennifer Araoz - who claimed she was raped by Epstein at the age of 15 - told NBC News: 'I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won't have to face survivors of his abuse in court. We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed.'
Attorney Lisa Bloom - who represents three of the millionaire's alleged sex trafficking victims - shared a statement from one of her anonymous accusers.
A black bag believed to contain Epstein's body was pictured being taken out of New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan hospital on Saturday afternoon
The body was loaded onto a stretcher and placed in the back of a black SUV, before it was later switched into a white van for transportation to the medical examiner's office
Epstein hanged himself inside his prison cell at Manhattan Correctional Center early on Saturday morning
Hospital staff are seen preparing a white coroner's van before Epstein's body was loaded inside
A coroner will now examine Epstein's body, while both the FBI and the Inspector General will open investigations into the circumstances surrounding his death
Epstein was being held without bail at Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking
'I will never have a sense of closure now. I am angry as hell that the prison could have allowed this to happen and that I and his other victims will never see him face the consequences for his horrendous actions,' the statement read.
'I hope that whoever allowed this to happen also faces some type of consequence. You stole from us, the huge piece of healing that we needed to move on with our lives.'
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse wrote a letter to Barr, telling him 'heads must roll'.
'The Department of Justice failed, and today Jeffrey Epstein’s co-conspirators think they might have just gotten one last sweetheart deal,' the senator said. '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.
'Given Epstein’s previous attempted suicide, he should have been locked in a padded room under unbroken, 24/7, constant surveillance.'
Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida suggested the possibility that a criminal act was involved in Epstein's death when he called on federal corrections officials to explain what happened at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
'The Federal Bureau of Prisons must provide answers on what systemic failures of the MCC Manhattan or criminal acts allowed this coward to deny justice to his victims,' he said in a statement.
Epstein's suicide comes just two weeks after he was hospitalized following what may have been an initial attempt to take his own life. He is pictured in New York in January
Epstein is pictured with his associate and one-time girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005. On Friday, explosive court documents pertaining to a 2015 lawsuit filed against Maxwell were unsealed, revealing damning new details about Epstein's alleged crimes
Epstein's shocking suicide comes just 24 hours after court documents from Virginia Roberts Giuffre (pictured) were unsealed
Epstein was incarcerated at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (pictured). Police are pictured patrolling outside the prison on Saturday afternoon
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough has jumped on the conspiracy theory bandwagon to suggest Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself in prison and Russians may have been involved.
As conspiracy theories suggesting Epstein did not commit suicide and was instead killed began flooding social media, Scarborough threw in his two cents.
'Authorities couldn't keep Epstein alive by putting him under 24 hour surveillance?' the host tweeted. 'How convenient for a lot of rich and powerful men.
'A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men's lives ends up dead in his jail cell. How predictably...Russian.
'He reportedly tried to kill himself two weeks ago. And is allowed to finish the job now? Bullsh**.'
As conspiracy theories suggesting Epstein did not commit suicide and was instead killed began flooding social media, Scarborough threw in his two cents
Scarborough (right) suggested some would be relieved by the pedophile's (pictured left in January) death
Scarborough continued to stoke the flames by suggesting some would be relieved by the pedophile's death.
'Powerful Democratic and Republican figures breathing a huge sigh of relief—as well as a Harvard professor or two,' he wrote, before adding: 'The rich and powerful get away with raping young girls...again.'
But the Trump foe wasn't the only big name to express their skepticism about how the inmate was able to kill himself in a highly secured part of the jail not long after being take off suicide watch.
Lynne Patton, a regional administrator with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Trump loyalist, even shared a clip of the DailyMail.com coverage of Epstein's death.
She commented: 'Hillary'd!! P.S. Let me know when I'm supposed to feel badly about this.'
This seemed to be a suggestion that Bill and Hillary Clinton were somehow involved in the death, seeing as the former president and Epstein were once associates.
Lynne Patton, a regional administrator with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Trump loyalist, shared a clip of the DailyMail.com coverage of Epstein's death and commented: 'Hillary'd!! P.S. Let me know when I'm supposed to feel badly about this'
Photos show light blue lettering outside Epstein's $77million Upper East side townhouse, one of the largest private homes in Manhattan
One conspiracy theorist even scrawled 'XOXO Hillary + Bill' on the sidewalk outside Epstein's $77million Upper East Side townhouse.
The FBI raided the home in July, where they uncovered a 'vast trove' of hundreds or even thousands of lewd photographs of young women or girls.
The 'XOXO', meaning 'hugs and kisses' - is a way of signing off a message so it appears as though it was written by Hillary and Bill Clinton.
The message follows the #ClintonBodyCount hashtag that circulated on social media by conspiracy theorists in an effort to point fingers at Bill and Hillary, adding to the speculation and confusion surrounding Epstein's Saturday morning death.
Michael Coudrey, one of the co-founders of the New Right US, wrote: 'BREAKING: Alleged "camera malfunction" last night at MCC where Jeffrey Epstein was locked up #EpsteinFiles.'
Coudrey was also one of the pushers of #ClintonBodyCount hashtag and suggested that the couple had a hand in also killing Seth Rich, an employee for the Democratic National Committee. Conspiracy theorists believed he leaked the DNC emails in 2016.
Many of those using the hashtag were found to be bots.
And although President Donald Trump has not commented on the death of his former friend Epstein, he did retweet a conspiracy theory linking Bill and Hillary to the suicide.
Trump’s Twitter feed includes a link to a breaking news site which claims that unsealed court documents revealed ‘top Democrats, including Bill Clinton, took private trips to Jeffrey Epstein’s “pedophilia island”.’
The president also retweeted a post from Terrence K. Williams, an actor and comedian who is known for his conservative views.
Williams tweeted: ‘Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen…[Epstein] had information on Bill Clinton & now he’s dead.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now an attorney for President Donald Trump, tweeted out several questions about Epstein's death Saturday afternoon
‘I see #TrumpBodyCount trending but we know who did this!’
The post ended with the hashtags #ClintonBodyCount and #ClintonCrimeFamily.
After Epstein's arrest last month, Bill Clinton issued a statement denying that he had ever been to Epstein's island in the Caribbean.
On Twitter the hashtag 'Epsteinmurder' was quickly trending.
Epstein had been placed on suicide watch following an incident just over two weeks ago in which he was discovered with bruises on his neck. But he was taken off of suicide watch at the end of July.
Just days ago, Spencer Kuvin, a lawyer for three of his victims, warned: 'There's no doubt that no jail will protect you when there are powerful people who want to reach you – wherever you are.'
Epstein, 66, had been denied bail and faced up to 45 years behind bars on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges unsealed last month. He had pleaded not guilty and was awaiting trial on accusations of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now an attorney for President Donald Trump, tweeted out several questions about Epstein's death Saturday afternoon.
'Who was watching? What does camera show?... Follow the motives,' he wrote.
President Trump retweeted conspiracy theories linking Bill and Hillary Clinton to Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide while remaining silent on the death of his former friend. Trump is seen right with Epstein in 1997
Trump’s Twitter feed includes a link to a breaking news site which claims that unsealed court documents revealed ‘top Democrats, including Bill Clinton, took private trips to Jeffrey Epstein’s “pedophilia island”’
The president also retweeted a post from Terrence K. Williams, an actor and comedian who is known for his conservative views. Williams tweeted: ‘Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen…[Epstein] had information on Bill Clinton & now he’s dead'
Claire McCaskill, a former Democratic Senator, said: 'Something stinks to high heaven. How does someone on suicide watch hang himself with no intervention? Impossible. Unless...'
Some internet users observed that the New York prison where he died was under the watch of Attorney General William Barr, who was chosen to head the Justice Department by Donald Trump, once an associate of Epstein.
Another extraordinary theory was that Epstein was assassinated by Saudi officials.
One tweet read: 'The murder of Jeffrey Epstein is the most blatant display of the power of the deep state I've seen since the CIA killed JFK.'
Epstein's case had already prompted online rumors and conspiracy theories given past friendships with prominent men including Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, as well as the 2008 deal in Florida that allowed him to plead to soliciting a minor for prostitution to avoid more serious charges.
Meanwhile, an attorney for Jeffrey Epstein, Marc Fernich, said in a statement that jailers at the Metropolitan Correctional Center failed to protect Epstein and to prevent the 'calamity' of his death.
Prince Andrew may be dragged deeper into the Jeffrey Epstein 'sex slave' scandal as sources said a FBI inquiry would now switch to the billionaire's associates.
Epstein, a former friend of the Duke of York, hanged himself in his New York prison cell yesterday just hours after explosive new documents emerged detailing his depraved activities. The court papers repeated claims that the Duke slept with Virginia Roberts, 17 at the time and one of Epstein's 'sex slaves', and groped a 21-year-old woman. The Prince denies the claims.
Andrew learned of his one-time friend's suicide while on vacation at Balmoral Castle with the Queen, his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and their two daughters.
Virginia Roberts, then 17 and one of Epstein's accusers, is photographed with Prince Andrew and socialite Ghislaine Maxwell in early 2001
As Epstein's death fueled a raft of conspiracy theories last night, lawyers for his alleged victims said he had 'cheated justice' and expect the criminal investigation to focus on British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, a mutual friend of Epstein and the Duke.
The latest legal documents claim she 'operated as ... Epstein's procurer of under age girls'. She has repeatedly denied involvement in his crimes.
However, legal sources closely linked to the Epstein probe told The Mail on Sunday that investigators will shift their 'full attention' to Maxwell, 57.
A legal source said: 'Ghislaine is the key to all this now that Epstein will no longer face justice himself. The victims deserve answers and she was the person closest to Epstein.
'Far from being the end to Prince Andrew's problems, Epstein's suicide could put him under renewed scrutiny because of his close friendship with Ghislaine.'
Fernich also said that reporters, plaintiffs' lawyers and court officials 'should be ashamed of their behavior' following Epstein's indictment. He said Epstein had 'long since paid his debt to society' for his crimes.
The world was left stunned early Saturday after news that Epstein was found hanging in his prison cell shortly before 7am.
On Saturday afternoon, a black bag believed to contain Epstein's body was pictured being taken out of the hospital.
The body was later switched into a white van belonging to a medical examiner, before it was transported away.
A coroner will now perform an investigation.
In a statement, Metropolitan Correctional Center told DailyMail.com that the FBI is now launching an investigation into Epstein's death.
The former financier, 66, was awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking and was being held at the high-security complex without bail.
Epstein - who once boasted an array of high-profile friends including Prince Andrew and President Bill Clinton - was arrested on July 6, accused of arranging to have sex with underage girls at his residences in New York City and Florida between 2002 and 2005.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Epstein's suicide comes just two weeks after he was hospitalized following what may have been an initial attempt to take his own life.
On July 24, Epstein was rushed to hospital under police guard after he was discovered semi-conscious on the floor of his prison cell in the fetal position.
He spent several hours receiving medical attention before he was transported back to the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
It has not been confirmed whether Epstein attempted suicide, or whether he may have been attacked inside his prison cell.BOMBSHELL COURT DOCUMENTS UNSEALED
Epstein's death comes just 24 hours after more than 2,000 pages of documents detailing the lurid allegations of his sexual abuse of underage girls were unsealed to the public.
On Friday morning, a federal appeals court published explosive documents pertaining to a 2015 lawsuit that Virginia Roberts Giuffre had filed against Epstein's associate, socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
Giuffre claimed Epstein and Maxwell kept her as a 'sex slave' in the early 2000s, whilst she was underage.
The unsealed papers - which made international news on Friday - implicated a number of high-profile men in sex scandals.
They include transcripts of a May 3, 2016 deposition made by Giuffre, in which she alleged that she was trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell to have sex with and provide erotic massages for politicians and affluent businessmen.
Giuffre claimed that she was 'instructed' by Maxwell to have sex with former Senate Majority George Mitchell and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.
Both Richardson and Mitchell have denied the allegations.
According to the documents, Giuffre claimed she also had sex with Epstein's friend Prince Andrew on multiple occasions, including once in London when she was 17 years of age.
Jeffrey Epstein's former sex slave Virginia Roberts Giuffre alleges that she was intimate with Prince Andrew on multiple occasions. She is pictured with Prince Andrew and Maxwell at Maxwell's London townhouse in 2001
Prince Andrew is pictured with Epstein in Central Park in December 2010
The Prince has always denied any wrongdoing and in a 2015 court application, a judge threw out Guiffre's allegations that she had sex with the Prince.
The judge ordered the allegations to be struck from the record