Law & the Courts

Forensic Investigator: Jeffrey Epstein’s Autopsy More Consistent with Homicide

Jeffrey Epstein in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Service, March 28, 2017. (Handout/Reuters)

Financier and convicted sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein — whose death was ruled a suicide by the New York City medical examiner’s office — was likely murdered, famed forensic pathologist and Fox News contributor Dr. Michael Baden said on Fox & Friends this morning after examining Epstein’s body.

“I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging case,” he said of the particular fractures found on Epstein’s neck.

Epstein was found hanging in his Manhattan prison cell on August 10 and was later declared dead. After rampant speculation, New York’s chief medical examiner Barbara Sampson cautioned against taking details out of context.

“In all forensic investigations, all information must be synthesized to determine the cause and manner of death. Everything must be consistent; no single finding can be evaluated in a vacuum,” Sampson said on August 15.

But Baden’s opinion on autopsy — especially of the combination of fractures in Epstein’s neck — raised a number of key questions about Epstein’s cause of death. “Those three fractures are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation,” Baden said.

Baden, who has worked on multiple high-profile cases and has examined over 20,000 bodies over a five-decade career, was hired by Epstein’s brother to attend the official autopsy. Baden revealed that at the time of the autopsy, the doctor overseeing the procedure “didn’t think there was enough information to say suicide,” and initially put the status of the case to “pending further study,” before changing it and publicly releasing the suicide ruling.

Baden also said that any potential DNA under Epstein’s fingernails, as well as on the sheets used to strangle him, has not yet been released.

“It appears that this could have been a mistake,” Baden said. “There’s evidence here of homicide that should be investigated, to see if it is or isn’t homicide.”

Update 3:00 p.m.: New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson defended her “suicide” determination in the Epstein case.

“We continue to share information around the medical investigation with Mr. Epstein’s family, their representatives, and their pathology consultant,” Sampson said. “The original medical investigation was thorough and complete. There is no reason for a second medical investigation by our office.”

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