Jeffrey Epstein Dead in Suicide at Jail, Spurring Inquiries

Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who was lengthy dogged by accusations of sexual abuse of ladies and who was capable of domesticate an array of high-profile associates regardless of his lurid way of life, killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell, officers stated on Saturday.

Mr. Epstein’s dying shortly reverberated from New York to Washington to Florida, spurring federal inquiries into why he was not being extra intently monitored and angering his accusers, who stated that they had hoped to have his crimes aired in open court docket.

Mr. Epstein hanged himself, and was discovered at round 6:30 a.m. Saturday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, officers stated.

Last month, after being denied bail on federal intercourse trafficking expenses, Mr. Epstein was discovered unconscious in his jail cell with marks on his neck. Prison officers had been investigating the incident as a doable suicide try.

Mr. Epstein was positioned on suicide watch after the incident on July 23 and acquired a every day psychiatric analysis, in response to an individual acquainted with his detention. He was faraway from suicide watch on July 29 and returned to the particular housing unit, a segregated space of the jail with additional safety, this individual stated.

The authorities didn’t instantly clarify why he was taken off suicide watch. The F.B.I. stated it was investigating, and Attorney General William P. Barr stated in an announcement particular inquiry could be opened into what occurred.

“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Mr. Barr stated. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered.”

In addition to the F.B.I., the Inspector General, the Justice Department’s inside watchdog, will open an investigation into Mr. Epstein’s dying, Mr. Barr stated. The Metropolitan Correctional Center is run by the federal Bureau of Prisons.

[Read extra: Why wasn’t Mr. Epstein on suicide watch when he died?]

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan last month charged Mr. Epstein, 66, with sex trafficking of girls as young as 14 and sex trafficking conspiracy. The indictment renewed attention on how Mr. Epstein — who had opulent homes, a private jet and access to elite circles — had escaped severe punishment in an earlier investigation of sexual abuse more than a decade ago in Florida.

“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 — the pain and trauma he caused so many people,” Ms. Araoz said. She said she hoped investigators would pursue charges against people who had aided and protected Mr. Epstein.

[Read more: Mr. Epstein’s accusers called for investigators to continue an inquiry into his confidants.]

The United States attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman, said in a statement that the investigation into Mr. Epstein’s misconduct would continue, pointing specifically to the conspiracy charge, which suggested Mr. Epstein was assisted by others who helped facilitate his illegal acts.

“Today’s events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in court,” Mr. Berman said.

The apparent demise of the new federal prosecution also led to widespread airing of unfounded conspiracy theories online on Saturday, with people questioning who would benefit from Mr. Epstein’s death. President Trump, who has a history of promoting unfounded conspiracy theories, retweeted one of those posts without comment, fueling the wild speculation.

Until last year, it seemed that Mr. Epstein had largely been able to avoid further scandal over his dealings with young women and girls.

But then new questions were raised about the earlier plea agreement in an investigative report published by The Miami Herald in November 2018 which quoted four of Mr. Epstein’s victims, who are now adults, on the record for the first time.

In February, the Justice Department said it had opened an investigation into the nonprosecution agreement. The inquiry is reviewing whether prosecutors committed professional misconduct in their handling of the earlier Epstein case.

At the same time, federal prosecutors in Manhattan, apparently spurred by The Miami Herald investigation, opened their own inquiry into accusations of sex trafficking by Mr. Epstein.

The United States attorney in Florida who handled the 2008 case was R. Alexander Acosta, who was President Trump’s labor secretary. After the new charges were announced against Mr. Epstein in July, Mr. Acosta’s work on the earlier case came under intense criticism, and he resigned.

[Read more: How Mr. Epstein become a symbol of wealth, privilege and depravity.]

Mr. Epstein was arrested on July 6 at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after his private plane landed on a flight from Paris.

He was accused of hiring dozens of girls as young as 14 to perform nude massages on him, at which point he would masturbate and touch their genitals with his hands or with sex toys. The abuse was said to have occurred at both his Upper East Side mansion and his palatial waterfront home in Palm Beach, Fla., between 2002 and 2005.

The girls were paid hundreds of dollars in cash for the encounters and, once recruited, were asked to return to his homes several times, where they were abused again, the indictment against him said.

Prosecutors said Mr. Epstein asked some of the girls to recruit other girls, creating a network of vulnerable victims.

Still, since Mr. Epstein’s arrest last month, evidence has emerged that the former money manager’s business acumen was more myth than fact. His client list was not as extensive as believed, and the services he offered were less remarkable than once portrayed.

Earlier this week, perhaps Mr. Epstein’s most notable client, Mr. Wexner, the retail executive behind Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, accused Mr. Epstein of misappropriating “vast sums of money” from him and his family.

After Mr. Epstein’s arrest in July, some Wall Street titans found themselves forced to answer questions as to why they had continued to socialize or do business with him after his 2008 conviction. They included the private equity billionaire Leon Black, the longtime banking executive Jes Staley and the hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin.

The executives all said they had no knowledge he had engaged in sex trafficking, and had sought to minimize their contacts with Mr. Epstein in recent years.

Also drawing attention were a number of major universities — including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — that had accepted large contributions from foundations established by Mr. Epstein even after his 2008 conviction.

The contributions to the universities and to scientists at those schools were part of a campaign by Mr. Epstein to polish his image and get himself back into the good graces of the academic and corporate elite.

But even as Mr. Epstein was trying to rebrand himself, he continued to peddle dubious ideas.

A number of scientists said he had showed an interest in biogenetic engineering and had discussed a plan to seed the human race with his DNA by having young women impregnated at his Zorro Ranch in New Mexico.

There is no indication that Mr. Epstein ever took steps toward carrying out those plans, but some in the scientific world continued to meet with him and take his money.

Long before he generated the riches that facilitated those interactions, Mr. Epstein came from modest beginnings. He was born in Brooklyn in 1953 and grew up in Coney Island; his father worked for the city Parks Department.

Mr. Epstein was something of a prodigy, playing the piano at 5, skipping two grades in school and graduating from Lafayette High School in Brooklyn when he was 16.

Though Mr. Epstein took college classes, he never received a degree. Instead, he landed a job as a math and physics teacher at the Dalton School, an elite private school in Manhattan in 1974. His time there was brief, but some students recalled that Mr. Epstein was willing to violate norms in his encounters with girls.

An administrator told The Times that he was dismissed from Dalton for poor performance.

But it was through Dalton, a prestigious school with well-heeled parents and alumni, that Mr. Epstein came into closer contact with New York’s rich and powerful. After leaving the school, he eventually took a job at the Wall Street investment bank Bear Stearns.

In 1981, Mr. Epstein left Bear Stearns to start his own advisory firm and in 1988, he formed J. Epstein & Company, the investment firm that would help him build his network of connections to wealthy Wall Street executives.

The exact details of Mr. Epstein’s money management operation were shrouded in secrecy, as was his client list.

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