Add another element of mystery to the mysterious death of Jeffrey Epstein.
The apparent suicide of one of the most notorious criminal defendants in the country has spurred a rising tide of conspiracy theories since Epstein’s body was found in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City on Saturday morning.
Now, one question arising is: Why was Epstein alone?
According to The Washington Post, which cited corrections union officials and a source familiar with the case, an inmate like Epstein – who had recently been on suicide watch – should have had a cellmate.
”But a person who had been assigned to share a cell with Epstein was transferred on Friday, and — for reasons that investigators are still exploring — he did not receive a new cellmate, the person familiar with the matter said Sunday night,” The Post reported.
“That left Epstein, who had previously been placed on suicide watch, alone and unmonitored — at least in the hours before his death — by even those officers assigned to guard him.”
There’s little question he should have at least been considered at risk.
Epstein, a high-flying figure whose friends and acquaintances included the likes of former President Bill Clinton, was facing at least 45 years in prison on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
He had already apparently attempted suicide once on July 23, though there were some questions about what exactly happened there.
And on Friday, a trove of documents released related to the case included the names of powerful men who could be implicated in Epstein’s activities.
But Epstein was left alone.
The New York Times reported Sunday, citing an official, that Metropolitan Correctional officials told the Justice Department when Epstein was taken off suicide watch that he “would have a cellmate and that a guard ‘would look into his cell” every 30 minutes.’
“But that was apparently not done, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the death was still under investigation,” The Times reported.
Naturally, the news that Epstein didn’t have a cellmate when he apparently should have, had social media talking.
"In addition, the jail had transferred his cellmate and allowed Mr. Epstein to be housed alone in a cell just two weeks after he had been taken off suicide watch, a decision that also violated the jail’s normal procedure, two officials said." #Epstein https://t.co/52dKM6v8NI
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) August 11, 2019
Epstein might be dead, but the interest in this case – and its implications for bold-faced names in politics – won’t be going away anytime soon.
The fact that he was left alone in his cell is only going to keep the questions coming.