The sordid saga of Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘suicide’

  • Paula
American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide last Saturday has triggered a wave of anti-Jewish conspiracies online.
by PAULA SLIER | Aug 15, 2019

The hashtag #EpsteinMurder has been trending with thousands of shares on Twitter alleging that Epstein was a Mossad agent; that his murder was ordered by a “Jewish mafia”; and that the Talmud justifies sex abuse of children who are not Jewish.

There is worse: claims that Judaism promotes paedophilia; that Epstein was killed to protect Jews working to bring about the rise of the anti-Christ; that he and others were Jewish supremacists; and that the “Jewish state of New York” killed Epstein.

The conspiracies are not limited to Jews, but include how Epstein died. He reportedly hanged himself in his Manhattan prison cell (which has been described as less hospitable than Guantanamo Bay), in spite of the fact that three weeks earlier, he’d been found unconscious in the cell with injuries to his neck.

He was subsequently placed on six days of suicide watch. But twelve days before he died, he was taken off, prompting a plethora of theories, including that the body found was not his and belonged to someone who looked like him.

An initial autopsy was inconclusive, finding only that the cause of death was likely to have been suicide. At the time of writing, Epstein’s corpse is awaiting a second, independent autopsy.

Born to Jewish parents in Brooklyn in 1953, Epstein left college without a degree. He taught calculus and physics for two years before beginning his career as a lowly junior assistant to a floor trader at investment bank Bear Stearns.

Swiftly rising through the ranks, he was made partner four years later. He then left to form his own money management firm catering only for billionaires. His main client was Victoria’s Secret mogul and Jewish philanthropist, Leslie Wexner.

But that relationship ended more than a decade ago when Wexner cut ties with Epstein as suspicions first surfaced that Epstein was using his employees to bring him local teen girls, some as young as 13-years-old, for sex.

Accused at the time of molesting more than 100 underage girls at his Palm Beach home in Florida, he was granted an unusual non-prosecution agreement. Instead of facing life in prison, Epstein pleaded guilty only to two minor charges of solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution.

He served 13 months of an 18-month sentence in the private wing of a county jail, and was permitted to leave six days a week, for 16 hours each day, for “work release”.

Israel defender and well-known Jewish Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, was a member of Epstein’s legal team who helped broker the secret agreement. Dershowitz himself is now under fire, accused of sexual misconduct by two of Epstein’s alleged victims.

As he desperately tries to rescue his reputation, Dershowitz has insisted that an email, only now unsealed from a pile of court documents, exonerates him of the crime.

In the email, a reporter writes to one of the two victims: “Don’t forget Alan Dershowitz … JE’s [Jeffrey Epstein’s] buddy and lawyer ... good name for your pitch ... We all suspect Alan is a pedo and tho no proof of that, you probably met him when he was hanging out with JE.”

Dershowitz said, “If she had sex with me, I’d be highlighted. This is completely exculpatory, and completely consistent with what I’ve been saying. She made it up when she met her lawyers and heard there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

In an essay that originally appeared in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), Dershowitz defended his role in getting Epstein that favourable plea deal in 2008. He wrote that because he did his job well, he has become a target of efforts to destroy his reputation and career.

“I get my inspiration from the biblical Abraham, who defended the sinners of Sodom,” Dershowitz wrote.

“Our sixth amendment demands that every accused be afforded the right to counsel, but too many defendants are denied zealous representation because lawyers fear economic and political reprisal. Lawyers who were part of the Epstein defence team have had their contributions to political candidates returned. Others have been threatened with loss of business.”

As the Epstein scandal continues to unfold, another high-profile Jewish man fighting for his reputation is former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Earlier this year, he staged a political comeback, forming a political party ahead of the Israeli elections next month.

But the evidence is there. Made public now, photos taken in January 2016 identify Barak trying to hide his face as he entered one of Epstein’s townhouses on the same day as a large group of women.

Barak insisted, “I was there, for lunch or a chat, nothing else. So what? I never attended a party with him. I never met Epstein in the company of women or young girls.”

Barak has also defended his decision to work with Epstein in spite of the latter’s earlier plea bargain. “He’d [Epstein] served his sentence for soliciting prostitution – the indictment didn’t say she was a minor,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has challenged Barak to explain why in 2004, he was paid more than $2 million (R30.3 million) for what was described as a research programme by a foundation for which Epstein was a trustee.

So where does all of this leave Epstein’s body as it awaits burial?

Neither the Chevrah Kadisha nor any of the nearby Jewish burial sites in New York have reportedly been contacted. Experts admit they don’t know what will happen to his corpse.

Most Jewish sources say that although suicide is against Jewish law, those who die by suicide can still be buried in Jewish cemeteries. But they’re less clear about how to bury the bodies of people who have done evil things.

One thing is certain, though. Epstein’s crimes will not be buried with him. There are too many powerful people connected to this sordid saga for Epstein, or his crimes, to simply disappear.

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