JEFFREY Epstein’s death was reported on controversial online message board 4chan nearly 40 minutes before it was officially announced.
The paedophile banker, 66, died from hanging in his New York jail cell last Saturday morning while he awaited trial for sex trafficking charges.
However, it has since emerged that alleged details of his death were published online 38 minutes before ABC News first officially reported the apparent suicide at 8.34am local time.
The 4chan post, published at 8.16am, read: “[D]on’t ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this.”
It is believed that, given the level of detail in the message, that the poster must have been a first responder called to the scene at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Centre.
The post was published alongside a picture of Pepe the Frog – a symbol adopted by the far-right in the US.
After being prompted by fellow 4chan users, the poster published further details of how medics allegedly attempted to resuscitate Epstein.
According to BuzzFeed News, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) has examined the post to determine whether one of their workers was behind the message.
The FDNY includes a division of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) which attended the scene on Saturday.
But a spokesman said officials “determined this alleged information did not come from the Fire Department”.
He added that he “could not verify the accuracy” of the information in the 4chan post and that officials are “reviewing” the incident.
Any medical professional who divulged patient information without consent is in violation of the federal health privacy law HIPPA, the spokesman said.
The details of Jeffrey Epstein’s death will not be officially confirmed until the final coroner’s report is released.
Launched in 2003, 4chan allows users to post anonymously – and while the message board covers a variety of topics it has, in recent years, become a hot bed for so-called alt-right communities in the US.
And according to the law enforcement sources, Epstein, who had been placed on suicide watch after an incident in July left him with bruises on his neck, had not been checked for several hours before his death.
Questions are now being asked about how such a high profile criminal, who was apparently suicidal, was able to hang himself in one of America’s strictest maximum security prisons.
Attorney General William Barr said today that there were “serious irregularities” at the federal jail where Epstein was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
He added that the investigation involving the disgraced financier – who was formerly friends with the likes of Donald Trump, Prince Andrew and the Clintons – would continue despite his death on Saturday morning.
The 66-year-old had been meeting with his lawyers for up to 12 hours a day before they allegedly asked that he be taken off suicide watch, which requires a check every 15 minutes, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
The paedo was arrested on July 6 and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14.
At the time of his death, Epstein was being held without bail and faced up to 45 years in prison on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges unsealed in July.
The WSJ reports that Epstein was taken off suicide watch and downgraded to “special observation status” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan.
The unnamed source said this meant guards were supposed to check on Epstein every 30 minutes and should have also had a cellmate with him.
But, the person added, it appeared that he was in the cell by himself at the time of his suspected hanging and guards had not carried out the necessary checks.
Although he had apparently initially had a cellmate with him, that person had left, possibly for a court appearance or another appointment, and had not been replaced with a temporary cellmate in his absence, despite this being stipulated in the prison’s rules, the source claimed.
The jail – where Epstein was held in a unit known for holding notorious prisoners under extremely tight security – is chronically short-staffed.
Timeline of the allegations against Jeffrey Epstein
2005 – Parents of a 14-year-old girl told police in Florida that Epstein had molested their daughter at his Palm Beach home. A police search of the property found photos of girls throughout the house.
2006 – Charged with multiple counts of unlawful sexual acts with a minor.
2007 – Epstein’s lawyers put together a plea deal for Epstein, aged 54 at the time.
He agreed to plead guilty to two felony prostitution charges in state court.
In exchange, he and his accomplices received immunity from federal sex-trafficking charges that could have sent him to prison for life.
2008 – Appears in court to plead guilty on two lesser counts and sentenced to a 18 months in jail and was released early in 2009
July 2019 – Arrested charges of child sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
Prosecutors accused him in a grand jury indictment of paying dozens of girls as young as 14 to engage in sex acts with him at his New York and Florida properties from 2002 to 2005.
Pleaded not guilty and would have faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
More than a dozen women have now come forward with more sex abuse allegations.
August 2019 – Hundreds of pages of court documents were unsealed alleging new details of sexual abuse claims against Epstein and several associates.
August 10 2019 – The twisted tycoon died after apparently hanging himself in his prison cell.
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