Jeffrey Epstein is dead of an apparent suicide, but that doesn't mean the investigation into his alleged sex-trafficking ring with underage girls is over. The Wall Street Journal reports that others who participated in the alleged scheme could still face charges. “The many victims of Jeffrey Epstein and his accomplices should not lose hope,” says attorney Roberta Kaplan, who is representing one alleged victim. Kaplan pledges to "ensure that all the facts of his monstrous crimes become known to the world.” More coverage:
- Skeptics: Not everyone is on board with the initial Federal Bureau of Prisons explanation of an apparent suicide. A tweet from MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men’s lives ends up dead in his jail cell. How predictably...Russian." Another Scarborough tweet: "He reportedly tried to kill himself two weeks ago. And is allowed to finish the job now? Bulls---."
- Video? TMZ reports that it's unclear if Epstein was under suicide watch, but if he was, video should be available from his jail cell to clear things up. It poses this question: "If he was on suicide watch, how did this happen, and if he wasn't on suicide watch, why wasn't he?" The FBI is investigating Epstein's death. Multiple outlets say he hanged himself in his jail cell.
- Suicide watch: Even if Epstein were on suicide watch, it's possible he still could have killed himself. The Miami Herald explains how prison suicide watch works and how inmates (including former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez) still manage to foil it.
- To hospital: The New York Post has an image of Epstein being taken to the hospital on a stretcher.
- New details: Epstein's death comes a day after a huge cache of court documents were released providing disturbing new details about how the alleged sex operation worked. The Washington Post has the nitty gritty, including how Epstein's assistants coordinated the movement of girls to Epstein multiple times a day. “She is wondering if 2:30 is o.k.," reads one 2005 message. "She needs to stay in school."
- Big names: One of the girls alleges that she had sex, at Epstein's direction, with men including former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, former Senate Minority Leader George Mitchell, attorney Alan Dershowitz, Prince Andrew, and hotel magnate Tom Pritzker. The men deny it. The Miami Herald notes that in 2008, when Epstein famously got a lenient plea deal, Mitchell had been named one of Time magazine's most influential people.
- New focus? A post at The Cut wonders if the focus will now turn to Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite frequently referred to as Epstein's "madam" who allegedly recruited girls for Epstein. She's been keeping a low profile since selling her New York townhouse in 2016. Maxwell figures prominently in the new court documents released Friday, because they revolve around a since-settled defamation suit brought against her by one of Epstein's alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
- More conspiracy theories: Because Epstein knew the Clintons, conspiracy theorists were quick to pounce on that angle. The most prominent among them was HUD official Lynne Patton, who posted, "Hillary’d!! P.S. Let me know when I’m supposed to feel badly about this… #VinceFosterPartTwo," per Mediaite. The Foster tag is a reference to the suicide of the White House deputy counsel back in 1993.
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