Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his cell on August 10 at Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York while awaiting a trial on federal sex trafficking charges. The New York Medical Examiner ruled his death a suicide, but a doctor hired by Epstein’s family, Dr. Michael Baden, disputed that conclusion.
Among the injuries found on Epstein during the autopsy are contusions on both wrists, an abrasion on his left forearm, and deep muscle hemorrhaging in his left shoulder muscle. Photos 60 Minutes reviewed also show an injury to the back of his neck, a cut on his lip, and an injection mark in his arm, though it is unknown whether the latter injuries happened during an attempt to resuscitate Epstein at the hospital.
Dr. Baden said small burst capillaries, known as petechiae, found on Epstein’s face, mouth, and eyes are often an indication of strangulation. But it was injuries to Epstein’s neck that make Dr. Baden call into question the official ruling of suicide.
Autopsy photos show fractures of the left and right thyroid cartilage, which sits at the front of the neck, and the left hyoid bone, a u-shaped bone that sits under the jaw and acts as an anchor for the tongue. “I have never seen three fractures like this in a suicidal hanging,” Dr. Baden tells Alfonsi on the broadcast. He added: “Going over a thousand jail hangings, suicides in the New York City state prisons over the past 40–50 years, no one had three fractures.”
Dr. Baden remarked that the noose in the autopsy did not match the sound marks on the neck of Epstein, and that the location of the neck wound would logistically be higher under the neck beneath the jaw instead of in the middle of the neck.
The Epstein family doctor, Dr. Baden, has served as New York City’s medical examiner, but was dismissed by Mayor Ed Koch after a year. He has weighed in on other controversial cases, including in the 1995 trial for O.J. Simpson. He says he has performed over 20,000 autopsies over 45 years.
The federal prosecutors have charged the two guards who were on duty overnight when Epstein was found dead, with charges of making false records, conspiring to make false records, and conspiring to defraud the United States. Both have pleaded not guilty.