Death of Jeffrey Epstein, chaotic aftermath at the New York City prison is illuminated in new records: report

New records have reportedly revealed fresh insight into the circumstances surrounding the 2019 death of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, as well as the aftermath.

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

New records obtained nearly four years after the death of Jeffrey Epstein have reportedly shed light on the disgraced financier’s final moments and what came after. 

Thousands of pages of documents were released to The Associated Press from the Federal Bureau of Prisons under the Freedom of Information Act. 

The agency said Friday that they included a detailed psychological reconstruction of the events that transpired before the billionaire’s suicide, as well as his health history, internal agency reports, emails, memos and other records. 


Jeffrey Epstein

This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry, shows Jeffrey Epstein. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)

Furthermore, the report on the release said records help to quash conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein’s death – as well as reveal how failings at the Bureau of Prisons may have contributed to it. 

A spokesperson for the bureau told Fox News Digital in an email on Friday that it has no further information to provide.

Epstein, 66, died on Aug. 10, 2019, after being arrested on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges the month before. 

He was found unresponsive in his cell at the now-closed Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. The closure was announced in the summer of 2021, and inmates were transferred out later that year, according to WNBC. 

Two weeks before his suicide, reports stated, the internet entrepreneur sat in the corner of his cell with his hands over his ears. A toilet in his cell would not stop running. 

Records said jail officials observed he was unable to sleep and was agitated, calling himself a “coward” and complaining that he was struggling to adapt to life there.

Photo of the Metropolitan Correctional Center

The Metropolitan Correctional Center, which is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, stands in Lower Manhattan on Nov. 19, 2019 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

At the time of a suicide attempt days earlier, Epstein was under psychological observation. However, after more than 30 hours on suicide watch, he reportedly insisted he was not suicidal. He told a jail psychologist that he had a “wonderful life” and “would be crazy” to end it, the records added. 

Emails showed a prosecutor in Epstein’s criminal case complained about a lack of information from the bureau in the hours after his death. Another email from a high-ranking bureau official made a suggestion to the agency’s director that news reporters must have been paying jail employees for information about Epstein’s death because they were reporting details of the agency’s failings.

The Associated Press also said documents showed Epstein had attempted to reach out to Larry Nassar, the U.S. gymnastics team doctor convicted of sexually abusing scores of athletes. The letter was found returned to sender in the jail’s mail room after Epstein’s death.

A memo from a unit manager said Epstein told a jail employee that he was calling his mother the night before his death, excusing himself from a meeting with his lawyers. However, his mother had been dead for 15 years.

Epstein arrived at the facility on July 6, 2019, spending almost 24 hours in the jail’s general population before being moved to the special housing unit “due to the significant increase in media coverage and awareness of his notoriety among the inmate population,” according to the psychological reconstruction of his death.

He said he was upset about having to wear an orange jumpsuit provided to inmates in the special housing unit and requested a brown uniform for frequent visits with his lawyers.


A sign for the Metropolitan Correctional Center

The Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Jeffrey Epstein has been held since his arrest, stands in New York on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. (Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

During a health screening, he said he had more than 10 female sexual partners within the previous five years, and records reportedly showed he was suffering from sleep apnea, constipation, hypertension, lower back pain and prediabetes – and was previously treated for Chlamydia.

Two days before Epstein was found dead, he bought $73.85 worth of items from the prison commissary, including an AM/FM radio and headphones. 

The agency said Epstein’s outlook had worsened when a judge denied him bail on July 18. If convicted, he would face as many as 45 years in prison. 

He was subsequently found on the floor of his cell with a strip of bedsheets around his neck – but survived. 

Jail officers noted in logs that they had observed him “sitting at the edge of the bed, lost in thought,” as well as sitting “with his head against the wall.”

The day before he ended his life, a federal judge unsealed about 2,000 pages of documents in a sexual abuse lawsuit against him. 

That and a lack of significant interpersonal connections and “the idea of potentially spending his life in prison were likely factors contributing to Mr. Epstein’s suicide,” officials wrote.

Martin Weinberg, Epstein’s lawyer, told The Associated Press Thursday that conditions at the facility were “medieval.” 

“It’s sad, it’s tragic, that it took this kind of event to finally cause the Bureau of Prisons to close this regrettable institution,” he remarked. 

“In an effort to address the issues at MCC NY as quickly and efficiently as possible, the Department has decided to close the MCC, at least temporarily, until those issues have been resolved,” the Justice Department said in 2021.


An internal memo sent after Epstein’s death placed blame on “seriously reduced staffing levels, improper or lack of training and follow up and oversight” and also revealed steps the bureau has taken to fix issues Epstein’s suicide had exposed.

Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, who were guarding Epstein the night he committed suicide, were charged with lying on prison records to make it seem as though they had made their required checks before Epstein was found. Epstein’s cellmate did not return after a court hearing the day before, leaving him alone in the cell.

Prosecutors alleged the guards were sitting at their desks just 15 feet from Epstein’s cell, shopped online for furniture and motorcycles and walked around the unit’s common area instead of making required rounds every 30 minutes. For two hours, both appeared to have been asleep, according to their indictment. 

Noel and Thomas admitted to falsifying the log entries but avoided jail time under a deal with federal prosecutors. Copies of some of those logs were included in the documents released Thursday. The Associated Press said their signatures were redacted.

Another investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general is still ongoing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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