Surveillance footage from outside notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell during his first alleged suicide attempt in July has been deleted, concluding a comedy of errors that saw the video first lost, then found.
Video from outside the deceased financier’s cell, on the day he was found semi-conscious on the floor with marks on his neck, believed to have attempted suicide, has been permanently deleted by Metropolitan Correctional Center, according to a court filing. The jail allegedly saved video from the wrong tier of the facility. A backup system that should have retained the deleted footage stopped functioning in August, and the video no longer exists there either due to “technical errors,” prosecutors claimed. It is the latest in a long series of “mistakes” and anomalies surrounding the convicted sex offender’s death.
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The footage had a complicated journey before its final meeting with oblivion, if media reports are to be believed. Prosecutors claimed to have “found” the video on December 19, a day after a prosecutor said it had gone missing during a hearing. When it was found, it was said to have been properly preserved by MCC staff. The footage had been requested by attorneys for Epstein’s former cellmate, a burly ex-cop named Nicholas Tartaglione, accused of killing four people in a drug deal gone bad and burying them in his backyard.
They asked to see the tape in the hope of obtaining a more lenient sentence for Tartaglione, after he claimed he had helped save Epstein’s life – only to be stonewalled for nearly five months.
Epstein allegedly attempted suicide on July 23, only to be saved by Tartaglione. Just two days later, Tartaglione’s attorneys asked to see the surveillance footage, only to be “told that it was not retained,” one lawyer recalled to CNBC. It’s not clear why this went unremarked-upon for five months or where the footage was ultimately found.
Crucially, it appears the footage was still in limbo when Epstein was found dead on the morning of August 10. His death was ruled a suicide, though a celebrity pathologist hired by his family claimed his body showed evidence of homicidal strangulation and witnesses heard “shrieking and yelling” coming from his cell that morning.
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Epstein’s death – the first ‘suicide’ inside the MCC in decades – remains shrouded in mystery. Two guards have been charged with negligence for failing to check on their infamous prisoner for hours, and surveillance video from that day was deemed “unusable.” Revelations that Epstein had compromising material on many of his powerful friends gave rise to numerous alternate theories about his death.
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