Jeffrey Epstein: Does Hanging Mean Suicide?

Jeffrey Epstein’s so-called suicide made me review the autopsy findings of people who die from suffocation as opposed to people who choke to death. The latter is considered strangulation.

Hangings are the second most common cause of suicides next to gunshot wounds. It’s fair to say most can understand why a man in Epstein’s situation might want to escape life. He was at high risk for suicide.

However, Epstein was no ordinary pedophile. He ran with the ‘elite.’ Some were accomplices or clients in his pedophile ring. A few are now defendants in civil suits for forcing underage minors, some as young as 13-14 years old, to have sex while at Epstein’s home.

Over the weekend, a New York Times article dismissed the notion of Epstein’s death being a homicide as an unfounded conspiracy. Most traditional media joined arms to rule-out murder as a cause of death. While downplaying the possibility of foul play, the mainstream media pushed the suicide narrative.

Hundreds, maybe thousands (we don’t know as such data is not accessible and probably was not tracked) of Black people died from hangings. Those were not suicides but rather lynchings committed by white nationalists KKK groups.  Besides, public hangings were once a form of capital punishment. So isn’t it possibly Epstein was lynched or forced to put a noose around his neck?

What about the context in which in his death occurred? The guards did not check on him for three hours and fell asleep. How often does that happen in a high profile case? Moreover, there was a substitute guard on duty that night. Coincidence or not?

I don’t have access to the official autopsy report, Reuters reported the finding of multiple neck fractures. In general, autopsy findings of suicide hanging show scarcely any evidence of internal neck injuries, yet Epstein had several neck fractures including a fracture of the hyoid bone. Hyoid bone fractures occur in 50% of strangulations and 27% of hangings.

A “hangman’s fracture” that leads to decapitation occurs when a person drops from a height that is equal to or greater than the height of the person. That causes the second cervical vertebrae to fracture.

The neck has various anatomical structures that collapse at different pressures.  As per the NIH:

  • Jugular veins collapse under 4.4 lbs of pressure
  • Carotid arteries collapse under 5.5-22 lbs of pressure.
  • The vertebral arteries collapse under 18-66 lbs of pressure.
  • The trachea collapses under 33 lbs of pressure.
  • The cricoid cartilage fractures under 45 lbs of pressure.

People who die from hanging themselves using die from complications after the collapse of the jugular vein and carotid arteries. So why is the media convinced Jeffrey Epstein’s death was suicide if he had internal neck fractures that are more common in choking strangulations?

1.  Death by Strangulation by Dr. Dean Hawley

2.  Jeffrey Epstein autopsy report shows broken neck: sources

3.  Strangulation Injuries



Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

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