The death of wealthy financier and alleged child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein will be studied for years to come, and for good reason.
Epstein has been linked to a global pedophile ring on several occasions over the course of the last few years, most notably when he skated on incredibly damning charges of such behavior back in 2008. Those allegations reared their ugly head again in 2019 after the socialite was arrested on charges of child sex trafficking and conspiracy, only to die of a supposed suicide in one of the world’s most secure prisons in New York City.
That suicide has spawned a number of conspiracy theories, thanks in no small part to the dubious behavior of his guards during his final days.
One of the latest bits of information regarding his death also cast a suspicious pall on the suicide claim after it was revealed by several medical professionals that one particular injury to Epstein was said to occur more often during strangulation than hanging.
Now the medical examiner in charge of Epstein’s autopsy is issuing a frantic statement designed to mitigate the doubt of the previous reporting.
On Thursday, the Washington Post published an immediately viral report, in which two sources said the autopsy of dead pedophile and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein showed he had sustained a broken hyoid bone in his neck when he died. A broken hyoid, the Post reported, is “more common in victims of homicide by strangulation” than it is in suicidal hanging. Predictably, given the conspiracy theories already swirling around Epstein’s death, everyone lost their minds. But on Friday, the medical expert quoted in the story issued a statement clarifying—again—that it’s entirely possible to break the hyoid in a hanging, especially among older men.
The framing of the Post story claimed that the broken hyoid bone, a U-shaped bone located near the Adam’s apple in men, was “deepening” the questions around Epstein’s death. While it made sure to note that hyoids can also be broken in hangings, it was still, at its heart, a cautious and respectable way to float a conspiracy theory. The sole medical expert quoted was Jonathan L. Arden, the president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, who wasn’t involved in the Epstein autopsy. As everyone on Twitter became an expert on broken neck bones, Arden issued a clarification, reported by Oliver Darcy of CNN, stating that broken hyoids are “well recognized also to occur in suicidal hangings.”
The hyoid bone was only a small piece of the puzzle, however, with many doubters pointing out that the mishandling of the world’s most infamous inmate is still a subject worth exploring.
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