New details about the official determination that Jeffrey Epstein committed “suicide” by “hanging” were revealed on Wednesday by a medical doctor who observed Epstein’s August 11 autopsy.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, who was hired by Epstein’s brother Mark Epstein to independently investigate the incident, said the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on the dead sex offender’s body did not personally sign off on the ultimate finding that Epstein killed himself.
Baden made the shocking claim during a Wednesday interview with Law&Crime Network hosts Linda Kenney Baden (Dr. Baden’s wife) and Brian Ross.
“So, the official finding that it was a suicide came from your old office–the New York City Medical Examiner–you’re up against them now?” Ross asked the 50-plus-year veteran of medicine.
“Well, I have a difference of opinion,” Baden said. “It looks like. Now, we don’t have all the information. The problem is once a death is classified as a suicide, that’s the end of the investigation.”
Ross followed up, asking, “And the person who did the classification was the person who conducted the autopsy?”
To which Baden replied:
No. The person who conducted the autopsy in my presence did not think there was enough information at that time to call it a suicide. … So, she put down “Pending Further Study,” meaning pending further investigations. All those investigations–getting information from the wardens, from the inmates, getting DNA from the ligature, as to who was handling the ligature–stop [the investigations] stop if it turns out to be a suicide. And one of the things that Mark, Jeffrey’s brother, was trying to get is: Why did the medical examiner’s officer change from “pending investigation” to [suicide]? They must have received some kind of additional information not present at the autopsy.
Ross interjected: “And who made that determination?”
“The chief medical examiner,” Baden said.
“So, not the person who actually conducted the autopsy?” Ross asked. “That’s correct,” Baden confirmed.
“[They] kicked it upstairs…” Ross mused.
Baden noted that “the chief medical examiner can make the decision.”
Ross pressed, “But it wasn’t present from what you saw in the autopsy?”
“That’s correct,” Baden said. “It required a lot more investigation before one can call it a suicide and there has to be additional information like a video of him hanging himself but we don’t know what the FBI did and, of course, whose DNA is on the ligature. The medical examiner was very good before starting the autopsy in my presence. Swabbed the clothes that were on him so they could look for various DNA. But we don’t know what happened to the critical ligature that was left on the scene when it was cut off the body.”
Baden also reiterated his opinion that Epstein’s autopsy evidence supports a finding that his death was more like due to a homicide rather than suicide. A previously unreleased photograph from that autopsy shows three critical fractures in Epstein’s neck which Baden said were exceedingly uncommon in a suicide via self-strangulation.
“To have one fracture is unusual.” Baden said. “To have two is rare, I’ve never seen three fractures in a suicidal hanging.”
“In 50 years you’ve never seen three fractures in a suicide?” Kenney Baden asked. “That would indicate it’s a homicide then?”
Baden demurred, saying all the information wasn’t out yet and that maybe federal investigators were simply holding back on releasing additional evidence that supports a finding of suicide. What’s publicly known so far, however, doesn’t have the storied forensic pathologist convinced.
[Image via Law&Crime Network]