Continue Reading Below
“Something doesn’t fit here,” the former Democratic candidate for president said Thursday at an unrelated press conference.
De Blasio was responding to a question about forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden’s Wednesday announcement that Epstein’s injuries were more consistent with murder than suicide.
Baden’s determination hinged on two bone fractures in Epstein's larynx, in the area of the Adam’s apple, and a third break on the bone above the Adam’s apple, the former New York City medical examiner told “Fox & Friends.”
“Those three fractures are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation,” Baden said. “I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging case.”
In July, Epstein -- who was reportedly worth more than $550 million -- was charged in the Southern District of New York with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy.
In the early hours of August 10, his body was found inside his Metropolitan Correctional Center jail cell in lower Manhattan, hanging from strips of orange bed sheets, Baden said. Just weeks prior to his death, he was discovered semiconscious, sprawled out in his cell with injuries to his neck.
Authorities never determined whether the earlier incident was a botched suicide attempt, or if Epstein had been attacked by another inmate. He was placed on suicide watch following the incident but taken off shortly before his death.
Baden, who is a Fox News contributor, was hired by Epstein’s brother to investigate the multimillionaire’s death further. He was in the examination room when the autopsy was performed, he said.
New York City’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson, who made the initial determination that Epstein had died from suicide by hanging, stood by her findings in a statement Wednesday.
“We continue to share information around the medical investigation with Mr. Epstein's family, their representatives, and their pathology consultant,” she said in the statement. “The original medical investigation was thorough and complete. There is no reason for a second medical investigation by our office."
On Thursday, de Blasio said Epstein’s death “doesn’t make sense,” considering he was “the highest-profile prisoner in America.”
“I want to understand -- I think everyone wants to understand -- what really happened,” he said. “I don’t know what the nature of the death was, I just know it should never have happened, and we still don’t have a good answer.”
Avery Cohen, deputy press secretary for de Blasio’s office, said the mayor isn't questioning Sampson.
“As the mayor said himself, there are outstanding questions surrounding how closely Epstein was surveilled while in custody,” Cohen said. “We hope the pending federal investigation sheds light on these concerns.”
Though the criminal case against Epstein was dismissed following his death, authorities are still investigating potential co-conspirators and several accusers have filed civil lawsuits against the financier’s estate.
One of his associates, Ghislaine Maxwell, reportedly attended billionaire tech Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' hush-hush book retreat, called Campfire, in 2018, according to VICE's Motherboard.
The Big Apple mayor’s comments were made the same day Comedy Central late-night talk show host Trevor Noah interviewed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, and her daughter, Chelsea.
“Hillary, I have to ask you a question that’s been plaguing me for a while,” Noah asked, just over six minutes into the 24-minute interview. “How did you kill Jeffrey Epstein?”
Clinton, who ran against President Trump in 2016 election and lost, joined the audience members in laughing but did not respond before Noah continued. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, flew on Epstein's private jet and once reportedly described him as a "highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist."
Trump also knew Epstein, describing him to New York magazine in a 2002 article as a "terrific guy."
Meanwhile, reporters from We Are Change – which is described on its website as a “nonpartisan, independent media organization comprised of individuals and groups working to expose corruption worldwide” – shared a video of what they say is Epstein’s island, Little St. James.
In the 19-minute video, which is shared on WeAreChange’s Youtube channel, journalists Luke Rudkowski and Jeff Berwick are seen walking – and sometimes running – around the island.
“This is someone that was extremely powerfully connected to presidents, prime ministers, royalty and was able to evade law enforcement for some of the worst, despicable acts in this world,” Rudkowski says in the video.
The footage shows the vast property, including a large, painted temple-like building, a room that appears to be an office -- with files and equipment still located inside -- and, according to the Daily Mail, underground spaces, massage rooms and trick doors.