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Following reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide yesterday speculation is rife on social and mainstream media.  So hot on the heels of the Carl Beech case, recently jailed for 18 months having lied through his teeth about a VIP paedophile ring, you’d think people would be more cautious about jumping to conclusions.  Unfortunately not.

Who was Jeffrey Epstein?

Born in 1953, Jeffrey Epstein started out with humble beginnings.  His Jewish parents brought him up in a rented apartment located in Brooklyn.  They were ordinary working class folk.

With a state education and no degree, Epstein became one of America’s most successful financiers and led a luxurious, jet setter lifestyle.  He counted many of the rich and famous among his associates and friends including Prince Andrew Duke of York, Bill Clinton, Ghislaine Maxwell (daughter of Robert Maxwell), Stephen Hawking and President Donald Trump.

You can read all about him here

Fall from grace

In 2005, following a report to the police at Palm Beach, Epstein was interviewed regarding an allegation of sexual assault against a 14 year old teenager. The girl had been talking to a friend whose mother overheard the conversation.  The teenager stated that she’d been paid for having sex with an older man. The concerned mother reported it to the teenager’s mother.

By 2008 the FBI had compiled a dossier comprising 53 pages full of alleged sex crimes.  If Epstein had not taken a plea deal he would have been imprisoned for the remainder of his life.

However, he was only sentenced to 18 months in a country jail (of which he served 13) in a plea detail which caused outrage.  The type of deal he got from the Miami US Attorney’s Office Is called an NPA (Non-prosecution Agreement).  Having pleaded guilty to only two of the charges Epstein, due to the deal, was granted immunity from any further prosecutions in the Southern District of Florida.

Victims were not informed about the deal and it is that flaw that resulted in the deal being investigated.  As a result a District Court judge ruled that it had violated the law.

Sealed court documents to be released

Last month a US appeal court ordered that sealed court documents relating to a 2015 defamation case, filed by one of Epstein’s alleged victims, against Ghislaine Maxwell, be released. Virginia Giuffre, who brought the case, alleged that Maxwell had made defamatory statements about her. However, the initial complaint made by Guiffre alleged that Maxwell had assisted and participated in the sexual abuse she had suffered at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein between 1999 and 2002. In 2017 Maxwell settled the case the night before the trial was due to take place.

In a separate civil action against Epstein, Guiffre alleged that not only had she been sexually abused by Epstein but also by others associated with him. These included academics, personal and professional acquaintances, politicians, businessmen and royalty. This case was also settled out of court in 2009.

Both Epstein and Maxwell have always denied these allegations.

Conspiracy theories

Epstein was arrested on 6 July this year accused of sex trafficking girls between 2002 and 2005.  He was being held without bail in a Manhattan facility.

He was found yesterday in the early hours of the morning with marks on his neck. Information was released to the press that he had hanged himself. Immediately it became public knowledge, the conspiracy theories began as did the politicising of his death.

On social media, particularly Twitter, tweets posted include accusations that Epstein was murdered by Clinton, Trump or others.

The “no smoke without fire” brigade are out in full force having delivered a verdict of guilty as charged, despite Jeffrey Epstein denying all charges against him.

The gossips insinuate that all people named in the released court documents will be petrified due to their “obvious” guilt.

Here is a small selection of today’s newspaper headlines:

Washington Examiner – “This smells very fishy’: Skepticism ensues after shocking Epstein suicide death”

The Daily Express headline – “Prince’s Pal found Dead in Cell”

The Sunday Star – “Andrew’s paedo pal in jail suicide”

The Mail on Sunday – “Andrew faces new Epstein anguish”

So what are these headlines designed to portray?  Guilty by association perhaps? President Trump didn’t help matters when he retweeted a tweet implicating the Clintons in Jeffrey Epstein’s death.

What we can learn from the Jeffrey Epstein case

A person has somehow managed to commit suicide in jail. How did that happen and what changes can be made to prevent it happening again?  If he was murdered as conspiracy theorists assert, how did that occur in a jail?

The naming of alleged perpetrators before they are even interviewed is a massive mistake. If there are false allegations, those named may easily find their lives destroyed as happened in the Carl Beech case.

The media is becoming a virtual Roman Arena throwing people to lions with zero concern that they may be innocent.  And a baying crowd of millions appears happy to play along with it.

Naturally our suggestion would be to have all concerned take lie detector tests.  The polygraph is an investigative tool that helps detectives to establish the truth. It doesn’t work on suppositions, conspiracy theories or gossip and it’s not for entertainment purposes.

If cases ensue against those named in the released court documents how can they possibly be expected to get a fair trial given the media frenzy? How will this help the alleged victims?

More importantly how has our society become so uncivilised? We are better than this.

As always, readers’ comments are welcome.