Who was Jeffrey Epstein? The unanswered questions about the paedo banker

JEFFREY Epstein was found dead in his prison cell after committing suicide on August 9 while awaiting trial for child sex trafficking,

The wealthy financier, 66, was a convicted child sex offender, who socialised with high profile celebrities.

Jeffrey Epstein at the launch of Radar magazine in New York in May 2005
Rex Features

Who was Jeffrey Epstein?

Jeffrey Epstein was an American financier and convicted child sex offender.

The 66-year-old was born in Brooklyn, New York City, and grew up on Coney Island.

The wealthy banker socialised with a lot of rich and powerful people including Prince Andrew, Donald Trump and the Clintons.

Epstein was believed to have kept a secret diary detailing his friendships with celebs as an “insurance policy”.

In 2008, he was jailed for 18 months in Florida after being guilty of prostitution charges including soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Epstein cut a sweetheart deal with prosecutors which meant he paid compensation to his victims and registered as a sex offender.

However, the hedge fund manager only served 13 months.

L-R: Donald Trump with is future wife Melania Knauss, Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida in 2000
Getty – Contributor

What was Jeffrey Epstein’s cause of death?

Epstein’s death came two weeks after he was placed on suicide watch when he was found nearly unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck.

Law enforcement officials confirmed on August 10 he had taken his own life at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, which is where he had been held without bail pending trial on child sex-trafficking charges.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr Barbara Sampson announced on August 16 that the death was a “suicide”.

She said she made the determination “after careful review of all investigative information, including complete autopsy findings”.

Epstein’s autopsy revealed that the financier had multiple broken neck bones, often consistent with strangulation.

During his autopsy, Epstein was found to have broken his hyoid bone, which is near the Adam’s apple in men, according to the Washington Post.

Although hyoid breaks can occur during a hanging, experts told the paper the fracture is more common in strangulation victims.

Who were his powerful friends?

His friendship with Prince Andrew dates back to the early 1990s and the pair were reportedly seen partying together in St Tropez and Thailand.

Buckingham Palace strongly denied the allegation in 2015 saying “any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors” by the Duke was “categorically untrue”.

It has consistently denied the allegations, reinforcing that statement earlier this year by saying “Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.

“It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”

Prince Andrew added: “At no stage during the limited time I spent with [Epstein] did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.”

All the allegations about Prince Andrew were struck from the court record in 2015.

They were described by the judge as being “immaterial and impertinent”.

Trump has referred to Epstein as a “terrific guy” and “a lot of fun to be with” in the past – but has since said “I was not a fan of his” following his arrest in July.

Epstein visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, on two occasions, in 1997 and 2000.

Flight logs have revealed former US president Bill Clinton also took a number of flights on a plane owned by Epstein.

What has been revealed in the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary?

The Dispatches programme The Prince and the Paedophile, which airs on October 21 at 10pm, examines the relationship between Prince Andrew and Epstein.

Reporter Cathy Newman looks at Epstein’s British connections from Prince Andrew to Ghislaine Maxwell.

Private investigator Mike Fisten has already claimed that Epstein had 13 telephone numbers to contact the Queen’s second son on.

Reporter Cathy Newman investigates in the Dispatches documentary
PA:Press Association

A telephone contact book was found in Epstein’s Palm Beach home that is said to have included a line for the Duke of York at Buckingham Palace.

Fisten said: “You could take for instance, if looking at the section in London, you could pick out, the Duke of York, which is Prince Andrew. And when you look at that, under Duke of York it shows Buckingham Palace, London.

“He has thirteen phone number to contact the Duke. And [these numbers went everywhere], Wood Farm, Sunninghill Wood Farm, Sunninghill numbers, the Palace, his home number, his home email. He even had a phone number to his modem, I guess to call into his modem.”

The programme also looks at 1,200 pages of documents about Epstein’s behaviour that were made public in a courtroom in Manhattan.

What happens to the Jeffrey Epstein case now he is dead?

Jeffrey Epstein obviously cannot go on trial, and nor can he testify against his associates.

But other people involved in the sex scandal could still find themselves in court, depending on what investigators find in Epstein’s mansions and who testifies against them.

What was Jeffrey Epstein charged with in 2008?

In March 2005 a woman contacted the Palm Beach Police Department in Florida and alleged her 14-year-old stepdaughter had been taken to Epstein’s mansion by an older girl.

There she was said to have been paid $300 to strip and massage Epstein.

Cops began an undercover investigation and also searched his home. The FBI also became involved in the case.

During the investigation they interviewed five of the alleged victims and found that some of the girls had been under 18.

Papers filed in 2006 were also said to contain allegations Epstein had installed concealed cameras on his property to record sexual activity with underage girls by prominent people as a possible means of blackmail.

A plea deal was eventually agreed and Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges, registered as a sex offender and paid restitution to three dozen victims identified by the FBI.

He pleaded guilty in June 2008 to a single charge of soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14.

Epstein bought Little St James Island, in the US Virgin Islands as a private sanctuary
AP:Associated Press

What’s Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘paedo island’?

Epstein’s private Caribbean island has become the centre of a sex trafficking probe against him, amid claims underage girls were used as sex slaves and repeatedly abused inside a temple.

The billionaire bought the island of Little St James more than two decades ago – transforming it into a high-security private oasis, complete with a mansion and a bizarre blue and white gold-domed structure.

To date, the island has remained Epstein’s main residence, but has been shrouded in mystery.

It’s high security, secluded location and locally-known moniker as “Paedophile Island” has given rise to more sinister theories about its use.

Neighbouring islander Kevin Goodrich, who operates boat charters from nearby St Thomas, said: “Everybody called it ‘Paedophile Island’ … It’s our dark corner.”

Epstein set about building an enormous stone mansion with cream-coloured walls and a bright turquoise roof surrounded by a maids’ quarters.

Years later, and on the other southwest edge of the island, he built a square-shaped blue and white building resembling a religious temple, topped with a gold dome.

Many have speculated that the child sex abuse Epstein has been accused of may have occurred in this secluded space.

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