It’s like “Groundhog Day,” if “Groundhog Day” had been the ship that launched a million conspiracy theories.
In yet another example of bumbling incompetence straight out of a Keystone Kops short, the surveillance footage from outside of Jeffrey Epstein’s cell during his first alleged suicide attempt has vanished.
If you’ve forgotten the series of events surrounding the mysterious death of the mysterious financier and degenerate/sex trafficker/ephebophile, he’d apparently tried to kill himself one month before he supposedly did hang himself.
On July 23, Epstein was found injured in the cell he shared with Nick Tartaglione at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in the New York City borough of Manhattan.
According to the New York Daily News, Epstein claimed he was attacked by Tartaglione, a former cop who’s facing the death penalty for four alleged murders. Tartaglione, meanwhile, says he saved Epstein’s life when the financier tried to hang himself.
The distinction is important given the fact that Epstein was eventually taken off suicide watch, which allowed him to be alone in a cell where he was mostly unsupervised. A few days after he was taken off suicide watch, he was found dead of hanging.
Given the situation, it’d probably be wise to figure out what happened during the first alleged suicide attempt, particularly given the ambiguity surrounding the role that Tartaglione played. Clearly, the video from outside Epstein’s cell would be crucial in determining what happened.
Hey, guess what prosecutors just announced they can’t find?
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Swergold told a judge Wednesday that the footage from the night of the incident can’t be located by anyone.
Whoops! Sorry about that, guys.
“I don’t know the details of how it was lost or destroyed or why it wasn’t retained when it should have been,” Tartaglione lawyer Bruce Barket told the New York Post.
“We want to be sure that all the evidence is preserved to show that Nick behaved appropriately and even admirably that evening,” Barket said.
“We asked for all the video and photographic evidence to be preserved, specifically this surveillance video,” he said. “Now it’s gone.”
Barket also said Tartaglione has never been questioned about Epstein’s suicide.
“It is on the surface troubling,” Barket said of the missing video. “I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve found out more details.”
This isn’t particularly unusual for the Epstein case, sadly. The most infamous prisoner in the Metropolitan Correctional Facility was put on suicide watch after the July 23 incident. He was taken off suicide watch. Guards who were supposed to check on him didn’t, then falsified records saying that they did. Not one but two of the cameras that were supposed to be recording outside of Epstein’s cell weren’t.
And now we have footage from his first suicide attempt that’s disappeared, either because it was lost or because someone wanted it to be lost.
I don’t mean to sound conspiratorial here, but the incompetence at the Metropolitan Correctional Facility is staggering. How much of this is just garden-variety incompetence and how much of this is people covering up their incompetence and passing it off as being even more incompetent is an important question here, particularly in regard to how one of the most important prisoners in the United States — a man with connections to many of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world — was being protected from himself and others.
You don’t have to believe that Jeffrey Epstein was in danger from outside forces to realize this was arguably the world’s most famous pedophile, and pedophiles usually don’t get the best of treatment behind bars.
This evidence isn’t trivial for Tartaglione, either; he might use it in the death penalty phase of his trial to prove good character, should he be convicted. The ex-cop doesn’t sound like a particularly swell gentleman, at least judging by the filings in his case. However, he’s still entitled to defend himself using the evidence that should be available to him.
It doesn’t help his cause to have the accusation that he attacked Epstein hanging over his head. It also wouldn’t hurt to have evidence he helped Epstein if he was trying to kill himself.
Whatever the case, it’s yet another sign the people at the Metropolitan Correctional Center couldn’t do their jobs. If they did, Jeffrey Epstein would be alive today. There wouldn’t be any conspiracy theories regarding his death. Most importantly, he’d still be alive to potentially give testimony many would find uncomfortable.
Instead, we’re treated to yet another example of just how inept his jailers were.
“Groundhog Day,” indeed.
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