Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein's Autopsy More Consistent with Homicidal Strangulation than Suicide, Doctor Says

EpsteinDr. Michael Baden, a former New York City medical examiner who has worked on high-profile cases during a five-decade medical career including Aaron Hernandez and Martin Luther King Jr., has said that disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy is consistent with homicide. The forensic pathologic made the announcement during an interview with Fox & Friends on Wednesday.

Baden was hired by Epstein's brother after it was officially determined that Epstein had killed himself in his jail cell. The doctor noted that the 66-year-old Epstein had two fractures on the left and right sides of his larynx, specifically the thyroid cartilage or Adam’s apple, as well as one fracture on the left hyoid bone above the Adam’s apple. He said those fractures are "extremely unusual in suicidal hangings" but "much more common in homicidal strangulations." He said during his 50 year career he has never seen those fractures personally in a suicidal hanging.

Baden's results are not conclusive, however, he also added that Epstein had hemorrhages in his eyes that were common in homicidal strangulation and uncommon, though not unheard of, in suicidal hangings. He also said the ligature, or the instrument used to strangle or hang a person, should be tested to see if there is any other person's DNA on it.

New York City Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson ruled Epstein’s cause of death to be a suicide by hanging and is standing by her findings.

See Melissa Leon, Jeffrey Epstein's Autopsy More Consistent with Homicidal Strangulation than Suicide, Dr. Michael Baden Reveals, Fox News, October 30, 2019.


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