By Jane M. Orient, M.D., Tucson, AZ, Executive Director, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)
The science of hanging was developed in the 19th century, to make executions more humane, quicker, and less error prone.
The professional executioner was supposed to break the prisoner’s neck swiftly, not have him die slowly by asphyxiation—and without ripping off his head.
For this purpose, the drop table was devised to calculate the length of the rope.
The drop (the distance the culprit was supposed to be in free fall before the noose stopped him) depended on his weight.
For a 200 lb man, a drop of about 5 feet was needed to develop the requisite 1,000 ft-lbs of energy.
“Some bones” in Jeffrey Epstein’s neck were fractured, including the hyoid.
The other bones of the neck are the cervical vertebrae, not so easily broken.
But did the prison bedsheet do it?
Epstein was nearly 6 ft tall.
The upper bunk was less than 7 ft high.
A rope attached there could not have allowed a sufficient drop to break Epstein’s neck, even if he somehow contrived to keep his knees bent.
Could prison bedsheets be fashioned into a rope that could halt the fall of a 200 lb man?
Why not get a 200 lb sandbag and find out?
(New York City’s medical examiner on Friday ruled Jeffrey Epstein’s death a suicide by hanging. The 66-year-old was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell one week ago. Epstein was scheduled to be tried next year on sex trafficking charges involving underage girls. Epstein’s lawyers say they are not satisfied with the medical examiner’s findings, and that they are planning their own investigation. Courtesy of CBS This Evening and YouTube. Posted on Aug 17, 2019.)
People have managed to hang themselves in prison, but I suspect that they died by strangulation.
To assure the credibility of the autopsy, a famous 83-year-old pathologist observed the procedure.
He is most famous for the Warren Report on the assassination of President Kennedy.
Did the Kennedy autopsy miss a fist-sized exit wound in the back of the skull, through which much of the brain was extruded, or were surgeons and nurses who attended JFK at Parkland Memorial Hospital either mistaken or lying?
If one wanted to squelch conspiracy theories, why not videotape the autopsy, and livestream it to several pathologists to guard against alteration or loss of evidence?
So far, questions are multiplying faster than answers.
(A will for Jeffrey Epstein was filed in the Virgin Islands before his death in federal custody. There’s new scrutiny on Epstein’s one-time friend Prince Andrew, as Buckingham Palace seeks to distance the Duke of York from the accused sex trafficker after British media published a video they says shows together in 2010. Courtesy of NBC News and YouTube. Posted on Aug 19, 2019.)