A Hangman’s View of Jeffrey Epstein’s Neck

New York City’s medical examiner ruled Jeffrey Epstein’s death a suicide by hanging, but questions are multiplying faster than answers. (Courtesy of YouTube and Facebook)
New York City’s medical examiner ruled Jeffrey Epstein’s death a suicide by hanging, but questions are multiplying faster than answers. (Courtesy of YouTube and Facebook)

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.

The Official Table of Drops (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
The Official Table of Drops (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

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?

Gallows in Delaware were removed in 2003.(Courtesy of the Department of Corrections, Smyrna, Delaware, 1991.)
Gallows in Delaware were removed in 2003.(Courtesy of the Department of Corrections, Smyrna, Delaware, 1991.)

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.

President John F. Kennedy motorcade, Dallas, Texas, Friday, November 22, 1963. Also in the presidential limousine are Jackie Kennedy, Texas Governor John Connally and his wife, Nellie. (Courtesy of Wikipedia, and the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division.)
President John F. Kennedy motorcade, Dallas, Texas, Friday, November 22, 1963. Also in the presidential limousine are Jackie Kennedy, Texas Governor John Connally and his wife, Nellie. (Courtesy of Wikipedia, and the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division.)

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.)

About the Author

Jane M. Orient, M.D., has appeared on major television and radio networks in the U.S. speaking about issues related to healthcare reform. She is executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a voice for patients’ and physicians’ independence since 1943.

She is also president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness and chairman of the Public Health Committee of the Pima County (Arizona) Medical Society.

Dr. Orient is editor of AAPS News, the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Newsletter, and Civil Defense Perspectives, and is managing editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Jane M. Orient, M.D. is executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness.
Jane M. Orient, M.D. is executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness

Dr. Jane Orient has been in solo practice of general internal medicine in Tucson since 1981 and is a clinical lecturer in medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

She received her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

After completing her internal medicine residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital and University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals, Dr. Orient became an Instructor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a staff physician at the Tucson Veterans Administration Hospital.

Dr. Orient is the author of Your Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Health Care, published by Crown; the second through fourth editions of Sapira’s Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis, published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; and Sutton’s Law, a novel about where the money is in medicine today.

She has also authored a series of books for schoolchildren, Professor Klugimkopf’s Old-Fashioned English Grammar and Professor Klugimkopf’s Spelling Method, published by Robinson Books, and coauthored two novels published as Kindle books, Neomorts and Moonshine.

Dr. Orient’s op-eds have been published in hundreds of local and national newspapers, magazines, internet, followed on major blogs and covered in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

More than 100 of her papers have been published in the scientific and popular literature on a variety of subjects including risk assessment, natural and technological hazards and non-hazards, and medical economics and ethics.