'Filthy Rich' on Netflix: Who Performed the Autopsy on Jeffrey Epstein?

Jeffrey Epstein's death in his jail cell on August 10, 2019, almost instantly became the source of a number of conspiracy theories, leading many to pore over the details from the coroner's report and autopsy. The release of Netflix documentary about the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich has brought the details of the life and death of the sex offender to an even wider audience.

In part, the conspiracy theories around Epstein's death come from the different interpretations made of the autopsy by the medical examiner and the pathologist hired by the Epstein family.

This autopsy was performed by the office of the New York City chief medical examiner, which found that Epstein's cause of death was suicide by hanging, with The Washington Post reporting that the report found that Epstein had suffered multiple breaks in his neck bones.

Among the broken bones was the hyoid, a bone close to the Adam's apple that can both be broken in a self-inflicted hanging, particularly in older people, but can also be broken during strangulation.

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A forensic pathologist hired by Jeffrey Epstein's brother has questioned the findings of the official autopsy Getty

The breaking of this bone led to Dr. Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist hired by Epstein's brother who observed the autopsy, to form a different conclusion. Speaking on Fox & Friends, Baden (who appears in Filthy Rich) said that breakages of this bone, "are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation."

He later added: "I think that the evidence points to homicide rather than suicide."

In response to this claim, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson released a statement saying: "Our investigation concluded that the cause of Mr. Epstein's death was hanging and the manner of death was suicide. We stand by that determination."

She continued: "We continue to share information around the medical investigation with Mr. Epstein's family, their representatives, and their pathology consultant. The original medical investigation was thorough and complete. There is no reason for a second medical investigation by our office."

CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained on the news site: "In strangulation, while you can break the hyoid bone, it is less likely to actually break bones in the neck. By hanging, someone can break both the hyoid bone and other bones in the neck. None of these factors in isolation give you a complete story."

In January, 2020, however, when images from the scene of Epstein's death were released, Baden raised more speculations about the official finding. He told America's Newsroom: "I think the important thing is to find out what was seen when the guards first went into the cell. Was he hanging? Was he on the ground? As some people reported when he was found...the removal of the body destroyed a lot of the forensic evidence."

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich is streaming now on Netflix.