Well-connected financier, convicted sex trafficker and pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein, has reportedly died from a suicide, raising strong suspicion of foul play by the rich and powerful people in his ring.
Epstein allegedly hanged himself in his cell at the Manhattan Correctional Center early Saturday morning, despite previous reports that he was under suicide watch after a possible suicide attempt last month in his New York jail cell.
He had been indicted on several charges of exploiting underage girls, sex trafficking, and other crimes related to activities that took place between 2002 and 2005 in several different locations.
His death follows the unsealing of 2,000 pages of documents on Friday that linked many rich and powerful people to Epstein's alleged sex trafficking ring and illegal sexual activities.
Some analysts expressed suspicion around the circumstances of his death, noting Epstein's untimely death to be a convenient incident for those high-profile individuals included among his friends.
The 66-year-old, who had befriended numerous celebrities and politicians -- including Donald Trump -- faced up to 45 years in prison if he had remained alive and was convicted.
Prosecutors said Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage teenagers, some as young as 14 years old, at his homes in New York, Palm Beach, and his private island in the Bahamas.
American academic and analyst James Fetzer says Epstein's death while in custody was "perhaps the least surprising, most predictable event in recent political times."
"If this was a bona fide suicide, as opposed to a murder -- one way or another -- his death was highly predictable," according to Fetzer in an interview on Saturday. "I think they [Epstein's handlers] hoped to evade the more serious ramifications," Fetzer told Press TV .
Reactions in social media suggested foul play surrounding Epstein's reported suicide.
Penelope Mace: “Probably murdered -- a good assassin knows how to make it look like suicide or whatever the consumer requests it look like.”
Maria Nikolakaki: “Not convinced he is dead. He was alive when he left jail."
The last report of an attempted suicide by Epstein included a claim that a fellow inmate, Nicholas Tartaglione, had attempted to murder him. Tartaglione on is currently awaiting trial on four charges of murder over a drug deal gone bad. He is a former police officer who was the constant target of criticism by a gadfly in Westchester County, NY named Clay Tiffany.
Recent reports included a claim that Tartaglione was threatened with execution by the US Attorney's office. Such an execution in the New York Southern District would be the first since the Rosenbergs were electrocuted in 1953. There was also a recent report that Tartaglione was found in possession of a cell phone in prison, which is illegal. These things have led to speculation that perhaps someone in power was attempting to use Tartaglione to kill Epstein.