Michael Baden, a former New York City medical examiner and forensic pathologist, said on Fox News Wednesday that Jeffrey Epstein’s death appears to be the result of homicide, not suicide.
A Fox News contributor, Baden was hired by Epstein’s brother to observe the autopsy of the wealthy financier after his death in August. On Fox & Friends Wednesday, Baden cited the breakage of several bones in Epstein’s neck that “are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.”
“I think that the evidence points to homicide rather than suicide,” he said.
Baden’s claims are not new. Two weeks after Epstein, who awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, died in jail on August 10, his lawyers raised concerns about the New York City medical examiner’s conclusion that their client died by suicide. “We are told by a very experienced forensic pathologist that the broken bones in Mr. Epstein’s neck, his larynx, are more consistent with external pressure, with strangulation, with homicide if you will, than with suicide,” Epstein’s lawyer Martin Weinberg said in court on August 27.
It was known at the time that Baden had observed the Epstein autopsy, but his name wasn’t attached to Epstein’s lawyer’s claim. It’s unclear why, two months later, Baden has gone on TV to reassert the claim that Epstein did not kill himself.
Baden is not alone in thinking that Epstein’s injuries raise questions about how he died. The hyoid bone in particular has drawn the most attention because it is often broken during strangulation, not suicide. In August, Jonathan Arden, the president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, told the Washington Post that a broken hyoid bone “would generally raise questions about strangulation, but it is not definitive and does not exclude suicidal hanging.”
But the focus on Epstein’s hyoid bone has also drawn criticism, in part because older people are likelier to break their hyoids in a hanging. Also, the presence of several broken bones in Epstein’s neck is more consistent with suicide than strangulation, several experts told CNN. As one surgeon told the network, a broken hyoid is “meaningless.”