Federal prosecutors revealed in court on Wednesday that the surveillance footage from outside the jail cell of Jeffrey Epstein during his alleged suicide attempt in July has gone missing.
“Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Swergold admitted nobody can find the footage of the outside of the cell the multimillionaire perv shared with accused quadruple murderer Nick Tartaglione during a hearing in White Plains District Court,” The New York Daily News reported. “Tartaglione, a former Briarcliff Manor cop, faces the death penalty for the alleged murders in a drug deal gone bad.”
“I don’t know the details of how it was lost or destroyed or why it wasn’t retained when it should have been,” Tartaglione lawyer Bruce Barket said in court. “It is on the surface troubling. I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve found out more details.”
Epstein was found in his cell semi-conscious with marks on his neck late in July while he was at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
Two sources told NBC News at the time that they believed that the marks were from an apparent suicide attempt while a third source suggested that Epstein could have staged the attack to get a transfer to another facility.
However, a fourth source told NBC News that “an assault hadn’t been ruled out and that another inmate in Epstein’s unit, identified by sources as Nicholas Tartaglione, had been questioned.”
Epstein was found dead in his jail cell just a couple of weeks later on August 10 in an incident that was ruled a suicide but instantly sparked questions and conspiracy theories about the nature of Epstein’s death.
The New York Post reported on the last words that Epstein told his lawyers before his death:
The convicted pedophile also told his lawyers that the neck injuries he suffered in an earlier incident at the Metropolitan Correctional Center were inflicted by his hulking, ex-cop cellmate, which led the lawyers to request that he be taken off a suicide watch, according to a source familiar with Epstein’s case.
A source told the Post that Epstein told his lawyers that “the cop roughed him up, and that’s why they got him off suicide watch.”
In November, Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer revealed during testimony to the U.S. Senate that the FBI was investigating whether a “criminal enterprise” played a role in Epstein’s death in August.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, asked Sawyer: “With a case this high profile, there has got to be either a major malfunction of the system or criminal enterprise at foot to allow this to happen. So are you looking at both, is the FBI looking at both?”
Sawyer responded: “The FBI is involved and they are looking at criminal enterprise, yes.”
A couple of days later, Attorney General William Barr said in a brief interview with Fox News that he was skeptical about the events surrounding Epstein’s death but that he came to conclude that Epstein’s death was “a perfect storm of screw-ups” after he examined security footage from the night of August incident.