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This sounds too convenient. If this was a suicide and not anything more sinister, this is gross negligence by prison authorities. It was their solemn duty and responsibility to see this person face trial.

This will only inflame conspiracy theory minded people to believe there is a vast conspiracy by the powerful to protect themselves.

This is depressing. I’m yet hopeful evidence will be used to bring guilty parties to justice. This wasn’t just mr Epstein.


I am not a lawyer, but @klasfeldreports on twitter quotes an unnamed legal source who says:

"Background: An important note after Epstein's death: no one else will have standing to challenge the search warrant on his house. Everything will be admissible against any other defendant without possibility of a motion to suppress."

So maybe this will be a net good for justice?

I think that's the best-case scenario, and the worst case looks more like this:


Even the public prosecutor was suddenly overwhelmed by sadness and took his life during the investigation. Hats off to anyone who dares to touch high-profile pedophilia cases.

> So maybe this will be a net good for justice?

It would have been admissible against anyone but Epstein even if Epstein hadn't died, and further warrants derived from information discovered through it (including reseizure of the same evidence under a new warrant) wouldn't, as I understand it, be precluded unless it was to be used against Epstein, all for the same reason that the right to object dies with Epstein, so it does nothing for justice except preventing any Constitutional violation from even being recognized, which is a net loss, not a win.

That is too much for one sentence. More sentences would read easier.

He's a lawyer, it's part of the tradecraft.

dragonwriter is a laywer? Must have graduated recently. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16171225

I think that was sarcasm

I'm not a lawyer. I did do a few years of law school, but I wrote that way long before that, so that's not why...

Maybe. One hopes this can be salvaged. I guess we may never know who was behind it all pulling the levers. Mr Epstein can’t have been at the top.

What? The guy supposedly had $500 million to his name. That can buy quite a lot of levers.

Epstein was quite plausibly the chief procurer; he no doubt had a wife array of powerful clients, but there's not a lot of reason to think there was a higher-level mastermind behind Epstein in the procurement operation.

Epstein comes off as an unhinged individual. With a mansion full of sex art, a normal reaction would be “we should have known in retrospect”, not a sweetheart plea deal.

> Epstein comes off as an unhinged individual. With a mansion full of sex art, a normal reaction would be “we should have known in retrospect”, not a sweetheart plea deal.

That Epstein had politically powerful clients and friends is not in serious dispute (which were clients and which were merely friends unconnected to his child rape business is somewhat less clear), and explains the sweetheart plea deal without resort to some behind-Epstein mastermind.

It's not impossible, but there is nothing that is explained more easily by such a mastermind than by the Epstein being the master of his own sex trade operation which garnered him influence (simply heading that operation means he has powerful blackmail material on powerful people.)

I suggest reading the book October Surprise by Gary Sick. Intelligence agencies don’t use competent people.

Your understanding of the situation is incorrect, and is leading you to incorrect conclusions.

> I suggest reading the book October Surprise by Gary Sick. Intelligence agencies don’t use competent people.

They use incompetent people who can be manipulated into believing they have common interests and competent people who believe in their own that they have common interests, but, yes, they often use incompetent people. The relevance of this observation is unclear, as it still presents no existing phenomenon that requires a shady superior to Epstein to explain.

> Your understanding of the situation is incorrect.

You have as yet provided no way in which my understanding is incorrect.

Looking at Epstein’s life seems incredible.

It is so incredible it is beyond my understanding.

But you claim to understand it, which is also very much beyond me.

But you are right, more so than you think, I cannot provide a way for you to understand something I don’t understand.

But his death also ends the criminal case against him, no one else was charged in the indictment. Why act on a warrant for a case that has ended? I’m definitely not an expert in criminal justice proceedings though.

> But his death also ends the criminal case against him, no one else was charged in the indictment.

If there were related parallel investigations, they could either still be before a grand jury, not yet have been submitted to a grand jury, or already had indictments issued but under seal. The fact that no one else was charged in the Epstein indictment does not mean there is no one else in a related matter against whom an investigation and/or (sealed) charges exist, which, if from no other source, the public coverage of all the investigations around Trump should have made everyone familiar with recently.

Do you really think there isn't a vast conspiracy by the powerful to protect themselves? It's a bit too obvious to be called a conspiracy.

I've been thinking lately about what people will and won't be skeptical about. All the horrifying stories coming from escapees from north korea, for instance, are accepted without any real scrutany. But if there is a class of powerful people that publically executes people by steam roller, why is it so hard to believe there could be a network of child sex trafficing for a powerful class of people here? Or if a child sex ring is too outlandish, why believe in the stories about north korea? Is it down to diplomatic relations? Should that be a factor?

It isn't the magnitude of evil but the remoteness - we know about life in the United States. We don't know many details about a secretive repressive nation. There are also flaws about 'requiring far too many people to keep a secret' and some major 'game theory'. Now it is a matter of fact that he was involved with sex trafficking and corruption but there were plenty of reasons to doubt.

The story hit upon a number of other discredited conspiracy tropes and archetypes. A network of child sex traffickers resembles too much 'orderly world' conspiracy theorist family. Where there is some vast conspiracy to blame for everything wrong with the world but there is at least someone behind it and some concrete goal to 'fix it'. As opposed to a chaotic real world where there is nothing that can be done about it - sometimes some nut-job decides to do something really scary like kill the president or shoot up schools.

Not to mention the anti-semetic tropes hit upon by it when there was a simpler explanation for his contact with high level people - he was rich. Being a donor would have explained it far easier than a sex trafficking conspiracy before concrete evidence.

Frankly the 'believers' of the story did more to make less believable than any amount of spin-doctors with things like drawing tenuous connections to anyone who ever met the guy being a pedophile.

No one doubts that there people who would do it, it is more about how widespread criminal networks could be without blowing up.

If this guy attempted suicide before, shouldn't there be a permanent camera affixed to his jail cell (beside having a guard watch him)? If that is the case then we should have the video footage of his suicide even if the guard slacked off?

This NYT article hints at what it looks like to be under suicide watch: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/10/nyregion/jeffrey-epstein-...

Of course there should, it's common sense. That there is no such standard procedure seems unlikely to be accidental.

This was my first thought too.

The story in the Deus Ex video game series is starting to seem less ridiculous and impromptu, and more like a piece of prophetic media.

We are basically presented with a potential conspiracy shoved in our faces and you are worried that people might see a conspiracy there. It’s not an absurd logic.

Definition of the word:

“an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.”

Call me naive, but I would simply conclude the jailing facilities are underfunded and unable to prevent someone from committing suicide.

I just can't imagine someone being able to order such a murder. There would be too many people involved and risks of getting caught.

Epstein was supposed to be under 24/7 camera surveillance. But they are saying there was a camera malfunction.

Dunno man it really doesn't add up to a suicide.

Malfunction is BS. A proper system would alert of camera offline condition or storage offline, etc.

That seems to be a thus-far unsubstantiated Twitter rumor: https://heavy.com/news/2019/08/jeffrey-epstein-camera-malfun...

Whitey Bulger recently got transferred for no stated reason to a prison in West Virginia and within hours of his arrival was beaten to death by an inmate with mafia ties.

Look, even if video evidence emerges of Epstein kicking the chair out from under his own feet, everyone and their dog could see (and predicted repeatedly!) that he was a risk for either murder or suicide while awaiting trial. Given that the case hinted at an unending multitude of victims whose lives were ruined by a sex trafficking ring that involved elites from the very highest echelons of society, to not have a guard watching him at all times, and a guard watching that guard, and another guard watching that guard, displays a level of "incompetence" or "tight resources" that simply beggars belief.

if someone is in prison for life they have little to lose, and plenty to gain by doing wetwork for corrupt officials.

What does he gain? He's dead.

Death IS the gain bro.

He probably paid those guards a lot for the right to die.

Is he though?

To play devils advocate; who doesn’t want to protect themselves and that which they’ve worked for? From the poor who’ve worked hard for the past year to save up for engine for the late 70s truck. To the middle(ish) class who’ve worked hard for their first purchased two bedroom home. To the middle upperclass who’ve gone on a vacation to Branson Missouri. To pretty much everyone with children. To the ultra wealthy that are worth seven figures and up. Everyone wants to protect what they feel they’ve worked hard for. That includes the proposed ultra wealthy that have the means to insure they aren’t pulled into Epstein’s legal whirlpool.

If it exists, it makes sense they would protect themselves.

Ok but by looking out for yourself it’s typically and socially accepted and expected you’re not going to do grievous direct harm to other parties.

To the ultra-rich, "other parties" are other ultra-rich people. Everyone else is just an insect. I mean that in the most visceral way possible, the ultra-rich view us with contempt.

edit: This is why Bernie Madoff went to prison and why basically no one went to jail over the 2008 GFC. Madoff stole from his own social class, which is a big no-no.

A couple years ago I listened to a college course from The Teaching Company called 'Explaining Social Deviance.' It analyzed deviant behavior in a multitude of different societies and contexts, going through history and modern day across the globe, examining what behavior societies found deviant, what they do about it, how they attempt to stop it, etc. When the social scientists researching the topic studied the upper class, they realized that crime could not be classified as 'deviant' in that social context. It was accepted, expected, and universal. Restraint from criminal activity was actually what was deviant.

Despite the fact that white collar crime does more economic damage and even kills more people every year than street crime, it is punished very rarely and then typically only lightly. That's a social issue, and the majority of society are complicit in it, fighting for tougher laws to control the middle and lower class while fighting against substantial penalties for crime committed by the upper class. The Protestant Work Ethic says that hard work, endurance of suffering, and virtuous character is the only way to wealth, so the public presumes that is how the wealthy got wealthy. It is almost never true, however.

Madoff stole from his own social class, which is a big no-no.

I don’t think that analysis tells the whole story. Elizabeth Holmes got away with a slapped wrist despite defrauding some very, very powerful people.

Whereas Shkreli got jail despite returning every penny to his investors.

> Elizabeth Holmes got away with a slapped wrist despite defrauding some very, very powerful people.

Holmes hasn't gotten away with anything yet. She's been indicted on federal charges, and the trial is expected to begin in 2020. She could end up in prison.


Shkreli didn't "return every penny to his investors". He stole money from one group to pay another group. Yes all of his investors ended up in the green eventually (because some underlying businesses were profitable), but that doesn't change the fact that he defrauded a lot of people and not "every penny" was paid back.

For example, if you invest money in a profitable business and the CEO skims a little bit off the top, you might end up making money despite that you were defrauded off some of your gains.

Technically Elizabeth Holmes hasn't yet gone to trial. The consequences for her aren't quite decided on yet.

That's the ideal and the law, but in practice it's not that uncommon for people do grievous direct harm to other parties, when they think they can get away with it.

Nice. Now play devil’s advocate to explain why it’s actually good to be involved in a global pedophilia ring.

Why dismiss as conspiracy-minded those who raise the possibility of foul play?

People have been socially conditioned to do this - not necessarily intentionally, it may have just happened naturally, but this is how right thinking people are to behave.

> This will only inflame conspiracy theory minded people to believe there is a vast conspiracy by the powerful to protect themselves.

I'll do you one better. Is he really even dead, or did he pull a Ken Lay?

It could have been suicide, as in the parties who did not want him to talk may have arranged for everything he needed to end his life by himself. Of course, it is also possible it was not just suicide. Guess we will never know.

>This will only inflame conspiracy theory minded people to believe there is a vast conspiracy by the powerful to protect themselves.

How is that a conspiracy?

'Conspiracy' is not synonymous with 'untrue'. I'd advise everyone in the comments to keep that in mind, and state things unambiguously, to avoid arguing past each-other.

I've been curious why "conspiracy theory" is used exclusively as a pejorative. Turns out that Wikipedia defines it as such:

> A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.

But who gets to define what is more probable? Why not just "when there is no proof (yet)"? But I guess that battle and term are lost.

Which raises the question - how do you describe an explanation that justifiably (or at least plausibly) relies on conspiracy?

You generally refer to named actors as 'conspiring together'. The definition of a 'conspiracy theory' is almost dependant on the actors being unknown or unconfirmed, and thus isn't a provable act of conspiracy versus an implausible crazyness.

Well people in that sphere were already predicting he’d “commit” suicide to avoid getting powerful people ensnared.

What I mean is that I don't think that's a conspiracy, it's reasonable to think that in the world elites they look after each other

If you believe that when the elite "look after each other" they abuse their power in illegal and unethical ways, then technically you're a "conspiracy theorist" along with the vast majority of the population.

Edit: And the story has been removed from the HN front page, despite being one of the most popular...

Well, it just happened.

That’s literally “conspiring together”. That’s all conspiracy means. It means some occurrence wasn’t just a fluke action of luck or even of just one guy. It was a group of people “conspiring” together. Think JFK. Did a group conspire? Or was it just Oswald?

That’s the very definition of conspiracy:

“a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.”

There’s more than one angle to conspiracy theories as well. Was it a “hit” by the powerful protecting themselves or, did he have a dead man’s switch on incriminating others and it’s a fake and he’s been broken out of prison?

There’s so much to work with here that it’s going to go on for years.

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