DOJ Investigation Says Why Jeffrey Epstein’s Mysterious Jail Cell Death Was Not Caught On Camera

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James Lynch Contributor
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A newly released investigation by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Inspector General into the death of disgraced pedophile Jeffrey Epstein provides details about why security footage in the jail did not capture Epstein’s apparent suicide.

Epstein’s death was not captured on camera because staff at New York City’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) did not conduct necessary repairs to the camera system on Aug. 9, 2019, one day before Epstein was found dead in his jail cell, according to the DOJ report released Tuesday.

“Recorded video evidence for August 9 and 10 for the SHU area where Epstein was housed was only available from one prison security camera due to a malfunction of MCC New York’s Digital Video Recorder system that occurred on July 29, 2019,” the report reads. “MCC New York personnel discovered this failure on August 8, 2019, but it was not repaired until after Epstein’s death. As detailed in this report, like many other BOP facilities, MCC New York had a history of security camera problems.” (RELATED: Jeffrey Epstein’s Behavior In Prison Leading Up To His Death Revealed By New Documents)

Security cameras captured footage of the common area around Epstein’s Special Housing Unit (SHU) but his cell door was not in the camera’s field of view, according to the report. There were 11 available cameras in and around the SHU where Epstein was held at the time of his death, including cameras showing the movements in and out of jail cells in Epstein’s SHU tier.

MCC New York had a camera system for recording the live feeds that failed to capture Epstein’s death because of a malfunction first discovered by jail staff July 29, 2019. As a result, the live feed showing the area around Epstein’s cell was not recorded and investigators could not review the footage, according to the report. (RELATED: Democrat Governor Allegedly Sought Out Jeffrey Epstein Donations For Schools Right Before He Got Elected, Filings Say)

The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) did not learn about the malfunction until Aug. 8, 2019, when investigators attempted to review footage unrelated to Epstein, according to forensic analysis conducted by the FBI. Disk failures by MCC New York’s DVR 2 system were reported to the Communications Office and Electronics Technician before his shift was supposed to end, the DOJ found.

The Electronics Technician found that about 75 cameras connected to the DVR were not recording the live feeds, and he told the DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that nobody was tasked with making sure the video was being recorded. He did not perform daily checks to see if the videos were working prior to Epstein’s death, according to the report.

Special Investigative Services (SIS) staff told the DOJ the Electronics Technician should have carried out daily checks to see if the cameras were recording. BOP had no specific policy at the time to ensure institutional cameras were functioning properly, the report continued. (RELATED: REPORT: Jeffrey Epstein Tried To Blackmail Bill Gates Over Alleged Affair With Russian Bridge Player)

The Electronics Technician contacted an independent contractor about the DVR failure, and the contractor told the technician the DVR hard drives had to be fixed for the cameras to work. The Electronics Technician told the contractor he had to obtain the hard drives from the MCC Computer Services Manager, but he did not retrieve them at the end of his shift.

He did not continue to work on the camera issue and his supervisor, the Facility Manager, was on leave and did not know about the cameras malfunctioning, the DOJ report added. The Electronics Technician failed to report the problem to the Acting Facility Manager, who was filling in for his immediate supervisor at the time.

SIS staff informed the DOJ that the Electronics Technician told them the cameras were not recording and said, “I’m going to stay and do overtime tonight.” His comments led the SIS to assume he would stay and work overtime to fix the cameras; however, the Electronics Technician told the DOJ there was a miscommunication and he did not say he would work overtime.

On Aug. 9, 2019, the Electronics Technician obtained the hard drives and attempted to repair the cameras, but no SIS staff were available to give him access to the room where the DVR system was located. He requested access to the room from a Correctional Officer (CO) who denied the Electronics Technician access because his shift was ending, according to the report. In response, the Electronics Technician and the CO agreed to postpone the camera repairs until the following day.

The Electronics Technician arrived at the facility at around 6:00 a.m. on the day Epstein died. Before he could fix the recording system, Epstein was found hanged in his jail cell at 6:30 a.m., and a medical examiner later ruled his death a suicide, according to the Justice Department.

“While the cameras assigned to DVR 2 were providing live video streams on August 9 and 10, 2019, no recordings from those cameras were available due to the DVR 2 hard drive issue, which the FBI later determined had occurred on July 29, 2019. Among the cameras whose video was not recorded was the camera at the end of L Tier, the SHU tier in which Epstein was housed,” the report reads.

“The FBI forensic reports state that the three drives were repaired by an FBI Advanced Data Recovery Specialist, but the DVR was never able to be assembled successfully. The forensic reports further state that an FBI computer scientist and the Company 1 Technician reviewed the DVR 2 controller logs and found that there had previously been ‘catastrophic disk failures’ and no recordings would have been available after July 29, 2019,” the report adds.

Epstein was placed in the MCC on July 6, 2019, after federal prosecutors charged him with sex trafficking minors. He was initially placed in the general inmate population and quickly reassigned to the SHU because of the media attention surrounding his upcoming trial, according to the report.

Nearly two years after Epstein’s mysterious death, his partner Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse minors.