While forensics experts said at the time such breaks can occur in cases of suicidal hanging, they are often indicative of homicide by strangulation. A few media outlets reported the results while accurately asking the important question: did Jeffrey Epstein die of suicide or was he killed?
Despite the medical examiner herself, Barbara Sampson, clearly communicating that the results of the initial autopsy were inconclusive “pending further information,” seemingly due to the fact that “a broken hyoid bone would generally raise questions about strangulation,” according to President of the National Association of Medical Examiners, Jonathan Arden, those who asked this important question were quickly labeled irresponsible conspiracy theorists.
In fact, CNN ran an article titled “The Washington Post fuels Epstein conspiracies, but experts say evidence still consistent with suicide” after the Washington Post broke the news about the autopsy results, saying they deepened “the mystery about the circumstances around his death.”
Days later, Sampson concluded that Epstein died by suicide.
But now, Dr. Michael Baden, the private pathologist and former New York City chief medical examiner who observed Epstein’s autopsy, is speaking out. Baden has been involved in such high profile cases as the 1994 O.J. Simpson murder trial and the police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. He was hired by Epstein’s brother to observe the autopsy, who says “his brother wasn’t the type to commit suicide,” according to the private pathologist.
During a bombshell interview on Fox & Friends, Dr. Baden explained how he was “asked by the brother, the next of kin, to be at the autopsy.”
“On day one, there were findings that were unusual for suicidal hanging, and more consistent with ligature homicidal strangulation.”
Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt cuts to the chase, asking Baden, “Are you saying you don’t think it was suicide?”
Baden replies, “I think that the evidence points toward homicide rather than suicide,” going on to reiterate that the fractures in the hyoid bone are “very unusual for suicide and more indicative of strangulation.”
While Sampson eventually concluded that Epstein’s manner of death was in fact suicide, Baden contends that the findings are actually “more consistent with homicide.”
“In fact, at the time of the autopsy, the doctor doing the autopsy didn’t think there was enough information to say suicide, so she put it ‘pending further study.’
The family wants to know why was it changed from pending further study.”
Assuming someone entered Epstein’s cell, Earhardt asks the private pathologist, “Did he have any signs of trying to fight back?”
Baden explains that they looked at “fingernail clippings to see if there is anybody’s else’s DNA on it” but that a result “hasn’t been released. Neither has the information about whose DNA is on the ligature” Epstein reportedly used to hang himself. Baden also explained that the ligature was made from torn orange sheets and that “whoever made it had to put.. have a lot of DNA on it.”
According to Baden, “we don’t even know” if the sheet—or any DNA that may have been on it—was even examined.
During the interview, Baden highlighted the breakdown in security at Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC). In fact, the news of broken bones in Epstein’s neck arrived the same day news broke that the two guards tasked with monitoring Epstein at the time of his death broke protocol by falling asleep on the job, then falsified logs to cover their mistake. Surveillance video reportedly shows guards failing to make the required inspections that were noted in the log.
According to a report from the New York Times, MCC staff failed to follow required protocols in the time leading up to Epstein’s death, including leaving Epstein alone in his cell. Officials have also repeatedly reported that there is somehow no surveillance footage of the incident.
Earhardt goes on to question the private pathologist, asking “what are the chances of him not being checked on” and “two prison guards falling asleep?”
“Extremely unlikely,” Dr. Baden, who was hired in the 1970s to investigate deaths in prisons, responds. “I’ve never seen it in 50 years of investigating all deaths that occur in prisons in New York state. Never had two guards fall asleep at the same time.”
Baden shares that no one investigating the case has contacted him about the investigation, saying “somebody should of been investigating everybody who had anything to do with the autopsy.”
Earhardt asks if a prisoner went into Epstein’s cell and strangled him using the ligature made from sheets, “wouldn’t it be easy to track down who that person was” using their DNA? “Absolutely,” Baden responds.
According to Dr. Baden, Epstein’s brother wants to know “did the FBI get ahold of that ligature” and if so, what are the results?
The private pathologist also addresses the fact that vast majority of people who commit suicide show warning signs beforehand. Two weeks before his death, Epstein was found injured on the floor of his cell with marks around his neck. As a result he was placed on suicide watch. While this may have indeed been a warning sign, according to Baden, it was reported by Epstein’s lawyers that he was in a “good mood,” “was helping,” and still waiting to hear if “he could get out on bail.”
Regarding that incident, Epstein reportedly indicated that someone had tried to kill him.
People close to Epstein fear he was murdered…as Epstein told authorities someone tried to kill him in a previous incident weeks earlier. He was described as being in good spirits in recent days… https://t.co/J9QNSo1N2v
— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) August 10, 2019
Steve Doocy accurately posits that if Epstein did indeed die by homicide, “this means cops were in on it,” concluding “that’s a terrible allegation.” Of that theory, Baden calls the entire incident in which cameras malfunctioned and the roommate was removed “bizarre,” reminding Doocy that never before in 50 years of investigating has he stumbled upon two guards sleeping at the same time.
Earhardt concludes her questioning by asking Dr. Baden point blank, “Have you ever seen anyone that committed suicide, and was hanging themselves, with those three broken bones?”
Dr. Baden responds:
“No. Hanging does not cause three broken bones and homicide does.”
Watch the full interview below:
UN Says Trump Violated International Law With Pardons for Blackwater War Criminals
A United Nations panel has strongly denounced U.S. President Donald Trump’s pardons for several former Blackwater mercenaries and convicted war criminals that were found guilty of massacring over a dozen civilians in Baghdad.
The U.N. working group on the use of mercenaries released a statement Wednesday condemning the White House decision to pardon the four killers as an offense to basic justice and insult to the memory of over a dozen people killed in the 2007 massacre, reports Reuters. The panel also sharply condemned the move as a violation of U.S. obligations to international law.
“Pardoning the Blackwater contractors is an affront to justice and to the victims of the Nisour Square massacre and their families,” said panel chair Jelena Aparac.
“These pardons violate U.S. obligations under international law and more broadly undermine humanitarian law and human rights at a global level,” she added.
The four men, all of whom were American, were involved in the indiscriminate killing of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians, when the mercenaries opened fire during busy traffic at the Baghdad square. Twenty additional civilians were injured. Nicholas Slatten was convicted of first-degree murder while Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty and Paul Slough were each convicted of voluntary and attempted manslaughter.
The four men were employed by the private security firm Blackwater which was owned by security contractor Erik Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Prince has reportedly served as an informal adviser to the White House while also helping to orchestrate spying efforts to infiltrate campaigns by political and labor groups considered hostile to Trump, the New York Times reported earlier this year.
The four mercenaries were included in a wave of controversial pre-Christmas pardons announced by the Trump administration that critics derided as corrupt and immoral.
“While U.S. Army contractors convicted of massacring civilians in Iraq are pardoned, the man who exposed such crimes against humanity, [WikiLeaks founder] Julian Assange, rots in Britain’s Guantanamo,” tweeted Greek economist and parliamentarian Yanis Varoufakis.
The pardons for the former Blackwater mercenaries, in particular, were sharply criticized by Gen. David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the two top American officials in charge of U.S. policy in Iraq at the time of the 2007 massacre, who called the move “hugely damaging, an action that tells the world that Americans abroad can commit the most heinous crimes with impunity” in a joint statement.
The U.N. working group’s chair also said that the pardons send the signal that private security contractors would essentially give them the green light to “operate with impunity in armed conflicts” as states increasingly rely on the firms to circumvent their obligations under humanitarian law.
In recent years, military contractors have increasingly been deployed in sensitive conflict zones by companies from the U.S., U.K., Russia, South Africa and other countries.
Blackwater, which has since been renamed as Academi, earned worldwide notoriety for the 2007 massacre, after which the company was stripped of its license to operate in Iraq by the country’s government.
Documents released by WikiLeaks have also highlighted major human rights abuses, including the murder of civilians, by private security services such as Blackwater throughout the Iraq War.
Trophy Hunters Killed 1.7 Million Animals Over the Past Decade – Including Endangered Species
The bloodthirsty “sport” of trophy hunting managed to kill one animal every three minutes over the past decades, according to a devastating new exposé of the industry.
Over 1.7 million animals – including elephants, lions, and rhinos – have been slaughtered by trophy hunters, with the wealthiest among them paying top dollar to kill rare and endangered creatures hovering at the brink of extinction.
The grim data underscores the ties between an industry that rakes in over $400 million per year and the global elites thirsty for a chance to kill the rare animals that conservationists have tirelessly worked to rescue.
The new book, entitled Trophy Leaks: Top Hunters and Industry Secrets, was written by Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting (CBTH) founder Eduardo Gonçalves, and exposes the shocking scale of an industry that disingenuously claims that it is pursuing the aim of conservation.
Instead, the book reveals that trophy hunters have killed some “100 endangered animals” every day in 2018. The book, which also relies on analysis by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, shows that the life of an animal is taken for sport every three minutes in a blatantly irresponsible contribution to a loss of biodiversity that has seen the global rate of species extinction accelerate to unprecedented levels in recent decades.
For this reason, Gonçalves aptly characterizes the trophy hunting trade as an extinction industry that banks on the wholesale slaughter of creatures.
“An estimated 1.7 million animals were shot by trophy hunters over the past decade – the equivalent of almost 500 animals a day, or one every 3 minutes,” Gonçalves writes.
The book also reveals how shills for the game-hunting industry have run high-profile disinformation campaigns on social media to counter the efforts of the U.K. government to outlaw imports linked to trophy hunters. About £600,000 (USD $800,000) was used to prop up sock puppet accounts on Facebook and Twitter that purported to be Africans opposed to Boris Johnson’s pledge to ban trophy imports to Britain.
According to the book, nearly 800 hunters have won the “African Big 5” prize from the industry, which rewards those who have slain at least one buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and black or white rhino.
Hunting lobbyists with the Safari Club International (SCI) industry association have also awarded special prizes to hunters who have killed over 80 different African species.
Hunting advocates have also allegedly pledged over $2 million to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in hopes of seeing a generous return on investments under his administration.
While Trump has previously denounced trophy hunting as a “horror show,” his two sons are prominent trophy hunters and the Humane Society of the United States has denounced his administration for catering to wealthy trophy hunters and ignoring the pleas of conservationists to ban the import of slain animal “trophies.”
“Future generations will look back aghast at how we allowed the world’s most endangered species to be gunned down in their droves by adrenaline junkies in pursuit of grinning selfies and gruesome souvenirs,” Gonçalves told the Daily Mail.
“Trophy-hunting isn’t about a handful of sick individuals – it is about a huge global industry which wields extraordinary power and manipulates governments.”
Texas Dad Beaten, Maced, Taken to Jail for Filming Cops Arrest His Son for ‘Wide Right Turn’
As 2020 draws to a close, the year is likely to go down in history as a time when people across the United States finally decided to take a stand against systemic police brutality and widespread human rights abuses at the hands of law enforcement. Despite the protests, however, the widespread abuse of U.S. residents under color of authority is showing few signs of disappearing.
And in one especially egregious recent incident, a Texas police officer can be seen arresting a motorist for allegedly making too wide a right turn. The officer then proceeds to call for backup, after which the officers pepper-spray the driver and then beat the man’s father for lawfully filming the arrest.
The North Texas man is now suing two officers with the Keller Police Department for the disturbing incident, which occurred on Aug. 15 and has already led to the police chief disciplining the offending officer and apologizing to the family.
“It’s undeniable that their conduct was horrible,” Scott Palmer, one of the lawyers suing Keller PD, told New York Times. “They’re supposed to preserve and protect, and they caused havoc and mayhem.”
Dillon Puente, 22, was on his way to his grandmother’s home when he was pulled over for making a wide right turn. In police bodycam footage, Sergeant Blake Shimanek can be seen requesting that Dillon exit the car before he placed him in handcuffs.
In a police report reviewed by WFAA, Shimanek claimed that he arrested Puente for the mere traffic infraction out of fears for his own safety.
After Dillon was arrested, his father Marco Puente arrived at the scene to video record the arrest.
“He was ticketed and taken to jail for a wide right turn,” Marco later recounted.
Marco parked his truck in the lane adjacent to his son before Shimanek sharply warned him to move his vehicle, warning that he could be arrested for obstructing the roadway. Marco quickly complied before returning to record the arrest with his phone from the sidewalk across the road.
“The officer didn’t like me being there recording anything,” Marco said.
At that point, Shimanek ordered Officer Ankit Tomer to place Marco under arrest for filming the scene, which was well within his rights.
“Put your phone down,” Tomer said in footage captured by his bodycam. “Put your hands behind your head.”
“This guy is arresting me for just standing here,” Marco said.
It was at that point that Tomer escalated the situation by initiating force against Marco, an innocent civilian who was simply watching out for his son.
“They tried to take me down and pepper spray me, and it was a fiasco,” Marco said.
In the video, the officers can be seen tackling Marco to the ground and repeatedly spraying him with mace before placing him, too, in handcuffs. The father-son pair were then detained and hauled to the local jail.
However, Dillon Puente was ultimately only given a minor citation for the initial wide turn. Marco wasn’t charged with any crime, and he was quickly released.
Two days after the incident, the Keller police chief himself met with Marco to apologize for the conduct of his officers. Shimanek was also demoted from sergeant to officer for his role in the unnerving altercation.
In the lawsuit against the two officers, Keller PD leadership are quoted as calling the use of force and arrest of Marco Puente entirely “inappropriate.”
Regardless of the police department’s apologies, the lawsuit is being filed as a matter of ensuring basic accountability.
“Marco is not a criminal. This is a man, a concerned father, and if this can happen to him, it can happen to anyone,” Marco’s attorney Scott Palmer said. “These officers knew better. I believe they were trained better, but why did they not execute better? I don’t know.”
Shimanek also has a history of misconduct, including a 2016 incident where he unlawfully entered a home without a search warrant and other incidents.
“It’s disturbing to know that these are the people we are entrusting with providing safety in the community and they are abusing that power,” said James Roberts, an attorney who works with Palmer’s law firm. “I know that they knew better. I know that they knew what they were doing was wrong, yet they still did it.”
The Puente family is still disturbed by the incident, months after it transpired. And while Marco recognizes that the apology was a “nice” gesture, further accountability is required.
“This is going on everywhere,” Puente said about police brutality. “If people keep on brushing it under a rug, it’s going to keep happening.”
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