“Epstein was either killed or encouraged to kill himself. In the case of a likely assassination, it would have been very easy to make it look like a suicide in such a controlled environment. Switch off the cameras and get to work…” -Former Special Ops/CIA Operator

Earlier this year, Jeffrey Epstein, a powerful, well connected financier and convicted sex offender was found dead in his cell in New York City’s Metropolitan Correctional Center. News of his death immediately prompted a landslide of new (and old) conspiracy theories, many of which took on a clear political slant as theorists on the Right inferred his death was ordered by the Clintons, and theorists on the Left levying similar theories regarding Trump. Because both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump both had long standing ties with Epstein and have both been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, many believed both parties had a vested interest in silencing Epstein before the gritty details of his story could be made public.

Those theories were exacerbated when the autopsy revealed that the hyoid bone in Epstein’s neck was broken — an injury that is more commonly found homicides than suicides. In some cases, a broken hyoid bone suggests forceful strangulation, but not exclusively. Broken hyoids are also commonly found in hanging deaths, particularly among the elderly. Epstein, who died at 66 years old and didn’t lead a particularly hardy life in the years prior to his death, could certainly have broken the bone himself as he attempted a hanging. As a result, the broken bone offered no conclusive evidence in either direction.

“If, hypothetically, the hyoid bone is broken, that would generally raise questions about strangulation, but it is not definitive and does not exclude suicidal hanging,” Jonathan Arden, the president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, weighed in on the subject.

However, Epstein’s suicide still begs some hard questions about why the man was taken off of suicide watch in the days prior to his death, why he was left alone for extended periods of time, and how such a high-profile inmate could be allowed to die while in police custody. These developments represent a symphony of failures within the New York justice system, but where some see failure, others contend that it was intentional malfeasance. This line of thinking would suggest that Epstein did indeed commit suicide but alleges that he was given the opportunity to silence himself.

However, despite Americans remaining largely split on what they think really happened to Epstein, there isn’t an abundance of evidence to support the idea that Epstein was the victim of a conspiracy. Of course, one could contend that a good conspiracy wouldn’t leave much evidence to recount; but there’s more behind the push to assume Epstein’s death was the result of foul play than his powerful connections and shady past. Epstein’s death lends itself well to conspiracy theories because in many ways, his life represented a legitimate and nefarious conspiracy all its own.