“Sex offenders’ prison deaths often are ‘choreographed’ “

Used with permission

By Chandra Bozelko and Ryan Lo . . . Many people aren’t buying the official “suicide” story from the Manhattan Correctional Complex that housed financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein on suicide watch until late July. Theories that Epstein was murdered to protect any number of political cabals are widespread on social media. President Trump has suggested that Bill and Hillary Clinton were involved and the Resistance is convinced that someone offed Epstein to protect the president.

That dead men tell no tales is a seductive explanation for Epstein’s expiration, but it ignores correctional reality. Epstein was vulnerable for reasons that have nothing to do with the ostensible secrets he might have kept on powerful people. Because he was convicted of sex crimes against children, Epstein was one of the most likely prison targets.

As former prisoners ourselves, we know violence and abuse in prisons aren’t always the result of supervisory vacuums. In fact, deaths of people accused of sex offenses are rarely accidental; they’re highly choreographed and implicitly endorsed executions.

No woman convicted of a sex crime has ever been killed, but they’ve been beaten, usually under the guise of another dispute. The same is not true in men’s prisons, where the ire directed at sex crimes can be fatal.

The Associated Press analyzed data on murders of sex offenders behind bars. Until 2007, reports of prisoner homicides didn’t include the crimes that incarcerated the victims, so, historically speaking, killing sex offenders might have been a bigger problem than we know.

The AP found that, in California, a third of all inmate homicides happen to sex offenders. That may not seem like much. But when you consider that the California corrections system is rife with gang warfare, the fact that one third of these victims were almost definitely not in gangs is telling.

Years ago, half of all inmates murdered in Maine’s prisons system were convicted of sex offenses. A quarter of Oklahoma’s inmate homicide victims in 10 years bore convictions for sex crimes. At a conservative estimate, 75 percent of murder victims in Nebraska prisons were sex offenders.

None of these statistics offends many people; safeguarding sex offenders is repugnant to most.

If, in theory, Epstein was murdered by another inmate (right now there’s no public evidence of that) we must use this opportunity to remind people that prisoners who’ve been convicted of sex offenses don’t deserve to be dispatched without due process. We’re not pleading for sympathy for people who cause sexual harm. Rather, we are pointing out that labeling them as subhuman has completely warped our understanding of crime and accountability. Murder is practically approved when it comes to this class of inmates. Twitter wove threads of glee at Epstein’s demise.

Prison administrators are often complicit with these homicides. When one inmate in the Tarrant County, Texas Jail killed his cellmate, a man convicted of sex crimes against children, an officer and two nurses watched the attack for 11 minutes before intervening. While investigators ferreted out and charged the inmates who assaulted guards and started fires in the 2015 Nebraska prison riot that left two men convicted of sex crimes dead, no one has solved the murder mysteries from those same events.

When prisoners are charged with violently taking the life of a sex offender, the public hails them as heroes as they did with Steven Sandison, a Michigan inmate who murdered his cellmate because of sex crimes he committed. Sandison had asked not to be housed with his victim because he knew he would kill him, yet authorities paired them up anyway.

We live in an era of exoneration, and that applies to sex crimes, too, although we don’t know how much. A study conducted by the Urban Institute that used DNA analysis to retest certain crimes found that, out of 422 convictions for sex crimes, subsequent forensic testing was inculpatory — supporting guilt — in only 187 cases, or 44 percent. That means that 56 percent of convictions of sexual assault might be attached to innocent people. Killing sex offenders isn’t just morally unjustifiable; sometimes it’s based on misinformation.

More than just the nature of sex crimes fuels the rage against people who’ve committed them, like the fact that police so often ignore and doubt complaints of these offenses. Out of 1,000 sexual assaults, 995 perpetrators escape responsibility. Indeed, even Epstein received special treatment in being allowed to leave the Palm Beach County jail six days a week. Justice eludes sex-crime victims so often that we seek any form of answerability, even if it means supporting the commission of another violent crime.

Let’s not forget that there’s a middle road to take, one where we can administer accountability to people like Epstein and restoration to their victims, but also recognize our ethical obligation to protect life and refuse to celebrate an untimely death.

Originally posted at the Miami Herald.

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    • #58970 Reply

      What angers me, actually really angers me, is that the law enforcement gave him special priveleges for years that you or I could never have got, because he had money. All of those officers involved in that should be fired, charged with complicity and obstruction of justice, and put into prison themselves as examples to all law enforcement. Oh…..my bad……what was I thinking……..people in the law enforcement and justice system are super good people who only make ‘honest mistakes’.
      Last time I checked, all people in the enforcement and justice system put their pants on the same way we do-one leg at a time, and because they are the ones entrusted by the people to do proper justice, they should be held doubly accountable for their criminal actions hands down because they hold a position of civil authority!!! Criminals arresting, judging, and incarcerating criminals. Welcome the American justice system.

      • #59258 Reply
        William Gratchic

        In 2008, Alex Acosta was informed by the CIA, that Epstein was an “asset” to them and MASAD and was to give him an easy plea deal. This was wrong and the fact that Obama and the media hamstrung any real followup to this only shows how corrupt and hypocritical our two tiered judicial system is.

        Even now, the Epstein “suicide” is riddled with inconsistencies. The guards purportedly asleep and others that allegedly falsified the records should have been charged as well as having been fired. No video record is also inconsistent with safeguarding many inmate. When I worked as an RN in corrections, a high profile inmate would have been removed to another cell. Being a prior suicide risk, he would have kept in direct eyesight in the most proximal cell and maintenance would have been called in to fix the camera asap.

        His cellmate, who was transferred out the day before, was said to have expressed that any reporting by him of what he knew would have resulted in his death. The fact that the “Daily Post” was able to get a photo as he was boarded into an ambulance is very suspicious. Why did they have a photoshopped picture of Ghislaine Maxwell eating at an L.A. “In and Out” fast food restaurant published and not verified. It was determined to be a fraud two days later.
        All of these variables lead many to believe this was a staged affair so as to get him out under witness protection since he was an asset.

        In any event, his treatment is unlike others accused of sex crimes. As an inmate, the offender is a marked person with no empathy from staff, for sure. The disdain for these folks continues to intensify and unless something dramatic occurs to reverse the way the public is being conditioned by the media and politicians, reversal of this situation appears grim.

        Without apology.

    • #59299 Reply

      Why is it not a mandate or law that people convicted of these crimes be put in a safer prison where more of the same people are incarcerated. There is no excuse for any murder in prison for any reason. And don’t tell me the gang members haven’t egaged in similar crimes but never caught. I think we all know better. So sad, it needs not to happen at all.

      • #60676 Reply


        There is no law or mandate for such people to be in a safe facility of their own that houses mostly people with the same/similar charges because the will of most American citizens is that they do go to those places where they are tortured, sexually violated, and killed. If not, die through negligence by officers, nurses, and doctors of heart disease, stress, infection, etc. Most of everything that gets built or done in America(like courtrooms, restaurants, theme parks, tv shows etc) is by the will of the people.

        There are many treatment centers for those with alcohol/drug addiction and “mental illnesses,” or “mental disorders” that are easy going, have real food, good air conditioning etc. The types of places most Americans would not want these men to go to. Regardless of what they were charged with. They want them in the misery. It is their will. They enjoy it. As per the comments that can be seen under YouTube videos or under articles online. But of course such comments wouldn’t be said in regards to attractive white or hispanic women, in which there were cases where girls and boys were victimized from ages that range from 12-16. Some cases, the girl or boy was victimized more than once and some with pictures involved.

        Americans embrace their demomic justice system and the bad aspects of it such as baiting and entrapment by law enforcement, suicides in or out of jails, and mostly the physical assaults, sexual assaults, and killings in the jails only in regards to men who were in the system for sexual(certainly not physical like burning them or breaking their jaw or taking their lives and they certainly don’t think of women who were victimized) crimes toward minors. Though many of them would, in their pretense, speak negatively and passionately about “young, black men” getting “set up” by law enforcement through drugs that are planted, whether or not crimes were committed by them or black men that are wrongfully convicted. They would discuss these things with friends or family or make comments online. Then there’s those politicians and lawmakers who speak publicly about such matters. What is there to discuss? It’s all some huge darkness that no one should fall into. The same darkness that they embrace when it comes to SOs. An abomimation, the likes of the American justice system simply cannot pick and choose between who it destroys or devours. There is no need for strangers to be put in the same rooms. That is deliberate. So is the fact that all sorts of people are pooled together in those big places. So is the fact that the air is dirty and that the places are disease ridden. Look how American society deals with juveniles, even the ones that get caught up with sexual charges. A man who was part of some youth advocacy organization spoke in favor of a 14 or 15 year old boy who had severely, sexually victimized a girl that was 7, 8, or 9(around those ages) and thought his punishment was too much. The punishment had already been light as compared to what those 18 and over would get(even if what was done had not been much in comparison, like a man just having a couple of images).

        Those on the news seemed so bewildered as to the fact that Epstein died while on suicide watch. As if 1: Suicide watch were a real thing to begin with and 2: Such men aren’t already killed off by the numbers by such a system and some of them taking pleasure in that.

        Also there doesn’t have to be a “conspiracy” as he could have simply been killed for what he was in trouble for.

        His death was ruled a suicide but many believe he was killed. If he committed suicide or was killed on suicide watch I wouldn’t be surprised. Nor should anyone be really. From the horrors I have seen while in some “medical” unit during a horrific case I have no words to describe what kinds of people most of them officers, nurses, and quacks(psychiatrists) are. The unit was for those who had injuries or trouble walking, as well as those who were deemed suicidal or were on observation after being cleared of suicide watch. There was an elderly, female psychiatrist who gave me this twisted, possessed look on her face, three seperate times she walked by in the unit. Like a hag creature from some legend. I had been placed in that unit after my arrest as opposed to the actual unit I was supposed to be place in. Which was some floor above. The medical unit was at the bottom. I must have spent a week in that unit or so. Mostly confused and depressed in my misery. Even cried to myself, as doom hung over my head for 32 charges that were maliciously and unlawfully thrown onto me.

        At some point the “doctor” caught on to the fact that I was trying to stay down there for some more time during a conversation and moments after, her face changed right before my eyes. By changed, I mean real deal, possessed-looking. Like something out of a movie. Her face changed as she stared at me hard, like she was gonna eat me, then she quickly walked away. I was sitting on some mat, naked in a ridiculous and unhygienic green suit the whole time by the way. She then returned and walked across the unit. Upon doing that she immediately turned her head towards me, probably 5 ft away from me and got the same eerie, twisted look on face as she moved toward a room where certain inmates were housed. I was on a mat in the “dayroom” and not closed behind a door. As she walked toward whichever room she was going to, she had held her hideous gaze at me for a good couple of seconds. Altogether she did that 3 times and the 2nd or 3rd time I must have called out to her, saying “Doc…doc,” to speak to her. She still looked intently at me, while looking possessed(don’t know about anyone here but I believe she was and I certainly believe such things), said nothing and walked by quickly. She had been adamant about me going “upstairs” to one of the actual units I was supposed to go to, after the realization that I was trying to stay, and I was sent up hours later. It was surreal. There are no words that could describe what I seen on that lady. Just that it was pure evil and like something out of a horror movie. Like Devil’s Advocate. I had actually called out to her as if she were some caring and understanding creature. Probably fooled children, teens, and adults out in the commmunity at a practice or in a psychiatric hospital. Maybe a drug/alcohol treatment center. There was an officer around that time in that unit that told an inmate something like “I will slap you silly!”(silly as in really hard) The inmate hadn’t said or done anything wrong and that officer would act as if he was dealing with sickly dogs or some other animals. The evil look on his face and the words that came out of his mouth. Worse than animals actually. He would literally walk into the unit ready to devour as were some other officers.

        I also remember encountering an officer in that same medical unit over a year later. He was this bad, terrible, horrible, and imposing person from what I had observed in how he carried himself to other inmates and the horrendous comments he made to other officers about inmates. This time, I was in a cell and behind a door, near where I had sat before when I had the encounters with that quack. So the dayroom was somewhat of a circle. At one point I took like one step out of the cell I was in to speak to the female nurse about my medication(since I had recently returned to jail from a treatment center). The officer “activates” and quickly turned around, looked at me, had this twisted look on his face and said “Get back in there!” while he moved towards me a little like he was going to attack me and stood in front of me. He and the nurse were a couple of feet away from me and after I stepped out the cell he moved quickly, to where he stood directly in front of me. Right after saying that he uttered “pervert” under his breath then had this blank look on his face as if he were finding more things to lash out at me with or something lost it’s grip on him. Though he said nothing. He was one of the officers who would stand next to the nurse as she passed out meds out of some drawer thing on wheels. He had kept pretending that he would talk to the nurse or doctor for me and have them speak to me and had me wating yet never did. Nor was the possessed man ever going to. So when I stepped out I wanted to call out and say I needed to speak to her. I didn’t find her attractive either.

        He had pretended to be friendly and thoughtful to a couple of inmates, some day before that, by cleaning an inmate’s(the inmate wasn’t there) cell before he had been placed there. He didn’t want the inmate to go into a dirty cell. Unbelievable? Believe it.

    • #60000 Reply

      You know there is nothing worse than a woman scorn, well there is nothing worse than a man being taking advanage of also. While those woman are coming forth in the wake of the Epstein ordeal, one would have to say any type of death is tragic. Even with the death of Epstein all this opens up a sort of chapter about power people in high places and how these women were manipulated and used.While death is bad enough who has the death sentense in these internet sex games induced by government.

      While this dateline series on TV is challanging for these women to talk about and this grooming and other uncanny bits of torture to these unsuspecting teens, were attracted by this influence and other fast talking factors. Yes call it all grooming all the way for these teens but it is heart breaking to say the least and shameful

      Put in prospective isn’t the sex offender registry internet ordeals just like a grooming experience but actually who does it protect in these callous ordeals. Can one prevent by one inducing something bad? Yes death is bad enough but with these internet sting operations and influences of this type of underhanded grooming who is pick-pocketing who’s pocket. Yes much if not all of it should be abolished. One can call this some sort of civil type or persuasive grooming but who is rattling who’s cage with this miscarriage of justice by inducment. It even goes against ethic’s so where are moral value’s today. I’m sure its not in government.

    • #60824 Reply

      I guess another way to look at “fairness” is to be glad not everything is fair. If it were, then ALL sex offenders would be killed off and not just some. Lets instead, focus on reform and true justice.

      I worked with juvenile sex offenders for eight years. There is rarely any justice in the “justice system.” I have seen poor youth with a public defender get years for the same crimes other’s committed who could afford an attorney and those kids got months. If there were truly “justice” then everyone would be treated the same, regardless of income or race.

      I left the justice system in 2013 very jaded. I do not advocate “fairness.” Instead, I advocate reform. All sex offenders are NOT the same and NO ONE should have to live under the cloud of the worse thing they did their whole life for the rest of their life. There needs to be an avenue that these people can use to earn their way back to a normal life. The ones who are honest and have the aptitude will make it and we need to give them the opportunity to do so.

      I have so much more to say but that will be all for now.


      • #60839 Reply
        Truth be known

        Reply to Autumn1962 (Post 60824)

        You write : I guess another way to look at “fairness” is to be glad not everything is fair. If it were, then ALL sex offenders would be killed off and not just some. Lets instead, focus on reform and true justice.

        What are you writing here? Are you kidding me?
        It is ‘fair’ that those convicted of sex related offenses be ‘killed off”????

        I’m quite confused with your words. You surely do not mean exactly what your words state.

        As much as I want to advocate for “free speech” for all persons all the time, and as much as I am very wary of “hate speech” legislation and laws limiting persons from expressing their personal views, I’m still seeing what you write here as qualifying as “Hate speech”.

        Your words clearly advocate that the “killing-off” of a “certain group of persons” would be “fair.”

        Am I missing something here?

        Could you not be prosecuted for this?

        Where are the moderators on this forum? Hello?

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