The unimaginable occurred in a prison cell over in the United States. It was so obvious that it just could not happen by some peculiar confluence of circumstances. Well, it did. The odds were shattered, and now the questions are scattered all over the place. Serial predator Jeffrey Epstein would have to answer for his crimes in another sphere.
What went wrong? Perhaps, the better question is what may have been allowed to go wrong. Allowed as in deliberate and calculated. Before anyone rushes to any thinking about conspiracy theories, the call is to be rational and wise in the face of the unknown and uncomprehending; what doesn’t make sense and leads to much head-shaking and jaw-stroking.
Billionaire predator and abuser Epstein was from the ranks of that most hated of criminals, the child molester. Among his preferred victims were those between the ages of 13 to 16 years of age. The lower end of that age range is enough to put a man in grave danger in prison, through incurring the unending rage of the most hardened criminals, repulsed by such outcasts in the jail population. A regular predator would have been – as a matter of routine – isolated and watched. The former was in place; among the questions spiraling is how much was he watched? And whether he was really, seriously, watched, if at all?
Then, having attempted suicide (as was officially reported) while awaiting trial, one would have thought that this prisoner required special, round-the-clock surveillance, if only to prevent any such recurrence from finishing the first botched job. He was placed on suicide watch about three weeks ago, after being found unconscious in his Federal detention cell. Suicide watch means 24-hour electronic observation and 24-hour scrutiny by human watchers. Some official suicide watch that one was, given what happened over this last weekend. The deed was done, whether by his own hand; or by the fouled ones of others.
Possibly foul because the world outside of prison walls inhabited by the likes of Jeffrey Epstein is one that even Hollywood is still to capture in its many glittering and dark colours. It is the blackest of bête noirs – that so thrills and intrigues and frightens ordinary people. For here was a man who hobnobbed with many rich and powerful men; they were certainly from the world of politics, borderline crime, high financing, and the pantheon of movers and shakers. Screaming eagles and carrions of a like stripe in some instances, who share tastes in money, power, and vices. Attractive, underaged youngsters would and could feature as part of such titillating exotica; to that add “opaque finances.”
It should not require any stretch of intelligence (or commonsense) to ask if, speculate aloud, and conclude thoughtfully that, predator Epstein, once alive and full of knowledge of who and when and with whom, knew too much. Unlike the clean-cut, all-American Jimmy Stewart in the 1956 Hitchcock thriller, The Man Who Knew Too Much, who comes out alive in that fictional cinematic encounter, Epstein and his victims (and his friends) were/are from real life. Eternal silence is best; because, when all is debated, reviewed, and sanitized, there is this inarguable truth: dead men don’t talk; trails vanishing.
As to what secrets he may have had for influential and well-positioned people menaced by his imprisonment, and the likely public exposure of his darkest secrets, that operates best in the realm of the speculative, and is not contributory to hard, irrefutable conclusions. Conclusions that implicate others. Whatever skeletons there were, and whoever they could have buried with them, remains unearthed and likely forever so.
As the mysteries of the life and death of Epstein is pondered, Guyanese do well to recall one George Bacchus. Watched, protected, and possessing a head full of secrets that could have exposed the rich and powerful in this country. He, too, ended up taking his secrets with him.
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