Jeffrey Epstein's cause of death has been ruled a suicide by hanging; however, there a series of conspiracy theories that suggest he was strangled. There are some distinct physical findings that would differentiate the two.
66 year-old Jeffrey Epstein, who recently pleaded not guilty of sex trafficking charges, was found dead in his jail cell on August 10. He had recently been on suicide watch and reports initially suggested he had hung himself by his bed sheet.
However, the results of the financier’s autopsy suggest he sustained trauma consistent with hanging (after preliminary reports suggested strangulation). How do forensic experts tell the difference?
With hanging, one drops from a height and suspends, incurring a fracture of a neck bone which in turn may sever the spinal cord.
A severe blood pressure drop can ensue and the victim may die within minutes
As seen above, a “hangman’s fracture” is seen with hyperextension injuries where the pars interarticularis on the pedicle of the C2 vertebrae becomes fractured. The distance of the drop is crucial in determining the success of the execution. A drop to long could cause beheading, a drop too short could cause strangulation.
If they do strangulate ...they asphyxiate (lose air flow), or lose blood flow from their carotid arteries being compromised.
From a capital punishment standpoint, hanging is one of the most common and barbaric ways to execute. Three states still have this form of execution as an option if lethal injection is not available (DE, NH, WA).
Strangulation occurs when one compresses the structures of the neck causing decrease air and blood flow. It could be executed using a ligature (scarf, sheet, cord) or by one’s hands. Moreover, it can occur if a hanging drop is improperly calculated. Many times the hyoid bone is fractured (1/3 of all homicides) as its think U-shape is vulnerable to the forces of strangulation.
So injuries incurred can be similar in both strangulation and hanging, especially if the latter is done improperly and ineffectively severs the spinal cord.
However, since hanging causes a blood pressure drop and strangulation causes a backup of pressure into the head due to vessel constrictions, on autopsy one may find more signs of hemorrhage (retinal hemorrhages) and swelling (brain edema) during strangulation than accurate hanging.
The 20 year old model allegedly slit her wrists earlier Saturday. She was treated and released by a local hospital, despite earlier reports that she would be held for observation.
TMZ reports the pedophile allegations made against her father Michael Jackson might have incited this latest attempt on her life. (Editor's note: Paris Jackson is out of the hospital and denies any suicide attempt. She claims she was injured in an "accident" and had to go to the hospital because of it. So- maybe, maybe not, right?) In 2013 she attempted to commit suicide by slitting her wrists as well. She is currently being supervised by her team of doctors.
This is a developing story.
Each year 47,000 Americans take their lives. That averages to 123 people a day. And each suicide affects everyone with whom the person has regular encounters. So why is it so common? Here are six reasons people choose to end their life.
When tragedy strikes, whether it be an accident, break up, job loss, missed opportunity, some can’t see “the light at the end of the tunnel.” Many think and navigate through life one step at a time, which may be productive when it comes to tackling tasks, but if they feel the obstacle in front of them is insurmountable they may believe their options are far and few between, with death being the only out.
Many of us have been trained to act on a whim. We quickly reply to a text, pop some food in the microwave, flick the controller while playing a video game…and these quick, instinctive acts are becoming apart of our daily behavior. So when one has a fleeting thought of suicide, they may be less likely to slow down and think it through.
This is one of the least discussed reasons people commit suicide, but unfortunately more common than we think. Although most of us fear death and dying, some pathologically can’t handle the thought of it happening out of the blue. Those who need control and need to plan ahead, may find solace in the fact that they are planning their own death. They can’t control their birth but they can control their death, they believe, and for those who feel they have lost control of their life may find this tragic option welcoming.
Hollywood stereotypes depression as a woman sitting on a couch eating ice cream to combat the tears and loneliness of a breakup. But many have symptoms of severe depression and don’t know it.
So many self medicate either by over-eating, drinking alcohol, smoking weed, or taking pills, which when wears off, can sink one into a lower funk. Without psychological or medical intervention, one struggles to recover.
Since so many people are undiagnosed when it comes to depression, family members and friends are unaware their loved one is struggling. Going about one’s business may be inferred as indifference by someone suffering from a mood disorder. “They won’t even notice I’m gone,” pervades their thoughts and worsens their loneliness.
If one feels they’ve been ignored, unheard or wronged, this could incite an “I’ll show ’em” attitude in which their suicide is plotted to be a form of psychological revenge.
Sadly many out there secretly hope they get help but don’t know how to ask for it. It’s up to us to seek them out and guide them to a medical professional who can listen, understand, and work with them.