News of Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent death by suicide ended up on 4Chan, an internet messaging board replete with right-wing trolls, so far in advance of the official statement that the FDNY had to look into the posting to determine if an employee had preemptively shared the news.
According to Buzzfeed News, the FDNY said after a review that none of their staff is to blame. Some are speculating that the poster was a medic or other first responder on the scene, as the description included specific details of officials’ attempts to resuscitate Epstein after he allegedly hanged himself.
“[D]ont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this,” read the post, accompanied by an image of right-wing mascot Pepe the Frog. It was another 38 minutes before ABC News became the first major outlet to break the story.
If it was a medical professional who shared the information, the post would be a major violation of ethics and medical privacy laws.
Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Manhattan Correctional Center on Saturday morning, touching off a firestorm of conspiracy theories about how an inmate who apparently tried to kill himself once before ultimately pulled off the feat.