A full 40 minutes before ABC and the rest of the mainstream press reported the news that convicted sex offender and accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein had died in his jail cell, a post confirming his death appeared on the anonymous messaging board 4chan.
“[D]ont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this,” the post said alongside Pepe the frog.
The post appeared at 8:16am ET.
But news of Epstein’s death broke on an ABC reporter’s Twitter account at 8:54am, and then shortly after that on the network’s website.
BuzzFeedTuesday confirmed that the New York Fire Department (FDNY) has placed the post “under review” to determine how the information was obtained and posted on 4chan before the rest of the world knew that Epstein had died. The FDNY, though, said that the post did not come from inside the department.
Oren Barzilay, president of the union for EMT workers Local 2507 in New York City told BuzzFeed that “our members do not release this type of confidential information, this looks like a 3rd party info.”
The FDNY and the EMT’s, along with jail employees, would presumably be the only ones who would have known about Epstein’s untimely death at 8:16am. It is one of many irregularities in the alleged suicide of a very high-profile man who had connections to the America’s political and business elites. (RELATED: Jeffrey Epstein Kept ‘Meticulously Detailed Diaries’)
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