According to the Mundane Principle, which I just made up, the answer to any mystery is usually the least interesting and most boring of all logical possibilities. This is essentially Occam’s Razor but with an added dose of cynicism. And it is because of the Mundane Principle, and Occam’s Razor, that I tend to think Jeffrey Epstein ended up dead on the floor of his jail cell because he killed himself — and he was able to kill himself because our government is grossly incompetent and negligent.

With that said, the so-called “conspiracy theory” — that Epstein was given a friendly assist in his suicide, or that he was outright murdered — is not, in this case, unreasonable. Indeed, it is quite reasonable. As Sohrab Ahmari has documented, mainstream journalists and media personalities have derided the conspiracy speculations as absurd and irresponsible, but they are neither of those things. It would be absurd and irresponsible to declare with certainty that Epstein was murdered at the command of one of his uber-wealthy friends, but it is justified to wonder aloud about such possibilities.

After all, the facts, as they are currently being presented, don’t seem to add up. Epstein is (was) the most important inmate in the entire federal prison system. As the head of a global sex trafficking network, his testimony could expose and destroy an array of rich and powerful child rapists across the world. Given the information he possessed, and the crimes he committed, he was in active danger from several different directions. Inmates are notoriously unwelcoming to accused pedophiles. His well-connected and obscenely rich clients had every reason to want him dead. And then there was perhaps the greatest threat to Epstein’s continued health and vitality: Epstein himself. He’d already attempted suicide once, allegedly.

Yet, in spite of all of these facts, Epstein was taken off of suicide watch days ago. What’s more, his cellmate was transferred to a different cell on the very night of the alleged suicide. The guards who were supposed to check on Epstein every 20 minutes hadn’t been by his cell for several hours leading up to his death, for some reason. As for video footage, prison officials tell us that there wasn’t any camera trained directly on Epstein. None of this makes much sense. We can all pretend otherwise, but what’s the point of that? We’re all thinking the same thing. Why shouldn’t we say so?

It’s not like there’s anything particularly outlandish about a potential state’s witness meeting an untimely demise at the behest of whoever he was supposed to testify against. This sort of thing has happened many times in the history of our illustrious country. It would be somewhat remarkable for a prisoner of Epstein’s stature and importance to be assassinated while in federal custody, but it’s arguably more remarkable — or just as remarkable, at least — for a prisoner of Epstein’s stature and importance to kill himself while in federal custody. The whole situation is hard to believe. But it happened. And so we are left only with hard-to-believe explanations.

The greater point is this: The people of this country do not trust their governing institutions, so when they hear that a sex trafficker who could implicate powerful elites wound up dead in prison, they assume that corruption must have played a rule. Is this an unfair assumption? Not in the least. Our governing institutions are corrupt. There is a long and storied history of elites pulling strings and calling in favors to escape prosecution for crimes that would land the average schlub behind bars. Is this yet another example in a long, depressing line of examples? Maybe so. The most depressing fact of all is that we’ll never know for sure, one way or another.

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