Details about the recent death of disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein appeared on the 4chan website more than a half-hour before being broken by news outlets, a report said Tuesday.
An anonymous user on 4chan, a website that hosts a variety of message boards, posted information about Epstein’s passing roughly 38 minutes prior to any news outlets, BuzzFeed News reported.
“[D]ont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this,” the user wrote at 8:16 a.m. Saturday morning, the report said.
Epstein’s death was first reported publicly by an ABC News correspondent on Twitter at 8:54 a.m. Saturday, the report noted.
A former financier and convicted sex offender, Epstein had been jailed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges where he was found unresponsive in his cell earlier Saturday as the result of an apparent suicide. He was 66.
The same user posted on 4chan a total of six times about Epstein’s death, including information consistent with official details released publicly later by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, BuzzFeed reported.
“Pt transported to Lower Manhattan ER and worked for 20 minutes and called. Hospital administrator was alerted, preparing statements,” the 4chan user wrote, according to BuzzFeed.
“Staff requested emergency medical services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued,” said the Bureau of Prisons. “Mr. Epstein was transported by EMS to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, and subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff.”
The New York City Fire Department reviewed the 4chan posts and ultimately determined they did not come from the FDNY, BuzzFeed reported. The medical examiner’s office and the MCC both declined to comment about the posts, and spokespeople for the New York Presbyterian Hospital did not immediately respond to similar inquiries, according to the outlet.
Oren Barzilay, the president of the union for emergency medical technicians in New York, said that the information posted online appeared not to have come from an EMT but would investigate “if such a claim came forward,” the report said.
The posts were discovered by Konrad Iturbe, a Barcelona-based developer who was researching conspiracies about Epstein circulating online, the report said.
Epstein had been placed on suicide watch weeks earlier, raising questions about his confinement and triggering the Department of Justice to launch a federal investigation into his death.
Launched in 2003, 4chan is currently among the world’s 1,000 most visited website, according to Alexa, the Amazon-owned online analytics service.
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