Discover more from The Trenchant Edges Newsletter
Jeffery Epstein The Boogeyman[Trenchant Edges]
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes, 0 seconds. Contains 2603 words
Welcome back to the Trenchant Edges, the newsletter whose tradition of saying I’ll write about one thing but then writing about something completely different is more than two years strong and not going anywhere.
I was again supposed to go through a wacky paper PA Governor candidate Doug Mastriano wrote in war college.
But I’ve decided to get myself an early Halloween present and actually formally lay out what’s probably my most contrarian take of the last few years.
The Take: Epstein either killed himself or was actively helping his murderers.
There’s a third option, but let’s set that aside for a moment. It’s the least likely.
I wanted to write about this because I think Epstein’s one of the most important touchstones in modern conspiracy theories. He’s proof of almost anything you like, and plenty of people use him as such.
But his life is an incredible case study for people looking at how power and wealth are actually brokered at the highest levels of the real world. Not streamlined into a safe three act structure or an inverted pyramid story, but just a banquet of weird bowls filled with confusing shit, horrific crimes, and lots of… implications.
To be really blunt about it, we can’t really do this in one essay, I’ve been trying to make it work like that all week. So today isn’t about hot takes, but about trying to nail down what we all know about the guy.
Epstein’s a useful case study because his connections are goddamn everywhere and there’s a huge gap between what we’re sure he did, what’s likely, and what’s possible.
So, first, who was Jeffery Epstein?
The short answer is some combination of billionaire money launderer, probable blackmailer, fixer, cut-out, pedophile, and friend to a staggering number of the wealthiest and most influential people on the planet, including two US presidents: multiple accused rapist Bill Clinton and multiple accused rapist Donald Trump.
Epstein trafficked, slept with, and procured for other clients somewhere between “dozens”, “hundreds” and potentially “thousands” of underage girls for a variety of sex acts. As well as coercing many of them into procuring their friends to him.
We know for sure that the Palm Beach PD found over 50 girls involved just at his Palm Beach estate and some of the ways people talk about him imply the number is much larger than that.
And the closer you look at him the more weird spy friends you find. Most notably Robert Maxwell and Les Wexner. But also arms dealer superstar Adnan Kashoggi. And Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman. And at least a few prominent Isreali leaders.
I don’t think you can say for sure that Maxwell was a spy, but I think it’d be unreasonable not to suspect connections with at least the CIA and Mossad. We won’t be going into those here, ask if you wanna hear about them. It’s a whole thing.
Born in Brooklyn in 1953, he started his professional life teaching at the Dalton School in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. A lot of people make a big deal about him not having a college degree, but this was 1974, and a lot of jobs we think of as needing degrees were available if you had a pulse, were presentable, and connected with the person hiring you.
Except that this person may have been Donald Barr, father of Trump administration Attorney General Bill Barr. Put a pin in that. It’s not the first, nor the shadiest connection Epstein would have with the future Trump administration.
It’s also worth noting that Donald Barr left the school in June 1974 and Jeffery only started teaching in September 1974. It’s not clear if Barr got him the job. But he probably could have and the timing is close enough, IMO.
And it was at the Dalton School that Epstein met Alan Greenburg, whose kids went there. Greenburg took a liking to Epstein and gave him a job at 2007 Housing Market crash alumni Bear-Stearns.
This is maybe the second time that a smart, powerful man met Epstein and thought, “Oh yeah, I want this guy on my team.” He was apparently both extremely charming and very good at mathematics.
It’s, uh, gonna be a theme. Smart, powerful people (mostly men), LOVE giving Epstein money and power. Lots of people see this as proof he’s some kind of long-running agent, but I’m a bit skeptical there. Powerful people need capable subordinates and Epstein was largely that. Mix with charisma and it’s not really surprising that he was able to angle some whopper positions.
Mind you, I say that as a smart, mildly charismatic guy without a degree who’s regularly found himself in business meetings way out of his weight class. I doubt I’d ever be able to rise as Epstein did, but I’ve seen firsthand how that might go.
I also suspect there’s another layer where he’s just kinda a gross dude and gross dudes often really hit it off being gross dudes together. That’s the vibe I get from pictures with him at parties in the 90s/00s at any rate.
If you want me to go deeper into Epstein’s background, let me know.
Most of what I’m writing is coming directly from memory having spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out what exactly Epstein was up to and when.
Hustling through 1976-2019
Epstein spent 4 years at Bear, was driven out because a trading scandal, but just opened his own consultancy. By the late 80s he was working with Towers Financial, a ponzi scheme that collapsed with hundreds of millions of dollars missing.
The scheme collapsed, Epstein walked away without any flak, and his employer Steven Hoffenberg would serve 18 of the 20 years he was sentenced to for all kinds of Fraud. Until Bernie Madoff, this was the largest fraud in US history.
At some point in the 80s, Epstein seemed to get involved with Iran Contra or at least Adnan Kashoggi while *he* was doing Iran Contra. At some point around this time, Epstein probably also got involved with Robert Maxwell, whose daughter Ghislaine was found guilty of sex trafficking for Epstein for things she did in the 90s. Maxwell is like 3 full posts of this newsletter by himself; his daughter could eat up just as much space.
Arguably his most important catch in this time was becoming the main money manager for Les Wexner, owner of L Brands which runs brands like Victora’s Secret and bath and body works. This relationship would last a while, we’re not gonna get into it in detail.
It’s worth noting two things though: Les gave Epstein his power of attorney in 1991, giving Epstein the ability to do pretty much anything in Les’ name financially. And Les had a lot of friends connected with Mossad. It’s a whole thing. Anyway.
After walking away from Towers without a scratch, Epstein spent the 90s as global socialite, showing up in all sorts of places, especially with his on-and-off girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.
The next really important segment here is Epstein buying a property in Palm Beach Florida where he’d go to molest at least dozens of minors that we know of between 1990 when he bought it and 2008 when he was arrested.
Believe me, I’m trying to keep this concise. So I’ll point you to two things: First, to Julie Brown’s bombshell 2018 Article How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime and second to former Palm Beach police Chief Michael Reiter, who picked a real fight with a billionaire and almost won.
I do not have much respect for police as a rule, but Reiter fought tooth and nail for the better part of a decade to jail Epstein until Alex Acosta gave him a sweetheart deal we’re not going to go into. Acosta would later be Trump’s Secretary of Labor (remember the pin?)
Look it up. You’ll be mad. It’s infuriating. And even seems like it should be illegal. Ask if you want me to go into this or his absurd 2008 trip to Israel while under federal indictment!
So, in 2008 Epstein was convicted of some bullshit charges and given a really cushy deal and a staggering amount of immunity to his coconspirators. Acosta, if memory serves, at one point claimed he had CIA connections that “justified” it.
Don’t care, moving on.
After his “sentence” ended, he went back to investing, socializing, and being a general bastard. Oh, and flying a bunch of your favorite scientists to his privately owned Island, Little Saint James on his private airplane the Lolita Express. Oh shit, I didn’t mention all the hidden cameras in all his houses. oh shit, every goddamn thing is a rabbit hole with this bastard.
And this lasted until Julie K Brown’s reporting brought renewed pressure and thus federal attention and the FBI was able to find something not in his nonprosecution agreement to charge and arrest him for. Also, there were just a TON of lawsuits during this time.
Another thing you might want me to unpack. Like literally dozens of them.
OK, we’re almost at 2019. But first I need to point out a rabbit hole I’d missed until writing this, Julie Brown’s been sued by two of Epstein’s victims for misrepresenting their story. Which muddies up a lot of the hero/villain angle of this whole situation.
Anyway, Epstein was arrested for the last time on July 6th 2019, held at Manhattan Correctional Center, and denied bail because he was absolutely a flight risk.
So, we’ve got the bastard in jail now, 1,300 words in. I cannot overstate how much I’m skipping over.
And almost none of this is speculation. Which is a whole other order of magnitude worth of content with Epstein.
I’ve chosen to leave out most of the details of Epstein’s crimes because those are easy to find, disgust me, and are unnecessary for the discussion I want to have here.
Epstein Was An Inside Job
OK, dude’s in jail. We’ll call it July 6th, the day he was arrested
We’re gonna be a little less linear here because I want to talk about why so many of us, myself included, thought he didn’t kill himself on first hearing the news.
It was actually kind of an amazing moment for a paranoid connoisseur.
Because it seemed like almost everyone immediately thought, “Yeah right, there’s no way that asshole killed himself.”
Not just on the internet, it was on the news. I saw dozens of various anchors react. I tuned into news coverage I never do just to watch! It was so validating!
But I’m a professional paranoid (thanks to your continued support ;-) ), so pretty quickly I had another thought: What if that’s what they wanted us to think?
Now, I mostly ignored that thought. That’s a pretty convoluted move to create a bunch of people who think Epstein was murdered.
What would even be the benefit?
So I took a few notes on what I thought caring about if he was murdered or not might distract people from:
How exactly did Epstein get his money?
How much money did he actually have?
Who was he actually working for/with?
Hey, didn’t he record a bunch of blackmail? What happened to that?
Who did he blackmail or help blackmail?
I started scratching those questions. I *think* I more or less have answers to a few of them. Epstein got his money partially by providing sophisticated money laundering for wall street, but mostly through siphoning off money from Towers Financial and other projects.
Epstein’s net worth has been estimated at around $577,000,000. I don’t believe this is correct. I assume there are a slew of money pots hiding around the world for a rainy day.
Dude was part of the beating underbelly of global finance for almost 40 years, and probably knew how to hide money.
Working for? Ultimately, himself. With? Mossad is near certain, CIA very likely. I doubt he limited himself to just the two of them.
And I assume the blackmail tapes if they’re still around are mixed between caches the public doesn’t know about, his partners, and possibly also the FBI.
As for who he collected info on? Probably everyone he met. From reading the transcripts of his victims and reports from his friends, Epstein was very generous guy, always looking for ways to help people.
Ways that would give him leverage later. Leverage he could use to get what he wanted or to help someone else.
In other words, whatever else he was, Epstein was a fixer. Too useful for powerful people to get rid of. As a friend put it, “Epstein’s life and network is an indictment of the whole of the global ruling class.”
And this is the point I think is really important, way beyond anything about how the man died. He hung around and people more or less knew what he was about. Maybe not in detail, but they knew.
A 2002 quote from Donald Trump is illustrative.
“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York Magazine that year for a story headlined “Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery.” “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
Now, I’m not going to say that Donald Trump is a pedophile. But I am going to say that he absolutely did joke about Epstein being into minors there.
And I figure if Trump noticed, nobody else gets much of a pass.
We need one more brief tangent: Looking back on the notes I’ve had on this subject since mid 2019, I see lots of people who kind of expected Epstein to, uh, snitch on his clients/partners/victims. I do not understand why anyone thinks that was ever an option for him. If he wanted to, he had the resources and time to do literally anything about it. He could have burned anyone. He had at least 30 years of hundreds of millions of dollars at minimum.
I’ll go into more details next essay but if Epstein had wanted anyone burned, he could have done it without much risk to himself.
And there’s little chance anyone could have stopped him from doing so if he was motivated and paranoid.
Stick a pin in it
OK, so there you go. That’s a kind of broad outline of who Epstein was, a short introduction to his crimes, and some of the hints he was involved with more.
One of the attractive things about claiming someone murdered the man is no matter who you’re paranoid about, you can find a reason for them to want him dead.
Hate Donald Trump? The man’s implied knowing about Epstein’s underaged preferences before.
Bill or Hillary Clinton? he donated 25k to the Clinton Foundation.
Mossad? CIA? FBI? English Royal Family? check, check, check, and check.
And all this is just the stuff we more or less know for sure. Who knows who else he pissed off over the decades.
There’s an Epstein conspiracy written *just* for you almost no matter who you are.
As I’ve said before, paranoia is a trustworthy tool and a terrible master. Keep an eye open tomorrow for the rest of this essay.
We’re going deep.
See you then.
If you learned something or found this newsletter interesting, know it’s run on a value-for-value model. Every dollar is appreciated.