In her first interview since Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell of an apparent suicide Saturday morning, Julie K Brown, the Miami Herald investigative reporter whose reporting led to the latest bevy of criminal charges against the convicted pedophile, told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle said she believes Epstein manipulated the prison staff to have himself removed from suicide watch and have his roommate removed from his cell...giving him the opportunity to take his own life.
Julie K Brown
Ruhle's first question to Brown - who appeared on a panel with a pair of criminal justice experts - was how did she react to the news of Epstein's death.
"I just couldn't believe it and I just said 'no, that couldn't be right'....everybody thought the same thing 'wasn't he under suicide watch and how could somebody under suicide watch commit suicide?' We now know that he manipulated things to get off of suicide watch."
You think he manipulated things to get off of suicide watch?
"I do. It doesn't surprise me that he was able to manipulate things to get more time to himself."
"And as for his victims...this represents another example to them of how the criminal justice system is broken."
This certainly is going to fuel the conspiracy theories it's going to be interesting to see how this unfolds...in the end I wouldn't be surprised to see that Epstein charmed a mental health professional to give him the space to commit suicide.
Will the reporting on Epstein's pedophile ring end with his death? Brown doesn't think so.
"There's a lot of documents out there...we don't know completely what US Attorney Geoffrey Berman has but there's definitely a paper trial. He will prosecute other people who were involved."
Next, Ruhle asked Brown about the whereabouts of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's 'madame' who allegedly groomed many of his victims? Why is it that people still don't know where she is?
"I can't really answer that question," Brown said. "She does have dual citizenship with the UK, and she has been associated in recent years with many Oceanographers, so there's been speculation that she could be on a submarine somewhere."
During the discussion about how Epstein managed to get himself alone in his cell, one of the other panel participants said that "for an inmate to kill somebody like Jeffrey Epstein would be a badge of honor. He should have been single-celled the entire time. He should have been on suicide watch the entire time. Those are the two things I see where the agency went wrong, very frankly."
As for next steps, Brown said she's going to keep following the paper trail of evidence, particularly the latest document dump that hit just hours before Epstein allegedly took his own life.
"I'm going to keep following the trail of evidence that we've dug up with these documents that came out the other day...there are new names of people who were alleged to have been involved and also I think everybody is hoping that new people involved with this will come forward."
Do you think they will?
"At first I thought they would with him being gone because many told me they didn't want to speak because they had an NDA then I though well maybe now how effective will those agreements be but with all of these conspiracy theories out there maybe they're thinking if this could happen to him maybe something similar could happen to them."
Watch the full interview below: