Nearly 40 minutes before ABC News broke the story that accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was dead, a user on the anonymous message board 4chan made a post about the inmate’s death.
Buzzfeed first reported the post on Tuesday and said the New York City Fire Department indicated it is looking into the matter; however, an FDNY spokesperson said authorities “determined this alleged information did not come from the Fire Department.”
The post was particularly curious in that it revealed details of Epstein’s death that would only be known to first responders, including measures taken to revive the once well-connected financier.
“[D]ont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this,” the post said, published at 8:16 a.m.
The first media report of Epstein’s death did not come until 8:54 a.m., via a tweet by ABC News reporter Aaron Katersky.
After other 4chan users expressed doubt over the post’s legitimacy, the poster shared more details: “worked asystole arrest for 40 minutes, als intubated in the field/epi/2 liters NS infused. Telemetry advised bicarb and D50 in the field. Pt transfered to Lower Manhattan ER and worked for 20 minutse and called. Hospital administrator was alerted, preparing statements.”
Though the measures described in the post are standard procedures given Epstein’s condition, those details have not been confirmed as accurate, and full information on the incident will not become apparent until the final coroner’s report is released.
Still, Buzzfeed noted that “Information released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons also appears to line up with some of what was posted on 4chan.”
If the poster was in fact a first responder, releasing medical and personally identifiable information without consent would violate federal HIPPA law and could result in suspension and civil penalties.