When I read this past Saturday morning that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell, my first thought was about the race that his death would trigger amongst his alleged co-conspirators. That's the race to the U.S. Attorney's office to cooperate ahead of the next guy. With Epstein gone, lesser targets of the federal investigation will be moved closer to the bullseye, and former witnesses will suddenly become targets themselves.
My next immediate thought was about the victims and that's where my thoughts have stayed.
Imagine the anguish.
Imagine that you've lived for years with the maelstrom of emotions spawned in the subtropical regions of your soul, having been not just victimized but subjugated by another human being and he's finally arrested. Then, he's held without bond.
You begin to think that your abuser, the jailer of your conscious and your subconscious is going to be finally punished himself.
You have been nurturing, coaxing, safeguarding and steeling yourself and your desire to stand up, to be heard and to regain your sense of self.
And less than two months after his arrest, he's dead.
What's next for Jeffrey Epstein's victims? How do they change course and what new, at least partially curative prescription will they be able to write for themselves in order to function in a world where their tormenter has fled beyond reach?
Of course, there are other potential co-conspirators; people whose names they know as his facilitators: what Renfield was to Dracula. There are also civil lawsuits against the Epstein Estate.
But, I keep coming back to the anguish of these victims. I hope that they will still find and fortify their voices and perhaps, even help others to do the same. And I hope that each of the victims is surrounded by friends and family and fierce, relentless advocates.