Dr. Michael Baden is a former New York City medical examiner and renowned forensic pathologist who has performed private autopsies in several high-profile cases, including on Jeffrey Epstein. He says he found indications of evidence of homicide, not suicide, when examining Epstein’s body at the request of the family of the convicted sex offender and disgraced financier. The current New York City medical examiner ruled Epstein’s death a suicide after he was found hanging in his cell in a federal prison in Manhattan on August 10, 2019.
Baden, 85, revealed his findings during an exclusive interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” morning show on Wednesday, October 30. After the interview aired, the New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson stood by her office’s finding that Epstein died by suicide. Her office conducted an autopsy on August 11 and announced on August 16 that Epstein’s death had been ruled as suicide by hanging. Baden was present for the autopsy.
Epstein was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. He had been moved into a segregated housing unit after authorities said he had previously attempted suicide, but was later returned to a normal cell without a cellmate. After his death, Attorney General William Barr, whose Justice Department oversees the prison, called for an investigation on how Epstein was able to kill himself. Barr said there were “serious irregularities” in how the prison handled Epstein. Barr added, “We will get to the bottom of what happened, and there will be accountability.”
Epstein’s death sparked many conspiracy theories, which have been reignited with Baden’s statements about the cause of his death.
Here’s what you need to know about Michael Baden and his findings in Jeffrey Epstein’s death:
1. Michael Baden Said on ‘Fox & Friends’ That the 3 Fractures Epstein Suffered ‘Occur Much More Commonly in Homicidal Strangulation’
The autopsy completed by the New York City medical examiner’s office found that the 66-year-old Jeffrey Epstein sustained multiple broken bones in his neck, including the hyoid bone. Experts have said that the hyoid bone can break in some cases of suicide by hanging. Epstein also had two fractures on the right and left sides of his larynx and the fracture to his hyoid bone was on the left above the Adam’s apple.
“Those three fractures are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation. … It appears that this could have been a mistake,” Baden told Fox News of the suicide finding. “There’s evidence here of homicide that should be investigated, to see if it is or isn’t homicide. … I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging case.”
Baden added, “It doesn’t give you the answer. It’s not a typical hanging case.”
During an interview with “Fox and Friends,” Michael Baden said the medical examiner’s office might have been wrong. The full interview can be watched above. Baden said that his independent study is not complete, and “the investigation is not completed until all the information has come in.” He added that his observations are not conclusive.
Baden was hired by Mark Epstein, Jeffrey’s brother and next of kin. Baden told “Fox and Friends,” that Mark Epstein, and “others may be at risk,” if it was a homicide, “because somebody not wanting knowledge given out.”
Dr. Barbara Sampson responded to Baden’s interview with a statement saying, “Our investigation concluded that the cause of Mr. Epstein’s death was hanging and the manner of death was suicide. We stand by that determination. We continue to share information around the medical investigation with Mr. Epstein’s family, their representatives, and their pathology consultant. The original medical investigation was thorough and complete. There is no reason for a second medical investigation by our office.”
2. He Graduated From NYU, Worked as New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner for a Year & Was the Chairman of the Congressional Panel That Investigated the Assassination of JFK
Dr. Michael Baden was born in The Bronx in 1934 and graduated from New York University and the New York University School of Medicine. He worked as the chief medical examiner for the City of New York from 1978 to 1979. Baden was removed by Mayor Ed Koch under a cloud of controversy, according to an article in The New York Times from 1979.
Baden was removed after complaints made by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau and Health Commissioner Reinaldo Ferrer, but he denied their charges of sloppy record-keeping, poor judgment and lack of cooperation and accusations that he revealed publicly that Governor Nelson Rockefeller died during sexual intercourse. Others in the criminal justice world in New York City at the time criticized the move to remove Baden.
“He is too independent, that’s the only slam on the guy. He cannot be leaned on and he has tremendous integrity,” Robert Tanenbaum, a former Manhattan district attorney’s office staffer, told The Times. “And so in the mentality of the New York establishment, he can’t be trusted.”
Baden also served as chairman of the House Select Committee on Assassinations’ Forensic Pathology Panel that re-investigated the death of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1970s.
Baden has performed more than 20,000 autopsies. Baden has also, “held professorial teaching appointments at Albert Einstein Medical School, Albany Medical College, New York Law School and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He has taught homicide courses for police, judges, attorneys, and physicians in most of the 50 states as well as in China, Taiwan, Kuwait, Australia, France, Italy and other countries.”
3. Baden Runs a Private Forensic Pathology Consulting Practice, Testifying at Several High-Profile Trials & Conducting Private Autopsies & Is an Author & Was the ‘Death Correspondent’ for Greg Gutfield
Dr. Michael Baden has run his own private forensic pathology consulting practice for several decades. In that role, he has testified at several high-profile trials and has conducted private autopsies in major cases that have drawn national headlines.
He testified at murder trials for OJ Simpson and Phil Spector, and conducted private autopsies on Michael Brown after the Ferguson shooting and Aaron Hernandez after he died by suicide in Massachusetts state prison.
Baden is the author of two non-fiction books, “Natural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner,” and “Dead Reckoning: the New Science of Catching Killers,” and the co-author, with his wife, of two forensic thrillers, “Remains Silent,” and “Skelton Justice.”
He has been a contributor for Fox News for several years. Baden was also the host of the HBO show “Autopsy,” and was the “death correspondent” for Greg Gutfield’s late night Fox News show.
4. He Is Married to Attorney Linda Kenney Baden, Who Represented Phil Spector, Jayson Williams, Michael Skakel & Casey Anthony
Baden is married to attorney Linda Kenney Baden. She is a former prosecutor turned private trial attorney who has represented several high-profile clients, including Phil Spector, ex-NBA star Jayson Williams, Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel and Casey Anthony.
She is also an on-air host for the Law & Crime Network.
5. Baden Has 3 Children From His First Marriage to Physician & Drug Treatment Center Founder Judianne Densen-Gerber & His Son Died After a Motorcycle Crash in 1996
Baden was previously married to physician and Odyssey House drug treatment program founder Judianne Densen-Gerber. They divorced in 1997.
He has three children from his marriage with his first wife, daughters Dr. Trissa Baden, Dr. Sarah Baden and son Dr. Lindsey Baden. All three of his kids followed their parents’ footsteps into the medical field. Trissa Baden is an OBGYN, Sarah Baden is a physician and Lindsey Baden is an infectious disease specialist.
Another son, Judson Baden, died in 1996 while his father was in the spotlight because of the OJ Simpson trial. Judson Baden, 32, crashed his motorcycle a week before his death, and was sent home from the hospital. But he died as a result of “undiagnosed” injuries and complications of the crash, according to the Los Angeles Times.