It isn't hard at all to find people who predicted that he would die before the trial. Of course, if he really knew where skeletons were buried, that went without saying--he was 66 and trials can be dragged on for a long time. That's especially true when there's no smoking gun, and some would have have testified that they saw nobody underage. The last link is about how he "collected scientists."
It isn't hard to find stories claiming that some aspect of events or another isn't consistent with the way things are usually done, or which looks suspicious in hindsight. He wasn't on suicide watch. Ooh, suspicious. In hindsight. But that's always a judgment call--who knows how he presented himself to the authorities?
If you told me that the Clintons had a friend who knew somebody in the general population there who owed him a favor, I'd be dubious. The probability seems pretty low. If you said they had a friend who had a friend who had a friend who knew somebody, I'd say the probability is much higher, but the likelihood of somebody ratting is also much higher--so not a credible claim.
If you told me that none of the famous names had a friend who knew somebody in general population, I'd also be very dubious. That too seems quite improbable.
How many things have to be true for this to be an "encouraged suicide?" (That seems much more likely, and less risky, than outright murder, and it has the same effect--there's now no reason for discovery to happen.)
Somebody(s) had something to hide that would have ruined their careers or their lives. This is "explained" by Epstein serving some underage women to high profile men. Then one of those had to have connections in the prison. The connections had to be secret (implying very few nodes in the connection), and easy to exercise. (And, of course, where did Epstein get his money--blackmail or funding from an intelligence agency?)
OK. I don't know how many of the famous names would have been looking for underage women--presumably not all of them. I don't know how many would have had problems if adultery were revealed--probably not all of them. But in either case a skillful agent might be able to use his services in "covering up scandal" to nudge the celebrity into cooperation; so "funding from an intelligence agency" is plausible. If some spy agency hasn't thought of doing this sort of thing already, they should have. An intelligence agency might have very interesting contacts in prison, too.
That last claim--that he had access to a surprising amount of money without any obvious source--is repeated in several stories, but I don't know the source. If it is true, a whole lot of nefarious options open up. If not, maybe he just liked collecting celebrities the same way he liked to collect scientist and women.
Why would I be likely, or unlikely, to believe that there was nefarious intent in the death? I'm, unfortunately, ready to suspect that the FBI is not telling the whole truth. It hasn't covered itself with glory recently, and on reflection, its history isn't as glorious as they like to present. Most of the names on his flights are people I don't know or care about--it is no skin off my nose if Prince Charles is a pedophile (I doubt that that would have been hidden for long from the British press). My opinon of Bill Clinton, while extremely low, doesn't include any suggestion that he goes for young ones--and we know more about his preferences that I really care to know.
That's all after-thinking. What was my gut reaction to the claims about Epstein at the time?
I thought the claim quite plausible--generically. I believe there are people who provide the rich and powerful with whatever luxuries or vices they want. (I sort-of-suspect that they cater to a partisan clientele, to avoid embarrassing the customers--but maybe there's a "camaraderie of weed".) The news claimed that Epstein was one of these purveyors--OK, that's plausible, especially if the claim about the no visible means of support were true. And that Clinton likes a variety of women isn't news; he'd be the kind who'd like being surrounded by beautiful women (but not jailbait)--that's a little corroborating evidence. So, OK, I'll trust that as far as I trust other news stories--but with the caveats that 1) jailbait aspects are probably over-stated, 2) blackmail (by him) seems very dangerous and unlikely: 3rd party support would be more likely, and 3) what else was he supplying? There would be many people unwilling to have their vices (or spying) exposed, so one could predict complications and delays.
Followup stories, such as the link about scientists, suggest a more benign interpretation--assuming that he made the wealth himself. Of course, you could expect that sort of story to appear if his lawyer had the money to hire PR consultants.
So, in light of my "it's plausible" view of the claim about his activities, I should be joining in the "it was murder" crew. But I'm not. I suspect that he was nudged into suicide--not quite the same thing, though still nefarious. His future was going to be pretty scary. So, am I a conspiracy theorist? And if so, what kind am I?