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So I don't do this much on Twitter, but Imma put my forensic guy hat on for a minute and talk about the Jeffrey Epstein neck thing.

I am going to talk about mechanics of trauma and suicide by hanging, so if anybody wants to mute me now's the time.
The NYT did better on this story than the WASHINGTON POST -- they called experts and asked them questions, rather than just running with what the source said. But the NYT and WashPo differed in their particulars.
NYT said that Epstein's hyoid bone was broken.

WashPo said that Epstein's hyoid bone was among the bones in his neck that were broken.

Here is a public domain pic of a hyoid bone, from the first edition of Gray's Anatomy.

It's U-shaped, 1.5-2 inches across at the widest point, and about as long, maybe a little longer.
The hyoid ossifies from six centers, but don't worry about that; there are basically 3 pieces you have to think about. As you can see from the pic, there's a body in the middle and two big skinny projections (the greater wings) u-ing off to the sides.
So, let's talk about the mechanics of how the bone gets broken. Basically, bilateral pressure (like the kind you get when you're being manually strangled by somebody who has thumb on one side & fingers on the other) can break the greater wings, because (see pic) they are skinny.
It can also be broken accidentally (if you're in a car accident, for example), though often there will be more trauma involved. There's even medical documentation of stress fractures caused by muscular contraction. (See: delicate.)
And of course, in some people those long skinny projections never fuse to the body of the hyoid at all.

Which can *look* like a fracture, if you don't look carefully.
So let's move on to how Jeffrey Epstein died: suicide by hanging.

Specifically, what has been reported is that he tied a bedsheet to his neck and kneeled down. This is actually a quite common method. People will hang themselves using a belt and a doorknob.
The person leans into the noose, the noose cuts off the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, loss of consciousness and death result.

That's the mechanism; in comparison to manual strangulation, the level of pressure on the hyoid is much lower.
Hollywood to the contrary, people do not actually need to dangle feet-off-the-floor to hang themselves. (Though in that case, the mechanism is similar.)

It's different in a judicial hanging.
A judicial hanging from an official gallows involves a sudden drop. The function of this drop is to break the neck of the condemned person (classically what breaks is the second cervical vertebra).
The fact that Jeffrey Epstein had a broken hyoid is atypical for his kind of hanging, but it's not impossible. It does mean the ME will want to look at the other information very very closely.

But WashPo goes further with this, and it's either bad reporting or WTF territory.
WashPo says the hyoid was "among the bones broken in Epstein's neck."

Which raises the question: well, if that's the case, what other bones were broken?
There are not a lot of bones in the neck. You've got the hyoid, and maybe ossified thyroid and cricoid cartilage. Those are delicate, too, and could be fractured in a hanging or by paramedics pulling somebody out of one.
And you've got seven cervical vertebrae.

You don't get broken vertebrae from a hanging like Jeffrey Epstein is reported to have committed. If Epstein had any broken verts, that's a different ballgame & would be INSANELY newsworthy, so of course WashPo didn't clearly report it.
My theory, based on several years of professional experience, including dealing with journos in a forensic context: I bet WashPo wrote it down wrong.

SOURCE. "The hyoid was broken."
JOURNO. "Wtf is that"
SOURCE. "It's among the bones in the neck"

Something like that.
It would be a bit unusual, but not impossible, to see a broken hyoid, or broken ossified thyroid or cricoid cartilage in a hanging like the one Epstein is reported to have committed.

Broken vertebrae would ring massive alarm bells, so my guess is a source would have led w/ that.
/forensic guy hat off.
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