Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself: a correctional perspective

You already know it is a complete gaffe that the media expects us to believe that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide. While on suicide watch. Oh, wait, breaking MSM news. He actually wasn’t on suicide wa—yeah right!

How it’s literally impossible that suicide is the cause of Epstein’s death

Epstein was on suicide watch.

Another way to describe this is a Mental Health staff-ordered constant observation. Manhattan Correctional Center’s top MH official would’ve ordered Epstein remain in a security camera-monitored cell specifically designed to prevent suicide.

A plastic bed bolted to the floor. A smooth-edged sink-toilet combo. And a security smock, or turtle suit, made of tear-proof material that one cannot roll up and use to attempt hanging themselves.

More specific: the MH staff that called for this constant observation to prevent self-harm, will have worked with the MCC Shift Commanders to ensure that a correction officer would have been posted outside Epstein’s suicide proof room.

24/7

It’s called an Eyeball.

They suck.

You look at these idiots for eight hours straight, just eyeballing them for the slightest signs of attempted self-injurious behavior, which you then two-way radio in to initiate an emergency response.

So far, we have 24/7 camera surveillance and a CO trained in observing body language/behavior with nothing to do but call it in if Idiot Boy tries to kill himself.

But there’s even more.

The MH staff who called this watch writes up a Mental Health Watch Sheet. They go down the list of things an inmate can have and say yes or no based on the threat level.

For perspective:

  • eyeglass wearing inmates get their spectacles taken away because they can stab themselves with the legs;
  • toilet paper may be taken away because inmates try to swallow it and asphyxiate themselves;
  • inmates may get put on finger food status, because they would try to self-mutilate with plastic utensils;
  • and of course anything that could be used as a ligature is off-limits.

Not to mention the constant observation cell, purposefully designed spare for the safety of the inmate, does not possess anything from which to hang a ligature.

No doorknobs. No security window cranks. No bed frame.

Even in the sloppiest-run correctional environments, setting up “suicide watches” in such a way that completing a suicide is impossible is child’s play.

For the sake of playing along with the media’s bullshit, let’s say that aside from being a billionaire in spite of being talentless and a depraved pedophile and possible child-murderer, that Jeff Epstein also happened to be what we in the business call “a real con.”

That is, criminally insane and adept enough at gaming the prison system to get what they want by hurting themselves, that they become idiot savants in suicidal behavior.

I’ve seen inmates who wrap loose razor blades in palatable material so that they can swallow them to later puke them up and use them to gash their own wrists open. Or they kiester—yeah, kiddo, right up the poop shoot—the blades or other weapons in order to retrieve later so they can slice and dice. Or they’ll figure out a way to swan dive off the bolted down bed, break their necks, and try to drown themselves in the toilet.

“Real cons,” hardened psychopaths, do these things. Not Sperry-wearing, Bill Clinton buddy-pal, pedophile Richie Riches. You really think a disgusting coward like Epstein would know how to and/or have the nerve to go the extreme lengths it would take to commit suicide during a constant observation?

Keep in mind, someone’s watching the camera. Keep in mind that a CO is on his radio the second Epstein’s behavior turns self-injurious.

Oh yeah, and the official line is that he hanged himself.

As I said, there would be nothing else to possibly create a ligature with in the cell other than the turtle suit. And using that to strangle yourself to death would take strength and cunning not feasible to anyone who has dealt with them. And allowing that he did turn a turtle suit into a noose, against the laws of physics, he had nothing from which to hang himself in the cell—no leverage points to start the asphyxiation process.

It’s all bullshit.

How Epstein (may have) gotten killed

However, there’s one extremely simple way for Epstein to have been killed. Murdered.

A nurse on medicine rounds.

In prison tax-payers foot the bill for all inmates’ medications. They receive them in controlled environment several times a day in “med lines.” Inmates on MH watches also receive meds, ranging from aspirin to Metamucil to psychotropics.

I bet Epstein took something.

How painfully easy it would’ve been for a nurse to give him some form of untraceable poison? Or for higher ups to pre-load her med cart with the bad junk without her noticing?

You tell me Epstein got murdered by poison I wouldn’t bat an eye. But to roll with the nonsense story that he completed a suicide by hanging. Gtfo.

Storm Area 51 Facebook event could turn into a military industrial complex psy op? Eh, maybe.

Skip right to the bottom for the dope infographic, folks.

Storm Area 51 Facebook event background

For what it’s worth, one of the apparent meme-bros who created the storm area 51, they can’t stop us all Facebook event goes by the alias “shitposting cause im [sic] in shambles.” Common sense, therefore, dictates that this event page was conceived as a hilarious troll.

With a pinch of make-you-think-truth. That being the fact that Area 51 military security personnel would never fire on (last check 600k+) a high volume of American citizens. Because–

  1. they aren’t evil.
  2. pretending they are evil, they know they would have 600k+ live-stream-capable camera phones recording the gore.

Picturing a bunch of millenials/Gen Z types and/or memers and gamers exerting the Herculean effort necessary to get their asses to Nevada and then hike through the Nevada desert and then storm Area 51 cracks me up.

Oh–sorry, you thought that could happen?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is possess-e1563025471280.jpg

Dumb mainstream media could hand the govt a psy op

Having said all that, it’s worth noting that the same way media tends to get bamboozled by 4Chan and other troll sources, when they don’t decide to use “anonymous” aka fake sources, they will probably infuse this story with seriousness. Right now it’s being covered at Fox News Digital in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

What happens is that the original intent of storm area 51, a shitpost, gets hijacked. By us, the peasants, to whom getting some answers (we want to believe!) Fox Mulder-style sounds swell. And then by the media who, realizing that we have turned a shitpost into a potential reality, takes it even further, turning it into a Thing.

And then it’s the Government’s turn–dun dun dun! I’m talking Deep State/CIA/Military-Industrial-Complex Psychological Operations. Here’s a pretty infographic about it.

infographic with 5 steps explaining how the storm area 51, they can't stop all of us facebook event is a government orchestrated psychological operation. it could lead to alien disclosure about extraterrestrial life.

Mindscapes Unimagined, Horror Anthology Featuring My Short Story Now Available on Kindle

The paperback edition is still a wee bit pricey at $17.99, but the Kindle version is now available for $5.99. There are 24 fantastic stories by international authors in this 350-page horror anthology published by Left Hand Publishers.

My short story, “Menagerie,” a bleak crime/supernatural horror mashup about a father grieving the loss of his daughter, is featured.

Priorities change and that’s okay. Writing shouldn’t consume your life.

When the act of writing stops being fulfilling, it’s okay to stop doing it for a while.

Hard work, discipline, and the grueling ups and downs of submission and rejection are part of the game. Writing is difficult, and that’s fine, but writing should also be a fun addition to the rest of your life. Your bills are paid, your house is in order, and the hours you put in drafting and editing fulfill you in the way any hobby should. Writing shouldn’t be your whole life.

In my last post, I spoke about wasting years of my life worried about my legacy. A different side of that dice is the fact that, cliche of all cliches, a writing career is a marathon run, not a sprint.

Facebook and Twitter have created an atmosphere that inundates fiction writers with constant stimulation. Much of it is positive on the surface: how-tos, ease of access to writers we admire, submission calls, marketing tips, what have you. I have benefited from these things in many ways. However, I also experience an enormous sense of not being successful enough, not being successful fast enough, or not writing or selling myself in the correct ways (per the latest Internet author marketing standards).

You may have felt this scrolling through your newsfeed. Updates of others celebrating publications in magazines; authors promoting their latest book, which seems like it took a few weeks to write; a dozen blog posts you must read about craft; advertisements hocking courses that promise to make you as good as *insert biggies in your genre*. Of course, you’re happy for them even if envious. But you also might wonder if your kayak can hack it on the white water rapid they’re on, seasoned experts navigating their way with ease.

What I’ve learned from meeting many of these “seasoned expert” writers, in whatever genre/circles, is that they’ve been at it for decades. Inundated by these constant digital reminders of our shortcomings, we lack the perspective to see their excruciating years of failures, their learning curves, and moments when they were inconsolable because no matter how hard they worked they felt like impostors, or worse, invisible.

The point of this post is not to stick it out. That horse has been mutilated plenty. I want to talk about pacing yourself, about putting your life first.

I had my first child recently. A lovely little cherub we call Isabel. She breathed new light into my life, but also, much to my surprise, re-oriented my priorities. I realized that for a longer time than I’m proud of, I’ve treated writing fiction like a second full-time job and then some. I’ve been damn close to paying no mind to anything but writing fiction when I wasn’t at the prison working my “day job.” I don’t regret the exponential growth, the time I’ve put into my learning curve, or the joy experienced when several editors said yes. But I do regret the enormous pressure I’ve put on myself to compete with those seasoned kayakers.

I worked so hard, and driving myself mad with anxiety and depression trying to wade into waters I just wasn’t–or may never be–ready for. In doing so, I neglected my adult responsibilities. I interacted with my wife in a constant state of bitterness and inadequacy. When I could have been taking better care of my mental and physical health, I became more depressed, drank, and gained fifty pounds in a couple years. When I could’ve have been saving and managing money better, in order to pay off the overwhelming amount of student loan debt I’m in, I coasted in survival mode; buying take-out even though I’m a good cook, letting interest payments pile up…

When I held Isabel, watched her looking up at me with brand new eyes, I realized all that “normal” for me was anything but. My work ethic is admirable, yeah. But letting my life remain in shambles around me is far from. The starving, mad artist shtick, viewed nakedly for what it was in that moment, with a dependent human life in my hands, seemed ridiculous. I had new perspective on my life, and suddenly being good enough at writing fiction to publish it seemed like the last thing a person should place in the center of their world. I had to become happy; I had to get back in fighting shape; I had to pay off debts, and manage my financial life smarter. For me, for Isabel, for my wife.

Some reading this might think this is the song a man sings when his dreams die. Maybe that will turn out true. I don’t know. All I do know is that writing fiction stopped fulfilling me, so I stopped for a while. Moving forward, it will be less of an obsession for me, given much less immediacy. I will view it as a lifelong process and, like I said in my last post, open myself to other writing avenues and means of self-expression.

Priorities change, and that’s okay. Take care of yourselves. Trust me, if your priorities want to change and you don’t let them, you’re setting yourself up for depression and self-hatred.

 

 

I wasted 1/3 of my life worried about this part of my writing identity.

Have you ever had a fantastic idea for a children’s book, for a personal essay about dating in your 20s, for a political op-ed, but stopped yourself because you write (fill in the blank)?

I’ve realized that I sabotage myself this way all the time. I identify as a fiction writer first. Horror writer second. Before that, a “literary” writer. Which means I didn’t let myself dabble in any genre fiction or nonfiction. For eight years, ideas for crime fiction, science-fiction, children’s books, and personal or political nonfiction would pop into my head, begging to be written. I would admonish myself, “NO, Tom, you’re a literary fiction writer. Stay in that lane.”

There’s one specific type of perfectionism I’ve been haunted by. It’s absurd and embarrassing. Heck, I almost hesitate to admit it, but it’s my truth, and maybe it will help someone.

I worry about legacy.

I know. Yikes. Here I am, most assuredly a Nobody, worrying about whether my ideas are on brand or not, instead of finishing manuscripts and publishing them. Worrying about how the public will view me when the dust of my golden years settles.

I always sought to write in ways that satisfied a particular self-image I wanted to conjure. At first, at my most naive, I wanted to be Hemingway; then, as I matured, it turned into wanting to be Stephen King, Denis Lehane, Ray Bradbury, Laird Barron, etc al. So I would have these phases where I would, again, put blinders on to all of the things I want to say about the world, and write exclusively in my “genre-of-the-week.” Of course, when you do this, last week’s writing may get thrown out the following week. After that cycle repeats itself enough, you have years without publications, nor even submissions.

Does this sound familiar? I think it might. A lot of us love literature and love writing fiction, but a lot of us also, if we’re honest, aspire at one point to achieve household literary fame. It’s strange to state that so baldly, but now that I have, I understand that it has kept me from expressing myself genuinely for three-quarters of my life. Gulp.

I encourage you to write whatever the heck your heart desires. But to be more practical, let me remind you that every writer of status, did not stifle their creativity. They wrote journalism and they wrote weird essays and average poetry and short stories you have never seen because they haven’t been put in collections. Nowadays, the big writers of tomorrow probably do freelance copy writing and content writing and also write strange flash or micro fiction we’ll never know about, even when they’re NYT bestselling authors.

Cormac McCarthy is my favorite example. He worked as a mechanic back in the day, and wrote these complex, regional, literary novels that on the surface would only be appreciated where the stories were set, in Appalachia. Suttree had a first print run of three thousand copies, and his number of fans hovered around that figure for years, as he plodded on writing Appalachians and some Westerns. Blood Meridian, held by many as one of the greatest novels ever was his sixth book. And then, All The Pretty Horses came along and became a bestseller. It took seven books. And then, boom, his back catalog went back into print and his new releases sold like hot cakes.

Imagine if McCarthy had cast aside his five ideas prior to Blood Meridian? Imagine if he was so caught up in his “image” he hadn’t written those (“I’m gonna wait until I can write a Western, I’m a Western writer!”) and therefore did not have the publishing credentials to get his sixth and then bestselling seventh books published. Furthermore, he might be a mechanic in El Paso, Texas right now who writes as a hobby…

The point here is to express yourself for your own well-being. Be congruent with yourself, your worldview, and what interests you. Write what you believe and finish things. The genre or categorization doesn’t matter. Submit your work and then publish it. Make a difference however you can. Lest you look up at thirty, like me, and realize you’ve wasted a solid chunk of life fretting about nonsense.

So long as you can see the way back to the main trail, don’t fear the sun setting through the trees.

I’d love to hear if you relate to this.

I’m in the early stages of brainstorming for children’s books about American History. This is a huge departure for me, but I think it’s a way I can make a difference in the world, perhaps moreso than escapist fiction.

What are you currently writing/struggling whether or not to write?

 

Blood Sugar Cauldron: Lovecraftian Flash Fiction Inspired by an Existential Candy Meme

BLOOD SUGAR CAULDRON

by Tom Scanlan

I remember when War Heads sprang into existence because it’s when my problem started.

As a kid, I used to consume the hard sour candies until my tongue split and bled. The sugar (C6H12O6) became inseparable from my blood.

I changed.

I yearn for Sour Patch Kids and the lesser sour candies still. I eat them until the roof of my mouth turns into dry whale ribs that I can run my tongue over, a xylophone that produces not sound but pain. I gorge myself on them at the expense of my body, which turns the sugar into fat that stuffs my skin like an overfilled sand bag.

I’m in the 24-hour Seven Eleven. I come here while the world sleeps. I’m studying the candy section for my next selection, when I hear the universe chant unintelligible words. I see a vast cauldron nested in a corner of the cosmos. Dark amber glucose tar churns inside, popping, sizzling, letting off a sweet hot candy reek. The presence from whose mouth the chemical song comes ignores the spitting liquid scalding its space-time flesh.

Does the presence notice me notice it? I think it does.

I think it wants me to know.

Its ululations increase in volume. I need to blot out the noise. It sounds like something is being willed into existence…

Is the time now?

The bag of sour Now & Laters my glassy eyes have been looking beyond shakes. One by one, bags of Sour Worms, Sour Skittles, Air Head Xtreme Sours, Sour Jolly Ranchers, Sour Trollis, and the War Heads that started this journey, tremble. The plastic containers crinkle. The loose grains of sugar inside them shake like sand in maracas.

“YO.”

A pale employee with a neck beard looks at me intently.

“What?”

“I’ve been asking if you can hear me. Lay off the weed, dude. For fuck’s sake.”

“I’m not high,” I say. “I–” I can’t tell another person that I’ve been communicating with a deity I call (C6H12O6) about the progenation of its offspring.

I keep my mouth shut.

The cashier shrugs. “Fine. Whatever then. Stare at the candy until you get your heart’s fill.”

“Wait,” I say, before he walks away.

“Yup?”

I cough. My throat’s felt tight, but now I can breathe. “Bags. Please get me bags to carry my selection up. I’m going to need a lot of candy tonight.”

END


gummy bear horror

I started this post as a means of sharing this hilarious meme about gummy bears becoming a singular consciousness because they melted in a car. I thought I’d leave a funny line about how my die hard consumption of War Heads, as a 90s kid drawn to their “extreme sour” allure, contributed to candy somehow acquiring consciousness.

Then this flash piece took on a life of its own, and then a half-decent form, and then after a couple hours with it, I realized it’s kind of a cool story.

You know… “what if…

  • you took a sweet (sour) tooth to its illogical extreme?”
  • gave that creeper in the late-night convenient store setting a cosmic backstory?”
  • considered that environmental forces and nutrition are already changing our bodies in ways no one could’ve foreseen in the 1950s, and gave that horror a dollop of glucose?”

Anyway, I don’t try flash fiction often. Let me know if this makes you think/feel anything!

Super Mario Nightmares

As a young kid I played a lot of Mario Bros on Super Nintendo. One time I came down with this illness that gave me fevers night after night. A temperature starts causing brain damage at 107.6 degrees. My mom tells me my brain matter stewed between 105 and 106.

boos

I lay delirious in my parents’ bed. My PJs were sweat-matted to my scrawny frame. I started hallucinating. I still remember. Clear as they were in the games, I saw Mario, Luigi, Toad, Bowser, Chomp, and those horrifying Boos.

They shifted in the shadowy corners of the room, leering at me, engaged in some sick ritual dance with my subconscious. My brain fried. My child’s mind mistook the fever for death throes and must’ve conjured these characters in an attempt to ease the process. It didn’t work. My mom tells me I screamed at them to get away. I learned young that almost anything can become sinister given the right circumstances. Even friggin’ Toad!

Anyway… I might’ve died from a heart attack if my hallucinated Mario looked like this.

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The Creepy Mario! 😱

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