Facts are under assault in 2020.
We can't fight back misinformation about the election and COVID-19 without you. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
- Multiple official sources have confirmed that Jeffrey Epstein is dead.
- This Facebook post offers no evidence to support the claim that he is alive in New Mexico.
The title of a recent Facebook video makes a big claim — "Jeffrey Epstein found living in New Mexico!" — but doesn’t offer evidence to back it up.
"In August of 2019 convicted child sex predator and American billionare Jeffrey Epstein allegedly killed himself in a New York jail," a narrator says in the video. "Rumors have long circulated he is actually still alive."
The video was posted by ABQ RAW, which describes itself as "guerilla filmmaking/news." As the narrator says they visited Epstein’s ranch in Stanley, N.M., the video shows clips of an aerial view of a property and of protesters holding signs that say "Epstein didn’t kill himself" and "Investigate Zorro Ranch now!"
"While we were on scene a red truck approached the fence line and a gentleman rolled the window down. He observed the protest and raised his phone to snap some photos of the group. ABQ Raw filmed the video in beautiful 4K. The driver of the red truck had a striking resemblance to the recently deceased Jeffrey Epstein. Did Jeffrey Epstein kill himself? It may be completely possible that he has ridden off in the New Mexico sunset."
The video ends with a clip of the truck driving away.
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The late financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein did have a big ranch outside Santa Fe, N.M., called Zorro Ranch and it appears to be the same property that’s shown in the Facebook video. On multiple occasions, according to the New York Times, Epstein talked to scientists and businessmen about his hopes to use the ranch as a base where women would be inseminated with his sperm and give birth to his babies.
Epstein — a multimillionaire, not billionaire, as the Facebook video says — died in jail, where he was being held on charges of child sex trafficking. The New York City medical examiner and U.S. Attorney General William Barr have both said Epstein died of suicide but conspiracy theories about his death persist. President Donald Trump, among others, have suggested that Epstein was killed in custody.
But we found nothing to corroborate the claim in this Facebook video.
In August 2019, we fact-checked and rated Pants on Fire a claim that Epstein isn’t dead. Back then, the medical examiner had yet to release his final ruling on how Epstein died, but numerous people in official positions confirmed that he was, in fact, dead.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons announced his death. One of Epstein’s lawyers blamed prosecutors and the Manhattan Correctional Center, where Epstein was held, for his client’s death. And federal prosecutors then said that their investigation of those suspected of helping Epstein would continue despite his death.
We rate this Facebook video Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, Oct. 9, 2020
The Washington Post, Trump questions whether Jeffrey Epstein was killed in federal custody. His attorney general and the medical examiner say it was suicide, Aug. 4, 2020
The New York Times, Jeffrey Epstein hoped to seed human race with his DNA, July 31, 2019
PolitiFact, Epstein not dead? Conspiracy theories abound, Aug. 12, 2019
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.