The Jeffrey Epstein Story: Media and Cultural Rot
By Mitzi Perdue
Want some sordid details about how the rich and powerful evade the law?
This is a story uncovered by investigative journalist Conchita Sarnoff. There’s a good chance that a lot of what you know about the Jeffrey Epstein case comes either directly from Sarnoff’s writing, or from others who benefitted from her decade’s long research.
Sarnoff learned about the Epstein case in a roundabout way. She was researching the issue of sex trafficking in the United States when she stumbled upon the Epstein case.
Her interest began when she was at a dinner in Mexico City, January of 2006. A government official startled her with an accusation.
“You Americans are a bunch of hypocrites,” he told her. “You buy our drugs, sell us illegal weapons, and now you are stealing our children.”
Sarnoff was aware of accusations that our government had facilitated the sale of guns in Mexico, and that there is a drug epidemic in the US, but hearing that we in the United States were stealing children from another country to traffic them for sex was new and deeply disturbing.
When she returned home to Washington, DC, she began to research the issue. Soon after, she met Deborah Sigmund, founder of the anti-trafficking organization Innocents at Risk.
Sigmund arranged for her to meet the Italian ambassador who was hosting an anti-trafficking breakfast. There she met a 12-year old girl who had been trafficked from Mexico to the United States and ended up in Washington, DC.
Sarnoff came from what she describes as a “charmed childhood,” and had never been abused, but even so, she felt “… an instant identification with this child.” Meeting the little girl made the issue real to her.
Sarnoff decided to investigate human trafficking further with the idea of producing a documentary on the subject. Soon she had enough material to write a book on trafficking.
Her history played a large role in what happened next. She’s related to General David Sarnoff, founder of NBC. Some of her friendships overlapped with Jeffrey Epstein’s and Ghislaine Maxwell’s social circle.
Because of these connections, whenA Epstein was found guilty in 2007, she had access to him and Ghislaine Maxwell. Through extensive research and guidance from neighbors and friends inside Epstein’s circle, she learned that Epstein’s crimes involved the rich, the powerful, the famous, and the royal.
As Sarnoff revealed in her book TrafficKing, “The people implicated in the Epstein case ranged from Harvard University to the White House to Buckingham Palace.”
“I had known Jeffrey Epstein since the early 90s and met Ghislaine Maxwell around the same time,” she says. In 2010, after further investigation she did something that few other people could do. She telephoned Epstein and Maxwell to find their side of the story. She spoke to them both.
Epstein warned her during one of their telephone conversations they were “probably being taped by the Feds.” Unmoved she continued the conversations. There was nothing to hide.
Later in her investigation when Epstein was exposed as a Level 3 Sex Offender, that is, one who was at high risk of re-offending, Sarnoff telephoned Judge Ruth Pickholz to find out why the Manhattan DA’s office had appealed his registration to a Level 1.
She next contacted the Manhattan DA, Cyrus Vance, Jr., questioning his decision to appeal Epstein’s sex offender status. She also relayed to him information on 11 parole violations she had learned about from Brad Edwards, a lawyer for the victims.
As she continued investigating the Epstein story, she learned that he wasn’t only sexually abusing children; he was also paying at least one girl to service his rich and powerful friends-–the very definition of child sex trafficking. She told this to the attorney Brad Edwards and suggested that Epstein should be accused of sex trafficking.
IN 2008, she pitched her book, and in 2009, Random House Mexico signed a book deal. In 2012, however, they killed the deal. Richard Johnson, Page 6, New York Post, printed two stories about her book deal.
Newspapers which, as society’s watchdog, should have been all over this insider’s story, as they have been since November 2018. Instead they shielded and protected Epstein and his enablers while silencing Sarnoff.
In 2010 and 2011, she pitched the book again. To her intense consternation, 27 publishers turned her down. Publishers and mainstream media outlets continued to ignore her. Sarnoff can’t know whether it was Epstein’s financial clout or his political connections, or maybe something else, but it wasn’t until 2016 that her book saw the light of day.
“If the press and the media hadn’t sat on the story,” she said, “I wouldn’t have spent ten years of my life following this case and writing this book. More importantly, a trafficker would have gone to jail before he could harm even more victims.”
“I don’t believe in exposing all the dirty laundry in public ” she continues, “but what is happening to our country when we shield a predator like Epstein is dangerous to our children and communities.”
Her book, “TrafficKing” is available on her website CONCHITASARNOFF.COM and on Amazon. It’s the story of how Sarnoff, despite being offered a bribe to stay silent, risked her life to expose the brutal reality of human trafficking and the Jeffrey E. Epstein case.
Sarnoff continues to lecture about human trafficking and is the founder of the Georgetown University Human Trafficking Research Center at the Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is also Executive Director of the Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking. For more information about this anti-sex trafficking organization, go to atrvt.org.
About The Author
Mitzi Perdue is a businesswoman, author, and Founder of Win This Fight, Stop Human Trafficking Now. She holds a B.A. degree with honors from Harvard University and a Master's from George Washington University. She's a past president of the 40,000 member American Agri-Women, and she was a U.S. Delegate to the United Nations Conference on Women in Nairobi. She was also a Commissioner for the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Her Scripps Howard column, The Environment and You, was for years the most widely syndicated environmental column in the U.S.
She is the founder and president of “Win This Fight! Stop Human Trafficking Now,” an organization that raises funds and awareness for other anti-trafficking initiatives.