"It is amazing how much information you can get by interviewing the prisoners in the nearby cell. Would the FBI have interviewed them if they thought it was a suicide?"
Mark Epstein, while not providing details, believes that there were people who wanted his brother dead, and he is concerned that his own life, and the lives of other people, may be in jeopardy because federal authorities have not fully probed the circumstances under which his brother died.
"Jeffrey knew a lot of stuff about a lot of people," Mark Epstein said.
Jeffrey Epstein began cultivating important clients as a trader on Wall Street, his brother said. He said his brother was a math whiz while growing up in Brooklyn and was accepted and attended Cooper Union, the renowned New York art, architecture and engineering school where Mark, also a Cooper Union alum, would later serve a rocky tenure as chairman of the board of trustees.
"People are calling Jeffrey a college dropout and make him out to be a really bad character. But my brother went to Cooper Union and it's hard to get in there. He didn't drop out. He didn't need a degree, he was really good at math and he didn't let not having a degree hold him back."
Because Cooper Union did not have a mathematics major, Mark said his brother applied and was accepted into New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. But ultimately Jeffrey accepted a low-level floor trader job with Bear Stearns, and decided to apply his mathematical skills to the options market.
"He got involved with Wall Street when it was the Wild West," Mark Epstein said. "When we were young men he came home one day and he said that if the general public knew what was taking place on Wall Street there would be a revolution. People would be appalled at how corrupt it was."
Jeffrey Epstein did leave Bear Stearns, abruptly, causing speculation that he had been under investigation for a securities violation.
Their parents, Seymour and Pauline, had been married in 1952 and remained together until his father's death in 1991 at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where he was undergoing treatment for a heart condition, Mark said.
Mark said he and his brother were both close to their father, a laborer and maintenance worker for the New York City Parks Department, and to their mother, who worked as a secretary for an insurance company.