NEW CERTUS POLL RESULTS: Americans Split on Cause of Jeffrey Epstein’s Death

Most Think Guards Intentionally Provided Opportunity for Suicide, Many Say He Was Murdered by Well-Known Figure

(WASHINGTON, DC)—–Americans are split on whether Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide or was murdered, but they have clear ideas about how he committed suicide or why he was killed.

Despite reports that Epstein took his own life, nearly as many U.S. adults think he was killed in prison, and most of them think it was arranged by a well-known public figure to avoid legal troubles.

Of those who think it was suicide, most believe he was intentionally left unsupervised.

These findings come from a new nationwide survey, conducted by Certus Insights, a nonpartisan polling company based in the Washington, DC area. The poll was taken August 13-16, 2019, and was sponsored by Certus and not by any client. Key findings from the poll:

  • 37% of Americans think Epstein committed suicide, 35% think he was murdered and 29% are unsure. More Republicans think he was murdered (40%) than Democrats (32%) or independents (33%).
  • A majority of those who say Epstein killed himself (53%) think he was able to do so because prison guards intentionally gave him the opportunity to do so. Only 24% don’t think that happened and 23% are not sure. More Republicans think prison guards intentionally gave him the opportunity to commit suicide than Democrats (61% vs. 49%).
  • An overwhelming majority of those who think Epstein was murdered (83%) believe that a “well-known public figure had Epstein killed to stop him from testifying” against them. Only 3% don’t agree with that and 14% are not sure. There was no difference between Democrats or Republicans.

The survey included a representative nationwide sample of 600 adults. Interviews were conducted online. Certus Insights LLC is a full service survey research firm. It is not affiliated with any political party or any group that has an interest in the survey topic. The top executives of Certus––Chief Analyst Ron Faucheux, President Andrew Rugg and Vice President Natalie Copeland––managed Clarus Research Group for eleven years until they formed their own company last April. Faucheux is also publisher of, a daily newsletter on polling.

Here are the questions asked with the topline results:

Q1. Based on what you’ve heard, seen or read, do you think Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide, or do you think he was murdered?

Committed suicide: 37%
Murdered: 35%
Not sure: 29%

“Do you think Epstein was able to kill himself because prison guards intentionally gave him the opportunity to do it––yes or no?”

Yes: 53%
No: 24%
Not sure: 23%

Do you think that a well-known public figure had Epstein killed to stop him from testifying against them––yes or no?

Yes: 83%
No: 3%
Not sure: 14%

Ron Faucheux

Dr. Faucheux is a nationally respected public opinion analyst with a unique background in public policy and legislative research, public communications and message strategies. He combines professional competence with pragmatic problem solving skills.