Involved in MLK Jr. Postmortem, OJ Simpson Defense
NEW YORK — He testified for O.J. Simpson’s defense, helped investigate the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., hosted an HBO show and brought his pathology expertise to bear on celebrity deaths and police killings.
Now Dr. Michael Baden is enmeshed in another high-stakes case, as the private pathologist who observed Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy on his lawyers’ behalf.
The death of the well-connected financier in a jail cell muddied a closely watched sex-trafficking conspiracy case and trained scrutiny on the federal prison system. Epstein’s accusers, the attorney general, politicians and others are demanding answers. But if Baden is stepping into a maelstrom, it’s a familiar spot for a scientist accustomed to the spotlight.
“Even when an autopsy is done, the speculation doesn’t stop” when the well-known die, Baden wrote in his 1990 book “Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner.” But an autopsy, he wrote, is “part of the process of finding the truth.”
Neither Baden nor the New York City medical examiner’s office has released any findings from Epstein’s autopsy, conducted Sunday. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson, whose office Baden led decades ago, called it “routine practice” for private pathologists to be allowed to observe, if requested.