Fact Check

Was the Judge in Jeffrey Epstein's Child-Sex Case Found Dead?

Even for high-profile, sensational legal cases, junk news about the event is often consumed more readily than real news.

Published July 16, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images) (Getty Images)
Image Via Getty Images
The judge officiating in the case of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide.

In July 2019, convicted sex offender and billionaire hedge-fund manager Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on charges related to the sex trafficking of minors. Epstein’s arrest spurred the recirculation and creation of all sorts of conspiracy theories, such as the much-debunked "Pizzagate" rumor.

On July 16, the PotatriotsUnite website played into this trend by publishing an article positing that the judge had been found dead of an apparent "suicide":

The small apartment on Washington’s Batt Street served as a temporary office for Judge Harry P. Schuter, 62, who had been specially selected by federal investigators to officiate the case of accused sex-crime perpetrator and pimp to dozens of secret famous figures Jeffrey Epstein. Today, it’s a scene of police tape, CSI investigators, and a family left mourning. Schuter’s body was found this morning by a cleaning lady.

Preliminary police theory is that the judge committed suicide by firearm, although the cleaner, Alice Frumpkin, tells a different story ...

None of this was true. The story was a complete fabrication from PotatriotsUnite, a site that is part of the America's Last Line of Defense (LLOD) network of websites and social media accounts infamous for generating politically inflammatory misinformation under the guise of proffering "satire."


Gunnington, Fallis.   "Judge in Epstein Case Found Dead of Apparent Suicide."     PotatriotsUnite.com   16 July 2019.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.