Unraveling the Enigma: The Life and Scandal of Jeffrey Epstein

You have heard the name Jeffrey Epstein, no doubt, and you know about his heinous crimes. But who was he really, and were there any hints in his early life that meant he could have been stopped faster? Here, we look at Epstein’s rise and fall and the people he interacted with along the way. Some of them were his victims, and some of them were his co-conspirators.


Nothing in Jeffrey Epstein’s childhood gave any clue as to the sort of monster he would one day become. He had normal parents, an ordinary upbringing in New York, and an entirely unremarkable time at school.

In 2019 a woman who had known Epstein as a child posted on Facebook, “He was just an average boy, very smart in math, slightly overweight, freckles, always smiling. There was absolutely no indication at that time of the vile, disturbed man that he was to become.”

First job

After attending and then dropping out of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, Epstein embarked on a career as a math and physics teacher. That meant spending a lot of time around young people.

In 1974 he started work at the Dalton School in Manhattan, teaching teenagers the basics. He had few actual qualifications for the job, just a personality that quickly won people over.


Epstein had been reportedly very interested in the young female students at Dalton. Some of the kids he’d taught spoke to NPR in 2019 about their impressions of the former teacher.

"He was much more present amongst the students, specifically the girl students, during non-teaching hours,” recalled former student Scott Spizer. He added, “It seemed just, it was kind of inappropriate.”

Fur coats and parties

According to a 2019 article in The New York Times, on occasion Epstein would sometimes wear a fur coat opened to his chest, in stark contravention of the school’s dress code.

And sometimes he would even show up to teenage parties. “There was a real clarity of the inappropriateness of the behavior — that this isn’t how adult male teachers conduct themselves,” an ex-student called Millicent Young told the newspaper.