WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A new Netflix documentary series chronicling the rise and fall of the late Jeffrey Epstein was released Wednesday.
"Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich" details how the billionaire sex offender used his influence and wealth to molest teenage girls at his Palm Beach mansion.
The series is based on the tell-all book "Filthy Rich: the Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein," written by fellow Palm Beach resident James Patterson, "Vanity Fair" reporter John Connolly and former WPTV NewsChannel 5 anchor and investigative reporter Tim Malloy.
Malloy recalled to WPTV earlier this year how he first became involved with the Epstein story. It was while he was still working at WPTV.
"I was actually sitting at my desk and I had gotten a call from a kid who said he was at Royal Palm Beach High School, and he said there was an older guy that the young girls were going to give massages to," Malloy said.
Of course, he soon learned that the man in question was Epstein, one of the most secretive and well-connected men, not only on Palm Beach, but on the planet.
Malloy remembered seeing Epstein riding bicycles with girls on the island.
"You just knew it wasn't one or two victims; it was something bigger," he said. "Of course, it ended up being on an industrial scale."
The first season is comprised of four roughly one-hour episodes. The debut episode, appropriately titled "Hunting Grounds," features Epstein's victims recounting how he abused, manipulated and silenced them from his Palm Beach mansion. The second and third episodes reveal how Epstein acquired his fortune and how he used a private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands to further his abuse. The final episode centers around Epstein's July 2019 arrest in New York.
After being denied bail on sex trafficking charges, Epstein was found hanged in his jail cell less than a month later.
Although he died before facing trial, that Epstein was even behind bars to begin with was some iota of vindication for his victims.
A plea deal in Palm Beach County resulted in no prison time and a short stint in jail, which included a controversial work-release program that allowed him to serve time at home and at his West Palm Beach office.
When Epstein landed his private plane at Palm Beach International Airport in September 2007 to meet with prosecutors to negotiate the plea deal, Malloy and Chopper 5 were there to get video of the reclusive financier departing his plane and getting into a vehicle waiting for him on the tarmac.
During a commercial break, Epstein even called Malloy, demanding that the helicopter leave. It didn't.
"It showed you how private, how arrogant and how menacing this guy could be," Malloy said. "It sent a little chill."
Epstein's body was cremated and the ashes were interred at the I.J. Morris Star of David of the Palm Beaches mausoleum, about 20 miles from the mansion where many of his crimes occurred.