Politics

Technology pioneer John McAfee dead after apparent suicide in prison

John McAfee, an antivirus software pioneer, was found dead by apparent suicide in his prison cell in Barcelona, Spain, despite previously warning that if he was found dead, he did not kill himself.

This occurred on Wednesday, just after Spain’s National Court approved his extradition to the United States, where he faces tax-related charges. The cryptocurrency promoter and tax opponent was discovered in Brian’s 2 penitentiary in northeastern Spain. Security tried to revive him, but medics were forced to call time of death after remaining unsuccessful in doing so. The 75 year old had apparently hanged himself in his jail cell (The Guardian). “A judicial delegation has arrived to investigate the causes of death,” it said, adding that “everything points to death by suicide” [Associated Press].

McAfee had a history of legal trouble stretching from Tennessee to Central American and even to the Caribbean. He was arrested last October at Barcelona’s International Airport as he was boarding a flight to Instanbul. The arrest came a day after U.S. indictments had been made public. Tennessee prosecutors charged McAfee with tax evasion after failing to report income from his cryptocurrency promotions, consultant work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for his documentary.

Since making his fortune in the 1980s, McAfee has engaged in somewhat erratic behavior. He has drawn attention for a number of criminal connections, including that of a murder in Belize in 2012. He has been caught with weapons, driving under the influence, possession of a firearm while under the influence, and faced accusations of pump and dump schemes in regard to his cryptocurrency [Yahoo News].

John McAfee had a “Whackd” tattoo and once claimed that if he was ever found dead by suicide that he did not kill himself. He posted a picture of the tattoo in a 2019 tweet in which he accused US officials of sending him threats in “subtle messages.” In his tweet two years ago, McAfee appeared to show off a tattoo reading “whackd” as he accused US officials of targeting him. “Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: ‘We’re coming for you McAfee! We’re going to kill yourself’,” he wrote. “I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I was whackd. Check my right arm.”

In another tweet from only eight months ago, McAfee also compared himself to Jeffrey Epstein who was also found dead from an apparent suicide in his prison cell. “I am content in here. I have friends. The food is good. All is well,” he wrote in October 2020. “Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine.” In the months leading up to his death, the eccentric tech millionaire, who said he was “on the run,” made sensational claims in a series of bizarre Twitter posts.

He alleged he had dirt on “those in power” and threatened to finally expose “the truth” if he was jailed or died. McAfee, who has a record of making mischievous false statements on social media, appeared to suggest his life is in danger. And he claimed he had set up a “deadman switch” to spill untold dirt on unnamed people if he were to die or disappear mysteriously. In an initial cryptic tweet, he wrote: “People ask why I do the things I do. “An act by itself is incomplete. It’s the reason for the act that completes it and provides the real information. I am [on] the run. I would be an idiot to explain my ‘why’s’.” He then added: “I neither fear death nor run from it. At my age it sits on my shoulder as a constant companion. It makes me fearless.” [The Sun].

ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC

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I was born and raised in Omaha, NE before moving to Sioux Falls, SD to attend college at Augustana University. This past May I graduated from Augustana with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Biology with an emphasis in Allied Health. I first discovered FBA through my involvement with Turning Point USA where I worked as a Campus Coordinator in college. I have a passion for politics and activism, and was drawn to FBA’s dedication to spreading the truth. Unbiased news is rare in today’s society, so I wanted to be a part of FBA’s mission to change that.

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