The Weird Life And Death Of John McAfee
It's the end of an era -- anti-virus software tycoon, former Libertarian presidential candidate, herbal antibiotics peddler, and one-time “person of interest” in a Belizean murder case, John McAfee, was found dead in his Barcelona prison cell on Wednesday, according to several reports. Arrested in October 2020 on charges of tax evasion, McAfee's death comes hours after a Spanish court agreed to extradite the controversial mogul back to the United States to face tax-related criminal charges that could have landed him up to 30 years in prison. He was 75.
Although no definitive cause of death has been released, the Catalan Department of Justice says that "everything indicates" that the entrepreneur likely died by suicide, per BBC News. Medics attempted to resuscitate McAfee but were not successful.
Amid the news of his passing, several of McAfee's sentiments surrounding suicide, the death of financier and convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, in 2019, and even his own cryptocurrency have emerged, raising eyebrows across the Twitterverse. In November 2019, the entrepreneur and longtime crypto enthusiast launched his own digital currency called “$WHACKD," featuring a full rubric that read “Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself," symbolic of one of the former tech mogul's firmly-held beliefs.
“The man was six-foot-one, he hung himself from a bed that was only five-foot-seven in a manner that managed to break his neck in multiple places similar to someone being physically strangled,” McAfee told right-wing Australian news outlet, news.com.au. "His cellmate was taken from his cell six hours before his death, the video cameras were off and the guards in that cell block were sent home early due to cleaning.”
Shortly after $WHACKD hit the market, the anti-virus warlord took to Twitter to share yet another cryptic message about prison suicides – and show off some fresh ink. “Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: 'We're coming for you McAfee! We're going to kill yourself,'" McAfee wrote in a post in November 2019. “I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn't. I was whackd. Check my right arm.”
While it's unclear if this message and his tattoo was intended to offer a legitimate sentiment, exist as an advertisement for his crypto, or both, McAfee doubled down on this notion less than a year later, tweeting a similar message shortly after his arrest last October.
“I am content in here. I have friends. The food is good,” McAfee wrote. “All is well. Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine.”
So folks, regardless of whether or not the authorities are correct in saying he died by suicide, here's to John McAfee – you kept our computers safe and were always very entertaining.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, there is help available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
Crisis Text Line: Send START to 741471 at any time, about any crisis from anywhere within the United States
A list of international resources can be found here and here.
Top Image: Gage Skidmore
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