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John MacAfee, the founder of McAfee Antivirus, has been found dead on Wednesday (June 23) in a Spanish prison. The software founder, entrepreneur, and ex-presidential candidate led the authorities to a wild manhunt before being detained in a Barcelona prison – awaiting trial.

The Catalan Department of Justice has marked his death as a suicide.  However, lawyers from McAfee confirmed John’s death by saying it was a result of a “cruel system that had no reason to keep this man in jail for so long.”

The prison surveillance found him dead in his cell, the medical team also tried to save his life, but he was already dead. The authorities have informed that the autopsy is being planned.

McAfee also got a tattoo on his arm in 2019, saying, “If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I was whacked. Check my right arm.” This is a cryptic part of the long string of tweets since his arrest in Spain.

McAfee has lived a storied life. In the past decade, he has claimed to have invented a device that is capable of blocking NSA surveillance, released a video on ‘How to uninstall McAfee Antivirus’, and was indicted for a ‘pump & dump’ scheme for Altcoin to inflate its value. McAfee was accused of raking in $13 million by using McAfee’s official account to push the initial coin offering without disclosing to the public that he took profit.

“The defendants allegedly used McAfee’s Twitter account to publish messages to hundreds of thousands of his Twitter followers touting various cryptocurrencies through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motives, said the acting US Attorney in March 2021 during his trial for Fraud and Money Laundering Conspiracy Crimes.

At the height of the initial coin offering (ICO) boom, McAfee also claimed to have received threats from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. McAfee was also accused of evading millions in taxes from the profits he made from cryptocurrency trading. In 2019, McAfee decided to run for president. He tweeted:

McAfee had a bad history with law enforcement. In 2012, he was arrested on drug and firearm charges, went on a run a year later, and was also wanted for questioning concerning the murder of his neighbor.

In 2010, he sold his company to Intel for over 6 billion euros. In 2014, Intel rebranded McAfee Antivirus software changing it to ‘Intel Security.’ In an interview with the BBC, McAfee said he was grateful that “the worst software on the planet was no longer associated with him.”

Since 2011, McAfee repeatedly said that he does not feel safe anymore, and the US government is planning against him. Before Spain, he was arrested in the Dominican Republic, where the authorities found weapons and ammunition on his ship.

John McAfee’s Arrest

After notification from Interpol, McAffee was arrested from Spanish airport on October 3, where he was going to take a plane to Istanbul. McAfee was held in the Catalan prison, waiting for extradition to the US since his arrest in October 2020. In November 2020, during an interview with El Diario, McAfee said,

Life in Spanish prisons is like living in a Hilton compared to the surreal submissive and dehumanizing conditions of American prisons.

Since his arrest, he has been posting cryptic messages on Twitter, where he keeps saying, “Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine.” All these tweets about him not killing himself are leading to conspiracy theories about his death.

McAfee’s wife, Janice McAfee, also posted a message on Father’s Day, a few days before his death saying, “US authorities are determined to have John die in prison to make an example of him for speaking out against the corruption within their government agencies”.

McAfee, 75, was found hanging in his Spanish cell just hours after the court ruled that he would be extradited to the US to face charges. The National Court ordered his extradition to the United States, where McAfee feared that he would be spending the rest of his life in prison (30 years in prison). The US Department of Justice has no comments on the matter. In the latest tweet, he also hinted at suicide.

Minutes after the announcement of his death, McAfee’s Instagram account posted a plain image of ‘Q’ as a reference to the ‘QAnon conspiracy”. The conspiracy theory emerged during President Trump’s term that speculated that the former president was waging war at a global level against “Satan-worshiping pedophiles.

McAfee has always lived a life of controversy. In an interview, he explained how he dedicated himself to technology and became a drug addict. McAfee’s death has attracted a lot of attention in recent years as he was one of the driving forces in antivirus technology. McAfee also offers an antivirus VPN and owns other popular software in the industry including TunnelBear.

Update:

According to a local Spanish paper, El Pais, John McAfee took his own life while being held in the prison cell in Barcelona. As of now, the police have not found any evidence of criminality.

Contact National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the US at 800-273-8255, or contact them through live chat. In UK and Ireland, contact Samaritans at 116 123 or email at [email protected]. For international helplines go to www.befrienders.org.