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John McAfee said that if he ever ended up dead by suicide in prison he was in fact whacked by the US government, which was pursuing him for tax evasion. He even got himself a tattoo to that effect. And so, after McAfee was found dead on Tuesday, June 23rd in a Barcelona jail cell hours after a Spanish court approved his extradition to the US to face tax evasion charges, the internet faithfully responded with a round of conspiracy theories.
As McAfee predicted, authorities called his in-custody death an apparent suicide.
Well before this, McAfee — who founded the antivirus software company that still bears his name though he sold it in 1994 — invited comparisons to Jeffrey Epstein. He was a freewheeling hedonist, internet entrepreneur, and intercontinental fugitive from justice with a demonstrated taste for drugs, cryptocurrency, guns, and underage women.
The idea that the 75-year-old McAfee would take his own life rather than spend the rest of his days bored out of his mind in prison makes sense on its face. That’s neat and easy; that’s also boring. So the living McAfee ensured whenever Epstein was mentioned, “John McAfee” would also appear in the dark corners of minds and the internet.
McAfee embraced the idea that Epstein, the convicted sex trafficker, financier, and Friend of Bills (Clinton, Gates) didn’t kill himself. He also sowed doubts about any future in which John McAfee was reported dead by suicide in a jail cell.
“If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I was whackd,” McAfee posted on Twitter in 2019, displaying a fresh tattoo inked on his right arm: $WHACKD, it read. (Which, conveniently, was also the name of a crypto token McAfee very briefly promoted.)
A few months before he was arrested at the Barcelona airport while en route to Turkey in 2020, McAfee also embraced the idea of a “deep state,” which by his definition is a “conspiracy theory… defined as the people within the government or military who are in secret control of government policy.” (That included the FCC and SEC, just the kind of bugaboos that would plague an internet guy who wanted to make lots of money and never pay taxes, as well as the CIA.)
And, finally, McAfee appears to have prepared a final provocation from beyond the grave: An hour after his death was announced, the @officialjohnmcafee Instagram account posted an image of a single letter: “Q,” an obvious reference to the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Okay, so what happened here? Was John McAfee “Q”? Not according to any of the exhaustive investigations conducted by QAnon experts. McAfee was never even a part of the conversation, until he put himself there.
Was McAfee murdered? Not according to any current, publicly available evidence, though the Catalan regional government hasn’t released information revealing the cause or manner of death beyond “suicide.”
Did McAfee have any apparent ties to, say, national intelligence services or pedophilia rings? The guy ran for the Libertarian Party nomination for president of the United States twice and played Russian roulette for a reporter from Wired who paid him a visit in 2012. While out on the lam, he also allowed himself to be contacted, located, and then photographed by young millennial reporters from Vice, who betrayed their source by posting a photo of the then-fugitive, complete with metadata.
Preening for the camera and for clout? None of this seems like something an intelligence asset would do. It definitely seems like something someone with impulse control problems and a narcissistic/authoritarian streak might do — someone who openly slept with underage women, someone who hired a private army to rid a town near his Central American hideout of drug dealers, someone who was never convicted of murder but who was found civilly liable for the death of Gregory Faul, his neighbor in Belize who was found dead from a single gunshot wound in 2012.
The internet entrepreneur and publicity hound was a fabulist — enough, in the Alex Jones kind of way, to incite and to provoke. As was the way McAfee died — which, at least outwardly, appears to be exactly the way he openly planned it.
McAfee Claimed He Was Collecting Files On Gov Corruption – and Threatened Info Would Be Released If He Ever Died
John claimed he had been collecting files on government corruption and threatened they would be released if he ever died in social media posts years before his reported suicide.
The tech pioneer wrote in the 2019 tweets that “incriminating data” would be released if he was arrested or disappeared, as he said that those involved would be “crazy to kill me or collect me.”
The millionaire consistently repeated the claims on social media including posts from 2019 in which he said that he was “keeping information private” to preserve his life.
“I’ve collected files on corruption in governments. For the first time, I’m naming names and specifics,” he claimed in a tweet on June 9, 2019.
He continued the claims in further tweets, stating later in the month “I don’t trust anyone.”
“The instant I disappear the information is released,” McAfee added.
The 2019 tweets were unearthed after it was revealed that McAfee had a “whackd” tattoo that he showcased in social media posts as he claimed that he received “subtle messages” from US officials threatening him.
The tweets led to speculation over his death as a mysterious “Q” was posted to his account after it was first reported.
The “Q” photo on his social media appears to be a reference to QAnon, the bizarre conspiracy group that was tied to the fortunes of former President Donald Trump.
Instagram users responded to the post by commenting: “RIP,” “this man did not kill himself,” “Q,” and “Epstein 2.0”
McAfee was a highly controversial character after making his name with his antivirus software before selling his company for millions in the 90s.
He was sought by police in Belize for questioning in relation to the gruesome death of a neighbor who had reportedly threatened his guard dogs and just months before his death, was also accused of manipulating cryptocurrency markets.
The Catalan Justice Department said that it was unable to resuscitate McAfee after he was found dead in his cell.
According to Associated Press, McAfee was sharing a cell in the Brians 2 jail where he had been put in preventive detention since his October arrest. Yet it said that he had reportedly been alone at the time of his death.
McAfee’s Spanish lawyer, Javier Villalba, has claimed his death came as a shock to his family. He said that they were determined to get “to the bottom” of his death while admitting there was no evidence of foul play. Villalba blamed McAfee’s death “on the cruelty of the system.”
“We had managed to nullify seven of the ten counts he was accused of and even so he was still that dangerous person who could be fleeing Spain if he was released?” the lawyer said.
“He was a world eminence, where could he hide?”
McAfee had claimed that the charges against him for tax evasion were politically motivated and believed he would spend the rest of his life in prison if extradited to the US.
He was accused of having evaded taxes on unreported income between 2014 and 2018. The income allegedly came from speaking engagements, promoting cryptocurrencies while consulting, and selling the rights to his life story. McAfee had evaded authorities for months before his arrest by living on a boat with his wife Janice in international waters.
“I have not paid taxes for eight years. I have not filed returns. Every year I tell the IRS ‘I am not filing a return, I have no intention of doing so, come and find me,'” he previously said in a Twitter video.
“I have not filed a tax return for eight years. Why? 1: taxation is illegal. 2: I paid tens of millions already and received Jack S*** in services. 3. I’m done making money. I live off of cash from McAfee Inc. My net income is negative. But I am a prime target for the IRS. Here I am,” the tech mogul added in a January 2019 tweet.
McAfee faced 30 years in prison if convicted on the tax evasion charges.
Wife Claims ‘Cover Up’ as Judge Rules John McAfee Died By Suicide and Still Holds Body — After 8 Months
Since his death in June last year, the internet has abounded with conspiracy theories over how John McAfee died. Adding fuel to the conspiracy fire was the fact that the Spanish government — who was holding him on charges of tax evasion to be extradited to the United States — has held his body from the family for over seven months.
After suspiciously holding his body for seven months, last June, a Spanish court ruled that McAfee took his own life. This ruling by the judge confirmed the findings of the original autopsy which declared his death a suicide.
As she did with the original ruling, McAfee’s widow, Janice McAfee appealed the ruling, insisting her husband was murdered.
Joy Athanasiou, a lawyer for McAfee’s daughter – identified only as Jen – told the financial news site MarketWatch that Janice immediately appealed the decision to a higher court, Though he noted that there was no timetable yet on when the higher court would rule on the appeal.
“At this point, we don’t really know much aside from the ruling. It’s been a long, strange process,” Athanasiou told MarketWatch.
Adding credence to Janice’s claims is the fact that McAfee himself said he was “content” in jail and had no plans to kill himself “like Epstein.”
After his death in June, and after not hearing anything for weeks, McAfee’s wife Janice speculated that the Spanish authorities had no sense of urgency into investigating his death.
“There has been no since (sic) of urgency from the various Spanish authorities involved in the investigation into John’s death and there is clearly a cover up happening here concerning the events surrounding his death,” she tweeted weeks after his death.
“We have not received the death certificate, the official autopsy report or the official report from the prison,” she continued. “I understand that things take time but the lack of cooperation from the Spanish authorities only confirms our suspicions that they have something to hide.”
The fact that they kept his body for seven months lends credit to this claim. However, it was reported that McAfee attempted suicide back in February. Whether or not this is true is unclear and it is also important to point out that this same claim was made with Jeffrey Epstein.
McAfee was on the Free Thought Project Podcast back in March of 2020 as the pandemic tyranny began to unfold. He was an outspoken and extremely eccentric man. This British-American computer programmer, cryptocurrency and security advocate, quickly found himself at the top of the American law enforcement’s most wanted list.
He was outspoken about not paying taxes and he refused to allow any government to rule over him. Though he for the US presidency as a Libertarian, unsuccessfully, he was the anarchist’s anarchist and lived that way until his death.