Now it might come as a surprise to many of you but on Wednesday, it was announced that Antivirus Software founder John McAfee was found dead in his jail cell in Spain. It was ruled a suicide by hanging but is undergoing investigation. After being arrested in Spain in October 2020 for tax evasion, he has been held in jail since awaiting the outcome of extradition proceedings. Unfortunately, hours after it was announced that a Spanish court granted his request to be extradited to the US, John McAfee was found dead in his cell.
Who is John McAfee?
Born on a U.S. Army base to an American father and British mother, John McAfee’s name would soon become one of the most well-known security softwares in the world. Unfortunately, his upbringing did not come without its troubles, as at the age of 15, his abusive alcoholic father killed himself with a gun. His life was riddled with questionable relationships, from his first marriage to Judy McAfee who was originally his undergraduate student, to his arrangement, living with a harem of seven young women, to his final marriage, with sex worker Janice Dyson in 2013.
Why was John McAfee Famous?
While the founder himself lived a very private but later turbulent life, John McAfee’s success stems from his world-renowned antivirus software, McAfee. A company that he founded in 1987 that was credited as a pioneer to cybersecurity. By 1994, he would sell his stake in the company and terminate all further involvement in its operations. Having earned a pretty dollar from selling his stake in the company, John invested his personal fortune into various ventures. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very fruitful as in 2009; it was announced that his investments caused him to decline from a peak of $100 million to $4 million.
After selling all his valuables in the US and moving to Belize in 2008, he would live a fairly private and peaceful life researching herb-based antibiotics. Ultimately, this venture was foiled in 2012, through a raid conducted on his residence by the Belize Gang Suppression Unit, which accused McAfee of producing methamphetamine. Later on that year, he would become a person of interest in the murder of his neighbour Gregory Faull. McAfee claims that this was initially an attempt to assassinate him; however, they “had the wrong house”. Soon after, he fled to Guatemala and would be detained but then faked two heart attacks which would lead to his deportation to the US. During this period between 2012 to 2020, he would attempt two runs at presidency under the libertarian party, partake in pump and dump schemes, and publicly state that he has not filed a tax return since 2010. This would lead to his arrest in Spain in October 2020, which ultimately led to his death.
Death of McAfee
On June 23, 2021, hours after the official announcement of his extradition, John McAfee was found dead in his jail cell. After numerous attempts to revive him, he was finally certified as dead by the jail’s medical team. The regional Catalan government states on the suicide that “a Judicial delegation has arrived to investigate the cause of death” but also adds that “everything points to death by suicide”.
Suspicious or Fair Play?
While there has been a movement sparked about the suspicious nature of his death, there are many factors and causes that might have motivated his suicide or potential murder. Firstly, after extradition, he would be facing up to 30 years in prison. The already paranoid McAfee could have potentially chosen to end his life in fear that his imprisonment in the US would be due to political motivations. Finally, his repeated encounters with law enforcement and bizarre hiding tactics show signs of a man at his wits ends attempting to spite the government and spark controversy after his death.
While he did state, that if he were ever to be found dead by hanging, it would mean he was murdered, it is nevertheless brewing into an internet conspiracy theory surrounding whether he truly committed suicide or was murdered. As the judicial delegation investigates the cause of death, hopefully the truth comes to light about whether this was truly an act of suicide or a plotted murder.