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McAfee, who was awaiting extradition to the U.S. on tax evasion charges, was found dead in a Spanish jail on June 23. He was 75. He died by hanging, according to preliminary reports. Foul play was ruled out, according to officials.
Months earlier, McAfee openly disavowed the possibility he’d ever commit suicide on social media, claiming he was “content” in the Barcelona prison.
“I have friends,” John McAfee wrote on Twitter on Oct. 15. “The food is good. All is well. Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine.”
McAfee was arrested at a Barcelona airport on Oct. 3 prior to attempting to board a flight to Turkey, according to Reuters.
Three days before McAfee’s death, his wife publicly insinuated that the U.S. government intended for the software mogul to “die in prison.”
“John’s honesty has often gotten him in trouble with corrupt governments and corrupt government officials because of his outspoken nature and his refusal to be extorted, intimidated or silenced,” Janice McAfee wrote on June 20.
Janice McAfee said that prison had taken a mental and physical toll on her husband but was adamant he remained “undeterred from continuing to speak truth to power.”
“Now the 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,” she added.
Her statement, including McAffee’s twitter feed, fueled a flurry of Epstein-esque social media conspiracies in the hours after the McAfee antivirus software creator’s body was found in his shared cell.
McAfee allegedly evaded upwards of $4 million in taxes in the U.S. between 2016 and 2018, according to an indictment obtained by Oxygen.com. According to the federal prosecutors, McAfee withheld cryptocurrency, a yacht, vehicles, and other real estate in a bid to avoid paying his taxes. On Monday, a federal court in Spain approved McAfee’s extradition to the U.S.
His loved ones were stunned to learn of his death, according to his Spanish lawyer.
“It’s something really terrible, horrible,” Javier Villalba told Oxygen.com. “It was unexpected. ... We are really under shock. We didn’t understand what happened. He never gave us a signal or told us ‘I’m tired, I want to finish with everything.’ Never, never.”
Villalba declined to comment on whether he thought foul play was involved in his client’s death. He was also unable to confirm the manner in which his client died.
“We have no details about that,” Villalba said. “We are awaiting the report from the criminal investigation, from the police.”
A judge had recently dismissed seven of the 10 counts contained in McAfee’s original indictment, his attorney said.
“He was really happy about that because he found the possibility to see the light after this tunnel,” Villalba added. “He always said, ‘Javier we need to go ahead, we are going to appeal everything.’”
In one of his final tweets, McAfee also maintained his innocence.
“The US believes I have hidden crypto,” he said in a pinned tweet on June 16. “I wish I did but it has dissolved through the many hands of Team McAfee (your belief is not required), and my remaining assets are all seized. My friends evaporated through fear of association. I have nothing. Yet, I regret nothing.”
McAfee was no stranger to controversy. He was sought for questioning in the murder a disgruntled neighbor in Belize in 2012, though he was never charged. In 2016, Showtime aired an explosive documentary detailing his larger-than-life exploits. He unsuccessfully ran for president the same year.