Software magnate John McAfee was found dead Wednesday afternoon in a Spanish prison cell just hours after the Spanish High Court authorized his extradition to the United States on tax evasion charges. McAfee was 75.
According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, citing a statement from the Catalan Departamento de Justicia which confirmed the death. The paper also stated that attempts by jail staff to resuscitate McAfee were unsuccessful. Reuters confirmed the department’s statement, which said the death was most likely a suicide.
McAfee was already on the run from authorities in Belize for allegedly murdering his neighbor when he was arrested in October 2020 at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport before he could board a connecting flight to Istanbul. A U.S. indictment was then unsealed, charging McAfee with failing to pay taxes on millions of dollars he earned from, among other things, promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, and selling the rights to his life story. McAfee claimed the tax charges were politically motivated and were filed in retaliation for his failed presidential run as a libertarian candidate in the 2020 presidential election. At the time of McAfee’s arrest, Spanish prosecutor Carlos Bautista brushed off the accusation, responding that America’s Libertarian Party is a non-issue in the political world.
The criminal charges followed civil charges brought against McAfee by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission which accused him of earning more than $23 million by making misleading and false cryptocurrency recommendations. Once he learned he was being extradited back to the States, did that help him make his final, awful decision?
John McAfee is dead. His life was a monument to how much human shrapnel a multimillionaire can leave behind. https://t.co/XGKFO9XfpL
— Robert Evans (The Only Robert Evans) (@IwriteOK) June 23, 2021
In the fall of 2019, McAfee launched a cryptocurrency called WHACKD. His infamous Twitter announcement showed a photoshopped image of Hillary Clinton eating a slice of pizza while two feet dangled from the ceiling above, with a tagline reading: “Epstein didn’t kill himself,” a nod to sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide in a New York prison cell in 2019. After his arrest, he continued to have access to social media and gave the impression he was doing well and wasn’t experiencing any suicidal feelings.
I am content in here. I have friends.
The food is good. All is well.
Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) October 15, 2020
McAfee’s final tweet was sent on June 18th.
In a democracy, power is given not taken.
But it is still power.
Love, compassion, caring have no use for it. But it is fuel for greed, hostility, jealousy…
All power corrupts.
Take care which powers you allow a democracy to wield.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) June 18, 2021
Twitter users were trending both “McAfee” and “Epstein” on Wednesday soon after the news broke.
John McAfee died today.
They said it was suicide.
But HE says he didn't do it.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) June 23, 2021
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts or other thoughts of self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or you may also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.