John McAfee, the founder of the antivirus software company McAfee, was found dead in his cell in Spain, apparently by suicide, just hours after the country’s highest court approved his extradition to the United States, where he was wanted on tax-related criminal charges carrying a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
John McAfee: Crypto Evangelist And Security Software Mogul
The eccentric cryptocurrency promoter and tax opponent whose history of legal troubles spanned from Tennessee to Central America to the Caribbean was discovered at the Brians 2 penitentiary in northeastern Spain. A statement from the regional Catalan government said John McAfee was found by security personnel who tried to revive him, but the jail’s medical team certified his death.
“A judicial delegation has arrived to investigate the causes of death,” it said, adding that “everything points to death by suicide.”
Since the news of his death broke, many of his peers in the tech and crypto space have released their tributes and thoughts about John McAfee, his life, and his contributions to data security
Former National Security Agency (NSA) employee and whistleblower, Edward Snowden, criticized the global reach of U.S. enforcement and warned that McAfee’s untimely end may not be the only one as “Julian Assange’s story could end much the same.” He tweeted:
“Europe should not extradite those accused of non-violent crimes to a court system so unfair — and a prison system so cruel — that native-born defendants would rather die than become subject to it.”
Cardano founder, Charles Hoskinson, praised McAfee’s contributions to computer science, describing him as “one of the most enigmatic and interesting people in the cryptocurrency space and the history of computing.” “He was also a deeply troubled person,” added Hoskinson, noting McAfee’s well-documented personal traumas and substance abuse issues.
RIP John Mcafee https://t.co/Rc4u3eXX6C
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) June 23, 2021
“The reason for the suicide seems self-evident — McAfee was 75 years old, and the extradition ot the US was approved, he was looking at over 30 years in jail, if convicted, and likely would have been […] it seem that he decided to choose ending his life there in a Spanish prison rather than a U.S. prison.”
Kim Dotcom, an online entrepreneur fighting extradition charges from New Zealand over his Megaupload file-sharing network, bemoaned McAfee’s drug abuse, saying:
“A pioneer in data security. I always thought he partied too hard, should have avoided the drugs and focus on using his brilliant mind for good. When he had a sober mind it was all about freedom.”
Anthony Pompliano remembered McAfee as “kind, funny, and incredibly intelligent,” sharing an image of himself alongside the anti-virus pioneer and his wife Janice Dyson, wielding heavy munitions from the house boat the pair had used to evade authorities for years.
I once had the opportunity to spend the day with the legend @officialmcafee on his boat in the Bahamas.
He was kind, funny, and incredibly intelligent.
Will always remember that day. RIP to one of the world’s most unique individuals. pic.twitter.com/B5FnvDBRYK
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) June 23, 2021
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John McAfee’s own Tweets have been retweeted hundreds of times today, including one from December 2019 in which he claimed the government was threatening to assassinate him and urged people not to trust any version of events in which he killed himself. The tweet, on the other hand, was promoting his “WHACKD” crypto coin, which was named after Jeffrey Epstein’s death and linked to a website where the token could be purchased.
He said on Twitter:
Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: “We’re coming for you McAfee! We’re going to kill yourself”. I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I was whackd. Check my right arm.$WHACKD
Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: "We're coming for you McAfee! We're going to kill yourself". I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn't. I was whackd. Check my right arm.$WHACKD available only on https://t.co/HdSEYi9krq:) pic.twitter.com/rJ0Vi2Hpjj
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) November 30, 2019
Other conspiracy theorists focused on a post from June 2019 in which he claimed to have a “31+ terabyte” trove of data containing evidence of government corruption, which he said incriminated “a CIA agent” and “two Bahamian officials” and which he promised to release if he was ever captured.
Every eccentric millionaire beefing with governments claims they have proof of corruption and that everything will be made public should tragedy befall them.
Tragedy eventually befalls them, but the dead man's switch never triggers and the proof is never delivered.
— Non-Fungible Toker 🌿 (@eldeezo) June 23, 2021
Jaime Le, a McAfee company spokesperson, said in a statement: “Although John McAfee founded the company, he has not been associated with our company in any capacity for over 25 years. That said, our thoughts go to his family and those close to him.”
A spokesperson with the U.S. Embassy in Madrid said it was aware of the reports about McAfee’s death but would not comment for privacy reasons.
Related article | The Life And Death Of John McAfee: Antivirus Legend, Crypto Promoter
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