John McAfee, the notorious entrepreneur who was best known for the antivirus software that bore his name, was found dead in a prison cell on Wednesday. McAfee was being imprisoned in Barcelona, Spain, and was awaiting possible extradition to the US where he was facing tax evasion charges. Just hours before his death, a Spanish court agreed to his extradition, and it is suspected that he took his own life in response to the news.
In a statement announcing McAfee’s death, The Catalan Justice Department that “everything indicates” he took his own life.
McAfee was a tech pioneer who founded the first commercial anti-virus software and eventually sold the company before traveling the world. He has been at the center of controversy ever since.
McAfee was arrested in Spain while attempting to board a flight to Turkey in October of 2020. Authorities in the United States pressed charges against him for refusing to file a tax return for several years. He was accused of holding properties and expensive assets in other people’s names to avoid paying taxes.
In the years leading up to his death, McAfee claimed that he was an enemy of the state and members of various governments were out to get him. McAfee was extremely outspoken about his political beliefs and ran for President of the United States under the Libertarian Party Banner in 2016 and 2020.
It was during McAfee’s presidential run that he came under the scrutiny of tax authorities in the United States. In 2019, in a Twitter rant about taxation, McAfee admitted that he had not filed a tax return for at least 8 years.
Shortly after making that post, he was detained in the Dominican Republic for allegedly carrying a firearm, something else that he openly discussed. After that, a whole world of trouble opened up for him as the US government began investigating him and filing charges.
McAfee was no stranger to controversy, even before his recent charges in the US. In 2012, McAfee went on the run to escape from Belize where he was being investigated in the death of his neighbor. Despite being arrested in Guatamala, he quickly escaped to the US and avoided questioning in the case in Belize and ever since has become more of a public figure.
McAfee was also known for his dealings in the crypto industry, where he was paid large sums to promote dubious coins, and eventually became famous for suggesting that he would eat his own privates on national television if Bitcoin did not reach $500,000 within three years of his prediction.
In the days and weeks leading up to his death, McAfee made some very sad and cryptic posts on social media, a possible foreshadowing of what was to come. However, there are some longtime supporters who refuse to believe that he took his own life and think that he was somehow targeted by authorities in the United States who had a vendetta against him, although the timing would lend more credibility to the possibility of suicide.