John McAfee’s Final Tweets, Other Social Media, Create Suspicion

The software billionaire’s life ended in a Spanish prison yesterday. Many people are questioning how.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

June 24, 2021

3 Min Read
Shadow of Jail Bars closing in perspective view
Shadow of Jail Bars closing in perspective viewShutterstock


John McAfee

Software pioneer John McAfee is dead of an apparent suicide, just hours after a Spanish court had ruled he could be extradited to the United States.

That decision came on Wednesday, June 23. Not long after, prison officials said they found the 75-year-old McAfee hanging in his cell.

Now the conspiracy theories — similar to those that arose after Jeffrey Epstein’s death – are popping up everywhere.

To be sure, from prison in Barcelona last October, McAfee asserted the following on Twitter: “”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.”

In addition, Newsweek (along with other outlets) reports that after the news of McAfee’s death, someone posted “Q” on his Instagram account. The letters appears to refer to the QAnon movement and the so-called “dead man’s switch,” which, when activated, supposedly exposes nefarious government activities. McAfee rarely used Instagram and last posted there in October 2020 – and before that, November 2019. However, he noted in July 2019 that he was not the only person with access to the account.

Perhaps more telling are the tweets in the days leading up to McAfee’s death. A pinned tweet dated June 16 could be read as grandiose or despairing.

“The US believes I have hidden crypto. 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.”

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Another, on June 18:

“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.”

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Finally, another on June 10, which indicates a more peaceful state of mind – at least for that moment – with his own situation:

“There is much sorrow in prison, disguised as hostility. The sorrow is plainly visible even in the most angry faces. I’m old and content with food and a bed but for the young prison is a horror – a reflection of the minds of those who conceived them.”

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Prior to that, McAfee was discussing foreign countries infiltrating U.S. companies by placing people as software engineers.

Why Was John McAfee in a Spanish Prison?

McAfee spent most of his retirement gallivanting throughout the world and getting into trouble. Most recently, various U.S. federal agencies were pursuing him for tax evasion related to cryptocurrency schemes. He could have gotten 30 years, or more, if convicted of fraud, which would have meant dying in prison anyway.

Indeed, cryptocurrency became one of McAfee’s greatest fascinations and topics of online conversation over the past few years. And it’s why the IRS and Securities and Exchange Commission sought to extradite him to the United States.

The eccentric billionaire ended up imprisoned in Spain when authorities captured him trying to fly to Istanbul. That happened last October. But he had lived in countries including Cuba and Belize prior to that. In Latin America, McAfee briefly found himself a person of interest in a murder case.

McAfee founded the software firm bearing his name in 1987, although he largely disengaged from daily activity there around 1994. He became a billionaire when he sold the company to Intel in 2011. McAfee ran for president in 2016 and 2020.  After that, his global exploits turned legend.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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