The reported suicide of infamous tax fugitive, Bitcoin proponent, and antivirus software program pioneer, John McAfee, has prompted an outpouring of tributes and conspiracy theories at present.
After years of evading U.S. taxes and authorities, a Spanish court docket had ordered McAfee’s extradition simply hours earlier than he was discovered useless, with the 75-year-old anticipated to face a life sentence in america ought to he have been extradited.
Former Nationwide Safety Company (NSA) worker and whistleblower, Edward Snowden, criticized the worldwide attain of U.S. enforcement and warned that McAfee’s premature finish will not be the one one as “Julian Assange’s story may finish a lot the identical.” He tweeted:
“Europe mustn’t extradite these accused of non-violent crimes to a court docket system so unfair — and a jail system so merciless — that native-born defendants would relatively die than change into topic to it.”
Cardano founder, Charles Hoskinson, praised McAfee’s contributions to pc science, describing him as “some of the enigmatic and fascinating individuals within the cryptocurrency area and the historical past of computing.” “He was additionally a deeply troubled individual,” added Hoskinson, noting McAfee’s well-documented private traumas and substance abuse points.
RIP John Mcafee https://t.co/Rc4u3eXX6C
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) June 23, 2021
“The explanation for the suicide appears self-evident — McAfee was 75 years outdated, and the extradition ot the US was permitted, he was taking a look at over 30 years in jail, if convicted, and certain would have been […] it appear that he determined to decide on ending his life there in a Spanish jail relatively than a U.S. jail.”
Bitcoin influencer and podcaster Anthony Pompliano remembered McAfee as “sort, humorous, and extremely clever,” sharing a picture of himself alongside the anti-virus pioneer and his spouse Janice Dyson, wielding heavy munitions from the home boat the pair had used to evade authorities for years.
I as soon as had the chance to spend the day with the legend @officialmcafee on his boat within the Bahamas.
He was sort, humorous, and extremely clever.
Will all the time do not forget that day. RIP to one of many world’s most original people. pic.twitter.com/B5FnvDBRYK
— Pomp (@APompliano) June 23, 2021
Kim Dotcom, an web entrepreneur who’s preventing his personal extradition fees from New Zealand over his file-sharing community, Megaupload, lamented McAfee’s drug abuse taking away from his potential, stating:
“A pioneer in knowledge safety. I all the time thought he partied too arduous, ought to have averted the medicine and deal with utilizing his sensible thoughts for good. When he had a sober thoughts it was all about freedom.”
QAnon and conspiracy theories
Regardless of McAfee’s personal authorized representatives in Spain, informing Reuters that McAfee had hanged himself relatively than face life in jail, the web is predictably ablaze with conspiracy theories asserting McAfee had not died at his personal hand.
The flames have been fanned shortly after his loss of life was reported, when McAfee’s official Instragram account shared a picture of the letter “Q,” igniting pleasure amongst QAnon conspiracy theorists. Enterprise Insider reported that QAnon influencers on Telegram with “a whole bunch of hundreds of followers” have been sharing posts doubting the suicide story.
McAfee’s personal Tweets have been reposted endlessly at present, together with one from December 2019 claiming the federal government was threatening to assassinate him and to not consider any model of occasions the place he dedicated suicide. Nevertheless, the tweet was selling his “WHACKD” crypto token, which referenced the loss of life of Jeffrey Epstein, and linked to a web site the place the token could possibly be bought.
Getting delicate messages from U.S. officers saying, in impact: “We’re coming for you McAfee! We will kill your self”. I obtained a tattoo at present simply in case. If I suicide myself, I did not. I used to be whackd. Examine my proper arm.$WHACKD accessible solely on https://t.co/HdSEYi9krq🙂 pic.twitter.com/rJ0Vi2Hpjj
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) November 30, 2019
Different conspiracy theorists zeroed in on a submit from June 2019 the place he claimed to have a “31+ terabyte” trove of knowledge with proof of presidency corruption that he claimed incriminated “a CIA agent” and “two Bahamian officers” that he would launch if he have been ever arrested. Nevertheless McAfee was arrested in October 2020 and no such proof trove has been launched.
Each eccentric millionaire beefing with governments claims they’ve proof of corruption and that the whole lot shall be made public ought to tragedy befall them.
Tragedy ultimately befalls them, however the useless man’s change by no means triggers and the proof is rarely delivered.
— Non-Fungible Toker (@eldeezo) June 23, 2021
It’s price making an allowance for McAfee was no stranger to creating daring and outlandish claims, together with promising he would devour his personal phallus on nationwide tv ought to the value of Bitcoin fail to exceed $1 million by 2021, that he had performed sexual activity with a whale, and that he had synthesized a brand new narcotic compound in Belize.
McAfee’s Tweets from jail had additionally taken on an more and more sombre tone in current weeks. In Could, he revealed he had mentioned suicide with a fellow inmate.
At present a person dealing with a troublesome scenario requested if I knew of painless methods to kill himself. Having little expertise in such, I used to be of not a lot assist.
The superb factor is that the tone of the dialogue was like discussing the climate.
Jail is an odd surroundings.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) May 27, 2021
He additionally spoke of being “an outdated man misplaced in a close to infinite Twitter verse — like tears in rain” and admitting to “having a down day.”
McAfee’s Spanish lawyer, Javier Villalba, advised Reuters he believed that McAfee merely couldn’t tolerate being locked up:
“That is the results of a merciless system that had no motive to maintain this man in jail for therefore lengthy.”
In the event you want assist in the U.S. name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255. In Australia name Lifeline on 131114 or lookup the service nearest to you.