BARCELONA, SPAIN – John McAfee, the well-known British-American computer programmer, businessman, and two-time presidential candidate who unsuccessfully sought the Libertarian Party nomination in 2016 and 2020, was found dead in his jail cell near Barcelona on Wednesday just hours after a Spanish court approved his extradition to the United States to face tax charges, reports say, with decades in prison a possible outcome.
McAfee, who had been a fugitive from American authorities, was arrested last October at Barcelona’s international airport at the request of the U.S. Justice Department and had been in jail since then while extradition proceedings played out.
Spanish authorities claim that they discovered McAfee’s body in his cell at the Brians 2 penitentiary in northeastern Spain and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful; a statement released by the regional Catalan government stated that it appeared McAfee had killed himself.
“A judicial delegation has arrived to investigate the causes of death,” the statement read. “Everything points to death by suicide.”
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However, McAfee – known over the years for his turbulent lifestyle that involved drugs, guns, sex, and numerous legal woes – also had a history of claiming that the U.S. government was planning on doing him in, reports say, at one point stating that if his death was ever ruled a suicide, he would, in reality, have been murdered.
In June of 2018, McAfee claimed that the “New World Order” had attempted to poison him.
“I apologize for my three day absence but I was unconscious for two days at the Vidant Medical Center in North Carolina and just woke up,” he tweeted. “My enemies maged [sic] to spike something that I ingested. However, I am more difficult to kill than anyone can possibly imagine. I am back.”
In 2017, while plugging an interview with RT America, he tweeted that that CIA would kill him – and make it look like a suicide – for his support of then-President Donald Trump during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“My RT interview. I literally shame the CIA. Watch it before I get on their “So Tragic – He Committed Suicide” list,” he said.
And finally, in 2019, McAfee again claimed via Twitter that the U.S. government was threatening to kill him and make it look like a suicide, going so far as getting a tattoo of the phrase “$WACKD” on his arm to get his point across.
“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,” he said.
Ironically, McAfee was also a vocal proponent of the conspiracy theory that convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein did not commit suicide in his jail cell, but was clandestinely murdered instead.
According to Reuters, McAfee’s widow blamed U.S. authorities on Friday for his death saying he was not suicidal.
“His last words to me were ‘I love you and I will call you in the evening’, those words are not words of someone who is suicidal,” she said, holding back tears.