- In 2019, John McAfee tweeted that if he were to appear to die by suicide it would not be true.
- McAfee had also tweeted several times about Jeffrey Epstein’s death, claiming it was not a suicide.
- After McAfee’s death in jail on Wednesday, the old tweet was shared widely, fueling speculation.
A tweet posted by John McAfee in 2019, two years before his death by suicide, said he would not kill himself.
McAfee died on Wednesday in Barcelona, Spain, shortly after a court ruled that he could be extradited to the US on tax-evasion charges, Reuters reported.
His lawyer, Javier Villalba, told Reuters that the death was a suicide.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department in Spain’s Catalonia region said that the death appeared to be a suicide but that a final determination would come after Spanish officials conduct an autopsy.
The tweet, posted in November 2019, said: “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.” It included a photo of a tattoo that said “$WHACKD.”
Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: "We're coming for you McAfee! We're going to kill yourself". I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn't. I was whackd. Check my right arm.$WHACKD available only on https://t.co/HdSEYi9krq🙂 pic.twitter.com/rJ0Vi2Hpjj— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) November 30, 2019
Almost a year later, in October, McAfee was arrested and detained in Barcelona.
Villalba told Reuters on Thursday that McAfee’s death was a surprise. “At no point had he shown any special worry or clue that could let us think this could have happened,” he said.
On June 15, McAfee argued against being sent back to the US, saying extradition would likely mean spending the rest of his life in prison.
The 2019 tweet had been shared more than 33,000 times as of early Thursday, including by WikiLeaks and Michelle Malkin, an anchor on Newsmax, who retweeted the post with the hashtag #IBELIEVEJOHNMCAFEE.
McAfee’s Instagram account was deleted after it posted an image of a Q following his death. It was unclear who ran the account or why it was deleted.
McAfee’s online statements had been called into question in the past. In August, he made headlines by tweeting that he had been arrested in Norway for wearing a thong as a face mask, then said it was a hoax to fool the media.
McAfee founded the McAfee antivirus-software company in 1987, and Intel bought it in 2010. He left the company in 1994 and later moved to Belize, where he became a subject of interest in the case of his neighbor’s death, for which he was found legally liable.
Before McAfee’s death, he was due to be extradited as part of a criminal investigation into his tax affairs. McAfee had described the charges as politically motivated.