Inside tech mogul John McAfee’s wild life and tragic death

John McAfee’s death is as a lot of a chaotic thriller as his life was.

Immediately after it was introduced that the 75-year-old software program mogul had hanged himself in a Barcelona jail on Wednesday, individuals started digging up suspicious previous tweets from him.

“I am content in here. I have friends. The food is good. All is well. Know that if I hang myself, à la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine,” he had tweeted last October, whereas in jail.

In July 2019, McAfee posted: “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.”

Included was a photograph of his bicep, sporting recent ink that learn “$WHACKD” — seemingly a reference to the Mafia-style assassination he was anticipating.

On Wednesday, hours earlier than his death, Spain’s National Court in Madrid introduced that McAfee may very well be extradited to the US to face a 10-count federal indictment for tax evasion. He was charged with directing revenue into financial institution accounts and cryptocurrency change accounts within the names of others and accused of hiding property together with actual property and a yacht.

McAfee got a tattoo in 2019 reading “$Whackd” — seemingly a reference to the assassination he expected.
McAfee bought a tattoo in 2019 studying “$Whackd” — seemingly a reference to the assassination he anticipated.

On Friday, his spouse, Janice Dyson McAfee, blamed the US for his death, telling reporters on the jail the place he spent the final eight months that her husband was not suicidal.

“I blame the US authorities for this tragedy,” she learn from a ready assertion. “Because of these politically motivated charges against him my husband is now dead.”

Days earlier than his death, she had tweeted, “Now the US authorities are determined to have John die in prison to make an example of him for speaking out against the corruption within their government agencies.”

It’s solely acceptable that McAfee would exit with one final jaw-dropping twist.

Who would count on any much less from the anti-virus software program millionaire, who claimed to have fathered 47 kids and as soon as lived with a harem of seven younger girls?

He went on the run in 2012, after being named as an individual of curiosity in a Belize homicide — one in all a number of crimes he was linked to — and appeared to relish life as a fugitive. He additionally believed that he was being chased by darkish forces inside the US authorities. When he fled Belize and sought political asylum in Guatemala, he modified his look by dying his hair and beard and sticking wads of chewed bubble gum to his higher gums to fatten his face.

“I don’t want to be unkind, but he seems to be extremely paranoid,” mentioned Belize’s former Prime Minister Dean Barrow. “I would go so far as to say ‘bonkers.’”

While living in Belize, John McAfee said he had a harem of seven young women (including the two pictured) living with him at his compound.
While dwelling in Belize, John McAfee mentioned he had a harem of seven younger girls (together with the 2 pictured) dwelling with him at his compound.
Brian Finke/Redux

Even the best way he met his spouse was very McAfee: In 2012, he had simply been deported from Guatemala — the place he fled after the difficulty in Belize — to Miami, when he noticed a prostitute exterior his resort. It was Dyson.

“The last thing I wanted in the world right now was to f–k,” he told a podcast audience last year of the expertise. “What I wanted was what I had desperately missed…a good f–king coffee.”

And a cuddle: He gave Dyson $2,000 to spoon him and married her months later.

But McAfee, it appeared, was incapable of settling down.

“My impression was that he was an insanely smart guy who had become bored with things,” photographer Brian Finke advised The Post. “He seemed to be getting into a little bit of trouble.”

John David McAfee was born in 1945 in Cinderford, a small English city close to a US Army base the place his American father, Donald, was a soldier. His mom, Joan, was British. John was their solely little one.

The household moved to Roanoke, Va., the place his father labored as a highway surveyor and his mom grew to become a financial institution teller. An abusive alcoholic, Donald beat his son “mercilessly,” McAfee advised a reporter. When McAfee was 15 years previous, his father shot himself useless.

Last August, the software mogul tweeted a photo of himself with a thong on his face and mask on his privates.
Last August, the software program mogul tweeted a photograph of himself with a thong on his face and masks on his privates.

“Every day I wake up with him. Every relationship I have, he’s by my side; every mistrust, he is the negotiator of that mistrust. So my life is f–ked,’” McAfee advised Wired. The article, which detailed McAfee’s fascination with Russian roulette, featured {a photograph} of the entrepreneur holding a silver revolver to his temple. It was taken by Finke, who traveled to Belize for the session in 2012.

“I was told that he had played Russian roulette with the writer,” Finke mentioned. “I mentioned that I heard it and I wanted to do a similar picture. He was an egomaniac and the crazier [things] got, the more it played into what he was trying to convey.”

McAfee styled himself as a mad genius with an addictive persona. By his personal account, he offered journal subscriptions to fund his undergraduate math diploma at Roanoke College and ended up making a small fortune. He completed his BA in 1967 however spent a lot of the money getting drunk. A 12 months later, he enrolled in a sophisticated diploma program at Northeast Louisiana State College, the place he additionally taught lessons, however was kicked out for having intercourse with one in all his college students, an undergraduate whom he later married.

Although he labored for numerous tech firms, together with Xerox, General Electric and NASA, McAfee spent the following a number of years in a drug and alcohol-fueled haze, dropping acid, snorting cocaine and washing all the things down with a bottle of scotch.

“Most of my bosses also used drugs of some kind,” he advised the BBC in 2012. “I was in the tech field, after all. We were the leading edge in technology and the leading age in personal experimentation.”

He met his wife, Janice Dyson McAfee, after hiring her as a prostitute in Miami — $2,000 for a night of cuddling.
He met his spouse, Janice Dyson McAfee, after hiring her as a prostitute in Miami — $2,000 for an evening of cuddling.

When he moved to St. Louis to work for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, McAfee was on a downward spiral. His spouse left him, and he shut himself in his dwelling doing medicine for days on finish and listening to Pink Floyd.

He mentioned his life modified radically in 1984 after a therapist satisfied him to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous assembly and he bought clear. But in 2010, McAfee started to extoll the hallucinations and elevated intercourse drive he derived from a chemical compound generally known as alpha-PHP. The drug, utilized in “bath salts,” is extremely addictive and may cause cognitive impairment and intense paranoia.

Despite the medicine, McAfee was a pc visionary. It was throughout a stint on the protection contractor Lockheed Martin in 1986 that he got here face-to-face with a pc virus. “I’d never heard of a virus before, neither had anyone in technology,” he mentioned.

McAfee labored on software program to disinfect the corporate’s computer systems and was impressed to arrange his McAfee Associates in 1987 to create safety software program.

“He could unravel [viruses] and come up with a solution,” mentioned author Mark Eglinton, writer of “No Domain: The John McAfee Tapes,” due in December. “[His company] came up with a standardized virus package that people could install. It was the first one sold to corporations and sold to individuals.”

Although the corporate made an excessive amount of cash, McAfee wished nothing to do with the company world, mentioned Eglinton, who spent two years interviewing him. “When the company was sold, he got his share and walked away with hundreds of millions.” Long after McAfee resigned in 1994, the corporate was offered to Intel for $7.7 billion.

Flush with money, McAfee went on “a spree of buying and building,” mentioned Eglinton. He based an instantaneous messaging system, a yoga retreat and an “aero-trekking” — engine-powered hang-gliding — firm.

Said McAfee, a flight fanatic who was a skilled pilot: “It’s what Icarus dreamed of.”

When he turned 60, he started to hunt out different challenges. In 2008, McAfee settled in Belize, finally constructing a beachfront compound within the Central American nation. At first, he contributed to the impoverished neighborhood that surrounded his villa, investing in electrical energy and clear water. Later, he started to make use of a small military of closely armed hitmen and stored a harem of seven younger girls — some reportedly teenagers — who lived with him.

But McAfee ran afoul of his neighbor Gregory Faull, one other American expatriate who complained that McAfee allowed his pack of canines to run freely on their shared beachfront. Faull, a Florida builder, grew to become so exasperated that he poisoned a few of the canines in November 2012. A number of days later, Faull himself was discovered shot to death in his dwelling. McAfee denied he had something to do with the killing, however when native police sought him for questioning, he fled throughout the border to Guatemala to hunt political asylum. He was deported to Miami in December 2012 and by no means charged in connection to the death.

A number of years later, he started to advertise cryptocurrency on social media and charged greater than $100,000 per tweet to publicize preliminary forex choices — a scenario that caught the eye of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which started to research him for tax evasion and hiding property.

In 2016, a documentary filmmaker unearthed proof alleging that McAfee paid a neighborhood hitman to kill Faull. In “Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee,” Nanette Burstein additionally interviews Allison Adonizio, a former enterprise affiliate of McAfee’s who claimed that he drugged and raped her in Belize. And the movie alleges that David Middleton, a neighborhood who robbed McAfee’s dwelling, was kidnapped and mutilated with tasers and knives by McAfee’s thugs, then killed.

He appears to be extraordinarily paranoid. I’d…say “bonkers.”

Dean Barrow, former prime minister of Belize, on John McAfee

Years after his escape from Belize, McAfee and Dyson sailed the Caribbean in his yacht, The Great Mystery, and had been detained within the Dominican Republic in possession of military-style assault weapons and ammunition.

As US authorities probed his funds in 2018, McAfee was once more on the run, dwelling at a “ghost hotel” and alleged secret bitcoin farm on the Catalan coast. He was arrested at Barcelona’s worldwide airport on tax evasion prices in October.

On June 16, in one in all his final tweets from jail, McAfee lamented that “my remaining assets are all seized. My friends evaporated through fear of association. I have nothing. Yet, I regret nothing.”

It was a usually cryptic pronunciation from the self-described “Iconoclast. Lover of women, adventure and mystery,” the outline that featured on his Twitter.

“John operated in the margins of life,” mentioned Eglinton. “He liked to be slightly misunderstood. He succeeded in that — even in death.”

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