Antivirus Pioneer John McAfee Found Dead in Spanish Jail

John McAfee, who developed one of the most successful antivirus programs in personal computing history, was found dead earlier today in a Spanish prison. The businessman, activist, and onetime murder suspect likely died by suicide, according to authorities. His body as found shortly after a Spanish court ruled to allow McAfee to be extradited to the United States, where he faced tax evasion charges that could have carried a decades-long prison sentence. His legal troubles began in 2012, when McAfee was named by Belize police as a "person of interest" in connection to the murder of American expatriate Gregory Viant Faull. McAfee reportedly had had a conflict with Faull, who had complained about McAfee's dogs.

McAfee, who founded McAfee Associates software in 1987, ran the company until 1994, and then cashed out and embarked on a series of professional and personal endeavors that were often baffling, apparently criminal, or both, for the rest of his life. In addition to his business ventures, McAfee unsuccessfully sought the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the United States in 2016 and 2020. At one point, he had a net worth of as much as $100 million, a sum that had declined to $4 million following the 2008 financial crash.

Later in life, McAfee had become a proponent of cryptocurrency and an opponent of all forms of government taxation.

News came after a representative of the Brians 2 penitentiary in northeastern Spain made a statement. In it, McAfee wasn't identified by name, but it said that the deceased was a 75-year-old U.S. citizen awaiting extradition to his country. Security personnel at the prison reportedly attempted to revive him, but the jail's medical team has certified his death, a statement from the regional Catalan government said.

"A judicial delegation has arrived to investigate the causes of death," the statement read. "Everything points to death by suicide."

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After selling McAfee Associates, McAfee burned through a number of high-profile ventures for the rest of his professional life, and proved adept at attracting investors and press coverage wherever he went. His relationship with the media seemed somewhat codependent; when he wasn't getting attention from his corporate or political activities, he would do things like shooting off massive guns with Alex Jones, posting YouTube videos of himself on the lam from authorities while riding a yacht surrounded by beautiful women, or offering to decrypt criminals' iPhones as a publicity stunt.

He often faced accusations, and sometimes charges, surrounding weapons and drugs. At various points in his life, he was accused of running a cult, manufacturing drugs, and bribing local officials to keep himself out of jail. He was one of a number of high profile criminals or criminal suspects who had hoped, at one point, to be pardoned by outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump.