An Instagram publish uploaded after John McAfee’s loss of life was introduced Wednesday seemed to be a shoutout to the QAnon conspiracy concept, turning the obvious suicide in jail of a infamous software program impresario right into a surreal second whereas sparking a frenzy of baseless hypothesis.
Posted round 4 p.m. Wednesday, the picture confirmed only a black letter “Q” on a white background. It got here after McAfee was discovered lifeless of what Spanish authorities consider to be suicide in a jail cell earlier the identical day. A courtroom had simply authorised his extradition to the USA on costs of tax evasion, and he was wished in Belize for the homicide of his neighbor.
The publish was not the primary time somebody moreover McAfee appeared to publish to his Instagram. The account’s earlier publish, a “Free McAfee” picture, was uploaded Oct. 5, the day he was arrested in Spain. In 2019, after a special arrest, one other publish indicated that the account was being run by McAfee’s social media staff. “We’re beneath good info our pricey good friend John McAfee is being unlawfully detained by authorities. We thank everybody for the outpouring of assist,” the 2019 publish learn.
Neither McAfee’s attorneys nor Instagram instantly responded to requests for remark.
The millionaire founding father of McAfee Associates, maker of the once-ubiquitous McAfee Antivirus Software program, and infamous fugitive had lengthy made fomenting conspiracy theories a outstanding facet of his public persona, and stories of his loss of life gave rise to an e pluribus unum of conspiracy.
John McAfee Discovered Lifeless in Spanish Jail Cell
Alt-right social media character Tim Pool tweeted to his 820,000 followers, “Bull F–KING S–t.” Progressive social media character BrooklynDad_Defiant wrote to greater than 900,000 followers, “John McAfee died immediately. They mentioned it was suicide. However HE says he did not do it. WOW.”
McAfee had courted a relationship with the perimeter all through his life, writing trollish tweets that implied he knew the identification of the particular person behind the QAnon conspiracy concept, which falsely claims enemies of Donald Trump are celebration to a Satanic pedophile ring.
An Instagram publish on McAfee’s account from November 2019 confirmed a photoshopped collage of McAfee holding a gun earlier than a cowering Jeffrey Epstein and bore the caption, “I by no means mentioned Jeffrey Epstein was murdered. I mentioned he did not commit suicide. Not the identical. Could possibly be alive.” (Certainly one of his presumably less-than-serious tweets additionally referenced anal fisting.)
All proof so far factors to Epstein, a pedophile financier, dying in jail by suicide, regardless of conspiracy theories suggesting in any other case. However simply as they did after Epstein’s loss of life, commenters on each Instagram and Twitter paid tribute to McAfee’s conspiratorial ethos with the hashtag #JohnMcAfeeDidntKillHimself.
McAfee himself appeared to take motion a while in the past to make sure future stories of his loss of life could be questioned. The identical month as his Epstein publish to Instagram, he acquired a tattoo of the phrase “$WHACKD.”
He wrote on Twitter, “Getting refined messages from U.S. officers saying, in impact: ‘We’re coming for you McAfee! We’re going to kill your self.’ I received a tattoo immediately simply in case. If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I used to be whackd. Verify my proper arm.”
He had not too long ago launched a cryptocurrency of the identical identify that marketed itself with a picture of Hillary Clinton consuming pizza, a none-too-subtle nod to the Pizzagate conspiracy concept.
If his embrace of bogus conspiracy theories was well-documented, McAfee’s authorized woes are simply as in depth. He was arrested in Barcelona in October 2020 at El Prat Airport en path to Istanbul, standing accused of avoiding taxes on promoting the rights to his life story and cryptocurrency promotion. The Securities and Trade Fee additionally accused him of incomes $23 million by making deceptive and outright false suggestions for cryptocurrency investments.
In 2012, Belizean authorities discovered McAfee’s neighbor Gregory Faull “mendacity face up in a pool of blood with an obvious gunshot wound on the higher rear a part of his head.” Faull had filed an official grievance towards the software program mogul for “roguish conduct.” McAfee remained the prime suspect in Faull’s loss of life, and a decide ordered him to pay $25 million in 2019 after Faull’s relations filed a wrongful loss of life swimsuit. A former worker, Allison Adonizio, additionally accused McAfee of drugging and raping her in a 2016 documentary.
He additionally confronted one other wrongful loss of life swimsuit, this one value $5 million, regarding the 2006 loss of life of his younger nephew.
—with reporting by Kelly Weill
In case you or a cherished one are fighting suicidal ideas, please attain out to the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Disaster Textual content Line by texting TALK to 741741.
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