Libertarian Party

John McAfee Found Dead in a Spanish Prison Cell

The software entrepreneur, Libertarian presidential hopeful, and international man of mystery had just been ordered extradited to the U.S. from Spain on charges of tax evasion when he was found dead by hanging.


John McAfee wanted to be free, and he wanted you to be free. Facing the reality that the U.S. government was not likely going to let him breathe another free breath, the 75-year-old software entrepreneur and 2016 Libertarian Party presidential hopeful was found dead via hanging in a Spanish jail on Wednesday just hours after news had broke that he was finally being extradited to face tax charges back home.

McAfee, who had been locked up in Spain for eight months, had long admitted that he had not paid income taxes in many years and never intended to.

Most famous for founding the antivirus software company bearing his own name, McAfee stopped working there in 1994, and over the past few years had became a colorful promoter of cryptocurrency, famously vowing to eat his own dick if Bitcoin didn't break $1 million in 2020.

In between those ventures his life was a living men's magazine profile, with one Wired feature already optioned for a long-discussed feature film. He was known for cavorting with wild women, waving around guns, manufacturing drugs, filming sloppy cocktail videos on his boat, discussing the finer points of fornicating with whales, and generally being the loud archetype of the untamable male id.

A trickster, McAfee wanted us all to know years ago that if in the future he seemed to have killed himself, he most certainly did not, posting an image of himself in 2019 with a tattoo reading "whack'd." A couple of weeks into his Spanish incarceration, he tweeted that "I am content in here. I have friends. The food is good. All is well. Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine."

His Twitter feed from prison contained some of his usual musings on high-level math anomalies, data security, software designers as spies, hackers' invincibility, and mordant prison wisdom such as "Today a man facing a difficult situation asked if I knew of painless ways to kill himself. Having little experience in such, I was of not much help. The amazing thing is that the tone of the discussion was like discussing the weather. Prison is a strange environment."

A week ago he tweeted, and pinned, that "The US believes I have hidden crypto. I wish I did but it has dissolved through the many hands of Team McAfee (your belief is not required), and my remaining assets are all seized. My friends evaporated through fear of association. I have nothing. Yet, I regret nothing."

Having had the pleasure of many, many hours in McAfee's company—all reporter/subject stuff, though he relished that dynamic—I can tell you that John McAfee was a trip, and loved a life of interacting, mindfucking, communicating, and miscommunicating, striving to both be understood and to twist your understanding to his momentary whims.

One of the first things he told me when we met for a story on his 2016 campaign was "Don't care about me, please. Commune with me. Dance with me. Laugh with me. But for God's sake, if you care about me, keep the fuck out of my life."

When he launched a more haphazard 2020 Libertarian run in exile, on the run from an indictment he knew was coming, he told me, "Aren't we supposed to be standing up and risking things, putting ourselves on the fucking line" for freedom? "Well I'm doing it. Please, God, give me credit for that."

Our last conversation, as I recall, was in June 2019 from Cuba during his months as an international fugitive prior to his Spanish capture in October 2020. He had been enjoying his time in Cuba and delighted in outraging the sensibilities of Libertarians appalled by his partying in a totalitarian state. To John McAfee, the world was a totalitarian state, just not one powerful enough to stop him from partying in it.

If speculations abound as to whether his suicide was real, that is exactly as he would have wanted it. McAfee was a man of appetites, a man of dreams, a rogue and a scoundrel who made his mark on the world because of his flaws and not despite them. He would simultaneously chase windmills and laugh at those who think they'd ever catch one.

"Libertarians are not going to get elected this year, maybe forever, and if we pretend we are we are fools in the eyes of those whose support we are trying to get," he told me in 2019. "Questions like, 'What are you going to do your first day in office?'" he said. "It makes me vomit. Serious people are watching us here. Please, God, get real with yourself."

Still, he'd also tell you, with burning sincerity before coming in third for the 2016 nomination: "Let's win. Of course the nomination will be the simplest way. I'm old. I tire easily. But I'm not gonna stop. I'm not going to give in to frustration and fear. I will not let this [current system of government oppression] go on to my children, on the backs of my blood. I will not do that. I'm not giving up."

McAfee was electric, jolting those around him to a more vibrant, if more confusing and confused, life. His persona, both public and private, made the world seem more exotic, mysterious, perplexing; he told you to his face how much he lied; he warned you being near him could lead you to being shot or abducted; he told you he was about to win when he was about to lose; and he also told you he knew he was going to get an indictment out of Tennessee, and he turned out to be right about that.

McAfee was accused of many crimes more grave than not paying the U.S. government off for the sin of earning money, including allegedly murdering a neighbor in Belize (which he denied, blaming Belize's corrupt government for the accusations). But that this force of nature spent his last days locked up is no sort of justice for the crimes the U.S. government sought to make him die in prison for.

John McAfee's very last tweet, his last coherent message to the world, five days ago, was a characteristic warning about the dangers of state power: "In a democracy, power is given not taken. But it is still power. Love, compassion, caring have no use for it. But it is fuel for greed, hostility,  jealousy….All power corrupts. Take care which powers you allow a democracy to wield."

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  1. He couldn’t have asked for a better eulogy, Mr. Doherty.

    “I have nothing. Yet, I regret nothing”.

    —-John McAfee

    We rationalize the bad things we do. Regret is mostly about the things we didn’t do. It doesn’t surprise me that McAfee regretted nothing since he appears to have done pretty much whatever he wanted.

    They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

    1. “He couldn’t have asked for a better eulogy, Mr. Doherty.”

      Obituary, you mean. A eulogy is a funeral oration.

      1. Epitaph.

        1. Well, I’m off to Yggdrasil the World Tree to hold vigil for nine days. Wish me luck!

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        2. A better epitaph is, “I told you I was sick.”

          1. If Bitcoin reached $1 Billion (I don’t know, I don’t keep up with it,) His epitaph could be the famous one in a Czech graveyard:

            “He Ate What He Wanted.”

        3. I was talking about Doherty’s piece, not McAfee’s quote.

      2. Well, this article is certainly an obituary, but I’d say it contains a eulogy.

      3. Actually, the term we want here is “appreciation.” That’s what they always called it in magazines.

    2. Yes, this was beautifully written. Thank you, Brian Doherty. Still one of the best writers here. And RIP, McAfee. The world is a somewhat less interesting place with him gone.

      1. Chipper Morning Wood————————————————————————–
        May.26.2021 at 6:29 pm
        Flag Comment Mute User
        Libertarians have more in common with Marxism than with modern conservatism.

      2. Staff at unreason write like crap and are commies.

        Fluffers got to fluff nonetheless.

        1. Trumpsters gonna Trump.

          1. Partisans gotta believe

            1. Pastas gotta copy [and paste].

          2. Hi shreek.

    3. Are you joking? This was an opinion piece, when facts are needed. It was written to weave in previous coverage, not convey respect for the deceased.

      Obituaries should not be just- so-clever.

  2. He was an interesting man. Kinda like Ernest Hemingway, and I imagine when he knew how boring his life was about to become he just lost interest in it. I would say Rest In Peace, but that’s probably the last thing he’d want.

    1. “I imagine when he knew how boring his life was about to become he just lost interest in it.”

      Some people thrive in prison. James Clavel wrote King Rat about such an inmate. Set in the Changi Prison of Singapore during the Japanese occupation. Changi is now the site of the airport, probably the nicest and most comfortable airport I’ve passed through.

      Playwright Joe Orton was sent up for 6 months for defacing library books. It transformed him.

      Orton and Halliwell felt that sentence being unduly harsh “because we were queers.” Prison was a crucial formative experience; the isolation from Halliwell allowed Orton to break free of him creatively; and he saw what he considered the corruption, priggishness, and double standards of a purportedly liberal country. As Orton put it: “It affected my attitude towards society. Before I had been vaguely conscious of something rotten somewhere, prison crystallised this. The old whore society really lifted up her skirts and the stench was pretty foul…. Being in the nick brought detachment to my writing. I wasn’t involved any more. And suddenly it worked.” The book covers that Orton and Halliwell vandalised have since become a valued part of the Islington Local History Centre collection. Some are exhibited in the Islington Museum.

      1. Thanks, that was interesting.

        1. Ditto

        2. What a fucking shock, the fascist piece of shit finds it interesting rationalizing imprisoning people. Oh unless they’re “urban youths” “peacefully protesting” at the local Footlocker, of course.

          Fuck you.

      2. Yeah and slavery kept those poor benighted niggers on the straight and narrow path as God intended. Fuck you fascist.

  3. What did he have on the Clintons?

    1. That thought briefly occurred to me. Maybe he had a one night stand with Hillary, and threatened to include that in a tell all book.

      1. Ewww.

      2. Yuck. I think I’d rather try out a whale.

      3. Impossible. Hillary has never had any interest in being heterosexual. At all.

        1. Tell it to Webb Hubbell.

        2. You are correct. Her only interest is to sodomize. Alive, or dead, just as well.

          1. Q harder.

            1. Wheres blueanon at Mike?

            2. Hi shreek.

              Fucked any children lately?

      4. Compared to that, suicide would indeed be painless.

    2. Good question.
      Maybe Christopher Sign can answer that question….oh, wait.

    3. Well he always claimed he had a kill switch data dump ready (rumored to be 31 terabytes of data on corruption in American politics) and there’s rumblings that a few tor sites are being hit with large uploads and a few suspicious looking crypto accounts have begun distributing funds. Well have to see what comes of it.

      1. Count on the credulous cretins at Reason to dismiss this as crazy Pizzagate conspiracy theory, just like the Wuhan lab leak.

  4. But that this force of nature spent his last days locked up is no sort of justice for the crimes the U.S. government sought to make him die in prison for.

    I suppose theoretically he could have taken his own life to prevent corrupted power from getting anything from him.

  5. He was batshit crazy and highly entertaining. RIP, McAfee.


  6. Lefties want government and that is what McAfee got good and hard.

    I dont know much about the guy but one thing I do know, everyone that commies at unreason call Libertarian are not necessarily Libertarian.

    One thing Libertarians do is follow constitutional laws. Income tax is constitutional. You might not like it and we can debate the amount of tax, but if the guy made taxable income, he owed taxes like everyone else.

    Another thing about mcAfee is that for someone supposedly against corrupt government and bad things, I never saw him crusading against democrat party and it being the party of slavery and communism.

    Doesnt matter much, America is in civil war 2.0 and Trump was the best president in UShistory. Hopefully this civil war is resolved soon, so we can get america back on track after the commies are never in power again.

    1. At this point, it is al ost impossible that we get out of this without a bloody war with progressives. They will never stop, and we can’t survive their villainy.

      1. Red state/red district Democrats are what’s holding the progressives back now, and I’m not sure that they aren’t about to really turn on each other.

        I’ve been around the block a few times, and right now, we seem to be at the point in the post-riot crime cycle, where New York voters elect someone like Dinkins and start screaming for someone like Giuliani. This is the part of the crime cycle where Daryl Gates becomes popular in a place like Los Angeles.

        Crime will continue to spiral out of control through the summer, and as it does, the Democrats are likely to be at each others’ throats. I’m feeling better about the Democrats hanging themselves with the rope they’ve been given now than I did just a few weeks ago.

        Come November of 2022, the government will be divided again when the Republicans take the House back and maybe the Senate. In the meantime, the progressives are doing a pretty good job of defeating themselves. If they had another seat in the Senate, all bets would be off, but they don’t have another seat in the Senate.

        1. This is wishful thinking.

          1. Or good musings. Hopeful musings whereby we barely have enough gridlock to keep the lights on but prevent any real damage.

            I do not believe that can continue indefinitely. Something’s gotta give.

      2. Sir, you intend to stick around for the impending war? Shame you avoid change to that extent. You’re the new Jew.

    2. Fuck taxes. Fuck Trump.

      1. LOL eternal TDS victim spotted

        1. Nah. I thought he was hilarious. Even considered voting for him. But he sucks. Those that pretend he was a messiah are stupid.

          1. Ever watch the movie “Master and Commander” with Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany? Pay attention to the scene about “the lesser of two weevils.”

    3. At this point I think Trumpublicans are mentally incapable of learning the definition of communism.

      1. Nobody cares what you “think”, hivemind.

      2. And at this point I think Democrats are mentally incapable of learning the definition of freedom.

        And if they could, they would be very, very scared of it.

        1. Good grief. F only the Odious Misanthrope Trumpublican Caucus could comprehend that they have more in common with Bernie Sanders than the average liberal.

          And now they are shrieking for the government to force Zuckerberg to Bake the Cake and print their white nationalist garbage that he finds morally reprehensible. They are clueless as to how very authoritarian are as they stupidly run around calling free market capitalists “communists.”

          1. Hey another paid schill. Why do you trolls always have boring names? Even white knight had to be given his name because he was too stupid to think of anything better than Mike Laursen.

          2. Hi shreek.

      3. What is this? Another troll to bait?

    4. Nice to see you back with your weird personal definitions of words.

      Calvin Coolidge was way better than Trump.

    5. So, death penalty for tax evasion? Yeah, you’re just as big a piece of bootlicking servile shit as anyone else you throw insults at. Kill yourself you pathetic faggot.

  7. Shine on you crazy diamond. You would have made a better president than most of them.

  8. Did you guys hear that real fun story about federal prison guards (both black) who left Epstein unguarded for nearly 8 hours, and then falsified records to cover their behind? They will apparently
    serve no jail time, because you know, muh social justice.

    And this is like a year after the FBI lied to put surveillance on Carter. Yes, federal personnel lie and engage coverup. So here comes Reason magazine, the premier organization writing about…… “Mcafee was a fun, larger than life guy”? You can film cops on the street, you can’t do that on the FBI.

    Yeah, I’m sure life and food was real great in a Spanish prison.

    1. It is my unpopular opinion that Epstein was attempting autoerotic asphyxiation and the guards were grossed out.

      1. Possible but for the fact that it would have been both obvious nor required shutting down the cameras.

    2. He had nothing to live for bruh. 75, broke, and imprisoned awaiting extradition? Fuck that. Idk how he made it 8 months.

    3. Reason doesn’t give a fuck about prison unless it’s to release kiddie fuckers and black racist mass-murderers. Ask them how much they care about police brutality when the 70 year old man arrested and imprisoned in solitary confinement with no bail because he was at the capitol on January 6th was subjected to racial epithets while being beaten nearly to death by racist black guards and is now blind in one eye.

  9. Legend. Godspeed.

  10. McAfee killed himself.

    Unlike Epstein.

    1. Help from the CIA.

    2. $WHACKD

      Look it up, retard.

  11. Well I no longer have someone to vote for

  12. So his tweet that he wouldn’t commit suicide was fake? Because I saw screenshots of him saying he wouldn’t commit suicide months ago.

    1. People can change their minds, or give in to despair. I’m not going to go all conspiracy theorist on this without further evidence.

      1. Just because Nicole Brown Simpson stated for years that her ex-husband was going to kill her doesn’t mean that when she turned up dead and he turned up as the only suspect that he actually did it. Durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    2. It could also be his final act of awesome trolling. Seems in character.

      1. Well he deprived some asshole federal attorney the glory and resume credits of prosecuting him. There is that.

  13. It is extremely nice to see the greatest details presented in an easy and understanding manner.

  14. McAfee was ‘Epsteined’.

    1. So what if he was? He was due anyway. If anything he should be so lucky someone put him out of his misery.

      1. We’ll make sure and remember that when it’s time to come snuff you out. Reap what you sow you fascist motherfucker. Spoiler: it’s going to hurt. A lot.

  15. Can’t wait for Babylon Bee to opine on this.

  16. At least he didn’t die from a virus.

    1. Yeah I’d like to see the autopsy proof of that before believing your claim. Chalk 1 more covid death for Spain and the US as far as I’m concerned.

  17. It’s, well, “amusing” when libertarians prate, as they do, about the “rule of law”, and then cream their jeans for, well, this guy. You have to obey the law unless you’re rich, in which case you get to do whatever you goddamn please.

    1. I think you are confusing conservatives and proggies with libertarians. We do not enjoy a never ending list of government decrees designed to generate revenue for government coffers. Taxes are a good example. McAfee should not have been in prison over taxes to begin with.

    2. I’m only libertarian because I’m too lazy to figure out what I really am. Probably closer to non partisan than anything. I sorta hate em all the same.

      1. Rock solid comment, Granite.

    3. I don’t see anyone prating about the rule of law around here.

      Go find a useful hobby.

    4. Go suck a Chinese AK barrel you fascist piece of shit.

  18. RIP to the true Most Interesting Man in the World

  19. I suppose the guards were asleep and the cameras were turned off when he suicided himself, ala Epstein.
    So he didn’t give the government its cut. Sorta like when the shop owner failed to pay the local mob for “protection” and you know the rest. “The fire just broke out of nowhere”……
    If you don’t give the government its cut of the action, they send out their own hit men after you. No they don’t carry Thompson machine guns, more like the latest in automatic weaponry in an armored vehicle.
    The ultimate sin of not paying taxes is unforgivable. Even the Pope will forgive most sins but with the government, there is no placating its grand inquisitors.
    RIP John McAfee.
    Epstein though is enjoying a cool drink on a sea side beach in Tel Aviv.

  20. I knew him when he Lived in Colorado in the late 90’s. We had the same martial arts teacher and he was running a book store at the time in woodland park. Then he was getting into to trouble for giving away free yoga books. He would go into book stores in Colorado Springs and ask stores owners to give away his yoga books that he wrote, So the store owners would call the cop and the F.B.I on him. I still have two of his books.
    Anyway R.I.P McAfee

  21. Epstein McAfee didn’t kill himself.

  22. “Yeah he was an asshole…but a well-meaning asshole!” –George Carlin.

  23. “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
    ― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

  24. I kind of revel in saying terrible things about people when they die. Andrew BREITBART, for example, but John McAfee was my kind of libertarian. Although I’d probably agree with little of his politics or his economics at least he wasn’t a hypocrite or a douchy GOP church lady claiming to be for limited government. There should be more libertarians like him. RIP John McAfee.

    1. Hi shreek. Fucked any children lately you sick piece of shit pedophile?

  25. lol nobody kills themselves over a tax evasion charge … these guys aren’t even trying anymore.

  26. Seems like the kind of guy who, if he was contemplating suicide, would certainly make a big show of denying that it was suicide ahead of time, so that he could be mysterious and talked about.

    1. You seem like the kind of guy who … when confronting McAfee about his claim that he wont kill himself says…
      Youz seems like the kind of guy who, if he was contemplating suicide, would certainly make a big show of denying that it was suicide ahead of time, so that he could be mysterious and talked about.
      Then, when he says in exasperation “well what chance does that give me then… ok yes – i will have committed suicide if found dead!”
      To which you would now be writing – he said he was committing suicide – we have to believe him.

      1. I know that you know that I know…?

  27. He (his life) rather reminds me of (that of) John Say.

    1. John Law, I mean.

  28. What really happened, we will never find out. Just as in the Epstein case, there will be coverup, gross speculation and even accusations.
    As one contributor wrote, no one commits suicide over taxes.
    Just the same , something smells here and we may yet find out what he was talking about. Then again, we may not.
    At this point it’s all speculation.
    But where were the guards and the TV cameras?

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