Warning: This article discusses suicide.
Disgraced tech tycoon John McAfee's wife has taken to Twitter to claim her husband's death in a Spanish prison was not suicide.
Janice McAfee, who married the eccentric anti-virus software mogul and former US Presidential candidate hopeful in 2013, posted the statement amid ongoing theories regarding his death.
McAfee, 75, was found dead in his cell shortly after the Spanish high court had authorised his extradition to the US to face multiple tax charges. He was looking at up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
He had originally been arrested in October 2020 by the Spanish authorities and, shortly after that arrest, had tweeted: "If I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine."
That immediately led to theories claiming that he had been murdered, which was furthered when an image showing just the letter Q was posted to his Instagram account.
That was believed to be a shout out to the QAnon extremists, who believe various conspiracy theories such as powerful Satanic paedophiles run a global child trafficking ring to harvest a chemical from their adrenal glands.
The official autopsy on McAfee's body showed he committed suicide by hanging but his wife had asked for a second, independent autopsy, according to lawyer Javier Villalba.
Shortly after McAfee's death was announced, Janice blamed the US authorities for the "tragedy", saying: "Because of these politically motivated charges against him, my husband is now dead."
And she's doubled down on her belief that suicide was not the cause of death in her written statement, saying they had plans for the future.
"I am still in shock. In disbelief really," she wrote. "John should never have spent a day in prison let alone nearly nine months.
"I spoke with him twice the morning of the 23rd and in our last conversations we spoke about the courts (sic) decision to extradite him to the US. This decision did not come as a surprise... We were prepared for the Spanish courts to grant the request for the extradition, we had a plan of action in place to begin the appeal process and we discussed plans for the next stages of his legal fight."
She also hit out at authorities who, she says, left her to find out about McAfee's death via a direct message on Twitter. The media, described by Janice as a 'malignant cancer', weren't to be trusted, she continued.
"The story of John's 'suicide' was already prepared and presented to the pubic before I or his attorneys were even notified of his death. And now it's being conveniently reported that there was a 'suicide note' found in his pocket, something that was not mentioned when I collected John's belongings.
"John was a fighter and he had so much more fight left in him. His last words to me were 'I love you, I will call you in the evening', but sadly that call never happened."
McAfee, who sold his software company to Intel in 2011 and hasn't had any involvement in the business since, was a controversial character.
He claimed in 2018 to have fathered at least 47 children and fled his home in Belize after police sought him for questioning in the 2012 murder of his neighbour.
He met his wife Janice when she solicited him as a prostitute later that year, he said.
Where to find help and support:
- Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
- Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email email@example.com or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
- Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584