- In 2019, John McAfee tweeted saying that if he appeared to die by suicide it would not be true.
- McAfee also tweeted several times about Jeffrey Epstein's death, which he claimed was not suicide.
- Since McAfee died in jail, the old tweet has been widely shared, fuelling speculation.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
A 2019 tweet posted by John McAfee said that he would not kill himself, two years before his death by suicide.
McAfee died on Wednesday in Barcelona, Spain, shortly after a court ruled that he could be extradited to the US on tax evasion charges, Reuters reported.
His lawyer Javier Villalba told Reuters that the death was a suicide.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice in Spain's Catalonia region said the death appeared to be suicide, but said the final determination would come after an autopsy by Spanish officials.
In the old post, McAfee said: "I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn't. I was whackd." It also included a photo of the tattoo.
It was posted in November 2019, almost a year before McAfee's arrest in Barcelona which began the detention in which he died.
The post said: "Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: 'We're coming for you McAfee! We're going to kill yourself,'" the tweet reads. "I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn't. I was whackd. Check my right arm."
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.$WHACKD available only on https://t.co/HdSEYi9krq:) pic.twitter.com/rJ0Vi2Hpjj— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) November 30, 2019
At the time of the tweet, McAfee was actively evading US tax authorities. He did not explain what "subtle messages" he meant, or provide any evidence of his extraordinary claim that he was a marked man.
On Thursday, the day after his death, Villalba told Reuters that the death was a surprise.
"At no point had he shown any special worry or clue that could let us think this could have happened," he said.
Earlier in the legal process, McAfee argued against being sent back to the US on the grounds that it would likely mean spending the rest of his life in prison.
Around the same time as that tweet, McAfee joined unfounded speculation that the death of convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein in August 2019 was not a suicide. US authorities have officially recorded suicide as Epstein's cause of death.
That notion became a point of speculation in the months following Epstein's death, particularly among QAnon supporters.
Now McAfee's tweet is similarly inspiring speculation among, as Insider's Rachel Greenspan and Steven Asarch reported.
The 2019 tweet had been shared more than 33,000 times as of early Thursday, including by Wikileaks and Michelle Malkin, an anchor of hard-right channel Newsmax, who retweeted the post with the hashtag "#IBELIEVEJOHNMCAFEE."
McAfee's Instagram account was deleted after his death, which had recently posted an image of the letter "Q." It is unclear who runs the account or why it was deleted.
McAfee founded the McAfee antivirus software empire in 1987, which was bought by Intel in 2010. The mogul left the company in 1994 and later moved to Belize, where he became a subject of interest in the case of his neighbour's murder, for which he was later found legally liable.
Before his death, he was due to be extradited as part of a criminal investigation into his tax affairs. McAfee testified against the move on June 15, saying the charges were politically motivated.