John McAfee Obituary | John McAfee
As the inventor of the antivirus software that bears his name, John McAfee, who died at the age of 75 after apparently committing suicide in a Spanish prison, has made paranoia a fortune. He was one of the first successful self-promotion celebrity millionaires whose power and media exposure gave him untold influence in the United States.
Shifting from computer scientist to spiritual guru, he then began an extended second act in Belize, where his oversized lifestyle fueled his own personal paranoia and led him to become the prime suspect in the murder of a waterfront neighbor. sea.
Still, he returned to the United States, built another fortune and entered politics, before going on the run again, this time to prevent U.S. officials from charging him with tax evasion and fraud. He died immediately after a Spanish court granted a US extradition request.
McAfee’s rise to wealth came unexpectedly on the crest of the internet wave, but the chaos of his past life foreshadowed what was to follow. He was born in Cinderford, Gloucestershire, where his father, Don, stationed at a US Army base during World War II, met his English mother, Joan (née Williams). The family returned to Don’s home in Roanoke, Virginia, where he worked as a land surveyor and Joan as a bank teller. But Don was an abusive alcoholic and committed suicide when John was 15. McAfee later said, “Every relationship I have, every distrust, he’s the negotiator of that distrust.”
McAfee showed up at Roanoke College and discovered an ability to swindle people with a straightforward, straightforward approach, selling “free” subscriptions to magazines that required significant postage. In 1969, while a teaching assistant preparing for a doctorate in mathematics at Northeast Louisiana State College, he was fired for sleeping with one of his students, which led to his first marriage of short duration.
Adept at programming the punching machines of the time, he went through a series of jobs and a growing addiction to alcohol and drugs. He landed in Silicon Valley, where, after a breakdown at work, he joined AA. In the mid-1980s, he had a steady job and security clearance with Lockheed, when he read an article about the Pakistani brain computer virus. He immediately understood how the virus worked and created a program to neutralize it. Starting McAfee Associates from his home, he created an antivirus that he gave away to users, rightly hoping it would create a market to sell licenses to businesses.
Stunts such as the creation of a mobile antivirus van have helped increase national notoriety, as has his writing of a book warning of the viral threat. He stoked fears about the Michelangelo virus in 1992, just as his rapidly growing company was listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, immediately valuing it $ 80 million. The following year he resigned his post as Managing Director and in 1994 he sold his stake. Also that year, he founded Tribal Voice, which designed a first messaging system, Pow-wow, For windows; he sold it in 1999.
In 2000, as the world panicked over the threat of the year 2000, McAfee bought 280 acres in Colorado, built an estate, and started a yoga retreat; he also wrote four spirituality guides. He divorced his second wife, Judy, a flight attendant he married during his early years at McAfee Associates and who had helped build the business, in 2002. Like his longtime girlfriend, Jennifer Irwin said, “John has always been looking for something. He bought property in popular places like Hawaii and New Mexico, founded a flight school, and invested in an antivirus firewall startup, Zone Labs.
In the 2008 financial crash, McAfee reportedly lost most of his fortune and auctioned off his assets, including the Colorado estate, to move to Belize. However, in interviews, he claimed he avoided prosecution for vexatious injuries, and in a documentary, Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee (2016), probing his life in Belize, he told filmmaker Nanette Bursten that he had a separate fortune in secret accounts and bearer bonds.
McAfee bought a seaside estate on Ambergris Caye in San Pedro. In 2010, he met Allison Adonizio, a Harvard graduate student who is researching herbal antibiotics. He agreed to join in his research, setting up a business called Quorum Ex and building a lab on a 22-acre property inland near the town of Carmelita.
Fearing gangsters, he began to arm his own security force, largely made up of criminals. When a local gangster, David Middleton, allegedly threatened him, he made a pact with another. Middleton was found tortured and ultimately died, but no one has ever been charged. In 2012, McAfee was playing Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, controlling the city, even ordering residents to come off the streets for curfew.
He also assembled a harem of young women. According to the girls interviewed in Gringo, McAfee’s sexual inclinations centered on coprophilia under a hammock; McAfee claims they were paid to lie. Meanwhile, the madness frightened Adonizio so much that she told McAfee that she wanted to leave; she alleges that McAfee drugged and raped her before escaping with the help of friends.
In 2012, the Belize Gang Prevention Unit raided the area, seizing illegal weapons and drugs (which turned out not to be illegal). McAfee claimed the raid was retaliation for his refusal to pay the government money, but he retreated to San Pedro, where his armed guards and 11 dogs quickly scared residents along the beach.
One of his neighbors, an American named Greg Faull, filed a complaint. One day McAfee’s dogs were poisoned; Faull was found dead the next day; Gringo makes a compelling circumstantial case that McAfee ordered a hit. But McAfee headed for Guatemala by boat.
He was found when an interview photo with Vice was found and he was arrested. After McAfee’s extradition to Belize was approved for questioning, he staged a heart attack to stay in hospital until his lawyer could appeal. He was then extradited to the United States instead. The night he landed in Miami, he picked up a sex worker named Janice Dyson; she would become his third wife.
In the United States, he rebuilt his stardom by shooting a video that mocked the media coverage in which he surrounded himself with young women, drugs and guns, while mocking McAfee Antivirus, now owned by Intel. He took over entrepreneurship, advocating cell phone safety. In 2015, when he was appointed Managing Director of MGT Capital, a technology investment firm, his shares grew significantly.
That year, he also launched a race for the presidential nomination of the libertarian party. They only crossed the million-vote barrier for the first time in 2012, but it has been exposed on talk shows such as Larry King Live and the Fox News show of the Libertarian Presidential Debate. Although he did not win the nomination, the party quadrupled its votes in 2016. He again ran, “from exile,” for the 2020 wink, as he was already dodging his charges. for tax evasion. After a strange series of approvals, withdrawals and re-entries, he again failed to be nominated.
McAfee was arrested in October last year in Spain on tax charges filed in Tennessee. The next day, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges of “pumping and dumping” fake cryptocurrency. Spain’s Audencia Nacional authorized his extradition last Wednesday; later that day he was found hanged in his cell.
His lawyer said McAfee did not appear suicidal and his widow alleged he was executed to prevent him from revealing what he knew about important people in the United States, revelations McAfee said were about to be released if he died suspiciously.
He is survived by Janice and, according to him, up to 47 children “according to the DNA test”. Although he also once explained to a reporter that he did what he always did: “Fuck with the media as much as I can.”