John McAfee was found dead in a Spanish prison Wednesday, just a few hours after the top court in Spain ruled that he could be extradited to the U.S. to face charges of tax evasion.
McAfee was a software mogul, and the man and namesake behind his famous antivirus software. Police are investigating what the cause of death was, but Reuters reported that McAfee’s lawyer confirmed to them he hung himself in the prison cell.
He’s had an incredibly checkered, controversial, strange and wild life. This past October he was arrested in an airport in Spain for allegedly ducking tax payments, failing to disclose money he made from cryptocurrency and speaking fees, as well as selling the rights to his life story for a documentary.
All those charges carried a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, and McAfee had been fighting the extradition aggressively.
He reportedly lost a great deal of his original fortune back in 2008 during the financial crisis. McAfee had been living in Belize from 2008 until 2012, and authorities there wanted to question him about the mysterious murder of his neighbor. From Belize, McAfee high-tailed it to Guatemala where he tried but failed to seek asylum, so he briefly came back to the U.S. in 2012.
In another very strange twist to his life story, roughly a year-and-a-half ago McAfee sent out a tweet that showed a picture of himself holding up his right sleeve, with a tattoo on his arm. That tattoo said “$WHACKD,” and along with the photo came this message:
“getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: ‘We’re coming for you McAfee! We’re going to kill yourself.’” “If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I was whackd.”
McAfee founded his software company in 1987. In 2011 Intel purchased it for $7.7 billion, then three years later, McAfee created a parody video that showed users how the software could be uninstalled.
He was 75 years old.