John McAfee died in a Spanish prison; he is not still alive and in hiding

By: Arron Williams
May 4 2023

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John McAfee died in a Spanish prison; he is not still alive and in hiding


The Verdict False

There is no evidence that entrepreneur John McAfee is still alive. All evidence suggests that he died in his prison cell in Barcelona.

Claim ID fe1743a5


A video shared on Facebook claims that entrepreneur John McAfee faked his death and may still be alive. The video states that McAfee uncovered information that Central American and U.S. governments were involved in human trafficking and that he had previously worked for the FBI and CIA. It further claims that McAfee held government secrets and implied he faked his death to hide from "the elites." The video has over 50,000 views and 1,000 likes.
John McAfee became prominent in the 1980s when he founded a tech company and released "McAfee VirusScan." He also launched unsuccessful bids in 2016 and 2020 to be the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate in the United States.

In Fact

McAfee was arrested in Spain in 2020 and accused of tax evasion; he died on June 23, 2021, in a prison cell in Barcelona. There is no evidence that he faked his death or is still alive.

Authorities believe McAfee died by suicide, confirmed by McAfee's lawyer to Reuters in 2021, following the authorization that he would be extradited to the United States on tax evasion charges by the Spanish high court. The lawyer further stated that nine months in prison had profoundly affected McAfee, and given that he was 75, he would spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted in the U.S. According to a different Reuters report, McAfee first attempted suicide in February 2021, resulting in monitoring under the standard suicide watch protocol.

There is also no proof that McAfee uncovered government secrets or found evidence that governments were involved in human trafficking. These claims are related to the known and dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory, which believes that an evil, satanic "deep state" controls the world and that celebrities and politicians are involved in a secret, global child trafficking operation. According to Forbes, McAfee often circulated conspiracy theories and was critical of the alleged "deep state." Following the reports of his death, a giant "Q" was posted to his Instagram account, a further reference to QAnon.

As BBC reports, the QAnon conspiracy theory is completely unfounded and began in 2017 following a series of anonymous posts on the website 4chan by a user called "Q," who claimed to have high-level U.S. security clearance. However, nothing supports the theory, and no verification links McAfee's death to his alleged uncovering of a government human trafficking operation. Logically Facts has previously rated many QAnon claims as false.

Additionally, no credible information suggests McAfee worked for the FBI or CIA, as the video claims.

The Verdict

John McAfee died in prison, and there is no evidence he is still alive. Other claims made in the video have been disproven or are related to the known QAnon conspiracy theory. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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