Conspiracy theory links John McAfee to Surfside building collapse: '31TB of government secrets'
The alleged tweet from John McAfee's handle says, 'If anything ever happens to me, please know that the 31TB of files I have are located on hard drives in my condo near 88th Street and Collins Avenue just north of Miami Beach'
John McAfee's suicide and the collapse of the Miami building took place in short succession. This has led to an increase in conspiracy theories - one of them claims that the building that collapsed on Thursday, June 24, housed a giant stash of data on "government corruption" collected by the late antivirus tycoon.
There are screenshots of tweets that are said to have been written by McAfee that claim that "31 terabytes" of information was stashed in the collapsed building. Despite the fact that there are many online who are have debunked this theory, it reportedly remains a popular conspiracy.
There are screenshots being shared online that appear to show a tweet from McAfee's Twitter account from June 8, 2021 at 10:03 am. "If anything ever happens to me, please know that the 31TB of files I have are located on hard drives in my condo near 88th Street and Collins Avenue just north of Miami Beach," the tweet allegedly says. At the moment, however, there is no such tweet from McAfee's Twitter handle. This could be because the tweet has been deleted. It could also be that the screenshot of this tweet being circulated online was fabricated.
One Twitter user who posted the screenshot of the alleged McAfee tweet wrote in the accompanying caption: "It should be noted that the building collapse was at 88th and Collins right where McAfee said his apartment with the files was."
The Champlain Towers South condo building that collapsed was located at 8777 Collins Avenue in Surfside, Florida - the same location described in the aforementioned tweet allegedly posted by McAfee.
Following the collapse, it has been reported that four are dead and 159 people are unaccounted for. McAfee has previously allegedly tweeted about holding '31+ terrabytes [sic]' of government secrets. While in Cuba on June 9, 2019, he tweeted, "I've collected files on corruption in governments. For the first time, I'm naming names and specifics. I'll begin with a corrupt CIA agent and two Bahamian officials. Coming today. If I'm arrested or disappear, 31+ terrabytes of incriminating data will be released to the press." As per a report in DailyMail, the publication was unable to find records of a condo owned by McAfee. At the same time, it is unclear why McAfee would have publicly revealed the location of allegedly sensitive data.
On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the day before the building collapsed, McAfee was found dead, allegedly a suicide by hanging. His death had sparked several conspiracy theorists to link him to the (widely-ridiculed) QAnon movement and to Hillary Clinton.
On June 25, 2021, McAfee's widow Janice released a statement claiming that her husband was was not suicidal. She also blamed the US government for his death. "I blame the US authorities for this tragedy. Because of these politically motivated charges against him. My husband is now dead," she said in her statement. "His last words to me were: I love you and I will call you in the evening. He would have never quit this way, he would never take his life in this way, ever."