What did John McAfee's 'whackd' tattoo mean? Tech billionaire hinted at his death years ago
Just a few hours after Spain's National Court approved the extradition of John McAfee to the United States, the antivirus software pioneer was found dead in his cell. McAfee, 75, was the founder of an antivirus software company and was wanted for tax evasion in the US. He was arrested in October 2020. The creator of the McAfee anti-virus software was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering in the US. He allegedly failed to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018. In 2011, McAfee sold his antivirus company to Intel for $7.7billion.
McAfee reportedly killed himself on Wednesday, June 23. Peter McCormack broke the news of McAfee's death on Twitter. He wrote, "*Breaking* John McAfee found dead in his prison cell, this after Spanish courts agreed to extradite him." McAfee had a 'Whackd' tattoo on his right arm and had once claimed if he was to be found 'dead by suicide' ever, he 'did not kill himself'.
Back in 2019, McAfee posted a picture of his tattoo on Twitter and wrote, "Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: "We're coming for you McAfee! We're going to kill yourself". I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn't. I was whackd. Check my right arm." He was wanted in the US on tax-related criminal charges that carried a prison sentence of up to 30 years. McAfee was arrested on October 3, 2020, at El Prat airport in Spain, as he was planning to flee the country to Turkey. In the same month, he was charged in Tennessee for evading taxes after failing to report income made from promoting cryptocurrencies while he did consulting work and sold the rights to his life story for a documentary.
Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: "We're coming for you McAfee! We're going to kill yourself". I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn't. I was whackd. Check my right arm.$WHACKD available only on https://t.co/HdSEYi9krq:) pic.twitter.com/rJ0Vi2Hpjj— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) November 30, 2019
In a hearing held via video conferencing earlier this month, McAfee said that the charges against him were 'politically motivated' and that he would spend the rest of his life in prison if he was to ever return to the US. Back in March, McAfee was also charged over a $13M cryptocurrency "scam". In the months leading up to his death, McAfee, who said he was "on the run," made sensational claims in a series of Twitter posts.
He claimed he had dirt on “those in power” and even threatened to expose “the truth” if he was jailed or died. In a cryptic tweet, he wrote, "People ask why I do the things I do. An act by itself is incomplete. It's the reason for the act that completes it and provides the real information. I am [on] the run." He added, "I neither fear death nor run from it. At my age it sits on my shoulder as a constant companion. It makes me fearless."