The judge concludes that John McAfee committed suicide and closes the case | Economy


The founder of McAfee antivirus, John McAfee.
The founder of McAfee antivirus, John McAfee.Ng Han Guan (AP)

The doubts of the family of John McAfee about the circumstances of the tycoon’s death have not bent the certainty of the coroners, the prosecution and the judge. At the age of 75, while he remained in a Catalan prison awaiting extradition to the United States for tax evasion, McAfee hanged himself in his cell on June 23, 2021. That is the hypothesis that those responsible handled from the first day from the Brians 2 prison, the hypothesis confirmed by the autopsy and the one that has now been approved by the head of the court of first instance and instruction number 5 of Martorell (Barcelona), which has shelved the matter.

The investigation into McAfee’s death thus comes to an end. Or almost, because the family’s lawyers have appealed the provisional file of the case before the Barcelona Court. The court must decide in the coming weeks whether to confirm the judge’s decision or, on the contrary, order him to continue investigating. The family unsuccessfully requested new proceedings because they consider that the autopsy ordered by the judge was incomplete and lacks the “basic elements” to produce a definitive result, according to defense sources.

Meanwhile, the body of John McAfee remains, at -18 degrees, in the mortuary of the Institute of Legal Medicine (Imelec), a gray building with windows like beehives that is part of the complex of the City of Justice of Barcelona. He has been there for more than seven months, since officials at the Brians 2 jail found McAfee hanging in his cell and found a suicide note in his pants pocket.

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Martorell is the judicial district to which Sant Esteve Sesrovires belongs, the municipality that houses the prison where McAfee spent the last eight months of his life after being arrested at El Prat airport by the police in October 2020. The court building, with serious structural deficiencies, it is one of those in the worst conditions in Catalonia, to the point that in 2019 the General Council of the Judiciary ordered the closure of courts 1 and 5 of first instance and instruction due to the risk to security of the officials. Number 5 is where the McAfee case fell. The courts of Martorell, in addition, suffer a serious collapse due to the heavy workload they support, which explains in part the delay that the case of the American millionaire has accumulated.

Doubts not shared

The family was very critical from the beginning of the process. His wife, Janice McAfee, traveled to Barcelona and met with three people in charge of Brians 2. But the explanations did not convince him and he questioned the hypothesis, which was well established from the start, of suicide. “The last thing he said to me was ‘I love you and I’ll call you tonight. Those words are not from someone who is suicidal,” she said then. The family’s goal is that, before deciding what to do with the body, there are no doubts that “may give rise to hoaxes and fantasies,” according to defense sources.

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For forensics, however, there was never any mystery surrounding the McAfee case. On the morning of June 23, 2021, his lawyers gave him the news that the National High Court had confirmed his extradition to the United States. In the afternoon, after asking to be alone in his cell for a while, officials found him hanged with shoelaces. McAfee also left a suicide note. A few days after his death, the preliminary autopsy confirmed that he had taken his own life.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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