Janice McAfee, the widow of tech impresario John McAfee, remains to be within the midst of grief. She is doing “odd jobs to feed herself,” has run out of funds, and nonetheless doesn’t know what actually occurred to her husband.
For the reason that death of crypto guru and antivirus pioneer husband John McAfee in a Barcelona jail greater than two years in the past, she has remained in Spain in an undisclosed location and has solely been saved from homelessness by the kindness of pals.
She will’t transfer on as a result of she nonetheless doesn’t know what occurred to her husband regardless of a September ruling this yr from a Catalan courtroom that John McAfee died by suicide and the case was successfully closed.
In an unique Zoom interview with Journal, she defined her present state of affairs.
“For greater than two years, I’ve not solely needed to cope with the tragedy of John’s demise, but it surely’s so laborious to maneuver on as a result of the authorities refuse to launch the post-mortem of his demise. I’ve tried and tried, however they won’t let me see it.
“There’s the chance of an unbiased post-mortem, however that may price 30,000 euros, and I don’t have the cash to pay for it. All I need is to see his physique for myself and know that actually occurred.”
“Not having the cash myself to make the choice to search out out what actually occurred is difficult, however I’m hoping that giving this interview will give folks the chance to know what’s actually occurring. I nonetheless have folks contacting me who nonetheless can’t imagine he’s lifeless,” she says.
What occurred to John McAfee’s $100-million fortune?
Though John was value greater than $100 million after he resigned from antivirus firm McAfee in 1994 and offered his inventory, his official fortune had dwindled to an estimated $4 million on the time of his demise, based on Superstar Internet Price.
He claimed in 2019 that he had no cash and couldn’t pay a $25-million courtroom order over a wrongful demise lawsuit. Nevertheless, he was arrested the next yr on U.S. costs of tax evasion, with authorities claiming he and his team had earned $11 million selling cryptocurrencies. From jail, he informed his 1 million Twitter followers he doesn’t have any hidden crypto. “I’ve nothing. But I regret nothing.”
In keeping with Janice, her husband didn’t have a will or an property, so there isn’t a cash, and due to the judgments in opposition to him within the U.S., it’s extremely unlikely that any monetary legacy will likely be handed on to her.
There are tales that there are secret caches and paperwork, however Janice was intentionally saved at nighttime (about alleged “secret treasure”) by her husband, so she wouldn’t be at risk. She additionally has a raft of unanswered questions on John’s premature finish.
“I don’t suppose he thought issues would have ended the best way they did and nor did I. I don’t know if he dedicated suicide; we talked day by day after he was imprisoned close to Barcelona. I don’t understand how he obtained strung up.”
“I don’t know if it was with a rope or a shoelace. Within the jail report, it says that once they discovered him, he was nonetheless alive; he had a pulse and was respiration once they discovered him. A faint pulse, however a pulse is a pulse.”
Janice can not imagine that when he was discovered within the cell with a ligature or shoelace round his neck, medical practitioners there appeared to have tried CPR on him with out eradicating it first.
“I went to highschool to be a registered nursing assistant, and I understand how to do CPR. Even within the motion pictures, it’s the very first thing you do: clear the airways.”
“If someone has one thing tight round their neck, that’s the very last thing you’d do. The very first thing could be to take away the obstruction, however you may see from the jail video that didn’t occur. I don’t know if it was negligence or stupidity; it simply feels sinister. However now I’m speculating, and I don’t need to try this.”
Janice McAfee was frightened after John’s demise
After her husband’s demise, Janice was frightened for her security. Whereas John had informed her that the authorities had been solely after him, not her, she was nonetheless apprehensive that she could be a goal for others.
“John all the time assured me that he wouldn’t inform me something that will put me at risk; that was a consolation. He was public concerning the 31 terabytes of data that he apparently possessed, however he by no means shared that with me, and I do not know the place it’s or whether or not it truly existed.”
“However I really feel secure in the intervening time. I’ve nothing to cover, and I don’t even understand how he actually died, not to mention what he possessed. If there was an unbiased post-mortem, I can get some peace. There is a chance to take action, but it surely’s very costly.”
I first met Janice and John at a blockchain convention in Malta in 2018. Just like the crypto world on the time, it was chaos — however good chaos.
I interviewed him on stage, and it wasn’t my best hour, or perhaps it was. There was one thing about being close to him that affected me and made me behave on stage in a extra carefree method. Perhaps that’s what he might do, a Svengali of kinds.
John had been ingesting whisky on the facet of the stage however was sober and lucid. Janice was with him, defending him from the 1000’s of people that needed to talk to him.
She jogged my memory of Kim Kardashian after I interviewed her in Armenia — calm, collected and virtually zen-like in her presence. I instantly preferred Janice and trusted her.
Later after the on-stage interview had been accomplished, I used to be approached by a husband-and-wife digicam crew who was doing a documentary on crypto that was virtually completed, however they might love a phrase with John. Might I assist?
I wasn’t positive however texted Janice, and he or she mentioned it was OK; John apparently preferred me. I used to be invited to the penthouse suite and satisfied the armed guard exterior their room that I might vouch for the folks with me. Once more, not one thing I did day by day.
John laughed when he noticed me. “You once more, for f–ok’s sake!” However he was civil to the husband-and-wife crew and invited me to hitch him on a non-public yacht in Valletta Harbour that night.
What goes on on personal yachts stays there, however we turned pals there after which, primarily as a result of I used to be the one one “not blowing smoke up my arse,” based on John. Additional invites would observe — notably to an island off North Carolina when he was nonetheless incognito and on the run.
We stayed in contact, and I carried out a few interviews with him in the course of the pandemic after I was working a podcast. Once I reached out to Janet on Twitter/X to see if she could be excited by doing her first interview, she mentioned John thought-about me a good friend and could be glad to take action.
Janice McAfee nonetheless needs to get well John McAfee’s physique
So, that’s the backstory to this interview, however what’s extra essential is the journey from this level on. Janice is set to observe John’s needs that, if died, he needed his physique to be cremated.
“His physique remains to be within the morgue on the jail the place he died. I don’t know why they determined to carry on to his physique. They don’t want it. Two years in the past, I had the cash for an unbiased post-mortem; a yr in the past, I had the cash, however now I don’t.”
“I’m surviving by taking little jobs right here and there to feed myself; that’s not what’s essential. What issues is what I can do for John. I’m not a sufferer — John was the sufferer — and I would like that post-mortem report, to not proceed a combat in opposition to Spanish authorities, however to know what actually occurred to him.”
I put it to Janice that the notion was that John had run out of time and had come to the top of the street. An extradition order to the U.S. had been made hours earlier than his demise, and it was certainly going to be laborious for him in a U.S. jail.
American authorities don’t like individuals who thumb their noses at them, and an instance would have been manufactured from him. In some methods, didn’t his obvious suicide make full sense to a proud man?
“We by no means talked about that. Ever. Whereas he did inform me he needed to be cremated, that was as a result of he knew there have been individuals who needed him killed, however that’s not the purpose.”
“I don’t need to be on one facet or the opposite. Simply inform me what the physique says. I’m not making an attempt to hunt justice — there’s no such factor on this earth any extra. I simply need John’s needs to be fulfilled.”
Janice is an American citizen, however she’s understandably in no rush to return to the U.S. when she doesn’t know what her standing is.
John McAfee Netflix documentary
A Netflix documentary referred to as Operating with the Satan: The Wild World of John McAfee was launched final yr and portrays her and John as fugitives, which isn’t one thing that Janice thinks represents the actual story.
It was extra of a story concerning the journalists themselves who tried to sensationalize a public determine and weren’t fairly as much as it. They centered themselves when the main focus ought to have been on the actual story of why McAfee felt disposed to be a so-called fugitive… or why Janice was staying with him.
“Individuals overlook in a short time, and I perceive why as a result of the world strikes very quick these days. I simply need him to be remembered correctly, and that’s the least he deserves.”
Janice needs closure. She needs to cremate her husband, bear in mind him with love, and work out what to do subsequent.
I hope she will get her want. All people deserves an opportunity to maneuver on, and Janice McAfee way more than many others.
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Monty Munford writes repeatedly for the BBC, The Economist and Metropolis AM and has been a tech columnist for Forbes and The Telegraph. He additionally runs a progress and visibility consultancy and has appeared at greater than 200 occasions and conferences, interviewing figures resembling Tim Draper, the late John McAfee, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Wozniak, Kim Kardashian, Weapons N’ Roses and lots of others.