Software entrepreneur John McAfee was found dead in his prison cell in Spain on Wednesday, June 23, grabbing headlines across the globe.
News of McAfee's suicide came hours after the Spanish High Court authorized his extradition to the United States. McAfee was arrested in Spain on Oct. 5, 2020, at the request of the US Department of Justice on tax evasion charges, as previously reported.
In Spain, the Catalan Justice Department said prison medics failed to resuscitate McAfee, 75, and that everything pointed to suicide. Following his death, past tweets posted by John and a "$WHACKD" tattoo on his arm fueled conspiracy theories that the antivirus software creator did not take his own life.
Some social media users also tried to establish a connection between McAfee's death and the collapse of a condo near Miami Beach, Florida that has left at least four dead and 159 missing.
Twitter users started sharing a screenshot of a tweet posted by McAfee on June 8, 2021 with claims that McAfee owned a unit in the Champlain Towers building that collapsed on Thursday.
The tweet read, "If anything ever happens to me, please know that 31TB of files I have are located on hard drives in my condo near 88th Street and Collins Avenue Just north of Miami Beach." This led to speculation that the building was intentionally demolished to destroy the files hidden there. Here are some of the tweets:
We were unable to find any record of the above-displayed alleged tweet and it appears to be doctored. It is also highly unlikely that the tweet was posted and deleted from McAfee's account as there is no trace of the original URL or archived versions of the post that claims he hid files in the building that collapsed.
Also, there is no reason at present to suggest that the building was intentionally "demolished." Although an exact cause has not yet been determined, officials have noted that there was no evidence of foul play.
Cause of Building's Collapse
It should also be noted that there's no reason at present to suggest that the building in Surfside, Florida was intentionally "demolished." While an exact cause has not yet been determined, officials noted that there was no evidence of foul play.
According to the Miami Herald, after viewing video footage of the collapse an engineer said that "concrete spalling," a potential structural flaw may have caused the 12-storey building's collapse. This happens when "salt water seeps into porous concrete causing the steel rods known as rebar in the support beams to rust and expand. In turn, the expansion breaks up the concrete and that weakens the beams."
Therefore, we can confirm that the only connection between McAfee's death and the building collapse in Florida is that both events took place in June 2021.