John McAfee's death sparked QAnon conspiracy theories just moments after his death was reported as his official Instagram account posted an image of the letter 'Q' - in an apparent reference to QAnon. The cryptic post has now led QAnon conspiracy theorists to suggest that the antivirus software pioneer died by other means and not suicide.
The conspiracy-related chatter came after McAfee said eight months ago he would never take his own life "a la Epstein." McAfee, the creator of the McAfee antivirus software, was found dead of a suspected suicide in his prison cell in Barcelona, hours after a Spanish court issued a preliminary ruling in favor of his extradition to the United States to face tax-related criminal charges.
Death Sparking New Theories
Several QAnon influencers on Telegram, some of whom have hundreds of thousands of followers on the far-right-favorite messaging platform, shared posts on Wednesday afternoon including the word "suicide" in quotes. Although, officials said that early investigations point at an apparent suicide, conspiracy theorists have been hinting that McAfee may have died of other reasons.
The new angles stem from an October 5, 2020 tweet, where McAfee had written: "I am content in here. I have friends. The food is good. All is well. Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine."
McAfee's suicide has now given conspiracy theories to draw comparisons to the death of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a New York prison cell while awaiting trial in 2019. Epstein's death was ruled a suicide, something disputed by his lawyers. Due to a large number of irregularities on the night he died - like cameras outside his cell not working and guards falling asleep - Epstein's death has been the focus of many theories and memes suggesting he didn't kill himself.
Hinting at Different Angles
The new theories are not based on just one of McAfee's tweets. In fact, in another that dates back to November 2019, McAfee suggested that he if died by suicide then he was really 'whacked' by US government officials. "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 whacked. Check my right arm," McAfee tweeted with a picture of a tattoo on his arm at the time.
However, there is no evidence to support that the US government had a role in McAfee's sudden death. That said, the post 'Q' was made form McAfee's account around 4 pm, just minutes after news of his death broke. Since then many have been trying to find out the exact significance of the word 'Q'.
Moreover, it's also unclear who had access to McAfee's account. Instagram told that it was "looking into" the situation but many have already started believing that McAfee didn't die by suicide an there is a deeper conspiracy behind it.
"Word on the street, only time will tell if this report was true or not," an account with 61,000 subscribers shared on the Telegram app just hours after his death. Conspiracies alleging that McAfee had a "dead man's switch," or a device that activates when its owner dies, were also being shared online.
"MCAFEE DIDN'T KILL HIMSELF." Twitter user @politi_cal wrote. Another Twitter user wrote: "They killed him."
Yet another user by the handle @FrederickRecio wrote that McAfee "appeared dead" after Bloombergreported in 2019 he had backed off from allegedly planning to "unmask" the person who created Bitcoin.
Moreover, the notorious software impresario's wife Janice McAfee further fueled the conspiracy theories with a Father's Day post made just days before his death in which she speculated that "US authorities are determined to have John die in prison."
"I know John is an extremely polarizing individual. Believe me, I know this better than most! But I also know, as well as any of you who follow him on Twitter, that he has always been honest about who he is. ALWAYS. Sometimes too honest, sometimes sharing more than any of us cared to know about him!" Janice had tweeted on Father's Day.
She added: "Now the US authorities are determined to have John die in prison to make an example of him for speaking out against the corruption within their government agencies."
However, despite all the speculation and weird conspiracy theories, investigation as of now suggest at a suicide angle.