Alas, John McAfee, We Hardly Knew Ye – Decrypt

There ’ s an old order in journalism that goes something like : Scoundrels are way more fun to cover than normies .
Say what you will about John McAfee—and today, when news of his apparent suicide in a Barcelona imprison seeped out, people said a lot —the 75 year old was a bang to cover .

From his first capture onto the national stage in 1992, as the human face of the novel calculator virus known as Michelangelo, he generated all the agitation and bunco of the Music Man. Never heed that the Michelangelo Virus turned out to be a hypefest—McAfee was able to capitalize on it boastfully clock time. The worldwide hysteria he provoked helped him launch an antivirus software company that, when he sold it a light few years late, made him $ 100 million.

The whispers around McAfee in those early days—never prove, of course—were that he worked with labs to create some of those viruses. That was probably diligence jealousy : his software was the very beginning to catch whatever new, hidden computer microbe found its way onto a personal computer .
“ People kept saying I hyped this, I hyped this, ” McAfee complained to me in 1992, soon after the Michelangelo Virus turned out to be imposter newsworthiness. “ I never contacted the press—they called me. ”
“This is John David McAfee, the man who once ran a service that revolved around the curious premise that, if you paid him a membership fee and tested HIV-negative, you could have AIDS-free sex with other members for six months.  This is the man who jumped from biological viruses to computer viruses and quickly became a flamboyant expert on the new demi-plague, showing up at the scene of infected PCs in his Winnebago ‘antivirus paramedic unit.’ “—From a 1992 Newsday story
McAfee thrived in the wide-open, wild west of early engineering ( and anywhere else he could find a wild west. ) Crypto—right here in River City ! —with its ready market of credulous marks, companion shillers, and contempt for the law was at once a perfect place for him to prospect, arsenic well as his ultimate undo .
And we in the weigh ? He never contacted us. We called him .

McAfee made the best, most colorful imitate. He claimed to have been arrested 21 times for tax evasion, SEC violations, drugs and other material. He was a distrust in a mangle in Belize, though he was never charged, which, I suppose, only added to his criminal mystique .
A McAfee floor was constantly good for traffic, specially during the dark days of crypto winter. And we never needed to contact him—he lived in social media, particularly Twitter, where he fed us and his million followers a daily diary ’ s worth of updates on his ceaseless antics .
In a 2018 profile, New York Magazine dubbed him the spokesman for crypto .

He famously claimed to have fucked a giant. And an ostrich. ( He late backtracked on the giant ; and the ostrich international relations and security network ’ metric ton talking. ) He bet that Bitcoin would be worth a million dollars by the conclusion of 2020 or he ’ d eat his own cock. ( He late clarified that a squadron of high-class escorts would be doing the presumptive dick-eating on his behalf. ) For a while, he produced a series of video offering recipes of vomitous cocktails he ’ five hundred trump up.

He ran for president. He ran away from the law. He seemed to carry an arsenal ’ s worth of guns on his yacht, and claimed that the CIA was after him. He is said, excessively, to have experimented with “ quantum suicide ” —a classify of one man ’ second Russian roulette, with a bit of Schrödinger ’ s kat in the mix—and survived .
After he was arrested for tax evasion final year, he continued to make news via periodic “ tweets from jail. ” concisely after his captivity in Spain in October, presaging today ’ sulfur reported suicide, he had an accomplice tweet that reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated. McAfee said : “ Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine. ”
even on his means to death, he could n’t help but mob bestir .
But curiously, his final pinch, which came a workweek ago, and is pinned to his history, was absent his common bluster. McAfee sounded defeated .

then again, if rumors crop up that John David McAfee was just seen in Tahiti or New Guinea or a dive stripe in Key West, surrounded by a cadre of lunatics and drinking a cocktail made with real gunpowder, would anyone be surprised ? Nah. Without the myth of criminal, there ‘d be no raving mad west. And without the wild west, where would the remainder of us be ?

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