by Janice McAfee

Friday, June 23, 2023

June 23, 2021. John called me earlier that morning. During the duration of John’s nine month incarceration, we spoke three times a day, every day. In the morning between 7am and 9am, in the afternoon between 11am and 1pm, and in the evening between 4pm and 6pm. My otherwise lifeless days were punctuated by these expectant calls. It was all we had. On this day, June 23rd 2021, John had called me early in the morning so that we could speak before his court appearance. The three judges presiding over his case were going to be deciding whether or not they would grant America’s extradition request.

John was being held in Centro Penitenciario Brians 2 in Sant Esteve Sesrovires, 38 kilometres from Barcelona awaiting extradition to America for tax-related charges. Our conversation began as it always did, with me asking John how he was and how his night was. Having to wake up earlier than usual to make his court appearance and being restless, anticipating what would happen in court, he did not have a restful night. We were hoping for the best results from his court appearance, hoping the extradition would not be granted or that John could be let out on house arrest but we were also prepared for the extradition to be granted. As prepared as we could be.

So when I received John’s second call later that morning, I was not surprised to hear that the judges had granted the extradition request. John was disappointed with the judge’s decision but he was not devastated by it. John, myself, and his five attorneys - he had two in Spain, two in America, and one in the UK because of his dual citizenship - understood that despite them granting the extradition request, he was not going to be extradited the next day, the next week, the next month, or even the next year.

There was a lot that was going to be happening before he would be turned over to the US authorities. On this second call John shared his frustration with the fact that he never had a translator so that he could fully understand what was happening as it was happening in court and not knowing exactly what was being discussed during the hearing. This was a problem he dealt with each time he had to appear in court, one that was never remedied. After each of John’s court appearances his main attorney, Javier, would call me to give a summary about what was said in court and provide me with notes as well. I told John that Javier already had a visit scheduled to see him at the end of the week.

Had I known that this conversation was going to be our last, I would have spent the entirety of that eight minute call - the length of time we were allocated per call - telling John how his unconditional love for me had completely transformed my life. I would have spent that eight minute call telling him how grateful I was to him for taking on the challenge of loving the broken woman that I was. I would have spent that eight minute call telling him how his belief in me empowered me to become the woman he always saw me as. I would have spent that eight minute call telling him how much I loved him. Instead, the remainder of our conversation was spent with me sharing the mundane details of the plans I had for the day. Before the call ended I told John I loved him, as I had always done, and his last words to me were “I love you and I will call you in the evening.”

Sadly that evening call never came.

After our call, I went about my day. I had lunch and tried, unsuccessfully, to find something interesting to watch on Netflix. I decided to put on some music instead. I then went about collecting interesting headlines from the day’s top news to share with John in our next call, something I did daily to help him stay up to date with what was happening in the world. I went on Twitter and started mindlessly scrolling, waiting for John’s call, when I received a DM notification from a friend. I opened the message and it read:


Immediately, my stomach dropped. I am not sure why or how, but I knew this message had to do with John. There was a darkness, an unsettling realisation that everything as I knew it was about to change. But still, there was a small beacon of hope inside of me that my worst fear would not be the reality.

I went to Google, put his name in the search bar, hit enter, and there it was…

John McAfee Found Dead of Apparent Suicide in His Cell

That is how I learned that John was dead. A Twitter DM, that led to a Google search is how I found out that my husband was dead. I cannot begin to describe the absolute devastation I felt reading the headlines reporting on his “suicide” but that devastation quickly erupted into rage at the fact that I had to learn this information from Google.

Writing this two years later, it still enrages me that the prison did not have the decency to first call myself or John’s attorney before leaking the news of his death to the public. Absolutely disgusting.

In the days following the news I was filled with blinding rage, crying until I became so physically exhausted that I would eventually fall asleep. This went on for what seemed like months but was actually only days, until I had to go to the prison to collect John’s belongings. I was accompanied to the prison by John’s main attorney Javier and we met with the head of the prison guards.

The prison guard expressed his condolences and shock at what had happened. He shared with me that he had seen John that day after he had returned to the prison from his court appearance and noted that nothing seemed out of the ordinary with him. He said John always had a smile on his face, a kind word for the guards, and also that he was well liked by the guards and prisoners alike. John enjoyed joking with them in his broken Spanish and after returning from his court appearance, he said John’s demeanour had not changed at all from how he was used to seeing him behave.

This confirmed for me what I already knew, that John was not suicidal after returning from his court appearance. He had not lost hope and decided to end his life because of the judge’s decision that day. The Centro Penitenciario opened an investigation into John’s death within the first week of the news of his death breaking. This seemed strange to me because the prison was so quick to release the news of his death, stating the cause of death was suicide. This was my first clue that the official story was just that, a story, and not the truth of what happened to John.

As I began to receive the reports related to the investigation, my suspicions of the official story were only confirmed. The reports I received were missing a lot of key information, such as statements from the guards and prisoners who saw and spoke with John that day. There was also no statement from John’s cellmate who was likely the last person to see him alive. Most importantly, I did not receive a copy of John’s autopsy report. I received the toxicology report but when I asked Javier to request the autopsy report, the response that came from the opposing counsel was that I did not need it because the toxicology report was enough.

Immediately this raised red flags. If John’s death was an open and shut suicide, as it had been reported to the news by the prison, why is the autopsy report being withheld? Why, after TWO YEARS, am I still waiting for the Barcelona courts decision on whether or not they will release John’s autopsy report? Why have I had to grieve John’s death, totally isolated and away from my family and children? In the darkest years of my life, I have been isolated and away from all those who know and love me. But leaving without an autopsy report and John’s body has never been an option for me. I have found solace only through the grace of God.

Two years after John McAfee was found dead in his cell, I have nothing. No answers, no movement of the case, no financial support, no hope as to when I can return to my family. Just unanswered questions and the type of pain and grief that would have driven me mad, if it wasn’t for God’s grace and provision.

Two years later, and we are all still asking: What Happened to John McAfee?