McAfee is best known as the inventor of antivirus software in the 1980s, though he no longer has any ties to the company that bears his name, and as a pioneer of instant messaging in the 1990s. His life began unraveling in 2008, when he lost all but $4 million of his estimated $100 million fortune in the combined collapse of the stock market and real estate market. He auctioned off everything he owned in an open auction filmed by "Nightline."
He then moved to Belize, where he established a company that sought to transform jungle plants into modern medicine. That company began to fall apart in 2010, after an investor fled the country.
The combative McAfee kept running afoul of police. In May, said Vidal, his teams raided McAfee's home and lab, finding an unknown substance thought to be narcotics, which McAfee insisted was a natural antibiotic. He was not charged with a crime.
According to freelance writer Jeff Wise, who profiled McAfee's decline on the website Gizmodo.com, McAfee had become deeply enmeshed in the world of gangs, narcotics and arms. Wise told ABC News McAfee had become something of a prophet of "bath salts," crowing about the "super perv powder" and the drug's erotic effects on various hardcore drug message boards.