October 18, 2016
Is Julian Assange Dead Or Alive?

Rumors questioning whether Julian Assange is dead or alive went viral after a series of unusual tweets were posted on the WikiLeaks official Twitter account. As the tweets are unusually cryptic, some people believe the infamous hacker was killed or is currently in grave danger.

The mysterious tweets were posted on the WikiLeaks Twitter account between 6:08 p.m. and 6:25 p.m. on October 16. In addition to the phrase "Pre-commitment," the tweets mention Ecuador, UK FCO, and John Kerry. They also contain three different 64-character codes.

Conspiracy theorists have suggested the unusual tweets are an indication that Julian Assange was killed and his death activated a so-called "dead man's switch."

The dead man's switch is essentially an "insurance plan," which prompts the release of an estimated 349GB of classified documents in the event of Assange's death.

Although the October 16 WikiLeaks tweets are indeed unusual, there may be a far less ominous explanation.

According to Gizmodo, the chains of numbers and letters in the tweets are actually "unique codes, [which] are proof to anyone reading the documents in the future that their contents remain unchanged: alteration to the leaks will likewise alter those 64-character codes."

The tweets do not prove whether Julian Assange is dead or alive. However, they certainly are not proof that the so-called dead man's switch was activated.

A native of Townsville, Australia, Julian Assange received his first computer, which was a gift from his mother, at the age of 16. Over the next four years, he developed a keen interest in, and a talent for, hacking into computer systems.

Unfortunately, Julian's unusual hobby led to his first arrest at the age of 20. Although he was not jailed, Assange was charged with more than 30 criminal counts.

Julian Assange went on to attend the University of Melbourne, where he majored in mathematics. However, he dropped out prior to graduation. As reported by Biography.com, Assange left the university because he was disturbed to learn a number of his classmates were "working on computer projects for the military."

In 2006, at the age of 35, Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks.

According to the organization's official website, "WikiLeaks specializes in the analysis and publication of large datasets of censored or otherwise restricted official materials involving war, spying, and corruption."

In the last 10 years, WikiLeaks published an estimated 10 million documents. Although Assange has been touted as a hero for providing the public with access to some of "the world's most persecuted documents," he has also been accused of breaking the law.

Beginning in 2010, several federal agencies, including the United States DoJ, CIA, FBI, and the NSA, launched an investigation into Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Amid the controversy, the hacker was also accused of sexually assaulting two women while attending a conference in Sweden.

While out on bail for the sexual assault charges, Assange sought and was granted asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Although rumors are circulating as to whether Julian Assange is dead or alive, there is no indication that the hacker ever left the Ecuadorian embassy.

According to the official WikiLeaks Twitter account, Julian's internet access was "intentionally severed by a state party" on October 16. The following day, a spokesperson confirmed "Ecuador cut off Assange's internet access last Saturday in response to the "publication of [Hillary] Clinton's Goldman Sachs speechs [sic]."

Although the Tweets do not conclusively prove whether Julian Assange is dead or alive, there is no indication on the WikiLeaks official website or Twitter account indicating that he is injured, ill, or dead.

Despite the lack of conclusive proof as to whether Julian Assange is dead or alive, some conspiracy theorists insist the WikiLeaks founder was intentionally killed. One of the more unusual theories, as reported by Time, is that Assange was killed by Pamela Anderson -- who reportedly "tortured him" with a vegan meal.

[Featured Photo by AP Photo/Frank Augstein]