Former antivirus developer and presidential wannabe John McAfee claimed a couple of weeks ago to have the perfect solution to the FBI-Apple stand-off. He offered to crack the iPhone for the FBI for free. This would let the government agency gain access to the phone while freeing Apple from any demands to assist. So confident was McAfee of his ability to help out that he said he'd eat a shoe on TV if he couldn't get into the phone.
It will probably not come as much of a surprise to anyone to learn that the FBI has not been beating down McAfee's door.
Perhaps they were unconvinced by the strategy that the man outlined. He said that he and his team would primarily use "social engineering," which is to say, manipulating people into telling you what you want to know through gaining their trust. It can be a powerful technique, but it certainly isn't a panacea. It's often less effective when the victims are aware that you're trying to socially engineer them (for example, by announcing your intent to do so on the Internet). It's less effective still when the people holding the information are in fact dead. McAfee may be persuasive, but probably not so persuasive as to be able to coax a corpse to give up its PIN.