John McAfee, software pioneer turned fugitive: I faked being crazy and ill to escape to U.S.
Update: The latest development in the bizarre story of John McAfee, supporting player in our recent feature "The Hot Yoga War"? The software pioneer, who somehow managed to flee cops in Belize who wanted to question him about a murder even as he launched a publicity blitz, has traveled from Guatemala, where he'd been discovered hiding in plain sight, to Miami amid claims that he faked both an illness and lunacy to expedite his U.S. return.
Pics, videos below.
As we've reported, McAfee had been living in exile in Belize, where his hobbies included coupling with plenty of young women and exploring the erotic qualities of bath salts. Then, his neighbor, a fellow American expatriate with whom he'd argued about his dogs, was killed. But because McAfee believes the local police are out to get him (his gun-filled compound had been raided earlier this year, although no criminal charges followed), he hit the road, all the while blogging and doing interviews with the likes of comedian Joe Rogan about his innocence.
In the end, however, this PR mania took its toll: A hacker managed to track his whereabouts to Guatemala by deciphering coordinates in an iPhone photo of McAfee with a reporter from Vice.com. He was taken into custody there -- but a short time later, he collapsed with apparent heart trouble, prompting a crazy rush through the streets, with the media trailing after the ambulance in which he lay, apparently unresponsive.
McAfee demonstrating how he used disguises to avoid being recognized in Guatemala.
Operative word in that last sentence? "Apparently." According to ABC News, McAfee now admits to faking the illness and playing the "crazy card," all to escape from Central America and return to the States. And he believes doing so publicly is the reason he made it to Miami in one piece.
"What's a better story, millionaire mad man on the run," he told reporters. "You [the media] saved my ass. Because you paid attention to the story. As long as you are reporting, it is hard to whack somebody that the world is watching."
Look below to see an ABC News report about the Guatemala collapse, followed by our previous coverage and a complete Q&A with McAfee from earlier this year.
Continue for earlier reports about the John McAfee story.