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John McAfee, software pioneer turned fugitive: I faked being crazy and ill to escape to U.S.


Update, 10:45 a.m. December 6: We've been following the strange saga of John McAfee, software pioneer and supporting player in our recent feature "The Hot Yoga War," who went underground (sort of) after police in Belize said they wanted to question him in relation to the murder of a neighbor. Now, McAfee has been found in neighboring Guatemala, thanks to a smart-phone gaffe by reporters taking part in his recent publicity orgy. Details (and our original coverage) below.

As we've reported, McAfee has stressed from the beginning that he didn't kill fellow American expatriate Gregory Faull, 52, despite a past dispute between them over dogs kept by the antivirus software namesake -- and which he says were recently poisoned. He also claims that the government of Guatemala is after him, presumably over his proclivity for keeping oodles of guns on his compound (they're all reportedly legal) and the sexually explosive effects of bath salts.

john mcafee meets the press.jpg
McAfee meets the press.
After McAfee split, however, his profile actually rose thanks to his creation of a blog about his life as a fugitive and interviews with inquisitors as disparate as Alex Jones and Joe Rogan; hear clips below. But everything came apart thanks to his PR dalliance with Vice.com.

Published along with a piece sporting the sassy title "We are With John McAfee Right Now, Suckers" was an iPhone photo of Big John with Vice reporter Rocco Castoro.

john mcafee vice.jpg
The photo in question, as seen on Vice.com.
What was wrong with that? As pointed out by CBS, a hacker used the GPS coordinates embedded in the image to determine that McAfee was in Guatemala, just over the border from Belize.

Shortly thereafter, McAfee was arrested -- for entering Guatemala illegally, not Faull's death. But being taken into custody hasn't stopped him from blogging. Here's his most recent post, headlined, "Can't Sleep."

I've been reading posts (There's no TV here). One poster asked, in a kindly way, whether I felt like killing myself. My reply:

"I enjoy living, and suicide is absurdly redundant. The world, from the very begining, hurls viruses, accidents, hungry animals, defective DNA -- and uncountable more -- in an attempt to kill us. It always succeeds. Suicide is simply aiding and abetting."

My spirits are brighter. I caught an hour or two of sleep. Sam is fine, by the way. She is under my attorney's charge, - and some Israeli bodyguards. Serious looking fellows with plenty of body mass. Made me worry a bit less about Sam. She is worried about me, of course, but I have a more optimistic view of things.

I am using the computer of one of the wardens, or whatever title is used here. He is a sweet man and a gentleman. The world is heavilly populated with gentle people. He makes me coffee and tells tender stories about his life. He is a good companion. I believe I could spend weeks in the desert with him as a sole companion without once becoming irritated. His name is Gino Ennati.

Everyone here is nice. And sympathetic. So far, my experience on the inside of this establishment has worn away a bit of my natural cynicism and added a measure of hope for humanity. Only Ennati speaks any English, and then not enough to catch much humor, so my joking has fallen largely on bewildered but kindly faces. I asked a while ago whether Ennati owned a computer (I was using his at the time and he was watching). He hesitated with a confused look for a moment and I continued by saying how lucky I was to be able to bring my own computer in here with me. I proudly showed him his MacBook Pro and explained that I could help get him one from the States just like mine for a reasonable amount of money. I went on to explain how Sam had given me this one as a birthday present and because of that I would not give it up under any circumstances. "I would die defending this computer" I said. "Would you like me to show you how to use it?" I asked. His confused face turned into a kindly, patronizing smile, mixed, I think, with a little pity. He clearly thought I was crazy. Before he could answer I, quickly tirned the compuer over, pretended to scrutinize the back and said "Oh no, this isn't the one Samantha gave me. This one must be yours." I smiled and he finally laughed.

Look below to see the CBS report about McAfee, followed by our previous coverage, including a Q&A from this past summer.

Continue for our previous coverage.


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10 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "I faked being crazy and ill"

LOL! ... the old Charlie Sheen gambit ...

Emily Schneider
Emily Schneider

I thought this was from The Onion. Seriously, what a hilarious headline.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

If you thought you had privacy, welcome to the future, in which you have no privacy. IMO, it's gone permanently, and you can try to work (hard) to keep some now, but eventually, there will be nothing you can do about it. I predict, young people will grow up "used to it" and think nothing of it, over the generations. Frankly, losing your privacy wouldn't be such a big deal if not for the existence of the state, which will use it as a tool to subjugate the masses. This is yet another reason we need to learn to live without a state.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident  .... piss-pant cowardly American citizens willingly surrendered all their privacy to Homeland Security after 9.11 .... 

... makes the Vichy French look like valiant heroes.

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