The Strange Story of John McAfee Continues… in Guatemala

December 04, 2012

The saga of anti-virus software mogul John McAfee just keeps getting weirder. Three weeks ago McAfee’s neighbor in Belize was found dead with a 9 mm gunshot wound to the head. McAfee fled, claiming innocence and saying that when Belizean authorities detain someone for questioning it never turns out well. Now he’s on the lam.

About a week ago, Vice magazine’s editor in chief, Rocco Castoro, and photographer Robert King met up with McAfee in Belize. They’ve since left Belize and are now reportedly across the border in Guatemala. The only reason we learned this was because a photo published yesterday of McAfee and Castoro contained GPS metadata. The publication of the location data seems to have been an error, as McAfee is a wanted man.

The journalists and McAfee have now tried to cover their tracks by saying they intentionally altered the location data to throw off authorities. But McAfee apologized to Vice for altering the info without the magazine’s consent, and the Vice journalists have said they changed the data. So it’s safe to say we don’t know what happened, except that it seems likely that publishing the data was an error.

Along with McAfee and the Vice journalists is Samantha, McAfee’s 20-year-old Belizean girlfriend, who the Vice journalists report McAfee now intends to marry. McAfee has also reportedly hired Sam’s father as legal counsel. Apparently the two have passports but no exit stamps from Belize or entry stamps from Guatemala.

In the early 1990s, McAfee sold his stake in the anti-virus software he created. He told the New York Times in 2009 that he’d lost all but $4 million of the $100 million he’d made. Since he got out of the software business, he’s lead an exciting, eccentric, and largely illegal life. He moved to Belize three years ago.

McAfee has announced himself on a one-man quest to battle corruption in Latin America. Apparently, that makes him wanted by more than just the Belizean cops investigating his neighbor’s death. Whether the bath salts have made him paranoid or the men who killed his dogs actually want to kill him, we can’t be sure. But McAfee did hire a lookalike carrying a North Korean passport to elude his enemies.

One of McAfee’s former girlfriends talked to other journalists two weeks ago and has reportedly gone missing since. Vice intends to make a documentary about McAfee and the experience currently unfolding.

–Will Grant

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