You are in Guatemala now, Mr McAfee: antivirus pioneer finally arrested

John McAfee, photographed for Wired early November

KeallHauled

Chris Keall

UPDATE Dec 6: John McAfee has been arrested by Guatemalan police, according to a Reuters report. 

The Associated Press says Mr McAfee (67) was arrested at a hotel in the capital and taken to a detention center for migrants, where he is being held for entering the country illegally.

The one-time antivirus software king has been on the run since the November 11 fatal shooting of his neighbour in Belize.

He crossed the border between the two Central American countries on Tuesday said he would asylum in Guatemala.

The next move in this bizarre drama is not clear.

Guatemala has no extradition treaty with Belize - in which it is locked in a territorial dispute - and there is no international arrest warrant for Mr McAfee.

Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla says Guatemala will seek to expel Mr McAfee. The question is, to where.


Week 3: John McAfee, still on the run after murder, gives CNN interview

UPDATE  / Dec 2: Three weeks after the November 11 murder of his neighbour, Belize police are still hunting for John McAfee - the one-time head of the antivirus software company that still bears his name.

However, CNN had no trouble tracking down the US ex-pat, and filmed an interview at a safe house (watch it here).

In a prologue to the interview,CNN reporter Martin Savidge says Mr McAfee denied committing the murder, paying anyone to shoot his neighbour or having any part in his death.

Authorities in the Central American country say they are now holding three people in relation to the murder, and only want to talk to Mr McAfee, who is no longer considered a prime suspect. Mr Savidge relayed the government's statement that it was a democracy with a clean police force.

Mr McAfee, however, maintains he is in trouble for not paying a bribe to a Belize politician, and fears for his life if he surrenders for questioning.

Mr Savidge said while Mr McAfee's protestations of innocence were straightforward, some of his later comments leaned toward the "bizarre" and "crazy."

Mr McAfee, whose fortune reportedly crumbled from around $US100 million to $US4 millon as share and real estate investors went sour, moved to Belize in 2008.


John McAfee, still on the run after murder, poses as drunk German tourist

UPDATE  / Nov 20: We haven't checked in on John McAfee for a few days.

The one-time antivirus sofware king is still on the run after the murder of his neighbour last Saturday, for which the Belize police consider him a prime suspect.

The multi-millionaire US expat is still in regular phone contact with Wired (which is now running an extract from a coming e-book ominously titled John McAfee's Last Stand).

The news is that Mr McAfee has started blogging. 

The blog proves he's either "quirkier" than ever, or trying to throw the police off his scent.

Mr McAfee says a series of disguises have included dressing up on one day as a Guatemalan street vendor and selling burritos, and "on another pretending to be a drunk German tourist with a partially bandaged face and wearing speedo swimming trunks and a distasteful, oversized Hawaiian shirt and yelling loudly at anyone who would listen – 'Leck mich um ausch!'."


UPDATE Nov 15: John McAfee, still on the lam in Belize following his neighbour's murder on Saturday, is now in disguise.

The one-time antivirus software king has been calling Wired every half hour from the tiny central American country.

"He claims to have dyed his hair, eyebrows, beard, and mustache jet black," the magazine's website says in its latest report (John, good idea to detail your disguise?)

“I probably look like a murderer, unfortunately,” Mr McAfee told Wired.

Meanwhile, Gizmodo has published a September online diary entry by Mr McAfee. The US ex-pat alleges he is being threatened for exposing government corruption - and provides an illustrated guide to the harem of local women he collected around his compound - one of whom, "Amber", he alleges was an assassin.

Photos accompanying the diary indicate while Amber may have had murderous intent, she often did not wear sufficient clothing to conceal a weapon.

ABOVE: Listen to one of McAfee's phone calls to Wired.


John McAfee, still on the run after murder, buries self in sand

UPDATE Nov 14: One-time software magnate John McAfee, still on the run, claims he is innocent of murder.

Mr McAfee has been on the lam in Belize since Saturday, when his neighbour Gregory Faull was shot dead.

The American antivirus pioneer told Wired magazine Belize authorities are trying to frame him.

Marco Vidal, the head of Belize’s Gang Suppression Unit, tol Wired that Mr McAfee is a “prime suspect” in Faull’s death.

Extraordinarily, Mr McAfee says he was still near his compound when he saw police coming on Sunday.

He told Wired he buried himself in the sand with a cardboard box over his head so he could breathe, and watched his property being searched.

Mr McAfee, who has reportedly associated with organised crime figures in the tiny central American nation, hypotheses the shooter was coming for him, but shot Faull by mistake.

Wired reporter Joshua Davis has been investigating US government charges  against Mr McAfee - and Mr McAfee's counter-claims - for months. A story will appear in the magazine's January issue. 

Tech site Gizmodo says Mr McAfee has been linked to "bath salts" a synthetic drug that mimics the effects of cocaine and has been associated with a number of violent incidents in the US.

Mr McAfee posed for Wired in a Heard of Darkness-style photo series, stripped to the waist and holding a series of weapons. In hindsight, it was probably not a great choice.


John McAfee on run after murder

Nov 13: John McAfee (67) – founder of the global antivirus software company that still bears his name – is wanted for murder in his adopted country of Belize, according to a Gizmodo report.

Mr McAfee has a special place in my workplace history. One of the first phone conversations I had after starting my first job was a call from the software magnate who barked, "Hello. My name is John McAfee, and I'm going to sue you for a million dollars!" before launching into an angry critique of a recent review of his product (he never called back).

By the end of the 1990s, Mr McAfee had sold all his shares and parted ways with the company. A 2009 New York Times report said his fortune had dwindled from $US100 million to $US4 million, thanks to tumbles in the stock and real estate markets.

Now, Mr McAfee is the prime suspect in the murder of a fellow US ex-pat – one Gregory Faull, who was gunned down on Saturday in Belize. 

He is on the run. There is talk of drugs, and Russians.

John, if you want to tell your side of the story, I'm happy to take another call.

ckeall@nbr.co.nz

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5 Comments & Questions

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Wonder if his trial will last 30 days?

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Haha, awesome

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Just out there waiting for the spaceship to come back....

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Just out there waiting for the spaceship to come back....

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Run, Johnny; run.

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