Skip

Sex, Drugs, Murder and Media: John McAfee's Golden Years
December 10, 2012 10:42 AM   Subscribe

John McAfee [recent previously], eccentric Silicon Valley mogul and creator of a McAfee antivirus software, lowered his taxes by relocating to Belize a few years ago. But his expatriate neighbor Gregory Faull was not a fan McAfee's dogs, prostitutes and partying. After Faull was shot to death last month Belize police named McAfee a "person of interest" in the case. McAfee went on the lam and invited Vice Magazine to join him, which must've seemed like a good idea at the time. McAfee was soon arrested and has since been fighting extradition back to Belize from a Guatemalan jail. McAfee said yesterday he just wants to return to a "normal life" in the U.S.
posted by nowhere man (70 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
he just wants to return to a "normal life" in the U.S.

Good luck with that plan.....
posted by HuronBob at 10:45 AM on December 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


The weirdness of this story is a gift that keeps giving. I feel as though I'm reading an incredible serial novel and keep looking for the next installment. (Very, very sorry about Mr. Faull, of course.)
posted by bearwife at 10:45 AM on December 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Not to mention he was hospitalized for a "supposed heart attack" soon after his arrest in Guatemala.

Honestly though, this guy is just wallowing in all the attention like a pig in particularly smelly shit.
posted by SomaSoda at 10:52 AM on December 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Here is McAfee's blog for a first-hand view of the weirdness.
posted by notme at 10:53 AM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


See also John McAfee's blog, started shortly after he fled from the authorities in Belize.
posted by maxim0512 at 10:53 AM on December 10, 2012


McAfee said yesterday he just wants to return to a "normal life" in the U.S.

I bet Gregory Faull would want the same thing.
posted by DU at 10:53 AM on December 10, 2012 [19 favorites]


Well honestly, what kind of jerk doesn't like dogs?
posted by Mister_A at 10:54 AM on December 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


A victim of mauling?
posted by waraw at 10:56 AM on December 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


McAfee said yesterday he just wants to return to a "normal life" in the U.S.

I bet Gregory Faull would want the same thing.


I think at this point all he wants is BRAAAAAAAINS.

Also, is it me or does MacAfee look like his own evil twin?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:57 AM on December 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


Does a "normal life" include paying taxes?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:59 AM on December 10, 2012 [32 favorites]


Ummm... this.
posted by lordrunningclam at 11:00 AM on December 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


Meanwhile, the worst thing the Norton guy ever did was stiff a waiter who mistook him for Bob Rae back in 1995.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:03 AM on December 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


John McAfee, unhinged:

"Nonetheless, Allnatt doesn’t think McAfee killed Faull. “Almost certainly what happened there was he suggested it to somebody, and then one of his many Belizean hangers on probably took it upon himself to do John a favor,” Allnatt says. “Because John surrounded himself with gang members. These are not nice people.”

this has been my feeling on what happened all along. but yeah, the guy is probably cooked on bath salts.
posted by ninjew at 11:03 AM on December 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


what kind of jerk doesn't like dogs?

Someone who lives next to where they bark all day and night?
posted by thelonius at 11:03 AM on December 10, 2012 [25 favorites]


Well honestly, what kind of jerk doesn't like dogs?
It apparently wasn't "I hate dogs in general", it was these specific dogs, or at least that's how Faull framed it. Here is a PDF of a letter from Faull petitioning the town to do something about the dogs, among other things. It alleges that there were something like 8-12 vicious dogs who would get loose and run as a pack, and that multiple people had been attacked and bitten by them. McAfee, it alleges, knew about this and didn't really seem to care.

Assuming that the letter is basically accurate (which I'm not saying it is), I'm the kind of jerk who doesn't like those particular dogs.
posted by Flunkie at 11:04 AM on December 10, 2012 [16 favorites]


McAfee is also alleged to have been involved with the production and use of the drug MDPV, also known as "bath salts."
posted by kjh at 11:09 AM on December 10, 2012


What kind of jerk doesn't like prostitutes?
posted by Mister_A at 11:10 AM on December 10, 2012 [24 favorites]


That boy ain't right.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:18 AM on December 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Now downloading Acrobat Reader XI.
[ ] Also include McAfee Smart Scan toolbar?


No!

[ ] Also include McAfee Good Luck Trying To Uninstall It Home Security?

Oh hell no.

[ ] How about a hooker, then?
posted by xedrik at 11:19 AM on December 10, 2012 [23 favorites]


I hear stories all the time of rich folk moving to places with no/low taxes where they can Live Like KINGS for their retirements. And all I can think of is, yes, what a great idea, move to a place where there are many problems with corruption, drug cartels, and a lot of disaffected poor folk who are likely to see you as a big, juicy target. That sounds like an excellent plan.

I can only conclude: money makes you stupid.
posted by emjaybee at 11:20 AM on December 10, 2012 [16 favorites]


I hear stories all the time of rich folk moving to places with no/low taxes where they can Live Like KINGS for their retirements.

Patagonia?

Also, some advice from Forbes: Dear Journalists at Vice and Elsewhere, Here Are Some Simple Ways Not To Get Your Source Arrested
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:22 AM on December 10, 2012 [11 favorites]


What kind of jerks don't like getting their source arrested?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:23 AM on December 10, 2012 [18 favorites]


That sounds like an excellent plan.
Eh, my old boss retired to La Manzanilla, Mexico, and lives comfortably, though frugally, on his modest retirement nest egg. He's no more a juicy target than the dozens of other gringos that are doing the same thing.
posted by xedrik at 11:23 AM on December 10, 2012


What kind of jerks don't like MetaFilter taglines?
posted by Aquaman at 11:28 AM on December 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


emjaybee, that's what I was getting at. he was a big, rich target. they attached themselves to him by providing him a supply of whatever he wanted (girls, guns, and drugs.. although he may have been supplying THEM with the drugs from some reports I've seen). and then he was sort of prisoner of his own gang.

although he was probably enjoying the lifestyle a bit too much, he was certainly rich enough to plot an escape and disappear without a trace from these people. i get the sense he didn't want to, though.
posted by ninjew at 11:29 AM on December 10, 2012


Well honestly, what kind of jerk doesn't like dogs?

This guy for one.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:31 AM on December 10, 2012


This guy for one.

He didn't much like cereal, either.

sorry, it's the potpourri-scented bath salts
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:35 AM on December 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Like his software, it seems he comes with a lot of unwanted baggage, traveled far from his beginnings, turned into essentially what he most hated, and now is irrelevant except for an annoying habit of popping up on the Internet no matter how hard you try to avoid him.

He probably also slows down everybody around him in order to do whatever he wants and can't help but insert himself into every situation uninvited. Really, killing a neighbor complaining about his security was entirely predictable.
posted by Muddler at 11:44 AM on December 10, 2012 [42 favorites]


Stolen from twitter: I hope Belize manages to be the first to succesfully uninstall McAfee.
posted by docgonzo at 11:52 AM on December 10, 2012 [42 favorites]


A map of the crazy.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:56 AM on December 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


If he does somehow get Guatemala to send him to the US rather than Belize, I guess that's good news for the family that has a wrongful-death suit pending against him here (McAfee's "aero trekking" business employed his unlicensed nephew as a "flight instructor" and a student was killed).

Also, McAfee had a big drugs lab he bragged about; he wasn't a "target" of drug dealers, he was trying to be all Scarface. If he tries to spin this as "oh I'm just a vulnerable expat being taken advantage of by scary Belizeans" I will be even more disgusted by him than I thought possible.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:08 PM on December 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


He also told Davis, "I am not well-liked by the prime minister."

I cannot imagine why. I do love that he thinks saying that Belize is a land ruled by pirates and full of their fiefdoms does not reflect badly on him or his actions there at all.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 12:14 PM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Nonetheless, Allnatt doesn’t think McAfee killed Faull. “Almost certainly what happened there was he suggested it to somebody, and then one of his many Belizean hangers on probably took it upon himself to do John a favor,” Allnatt says. “Because John surrounded himself with gang members. These are not nice people.”

"Suggesting" to gang members that are getting money from you that someone should be murdered is murder, and there are literally hundreds of convictions of Mafia bosses on just those grounds.

All in all, McAfee appears to be an awful man, even just from his own words and the words of his supporters. I do not wish him well.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:24 PM on December 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


I'm curious to hear Metafilter's thoughts on the whole media angle if anyone cares to share them. I'm particularly interested in dirt on Vice, which (interestingly) seems to be trying to transition to some kind of legit journalistic outlet while keeping its edge. And appears to be making a mess of it.
posted by nowhere man at 12:32 PM on December 10, 2012


There was a McAfee apologist over on Hacker News saying one of his Belize girlfriends framed him and has a forged will and gangster relatives. Some of the guys over there think he is kind of a John Galt rebel.

These bath salts sound devilish. I hope they don't catch on in my neighborhood.
posted by bukvich at 12:35 PM on December 10, 2012


which (interestingly) seems to be trying to transition to some kind of legit journalistic outlet while keeping its edge. And appears to be making a mess of it.

The dirt on Vice is: they continue to be wildly successful financially.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:39 PM on December 10, 2012


Face-eating man's toxicology report may surprise many.

Turns out it's that old devil weed that makes you eat yer buddy's face.
posted by telstar at 12:42 PM on December 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Nonetheless, Allnatt doesn’t think McAfee killed Faull. “Almost certainly what happened there was he suggested it to somebody, and then one of his many Belizean hangers on probably took it upon himself to do John a favor,” Allnatt says. “Because John surrounded himself with gang members. These are not nice people.”


"What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric neighbour?"
posted by juv3nal at 12:47 PM on December 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


Turns out it's that old devil weed that makes you eat yer buddy's face.

Sometimes you want a burrito, sometimes you want your buddy's cheek-meat.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:54 PM on December 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


What kind of jerk doesn't like cheek-meat burritos?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:12 PM on December 10, 2012 [14 favorites]


what kind of jerk doesn't like dogs?

I don't like dogs. They smell, they're stupid, and generally ruin all sorts of nice stuff--picnics, frisbees, soccer balls, shoes ... on the plus side, they will run with you and clean your floor of dropped food.

(The snarky answer would have been Sharon Enlowsmith.)
posted by mrgrimm at 1:17 PM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks Potomac Avenue. My exposure to Vice has pretty much been limited to their crappy old magazine, a book of Dos and Don'ts, and a couple of gonzo YouTube clips. I didn't know it had become such a sprawling empire.
posted by nowhere man at 1:25 PM on December 10, 2012


Meanwhile, the worst thing the Norton guy ever did was stiff a waiter who mistook him for Bob Rae back in 1995.

In all seriousness, the only controversy I can remember involving Peter Norton was when he bought some of JD Salinger's letters from the attention and money-seeking woman who'd had an affair with Salinger. On the other hand, I believe he then gave them to Salinger. Also, Norton is a world-class art collector, and a major donor to arts councils.

So the two kind of stand as case studies in how to and how not to handle vast anti-virus tech wealth, though I still mentally associate Norton with _The Programmer's Guide to the PC_ rather than Symantec Corp.
posted by aught at 1:39 PM on December 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


At least McAfee should be able to experience the benefits of a 21-day free trial....
posted by temporicide at 1:42 PM on December 10, 2012 [25 favorites]


This sounds like Howard Hughes all over again.

Minus the murder, Guatamala, partying....

ok nevermind.
posted by stormpooper at 2:05 PM on December 10, 2012


Minus Katherine Hepburn...
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 2:05 PM on December 10, 2012


_The Programmer's Guide to the PC_

The Pink Shirt Book! My, the times we spent together....
posted by Afroblanco at 2:18 PM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I simply would like to live comfortably day by day, fish, swim, enjoy my declining years."

John McAfee was at the pier of a small coastal Belize village when a small boat with a fisherman docked. The fisherman had a couple big tuna and McAfee asked how long it took to catch them.
The fisherman said "Just a little while."

McAfee said “Why don't you take the time to catch more fish?”

The fisherman said, “I live comfortably, fish a little, swim with my children, stroll into the village each evening with my wife where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I am enjoying my declining years.”

McAfee scoffed: “I can help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could go to college and get a computer science degree and design a program that intermittently freezes the desktop after start up. Then hire live chat support people who are unable to resolve the issue because the software corrupts core licensing files which causes the computer to freeze."

"Then what?" the fisherman said.

"Then, when they contact support for a refund, you send them to tier 1 tech support. Then tier 2, and so on."

"Ok, and then?"

"Then, because it's a software conflict on their end, they can't get a refund! You make tons of money off a useless product."

The fisherman said: "What if they remove the conflicting software or decide to litigate the..."

"No, this is the smart bit," McAfee said. "You're in Belize. You send them a refund check from your Belize LLC company name: 'Arse Tickler's Faggots Fan Club' saying we're sorry, we couldn't install through your remote access grants. Now, you see how many people cash that check. Not a soul. Because who wants their bank manager to know they're getting their arse tickled when they're installing McAfee security software?"

“But what then?” asked the fisherman.

McAfee said, “Then you could retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would live comfortably, fish a little…
posted by Smedleyman at 3:45 PM on December 10, 2012 [28 favorites]


Whatever - fuck that clown.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:47 PM on December 10, 2012


"What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric neighbour?"

Huh, thanks. That sent me scurrying to Wiki - I only knew the "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" version
posted by Francis at 4:04 PM on December 10, 2012


CheeseDigestsAll - I had no idea McAfee was that bizarre. He's crazier than Chuck Barris pretended to be.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:11 PM on December 10, 2012


Who would have thought the the Pulitzer prize-winning author of Annals of the Former World would come to...

wait, what?

Oh. Never mind.

</emilylitella> </datingmyself>
posted by Zed at 4:25 PM on December 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Be careful with that. Dating yourself can make you go blind.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:27 PM on December 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


These bath salts sound devilish. I hope they don't catch on in my neighborhood.

You wouldn't notice if they did. "Bath salts" basically means one of a bunch of synthetic cathinones - MDPV, methylone, mephedrone, etc. They became popular because they were a not-yet-illegal way to get a happy MDMA-like high, not because they do anything fundamentally novel. Now that they are banned, they are just another not-particularly-interesting variation of "ecstasy". Yes, the news will tell you different, but when the hell did they ever know anything about any drug, ever?
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:46 PM on December 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ron Burgundy wouldn't lie to me.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:50 PM on December 10, 2012


So he doesn't want to sign up for a 30-day trial in Belize, then?
posted by the cydonian at 6:43 PM on December 10, 2012


Criswell JHarris Predicts*!

If the Obama does manage to finally get taxes raised this cycle, a lot more smug, self-satisfied rich Galt-emulators will make the third-world tax avoidance journey, and we'll hear more stories like this one.

*Predictions are not infallible. Side effects include nausea and a diminished faith in humanity. If you feel sharp metal objects protruding from your body as if you have spent ammunition embedded beneath your skin as if having been hit by gunfire please consult a physician.
posted by JHarris at 6:58 PM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who is John Not Galty, Your Honor?
posted by zippy at 7:28 PM on December 10, 2012


Move out of the US to lower your taxes.

Come back to the US to avoid a murder charge.

Win-win!
posted by BlueHorse at 8:37 PM on December 10, 2012


Wrong! Obama is totally going to raise the murder tax on the 1%.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:44 PM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: MetaFilter taglines.
posted by loquacious at 9:23 PM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: What kind of jerk doesn't like Metafilter: what kind of jerk doesn't like Metafilter: what kind of jerk doesn't like...
posted by blue_beetle at 6:28 AM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, McAfee had a big drugs lab he bragged about; he wasn't a "target" of drug dealers, he was trying to be all Scarface. If he tries to spin this as "oh I'm just a vulnerable expat being taken advantage of by scary Belizeans" I will be even more disgusted by him than I thought possible.

What kind of jerk doesn't like drugs?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:08 AM on December 11, 2012


Who is John Gotti?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:24 AM on December 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Forbes article on Vice basically being the next MTV is quite interesting. However, I suspect that a billion-dollar "publication" that depends upon a content-generation model of sending correspondents out to troubled places on the globe will soon find itself the world's most lucrative kidnapping target.
posted by Pliskie at 8:27 AM on December 11, 2012


Only if they pay ransoms.
posted by Mitheral at 3:24 PM on December 11, 2012


I just checked Glassdoor.com and it lists a "Writer: Vice Magazine" salary at $73-79k. I was all ready to snark about ransom money and freelancers getting paid a pittance, but DANG.

That's actually not that much when you factor in cost of living for the NYC area, though.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:20 PM on December 11, 2012






There's something weird about the Wired version of this story that I can't quite put my finger on.
posted by drezdn at 6:40 AM on December 30, 2012


« Older Paul McCartney and an all star line-up offer their...   |   Literary Dioramas Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post