John McAfee, the eponymous founder of an anti-virus company, has had an odd run-in with the law following the murder of his neighbor in Belize. Authorities were looking to question McAfee, but he fled from the country, before being caught in Guatemala and expelled to the United States. The story doesn't look like it's close to over, so keep an eye here for updates as they come in.
Jul 27, 2022
Netflix’s new documentary depicts the antivirus founder turned fugitive John McAfee and his life on the run after becoming a suspect in the 2012 murder of his neighbor in Belize (via Deadline). McAfee asked a film crew to document his experience as he evaded the authorities — and the Mexican cartel, apparently.Read Article >
The documentary, called Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee, has video journalists thrown into the whirlwind that is McAfee’s life. With guns, drugs, and alcohol in tow, the group traverses through Belize and Guatemala and somehow winds up on a boat headed to the Bahamas.
Jun 23, 2021
John McAfee, founder of the company behind McAfee Antivirus, has been found dead according to reports from Reuters, El Mundo, El País, and others. He was being held in a Barcelona prison, and the Catalan Department of Justice has stated that his death was likely caused by suicide. Lawyers for McAfee confirmed his death to Reuters and The New York Times, with one saying it was “the result of a cruel system that had no reason to keep this man in jail for so long.”Read Article >
McAfee was being held in prison, pending extradition to the US, since his arrest in October 2020. He faced charges of tax evasion and had also been charged with securities fraud relating to an alleged cryptocurrency pump and dump scheme. Spanish courts had approved his extradition this morning with opportunity for appeal, according to Reuters and El Mundo.
Mar 5, 2021
John McAfee has been charged with securities fraud over a “pump and dump” cryptocurrency scheme. Federal prosecutors unsealed a case against McAfee and his executive advisor and bodyguard Jimmy Gale Watson Jr., claiming the pair earned nearly $2 million by urging Twitter followers to invest in cryptocurrencies like Reddcoin and Dogecoin, then selling off their own holdings as the price rose.Read Article >
“McAfee and Watson exploited a widely used social media platform and enthusiasm among investors in the emerging cryptocurrency market to make millions through lies and deception,” said US Attorney Audrey Strauss in a statement. “The defendants allegedly used McAfee’s Twitter account to publish messages to hundreds of thousands of his Twitter followers touting various cryptocurrencies through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motives.”
Oct 6, 2020
John McAfee, who built a fortune selling cybersecurity software and has in recent years become a cryptocurrency evangelist, has been indicted on charges of tax evasion by the Department of Justice (DOJ). He has been arrested in Spain and is awaiting extradition, the DOJ said.Read Article >
McAfee has had a contentious association with the law for years, though it’s at times unclear which run-ins are real and what has been fabricated. A former 2020 US Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party (yes, really), he claimed that the campaign was “in exile” after he was charged with “using Crypto Cuttencies [sic] in criminal acts against the U. S. Government” in January 2019. In that same video, he said he hasn’t paid taxes in eight years. (That will matter later.) He also claimed the CIA had “attempted to collect us” in a July 2019 tweet with a photo of him on a boat holding a gun, part of an adventure that ended in his arrest and release in the Dominican Republic.
Apr 2, 2018
Software tycoon turned cryptocurrency enthusiast John McAfee recently revealed that he charges $105,000 for each tweet he sends out promoting digital coins or initial coin offerings (ICO). Last week, McAfee tweeted that his team had written up a guide on how his promotional tweets worked, and posted it to McAfee Crypto Team, an organization McAfee and his team put together to promote ICOs.Read Article >
“It’s self-aggrandizing and ego-stroking for us,” he wrote, “However, if you’re planning an ICO, trying to boost a coin, or want to shine a light on your latest project, you should overlook our swollen egos and see.” The link details how each tweet costs $105,000 but divided between his 810,000 followers, the cost per ‘investor’ is only $0.13. The site boldly declares, “John McAfee’s tweets are by far the most influential in the field of cryptocurrency.”
Apr 28, 2017
John McAfee unveiled the plans for his “first truly private smartphone” in Newsweek yesterday. He believes his device is the “most hack-proof phone” ever created. The $1,100 Android phone, called the McAfee Privacy Phone, was created through a partnership with cybersecurity firm MGT. It’ll feature physical switches that allow the user to physically disconnect the battery, antennas for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and geolocation, the camera, and the microphone. McAfee also tells Newsweek that it’ll be able to identify and then not connect to a Stingray or any other IMSI catcher device. It also features a web search anonymizer.Read Article >
None of this sounds like it’ll make a meaningful difference for users. Hardware isn’t the problem when it comes to mobile privacy. Software is the key to securing a phone, whether the threat is remote malware or invasive cloud services. McAfee’s device runs Android, which means it’ll be as vulnerable as any other device to undisclosed bugs. Plus, without a first-rate security team behind it, it's hard to say how often the phone will be patched against the latest threats
Sep 14, 2016Read Article >
At the Q&A following the premiere of Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee, a question came from the front of the audience: now that the film was out, was the director Nanette Burstein concerned for her safety? “We do have security here,” Burstein said, “there were some threats made by his acolytes threatening they were going to come.” It wasn’t clear whether Burstein was joking, and a patter of uneasy laughter rippled across the room. “Fortunately,” she said scanning the theater, “it seems okay.”
Sep 12, 2016
Almost four years since his return from Central America, much remains unknown about John McAfee's time in Belize, and why the cybersecurity expert went into hiding after the still unsolved murder of his neighbor, American expat Gregory Faull.Read Article >
Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Nanette Burstein, the stunning new documentary Gringo: The dangerous life of John McAfee, suggests that the millionaire founder of the McAfee antivirus empire is not only directly responsible for Faull's murder, but also the heinous torture and killing of a Belizian man named Dave Middleton. Gringo also features an interview with McAfee's onetime business partner Allison Adonizio, in which Adonizio suggests McAfee drugged and raped her following a dispute.
May 5, 2016
Last Saturday, fans of minimal government gathered for the New York Libertarian Party Convention, which was held in the ballroom of a decidedly unflashy Ukrainian restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village. The attendees, who ranged from shiny-shoed businessmen to scruffy survivalist-looking types, were there to vote for the presidential delegates who will travel to the party’s national gathering in Orlando later this month.Read Article >
But Nick Spanos had arrived on a slightly different mission. A former Ron Paul campaign consultant, he’s now the CEO of Blockchain Technologies Corp., a new company that seeks to replace America's voting system with Bitcoin-derived blockchain technology, and which had been selected to run the convention’s vote that day. Though the convention was small, encompassing just several dozen voters, for Spanos it represented a chance to demonstrate his vision for the future of elections administration, one where votes are recorded on a blockchain database subject to full public scrutiny.
Jan 7, 2014
When you think of McAfee, you might think of the Intel-owned antivirus software company, or you might think of the former druggie and part-time fugitive who founded that company over 20 years ago. Or perhaps both. Either way, Intel is attempting to sever that inconvenient association. At CES 2014 in Las Vegas, the company has announced that it will be phasing out the McAfee brand name for its security software in favor of the simpler "Intel Security." According to an Intel representative, the company named McAfee will still stick around as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel, but the software rebranding will begin immediately. The company estimates it may take a year to complete.Read Article >
Out of all the things that John McAfee has done that may or may not create negative associations with the McAfee brand name, this might have been the most direct: a viral video John McAfee released in June of last year, entitled "How To Uninstall McAfee Antivirus" and filled with drugs, guns, and profanity. You have been warned.
Nov 26, 2013
Former antivirus software mogul John McAfee has been hit with a restraining order from his former building manager, who says McAfee thought he was in on an international kidnapping conspiracy. A stalking complaint was filed earlier this month by Connor Hyde, assistant property manager for Portland apartment building the 20 on Hawthorne. In the filing, posted by The Oregonian, Hyde describes a strange series of emails in which McAfee implicated him in a broad web of people he believes framed him for the murder of his neighbor in Belize last year.Read Article >
Problems started when McAfee fell behind on his rent, leading Hyde to send an eviction notice by email and ask how he wanted to proceed. "Your answer will be in the newspapers later this week," McAfee responded, according to emails included in the court filing. "I hope you are prepared to explain what happened to the surveillance tapes the night that your acquaintances attempted to collect me. I saw the video if [sic] you and your sidekick entering the video room at 7:26 in the morning after the failed attempt. What do you think the real police will make of it? I hope you have a safe to run to." The email further notes that it was sent from John McAfee's HTC phone. "Contrary to the respondent's belief," Hyde writes, "I am not nor have I ever been part of any conspiracy against him."
Jul 29, 2013
In January news broke that Warner Bros. was going to be turning the strange tale of John McAfee into a feature film, and now the studio is closing the deal for two writers on the project: the team behind Ed Wood. Deadline Hollywood reports that Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, whose other credits include The People vs. Larry Flynt and the Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon, will be adapting Wired's article "John McAfee's Last Stand." John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (I Love You Phillip Morris) are set to direct.Read Article >
McAfee made his fortune from the anti-virus software that bears his name, but was wanted for questioning in connection with murder charges in Belize last year. After having his increasingly paranoid behavior documented through a number of media outlets, he then went on the run, and was later arrested in Guatemala. He eventually landed back in the US.
Jun 19, 2013
The strange tale of John McAfee keeps getting stranger. In a video posted to YouTube last night, the antivirus software founder and part-time fugitive callously sends up the program he helped create. Framed as a four-minute instructional video, "How To Uninstall McAfee Antivirus" features plenty of green screen, degraded women, smoking, drugs, partial nudity, and firearms. In the "humorous" skit's last act, McAfee finally gets around to explaining how to remove his former company's anti-virus software. Enjoy a bizarre NSFW four minutes and 26 seconds you'll never get back.Read Article >
May 8, 2013
Five months after fleeing authorities in Central America who wanted to question him about an unsolved murder, antivirus pioneer John McAfee is revealing what he says are new details about that episode, and his seemingly outrageous life overall. From his current whereabouts in Portland, Oregon, McAfee responded to questions submitted by the readers of tech news aggregator Slashdot, describing in vivid detail a wide range of personal subjects: from his past as a self-described "indiscriminate" drug user and dealer; to his aversion to writing software code; to the forthcoming biography and the movie based on his life.Read Article >
Jan 21, 2013Read Article >
The Hollywood Reporter revealed last Monday that Warner Bros. acquired the rights to John McAfee's Last Stand, and just one week later, development of a separate John McAfee movie has been announced by Impact Future Media. The film, titled Running in the Background, will be adapted from McAfee's personal memoirs — Future Media says McAfee "entrusted Impact Future Media with the exclusive intellectual property rights to his official life story." The developer announced last year that it had obtained the rights from McAfee, but it wasn't clear if it would obtain funding or actually get a product in development. Now, Impact Future Media says it will budget $28 million for the film, and has selected Equinoxe Films to produce and distribute it in Canada. The developer says that the film will begin with McAfee's childhood and travel to present day, "revealing unanswered questions and intimate secrets about his life along the way." As of now there's no release date, or any indication that the movie will appear in the US.
Jan 14, 2013Read Article >
Wired recently published John McAfee's Last Stand, an in-depth look into the circumstances surrounding McAfee's bizarre life in Belize and his recent flight after suspicions that he murdered his neighbor. Now, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Warner Bros. has bought the rights to John McAfee's Last Stand with the hopes of turning it into a feature film. John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (who directed Crazy, Stupid Love) will be writing the adaptation of the Wired story and are also slated to direct the film. Joshua Davis, the author of John McAfee's Last Stand, will be serving as producer but doesn't appear to have any direct control over the script. There's no word on when this movie might break cover, but the directorial duo are currently working on Focus, which hasn't yet started shooting — so this McAfee film is likely a good several years away. Perhaps by the time it is filmed, the peculiar events that have surrounded McAfee's life in recent years will have been resolved.
Jan 7, 2013
For the past months, antivirus company founder John McAfee's story has gotten progressively stranger, as he hid from police in Belize, fled the country with journalists from Vice, and starred in an in-depth Wired tale of drugs, women, and Russian roulette. Now, McAfee is either attempting an oddly audacious publicity gambit, or he's finally crossed the line into outright and obvious fantasy. On his blog, McAfee describes using 75 netbooks and 29 "operatives" to track government officials, Cabinet assistants, and local power brokers — uncovering not only embarrassing personal details but an international terrorist conspiracy run out of Belize.Read Article >
By gifting cheap laptops loaded with keylogging software and hiring "'pillow talk' masters" to seduce and wiretap targets, McAfee says he carefully crafted his revenge on the Belizean government for what he has claimed is a long-running campaign of intimidation. Naturally, he quickly discovered first that the Prime Minister (from whom McAfee says he repeatedly demanded an apology) had personally ordered the murder of an alleged Belizean gang leader, then that Belize was "clearly the central player in a larger network whose goal is to infiltrate the US with individuals having links to terrorist organizations." Along the way, he ended up living with eight of his honeypots and was nearly killed by one, a double agent.
Dec 29, 2012Read Article >
John McAfee's flight through Belize, into Guatemala, and eventually to the US after being sought for questioning in the murder of his neighbor was only the latest dramatic episode in the former software entrepreneur's life. Joshua Davis of Wired spent months investigating McAfee before his attempted arrest, and he's now published an in-depth account of both his early life and his accelerating slide into fear of enemies both real and imagined. "You thought you were creating your reality," McAfee says at one point, after apparently playing a game of Russian roulette with Davis. "You were not. I was."
Dec 12, 2012
Antivirus company founder and international fugitive John McAfee has been deported from Guatemala and is headed for the US, Bloomberg reports. McAfee is wanted for questioning in Belize over the murder of his neighbor, but he fled from the local police, claiming he feared for his safety despite his innocence. Last week, the metadata in a photograph from Vice pinpointed his location in Guatemala, where he was detained by police and then hospitalized for a possible heart attack.Read Article >
Now, McAfee says he has been released from police custody and is taking a flight to Miami after being "expelled" from Guatemala. He is still vague about what the next steps are in the investigation, but insists that he has recorded an apology to the President of Guatemala and says that he has offered to speak to police in Belize but worries about being detained. "This is not an issue of talking about a murder," he insists, "it's an issue of putting their hands on my person."
Dec 6, 2012Read Article >
After three weeks on the lam, John McAfee, the computer programmer and founder of the McAfee security software company, has been arrested by Guatemalan authorities for illegally entering the country, reports Reuters. McAfee is wanted for questioning in relation to the November 11th murder of his neighbor in Belize, 52-year-old Gregory Faull. Earlier this month, VICE traveled to Central America to document McAfee's run from the law, accidentally publishing a cellphone picture with embedded GPS data, CBS News reported. The data revealed that 67-year-old McAfee had managed to make it across the Belizean border to Guatemala, where he applied for political asylum in a press conference earlier today. AFP reports that McAfee appeared alongside his newly-retained lawyer, Telesforo Guerra, the former Guatemalan Attorney General. He is reportedly being held under police guard at a residence belonging to the country's immigration department.
Nov 12, 2012
John McAfee, founder of computer security firm McAfee, Inc., is reportedly wanted for questioning in connection with a murder in Belize. The local San Pedro Sun is reporting that the 67-year-old McAfee, who has lived in the country for the past several years, is wanted because authorities believe he "may be able to assist them in their investigation" of the death of Gregory Faull. Local authorities discovered the victim Sunday morning. While an official police statement makes no specific mention of McAfee by name, it does note that "Police have not established a motive so far but are following several leads." Police visited McAfee's residence to question him in connection with the crime, but the entrepreneur was nowhere to be found.Read Article >
The Sun mentions that Faull has had several disagreements with a neighbor that residents believe may have escalated. While the neighbor in question isn't named, Gizmodo reports that McAfee had been at the receiving end of several complaints by the deceased, with writer Jeff Wise tweeting that the two were indeed neighbors.
May 4, 2012
A news report by Channel 5 Belize published earlier this week describes in vivid detail how McAfee Antivirus founder John McAfee faced an early morning raid on his Orange Walk property by the Belize police's Gang Suppression Unit. McAfee claims that the police forced their way into his (unlocked) buildings with sledgehammers, then seized and hid his gun licenses before accusing him of owning the weapons without a license. He says that they then handcuffed him, his family, and his private security guards before leaving them sitting in the sun for 14 hours, as well as shooting his dog in cold blood. Eventually, it took the intervention of the American Embassy to get McAfee released from a Belize police station cell, though he alleges that the police have taken his passport, which they deny.Read Article >
McAfee suspects that the attack was politically motivated. In 2009 he donated $1.2 million to the Belize coastguard to purchase a new boat, and has donated more than $2 million to police departments across Belize. He says in an interview with News 5 that he was approached by a politician looking for donations to his campaign, and shortly after he declined rumors began to spread that something untoward was happening at his heavily protected house and that he was "probably involved in illegal activities." A spokesman for McAfee Security company told us that John McAfee "is a private individual without any connection to McAfee." He is currently seeking legal advice.