John McAfee’s Internet Meltdown – UPDATE

Posted November 20th, 2012 at 2:54 pm (UTC-4)

Has The Software And Security Pioneer Gone “Bonkers”?

Doug Bernard | Washington DC

UPDATE December 3, 1400 UTC: There are conflicting reports and rumors swirling whether Belize police have actually captured John McAfee, or if he remains at large. On December1, someone posted a short note on the “Who Is McAfee?” blog. “We have received an unconfirmed report that John McAfee has been captured at the border of Belize and Mexico,” reads the terse post; “More information as it is received.”

Then on December 3, a new post on McAfee’s blog – again, apparently not by McAfee himself – reported that “after losing contact with Mr. McAfee we received a voicemail from an anonymous caller ID. In the message the gentleman stated, ‘John was picked up crossing the Mexican border.’ We have not received word back from this individual…”

10 hours later, a new post appeared, titled simply “I Am Safe.” But the contents of the post are anything but simple:

I apologize for the silence, and misdirection.  I am currently safe and in the company of two intrepid journalist from Vice Magazine, and, of course, Sam.  We are not in Belize, but not quite out of the woods yet.  I will do a more detailed posting later today if all goes well.  My “double”, carrying on a North Korean passport under my name, was in fact detained in Mexico for pre-planned misbehavior, but due to indifference on the part of authorities was evicted from the jail and was unable to serve his intended purpose in our exit plan.  He is now safely out of Mexico.

While some media are reporting McAfee’s catpure, Peter Delevett over at Silicon Beat reports that police in San Pedro, Belize, are denying they have him. As a second source, Jorge Aldana of the San Pedro Sun said on Saturday night “I can tell you positively that John McAfee has not been captured.”

Curiouser and curiouser.


November 20, 2012

“With lots of time on my hands and very little to do with it, I’ve been reflecting on the recent detour my life has taken,” writes someone calling himself John McAfee.  “How did I end up as a murder suspect on the lam?”

So begins the first blog entry on  “Who Is McAfee?”, a website – and a story – that gets more bizarre with each new day.

Let’s back up a bit.

File image from November 8, 2012, of John McAfee (AP/Sofia Munoz)

You may not recognize his name, but if you own a personal computer, chances are you know John McAfee’s work. A former computer programmer for NASA and Lockheed, McAfee in 1987 founded McAfee Associates, a computer security company. His anti-virus programs became wildly popular, and McAfee got very rich, ultimately selling his interest in the firm for $100 million in 1996. (Now renamed simply “McAfee”, the firm remains one of the largest computer security software companies in the world.)

McAfee moved to the Caribbean nation of Belize and spent several years dabbling in various projects. However, a series of bad investments and the global fiscal crunch whittled his fortune to just a few million. And it’s just about here the weirdness began.

Early in 2012 Belize police raided McAfee’s home on the suspicion that he was manufacturing illegal drugs on his property, which McAfee denied. No charges were filed and McAfee was soon released, but some police officials raised public concern that John McAfee was having sex with underage girls living at his house. McAfee accused the police of being little better than thugs hired to rough him up for bribes. The police say McAfee had illegal guns. McAfee says the police shot his dog. The events left a foul taste for everyone.

Then on November 10, McAfee’s neighbor, Gregory Viant Faull, was found dead from a gunshot. Belize police sought out McAfee – they say for simple questioning – but McAfee was nowhere to be found. Officials quickly put out a warrant for his arrest and labeled him the prime suspect in Faull’s murder.

In an interview with Wired magazine that can charitably be called odd, McAfee denied any involvement with Faull’s murder, telling Wired’s Joshua Davis that if the police caught him, he was convinced they would torture and kill him. Since then, the millionaire computer genius says he’s slept under cars, darkened his face with shoe polish, stuffed his nose with a tampon and dyed his hair to remain hidden. McAfee says he’s posed as a drunken German tourist and a Guatemalan salesman – even fooling an AP reporter covering the story. His only companion, he says, is a 17-year-old girl named “Samantha.”

Just how do we know this?

Because while he’s been on the lam, John McAfee also decided to start up a blog: “” Not surprisingly, the blog is generating more questions than answers.

“It’s absolutely him,” says the blog’s administrator, cartoonist and McAfee friend Chad Essley, who says he set up the blog but that its posts are genuinely authored by McAfee while fleeing police. Not everyone’s a believer.

From John McAfee’s Facebook page

“There is so much about the John McAfee soap opera that is unbelievable that it might seem pointless to highlight a single slice of malarkey,” writes Paul McNamara at NetWorkWorld. “Allow me to flag what I consider to be the fishiest tidbit in a tale that just reeks of low tide.”

McNamara notes that the blog’s masthead, which reads “The Hinterlands” is also the title of the soon-to-be-published biography of McAfee…written by Chad Essley. More, in a recent post McAfee says he’s pre-stocked the blog with enough content to last a year – a strange thing for a guy who’s running from the police and sleeping on lice-filled beds, says McNamara.

The blog contains discursive posts about the Mennonites of Belize, the love of young women, accusations of arrests and taunts of the media and police. Some say they read his blog as having said he’s manufactured mass quantities of illegal drugs; others say he just sounds paranoid. “I would go so far as to say bonkers,” said Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

Whatever his guilt or innocence, mental health or instability, John McAfee’s story is playing out real-time online. Using the Internet, he is both hiding from view, and putting himself on international display.

Fitting for a man who knows so much about computer security.



18 responses to “John McAfee’s Internet Meltdown – UPDATE”

  1. […] Internet Meltdown – Voice of America (blog)  internet newsNov 212012  Voice of America (blog)John McAfee's Internet MeltdownVoice of America (blog)Whatever his guilt or innocence, mental […]

  2. Hello,

    The articles on Dr. McAfee’s blog are indeed being written by him. It may be possible, though, that some of the content was written in advance of current events.

    Also, from the background you have on Dr. McAfee, it appears you consulted the Wikipedia page about him. Please note that this page is not entirely accurate, especially in regards to employment.


    Aryeh Goretsky

    • Doug Bernard says:

      Hello Aryeh;
      I’m curious: how can you be certain the posts are really from John McAfee?

      • Hello Mr. Bernard,

        I have used the email address posted by Dr. McAfee in his blog to correspond with him since at least 2006—possibly longer, but that is the oldest email I could find from that address through a quick search.

        Since the events of November 11th, I have sent him a few emails, and he has replied to some of those, albeit not particularly lengthy responses. I am sure messages from lawyers, family and the media are of higher priority right now.

        Have you tried contacting Dr. McAfee? Given the current situation, I suspect he will be unable to respond to email promptly, but he seems quite willing to talk to members of the press.


        Aryeh Goretsky

  3. HorhayB says:

    A underage sex predator, a perv who is obsessesed with using a date rape drug. He even instructs on the Russian drug blog how to slyly insert a finger with a little ‘perv powder’ on it to get the party started.Why? Because he can’t get anyone to have sex with an old man psycho? Haha! He moved to Belize to avoid a 5 MIL lawsuit by parents of a nephew of his who was killed in a test drive of his idiotic flying tricycle.
    Little did this rich idiot know if you are a millionaire and plop your ass in Belize, a poverty and gang stricken place, you will be fighting off gangs and criminals trying to get your s–t. Brit born American trash. Nothing to see here but a mentally ill old man who is a psycho perv.

  4. Alex says:

    Oh, it’s him all right. He is controlling & manipulating, back peddling & making it up as he goes along. Anyone who posts something that he doesn’t want to have exposed or hasn’t thought of a good excuse for yet, poof, you’re out of there. It now resembles a symposium on synchophancy, with women just fawning & drooling over how much they believe in him & dream about him. It is truly pitiful.

    Yeah, he’s looking after the poor people of Belize… By telling everyone to spread the word by emailing the Tourism Board of Belize & linking his site to the Google search for “Belize travel”, insisting that if his 3 friends aren’t released, that they will do everything possible to wreck the current season for tourism by exposing the dangers of the country. Narcissism at its ugliest. I’ve reported him to the Tourism Board, as well as to my congressman & one of my senators, both friends of mine. Trying to ruin the economy of the country where he is a guest & the #1 person of interest in a murder. The sheep are running over each other to get to their hero. Disgusting.

  5. Steve Busch says:

    John McAfee is looney. Too much bath salts consumption has taken its toll on Mcafee mental health. Someone needs to tell him that the 17years old girlfriend with him is a minor. I believe, that is called childrape.

    Murder, drugs and child rape? Run John, run.

  6. M says:

    Small correction: Samantha is described on McAfee’s blog as 20 years old. It’s the girl who was with him during the GSU raid that was 17.

  7. Joe L. says:

    I don’t know about all of this. I respect McAfee for his achievements in computer protection, I only use his product. But this story is really wierd, I hope it all gets sorted out soon and the truth is known. I hope he has done nothing wrong. He sounds very parroniod right now to me but I can also see why.

  8. Chuck W says:

    I listened to both radio interviews that John participated in this week (Joe Rogan & Alex Jones) and he seemed quite sane and coherent. I also took the time to read the entire “bath salts” thread over at that John participated in – which appears to be one of his legendary hoaxes and NOT evidence of his consumption as Steve Busch falsely asserts above. Had John truely been providing hundreds of “locals” with his refined, hypersexual and super addictive reduction of MDPV then when why aren’t there at least a few dozen fiending junkies running rampant in Belize since John is no longer around to provide?

  9. Alex says:

    Well, there easily could be, because it is freely available in many stores throughout Belize in its “unrefined” form.

  10. Uncle Benji says:

    It is amazing that in today’s world of technology and so much readily verifiable data, someone like McAfee can hoodwink us.

    The man’s a pathological liar with symptoms of behaviour associated with drug usage and mental halucinations of being on the run from a corrupted government.

    Belize has a British style based government. No one is looking for McAfee. He ran and is now fifteen nautical miles down the road, held up in a sleaze bag Mexican motel; consuming bath salts via “anal insertion (his words – not mine).

    John, here is what you can expect when they catch up to you:

    Child rape, malicious intent to destroy the Belize’s government website, slander and disruption of Belize’s tourist trade, manufacturing of illegal drugs and MURDER!


    • Alex says:

      Uncle Benji, I recognize you from the blog, which I have been blocked from for the 5th or 6th time. His whole “I’ve been captured” BS, was to chart all the IPs of those who disagreed with him and/or were posting under different usernames. He must have strengthened his filters early this morning, because this time I can’t get in. It is so pitiful that he has used such a cruel ruse, so as to weed out all dissent & to make fools of the media. He really is an evil, psychopathic liar & I wish that someone would take that horror called a blog down for good.

      So many people were genuinely concerned & frightened for him, while he just sat back & watched. It was so apparent, as some of my posts would disappear & other posts were being rearranged to suit his fancy. And Chad participated in the entire despicable hoax, just another of Mcafee’s disgusting manipulations. The fool knows that no one in the government really cares where he is & no one is expending much effort in finding him & he cannot stand it. It is also obvious there are no more recordings or photos, only ones of him, his young girlfriend, & the scenery, so he continues to invent ever more ruthless means to keep everyone’s interest. And his desperation & anger at not getting the attention he craves, is making him even crazier. What a complete train wreck.

      Well, I hope he’s satisfied, because no other media outlet with any clout whatsoever, will even think about doing another story. He’s continually played them all for the fool. He is a compulsive liar, a fraud, a pedophile (under U. S. law), & a psychopath, a pervert, & a drug addict. And now, he is also a man without a country. Good riddance, you evil, cruel, despicable man. In my eyes, you are a murderer, because there is no other excuse for what you have done. Run, John, run, not from the Belizean government, but from the rest of us, who know exactly what you are.

  11. Janet says:

    I wish people would stop supporting this freak. I caught my daughter posting on his blog & feeling sorry for him, so we had a very long mother/daughter talk. This is not the type of man that I would EVER let my 16 year old near & the U. S. had better not let him come back here. I thought Americans who had sex with underage girls in other countries, could be arrested for it. I know they went after an American in Thailand, so why isn’t John McAfee wanted in the U.S. for the same offense?

  12. Matthew says:

    The age of consent is 16 in 30 states in the U.S. A 17 year old girlfriend doesn’t qualify as child rape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What’s Digital Frontiers?

What’s Digital Frontiers?

The Internet, mobile phones, tablet computers and other digital devices are transforming our lives in fundamental and often unpredictable ways. “Digital Frontiers” investigates how real world concepts like privacy, identity, security and freedom are evolving in the virtual world.

Find us on twitter


November 2012
« Oct   Dec »