Fugitive antivirus software entrepreneur John McAfee, who is wanted for questioning by Belize cops over the murder of his neighbor, has finally escaped the country after spending almost four weeks giving authorities there the run-around.
Earlier today, McAfee showed up in neighboring Guatemala, where he revealed that his flight from justice in Belize required a series of elaborate ruses, one of which involved using a body double carrying a fake North Korean passport.
According to Reuters, McAfee has surrendered his passport to Guatemalan officials and now plans to fight accusations leveled against him in Belize by legal means.
“I apologize for all of the misdirections over the past few days. It was not easy to exit Belize and required many supporters in many countries,” said McAfee on his blog, which has been frequently updated during his time as a fugitive.
McAfee, who founded the anti-virus software company of the same name before selling up in 1994 for a reputed $100 million, has spent the past four years living in Belize.
However, just three and a half weeks ago McAfee’s reclusive existence in tropical paradise was shattered when local cops stumbled across the body of one of McAfee’s neighbors, Gregory Faull, who had suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head. Shortly after this grisly discovery, McAfee, who was known to have had a turbulent relationship with Faull, was named by police as a ‘person of interest’ in the case.
This prompted McAfee to go into hiding, from where he launched a stinging attack on Belize authorities, insisting that the police had murdered Faull and were out to kill him next. McAfee further alleged that cops had tried to kidnap him several times over the last year, after they failed to extort money from him.
Responding to these claims, Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow questioned McAfee’s mental health, saying “I don’t want to be unkind to the gentleman, but I believe he is extremely paranoid, even bonkers.”
McAfee was accompanied during his flight from justice by his 20-year old fiancée Sam Vanegas, together with two journalists from the Vice magazine, who were filming a documentary about him and his life on the lam.
As authorities attempted to track McAfee down, the hunt became almost farcical, with McAfee regularly posting updates on his situation to his blog, and giving daily interviews to US media. During this time, McAfee claims that he used a number of tactics to elude the cops, including dying his hair, and disguising himself as a hobo and a German tourist on separate occasions. Then, last Monday, in an apparent double bluff, McAfee claims that he hired a body double and supplied him with a fake North Korean passport, before giving him orders to go and get himself arrested in Mexico. This ruse apparently failed to trick the Belizean authorities when the body double was released without charge.
Whether or not there is any truth to these escapades we can’t be sure, but now that McAfee is finally out of the country perhaps the circus surrounding him will finally die down whilst authorities get on with the more serious business of proving whether he is guilty or not.
For his part, McAfee says that he intends to claim asylum in Guatemala, telling ABC News that he chosen the country very carefully for that reason. He also had a message for the family of the deceased Mr. Faull, telling them that “I had nothing to do with his death. I have lost five close family members in my 67 years and I know your suffering.”
Finally, the entrepreneur said that he was willing to speak with the Belizean police, but would only do so on the phone:
“I will answer any questions that you may have over the phone. If I am indeed merely wanted for questioning, this should suffice.”