Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee (2016) – Transcript

Tech tycoon John McAfee made millions from his antivirus software. Now, he may be best known his bizarre and scandalous lifestyle.
Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee (2016) - Transcript

McAfee became a multi-millionaire after creating a prominent antivirus software, and later relocated to Belize. In April 2012, national police raided McAfee’s estate based on suspicions of drug manufacture or trafficking. Later that year, McAfee’s neighbor Greg Faull was murdered and McAfee went into hiding before crossing the border to Guatemala and being deported back to the United States. The documentary suggests that McAfee was involved in the murder due to a feud between him and Faull over McAfee’s dogs. McAfee was never charged with any crime in Belize.

* * *

[radio beeps] This is 18, 10-81.

No, sir.

[man] How much money do you have in here?

[John] Maybe $4,000.

[man] $4,000?

[John] Yes, sir.

The FBI?

[John] Precisely.

[Nanette] The name McAfee reminds me of my very first laptop.

Like most PCs in the ’90s, it had McAfee antivirus software pre-installed.

[man] Software security guru John McAfee, he made millions as one of the nation’s first big software pioneers.

[Nanette] I didn’t think about that name again until 2012, when John McAfee was all over the news.

[man] John McAfee, whose name was synonymous with security, is now becoming synonymous with the mysterious murder of McAfee’s neighbor, Greg Faull.

[Nanette] I read about John’s bizarre lifestyle in Belize, including being wanted for questioning in a homicide and going on the run.

[man] A murder in paradise, as police launch a full-scale search for an eccentric American tycoon, John McAfee.

[Nanette] 2016, just a few years later, John was again in the news, this time, he was running for President of the United States.

Antivirus software industry pioneer John McAfee, throwing his hat into the 2016 presidential ring.

What has created terrorism?

Our interference in the affairs of foreign states.

Dropping bombs on families.

[Nanette] And talking about some of the most significant cybersecurity issues of our time.

But no one was talking about his past.

You are an expert, and I know you’re brilliant when it comes to matters of security.

We are in the first cyber war.

You said that you could unlock the San Bernardino terrorists’ phones for the FBI.

[Nanette] How did John McAfee reinvent himself?

Are there different rules for people with money, power, and fame?

Or is John just a master manipulator?

The last 15 years, I’ve been making documentaries on complex and controversial celebrities.

I’ve been fascinated with how being famous can put you under a cruel spotlight.

But it can also allow for extraordinary privileges.

Like the ability to get away with things.

Was this the case with John McAfee?

[man] John, where are you going?

[John] To jail.

[Nanette] What really happened in Belize?

♪ suspenseful music ♪


[Nanette] When I started the film, I reached out to John.

He refused to do an interview.

But he repeatedly emailed me.

He would say, “Do not contact me again.”

And then email me five seconds later.

He said…

Even though he refused to be interviewed.

It started a strange, year-long cyber relationship.

In the meantime, I investigated his story in Belize.

♪ tropical music ♪

John moved to San Pedro, Belize, in 2008 and he bought a beautiful beachside property.


[both] Buenas tardes.

[John] Just look out there, you’ll see why.

The most beautiful water in the world.

An off-shore reef that lets me build a house right on the beach.

Can’t do that in Florida.


[Nanette] How would you describe this island, San Pedro?

How would I describe my island?

[Nanette] Yeah.

Well, it’s a beautiful island.

It’s the most beautiful island in this country.


[Peter] We’ve got 42 dive sites from here within a three-mile radius.

It’s great. It’s fantastic.

And everybody speaks English.

And, I mean, how many Americans like English?

[Paul] This is a major destination for people to try to run away from the United States.

Approximately every four, six months, U.S. Marshals will come down.

They already know where everybody is.

They’ll go through the island and just make a sweep.

[Tamara] There’s expats here that really like to immerse themselves with the local culture.

And the, you know, the local culture loves a rich man, you know?

[Daniel] Everybody knew John McAfee. [laughs]

When he first came into the country, he was very friendly.

I really thought he was a very nice person.

He bought prime property.

He used to bring his friends from the States.

We are getting a lot of tourists because of him.

[Tamara] John started donating things to the police department.

Very generous.

Extremely generous.

He told us, “Guys, anything, you need help, my doors are open.”

[Paul] He donated a considerable amount of equipment to police.

Boots, stun guns, different assortment of weapons.

[Tom] I recall, when he get his residence card here, he gave the government of Belize a $1 million boat.

And that made the news here.

[man] Why this donation to the Coast Guard?

I’ve just become a permanent resident of Belize, and I’m very grateful that the country of Belize allowed me to live here permanently.

And I wanted to give something back.

[Tamara] You have to wonder, if you’re giving donations to the police, is it out of the goodness of your heart?

Or are there some motives behind it?

You know, why didn’t you build that library, or–

[laughs] You know?

The schools always need another classroom.

There’s a lot of different ways you can be generous with your money.

[man] Entrepreneur John McAfee is still doing what comes naturally: starting new businesses.

[John] This is an entrepreneur’s paradise, here.

There are virtually no regulations on business.

[man] McAfee started a ferry service.

He’s also cultivating jungle plants that he hopes will be the building blocks for medicines of the future.

[Allison] I was doing my postdoc, I was at Harvard, but I always heard about Belize.

Just how amazing the jungles were and the local healers.

Decided to go to Belize and just see what it was all about, you know?

But anyway, we’ll talk about that, then.

[Allison] I ended up meeting John McAfee.

Yeah, I didn’t know him from Adam, but I told him about my research, and he seemed engaged.

He seemed interested, and within, you know, minutes of conversation, he offered me my dream job.

He said, “You can continue your research, and we’ll make a business out of it.”

And I thought, “Oh, my God.”

I mean, this is-this is it.

This is, like, my big break.

There was not a space for the lab, and he had me stay with him, um, which made me very uncomfortable.

I saw a lot of stuff when I was living in his place.

He had armed guards.

I’m not a huge fan of guns.

Um, he had meetings with people that were also armed.


At one point he said that he was working on a book with two heavily armed, very built men from the Ukraine.

I mean, I don’t know, this is probably not relevant.

I’m sorry, this is–

[Nanette] That’s okay.

This is the tangent that I told you I would go on.

[Nanette] Yeah, that’s okay. That’s part of interviewing.

It’s just, there’s–

[Nanette] There’s a lot of tangents. People–we all do it.

Oh, fuck, there’s just-there’s so much crazy shit.

There’s so much crazy shit that I don’t even know–

You know, it’s hard to know where to start. [laughs]

[Nanette] I wanted to start with John’s past.

In emails he was evasive.

But I managed to dig up some of his records.

He was born in England, and grew up an only child in Virginia.

According to John, his father was an abusive alcoholic and committed suicide when John was young.

Eventually, John graduated college and became a computer engineer.

In the 1980s, he tried his luck in Silicon Valley.

[phone beeps]

McAfee, may I help you?


It’s one of those strange days.

[Jim] His first efforts with antivirus were in late ’86.

And, uh, he was always playing with different kinds of code.

There was this new problem with computers, that was a–your computer could catch a cold.

Okay, there it goes.

In Budapest, uh, we have a hospital that lost 25 systems.

Uh, including all patient records–hello?

When John came up with antiviral software, 90% of the people that were running computers weren’t even aware of viruses.

And then viruses started getting names.

[man] It’s called Michelangelo.

It’s a lowdown work of sabotage that could wreck millions of computer programs around the world.

What is a computer virus?

A computer virus, Bryant, is a program written by a hacker.

Any computer that it’s in, it activates and destroys all of the data in those systems.

John showed his first signs of savvy, working with the media.

Able to articulate a scary story.

This doomsday virus was about to hit.

[electronic droning]

The entire research community agrees, this is the number one virus.

it is the number one computer threat.

It’s real, and it’s going to happen on the 6th of March.

[Mark] The Michelangelo Virus caused many people around the world to download antivirus software for the first time.

That’s how the money just started rolling in.

By 1993, McAfee controlled 67% of the desktop antivirus market.

They only had about 20 employees.

Do not stand in doorways. Stand against–

[Mark] But there were already, like, $14 million in revenue.

They were printing money.

Excuse me.

It still was a group of John’s original friends and family that worked there.

A lot of them didn’t have careers before.

Excuse me. Gretzky, Tech Support.

John had more, like, a cult style.

And people would not go home for two and three days.

They would sleep under their desk to make sure John was happy with the work they were doing.

Okay, what you need to do in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file–

[Andrea] It was a crazy culture, that’s for sure.

Three of the women were supposedly witches, and they would sit in the conference room and have, like, a little chant.

Andrea Nation would come in in the morning with a bottle of Windex and clean off Bill Larson’s desk.

Because there was a sex contest going on.

You’d get points.

They had a group called Little Foxes, where they, um, would give points for, uh, having sex in different spots of the office.

John being this free spirit, that made the culture of the company.

He wasn’t the typical suit and tie guy.

The investors wanted to take the company to the next level.

And that was definitely not John’s forte.

They felt like John couldn’t do that and I think that John didn’t want to do it, either.

They bought John out.

They bought his shares out.

[computer beeping]

He sensed the virus threat in a way that most people didn’t.

He seemed brilliant but also paranoid.

He is more sensitive than, maybe, the average person to potential threats.

My wife thought it a little funny when he came next door, looking for his wife Judy, who was over visiting with us, ’cause he wasn’t home yet.

And he shows up, and he–and so, I let him in the house and he’s got a gun in his back pocket.

And I says-Susan said, you know, uh, “Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?”

[laughs] You know?

And, you know, he just, “Oh, well, you know, it’s dark out, there’s no street lights on this street. You never know.”

But they were making quite a bit of money then.

And maybe somebody kidnapped his wife.

So he came over to see if we’d seen her.

Is that paranoid?

I don’t know.

♪ pensive music ♪


[Nanette] After earning millions in Silicon Valley, John did not retire.

He created social network ventures like Tribal Voice and PowWow.

But they didn’t take off.

Then in 2000, he exited the business world completely.

He bought 280 acres of land in Colorado and opened a yoga and meditation center.

[John] I’ve been doing yoga and meditation for 35 years.

Given the life that I lead– and I admit, I lead life on the edge.

I have to do something.

So I believe in yoga. Yoga will extend your life, and it’ll also give you a clear perspective of yourself.

[Nanette] I asked John how he got involved in yoga.

After he opened his yoga center, he began inviting people to stay there.

Got up there, and there’s this beautiful house.

These stunning yoga studios and probably space for about 25 people to sleep.

Massive grounds and literally like his own forest.

It was kind of too big to even get my head around, this massive place that one guy owned.

And he’d let you stay there for free.

Pain is nothing more than a powerful sensation, is it not?

I mean, it’s–it’s your body talking to you like your body talks to you when you get a massage or when you’re sexually aroused.

[Paul] Yeah, there was rumors in town it was a cult that he had up there, up in the hills. [laughs]

[Goldy] He always had an entourage, like, a tribe, which was beautiful.

What is this thing that you want to make immortal?

Because to live is to die simultaneously.

I truly believe he was–he was enlightened.

He was–he was a guru.

He’d written five books on the yoga process.

They’re really good.

Later, I remember him saying that they were all shit. [laughs]

He was insinuating that he wasn’t into that stuff anymore.

You know, there was a definite shift in personality.

He was a different–

I mean, you could-he was still John.

You know, but he was not– he just wasn’t a guru-type anymore.

He didn’t have-he wasn’t enlightened. [laughs]

The next time I saw him, I’m like, “Okay.”

[keyboard clacking]

[man] In this recession, the average American is certainly pinching every penny.

But the man you are about to meet is one of the biggest losers.

It’s staggering, really.

[man] Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

Welcome to the estate of John McAfee.

[man] On Saturday, auctioneers worked up bids for the rarified retreat of a wealthy man who’s taken it on the chin in this recession.

It’s been reported you were worth about $100 million.

That may have been true.

Yet now you’re–

Less than ten.

Less than $10 million.

You bet.

[man] You seem so remarkably relaxed for someone who’s lost about $90 million.

Well, yeah. And why wouldn’t I be?

The things we want and the things we need are two different things.

[man] Did it take you a while to come to that realization?

Yeah, about 65 years.

[man] Now, McAfee plans to take his remaining handful of millions and head to Central America, where he started a new venture to develop natural medicines.

[Nanette] I asked John if he moved to Belize because he lost so much money.

He said, “Not at all, I lost very little.”

So I asked if he transferred his money to offshore accounts.


[waves crashing]

[John] I was living on the island of San Pedro.

Fishing and boating and having a great old time.

But I was bored silly.

Hey, how you doing?

♪ lively music ♪


[Tom] He was living in San Pedro.

And he called me one day and tell me he wants to go to an archeological site.

Why don’t I take you to Lamanai?

And he said, “Lamanai? Where is that?”

I said it’s in the Orange Walk District.

John was impressed with what he saw.

He said, “I’d love to buy some property here.”

All right, get ready for some serious “Heart of Darkness” here.


[Tom] Till eventually, when I told him about this piece that was available, he settled on that.

He decided he was gonna buy that.

[Nanette] So is that a big deal in this area?

To provide so many jobs?

Definitely, you know? Because…

[speaking Spanish]

I was hearing about what a good guy John was from some of his old pals.

But then there were people who were really afraid to talk to me.

[man] I know, more or less, everything that happened.

[Nanette] Mm-hmm.

And I don’t really want to come out on TV.

[Nanette] But you’re not saying anything bad.

[man] Yeah, but then he won’t like that.

He’ll feel like I betray him.

[Nanette] Why?

[man] ‘Cause he, like, was very secretive, and I don’t want to.

He told me that he knows everything going on in the whole country of Belize.


[Allison] John moved us to the mainland, to Orange Walk.

I finally had a lab building built.

[sighs] You know, so I just-I tried to keep my head down.

I tried to get back to work.

John would have reporters come to view the lab.

And I said, “Look-you know, I have nothing.”

[man] These 22 acres, on the banks of what the Mayans once called The River of Strange Faces, are owned by McAfee.

So when I come back in a year, this will look a lot different, I would imagine.

Right, well, you’ll see shade cloth everywhere.


[John] And hopefully will be production of some fairly unique pharmaceuticals.

He was confused and upset that I didn’t have, you know, something more to show.

And so he would have me just put, you know, different colored dyes in the bottles.

Or make up batches of, you know, what I had already researched.

And I said, you know, “This feels dishonest.”

And he said, “No, you know, it’s just business.

That’s what we do. We’re just trying to get investors, and we wanna, you know, get people’s attention, you know?

I promise you it’s gonna work out.”

Ehh, yeah.

[Nanette] John was doing a lot of press in Orange Walk.

I came across several interviews, including audio recordings with print journalists.


[John] I was the only White man, the only foreigner in the entire district of Orange Walk, which is 10,000 people, and that covers about 1/5 of the entire country of Belize.

So it should have been a warning sign to me that I should have walked more carefully or acted less obtrusively.

[dog barking]

[speaking Spanish]

His attitude was changing about paranoia, I think.

He was getting a little paranoid.

♪ [intense music] ♪


[Tom] I start to see more and more security people.

Like, a lot.


[Nanette] So he didn’t mind that you said–

[indistinct shouting]

[Tom] One day I told him this, I said, “John, why are you surrounding yourself with these people? These people are gonna get you into trouble.”

And that’s when he told me the story, “These people, nobody wants to hire them. They’re badass, they got police record this long.”

I said, “So you employ them and put firearms in their hand. You think that’s gonna go right? I think he really wanted to create a sort of a cult or a mystique around himself as a White man on the edge. Like Colonel Kurtz. And here he is in the heart of darkness.


[Nanette] And did he travel in town with a bunch of guys?

[Nanette] Like, how many guys?

Ooh, we had at least 12, 13 guys.

[Nanette] Is that normal to have 12 security guards?


[Allison] John got weirder and weirder.

He would go on these rants.

He talked about taking over the Belizean government.

He talked about his hit men, and at this point I was starting to believe it.

[Nanette] You said hit men.

Did you mean to say hit men and not security guards?

[Alison] Yes, he would absolutely call them hit men.

He would talk about his hit men, he would talk about how he could have people hurt or killed.

And, um, you know, honestly, I was–I was scared.

I planned to leave.

But I needed to figure out how to do it, you know?

I went to talk to him.

I sat there on the couch and I told him everything.

I said, “Look, I don’t-I don’t like what you’re doing. I am not getting anywhere with my work. I feel undermined. And, um, you know, I miss my family. I wanna go home.”

And, uh, you know, I had a headache.

I was-I was crying so much.

I told him I had a headache.

And–and he– He brought me, um, he, you know, he went into the other room and–and he brought me two pills and a glass of orange juice. And, um– So I took them, I–you know, and I– I took a sip of the orange juice and it–it tasted foul. It tasted bitter, um–

[chuckles] I’m such an idiot.

I–I remember I made a joke about not being able to get good orange juice in a place called Orange Walk.

Like, I honestly…


I only have, sort of, flashes of recollection.

He was standing over me, naked.

And I woke up the next morning and I was sick.

I was dry heaving, and I was dizzy.

And I grabbed my clothes.

I don’t even remember taking them off.

And, um, I went back to my house.

And I locked myself in my apartment.

And I, um–

I sat in the shower. I sat in the shower for–

I don’t know, until the water ran cold.

And I was crying.

And I was bleeding.

Somehow I found the courage to confront him.

John acted as if nothing happened.

And I said, “I’m leaving. I’d like to split on fair terms and if you could buy me out of the company.”

I remember I just started, um, a very calm conversation, and he went from… zero to crazy in, like, two seconds. He called me all kinds of names and pushed me through the door of his Orange Walk compound.

I locked myself in the lab, and I thought, “He’s dangerous.” I started destroying all the samples.

And, um, you know, any of the reagents that he could have used against someone.

And, um– I emailed my dad. I had just about, maybe, ten minutes to do this. I emailed my dad, and, um, bought a plane ticket home. And as soon as I, like, hit send on that email, he cut the power.

[electricity powering down]

He cut the email and he cut the power.

He was pounding on the door.

Mad, screaming, just screaming.

And he left.

And he got a gun.

And he came back.

I was hiding beneath the benches.

I’d made some friends by that point.

And I texted my friends.

And I said, “Guys, you gotta come get me.”

Like, and he could have broken in.

He didn’t. I don’t know if he went back in the house or what happened.

But my friends came to get me.

And they escorted me out.

And hid me at a relative’s house.

And, uh, took me to the plane the next morning.

When I first got home, I contacted the FBI about what had happened to me in Belize.

Unfortunately, they have no jurisdiction in Belize.

Um, so nothing could be done.

I’m mad at myself for not realizing who he was sooner. ‘Cause he’s dangerous.


[Tom] One morning, John McAfee called me.

And he said, “I need to chastise this guy. To teach him a little respect.”

So John asked me if I could bring three guys up here.

Three bad, mean-ass looking guys.

To slap him up a little and tell him, “Be careful.”

So I did.

[Nanette] Where did you find them?

[Tom] In a place called George Street in Belize City.

They were very much a part of the bad boys of George Street.

They were paid 3 grand, U.S.

I brought them up to Orange Walk.

They knew what they needed to do.

I left them here.

I recall seeing a police officer at the roadway, right at the barrier where the tollbooth is.

Then John said, “Oh, he’s on our side. He’s on our team.”

[dog barking]

[Nanette] So did they beat him up when they caught him?

[Tom] He told me he wanted to talk to the guy personally.

I suggested to him that that’s not a good idea.

He said, “No, I just want to talk to him.”

I think he wanted to make his point, like, “Don’t fuck with me.”

Somehow they led him up to the vehicle and put him inside the vehicle to talk to John for about four or five minutes.

Then John drove off.

[Nanette] David was taken to the hospital.

Police–did they talk to him?

[man] Yeah.

[Nanette] So why didn’t he tell them?

David Middleton is still clinging to life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

He is still under coma.

Before he slipped into a coma, Middleton told police that he had been abducted, beaten, and stabbed by two men who came to his house in Orange Walk.

He says he did not know either of the men, who drove a white pickup truck.

He died on Friday at the KHMH, and it is now a murder investigation.

And then he died.

I said, “Oh, fuck.”

I had a vehicle fit the description of the one they said this guy was picked up in.

So I–I got nervous, really.

I was just waiting around to see if an investigation’s gonna happen, if somebody’s gonna show up at my door and want me for questioning or something, you know?

I didn’t sign up for that.

That’s not what I had in mind at all.

[Nanette] I reached out to David Middleton’s family and they provided me with pictures, but they decided not to be on camera.

They were afraid that it would put their lives in danger.

They told me that when they tried to find out what happened to David, they were warned to stop asking questions and to leave the country.

They called him MAC-10 because when he pissed off, what’s what he use, a MAC-10.

[speaking Spanish]

[speaking Spanish]

I hear one was looking for the other to kill him, and the other was looking for the other to kill him, and–

But I also remember John told me that people who was his enemies, who’s out there trying to harm him, he goes and hires them.

Like, keep your enemy as close as you can.

From that time, you know, I started working for him.


[Nanette] John’s desire to live without limits was extending into every part of his life.

♪ [pensive music] ♪


[John] I live a lifestyle which might be over the line of normal behavior.

It’s a lot of fun.

I get to hang out with cute girls who are scantily clad.

I do have teenage girlfriends.

And many at a time.

Nothing illegal.

They’re well beyond the age of consent.

And I’ve–I see nothing wrong with it, and if you do, then that’s okay.

[Nanette] How many girlfriends did he have?

Ooh. [laughs]

I can’t keep count, um– I would say at least five or six girls, you know, that live in at the house.

He was Belize’s Donald Trump. [laughs]

This dog here, I got him from John.

♪ [dreamy music] ♪


[Paz] Majority of John’s girlfriends, I was the one introduced John with the girlfriends.

[Shakira] Paz is who introduced me to John.

He’d tell me, “Oh, there’s a guy who’s paying a lot of money just to sleep with him one night.”

So I said, “Well, okay.”

I used to get $900 per day.

Yeah, John used to pay me good.

I needed the money, too, at that time, ’cause I had my baby girl.

So I had to buy things for her.

And thank God my little girl is growing up.


I used to drive around in a vehicle that John would offer me, finding girls.

Probably I introduced 35-40 girls.


[Samantha] I was 18 when I met him.

I fell out of school because of the financial problems of my parents.

That’s why I went to his house and asked for a job and I started working.


He started giving me, like, presents a few days after we started dating then.

He treat me good, so I started liking him.

These were young women who had very challenging life situations.

They have horror stories of what happened in their past.

So he didn’t need to say, “Well, I’m going to pay them into prostitution.”

No, it wasn’t that.

It was simply, here’s a rich guy who is just willing to take them in.

Um, one morning, I was sleeping in the bedroom and my stepfather came and touched my private parts.

I went to tell my mom, my mom just cried.

So I got fed up with it ’cause she never believes.

So I went, then he said, “Get out of the house.”

So I packed my bag and I went.

I had to stop school.

And that’s when I got to John McAfee.

Then he gave me money to go to school.

Then after that he start calling me, and asked me to go there, and I told him okay, it’s not a problem.

So I went there.

And I sleep with him.

John said, “You are not the only girl. I have more than one girls here. I don’t want no fighting, and I’ll treat all the same.”

I was pretty young, so I’d be like, “Okay.”

Everyone wanted to be number one, you know?

And they were just another number. [chuckles]

He treat me the best.

He takes me out on lunch.

He take us to San Pedro Town, go shopping.

John McAfee used to treat me– well, I say the best.

He’s always around me, and when they call him he would just cut off his phone ’cause he’s with me.

He would spend most of the time with me in the room.

And he would bring me breakfast, and, you know–

He treated all the girls, them, nice.

Tell them they’re beautiful, and the right stuff the girls wanna hear. [laughs]

I think they’ll stay there for the money at first and then most of them, eventually, had real, true feelings for him.

They’re young, too.

It was exciting for them, living in this big house, and having trips and stuff that they wouldn’t normally would have if they didn’t meet Mr. John.

[Nanette] Had you ever lived like that before?


[Nanette] Had you ever had sex for money prior to that or–


That was my first time.

I was ashamed, but then I got used to it.

[Nanette] What did he have you do?

Um, sit on this hammock, the hammock has a hole.

He puts you in a hammock.

Then after that he lies under the hammock.

Then he, um–

You know, he would cut– cut a little hole, and he would sit there.

[Nanette] Mm-hmm.

That’s what he use it for.

‘Cause he–he wanted to have, like, scat sex then, and I didn’t agree with that.

[Nanette] What is scat sex?

It when you poop in someone’s mouth.

He used to make you shit in his mouth.

Like that. [laughs]

I never had done that before and it was an experience for me, and–

He puts his in under your butt and… he ask you to shit in his mouth, and so–

[Nanette] Did he ever have regular intercourse– like, vaginal intercourse?

No, no.

None of that.

That was only thing I did.

I think I was grateful, because I wanted to finish school.

And, um, he was helping me.

So I didn’t care about what he did.

So, um, I was worrying about finishing school and doing something with my life.


[John] When I moved to the village of Carmelita, I decided I would try to clean it up.

And to do it legally, well, it makes sense to hire off-duty officers to collect information.

And from that information, maybe they can go and do something.

And they did.

I have an officer living on my compound.

It makes me feel safe. Makes me feel safer to know that all the criminals that might want to rob me know there’s a policeman living there.

And they think there’s something wrong with that.

[dogs barking]

[imitates dog barking]


[John] I was awoken at 6:00 a.m. by a commotion.

Megaphones and dogs barking and people yelling.

And I went outside and saw 42 soldiers in attack formation, coming down the driveway with automatic weapons.

[man] Load!

[Nanette] What’s the GSU?

[Mark] I would like to think that they are this specialist group of police officers who pride themselves as being incorruptible.

[man] Make weapon ready! [guns cocking]

[Daniel] They are special forces.

The maximum military thing that the country has.

Because if you think you get away with the police, okay, fine.

These guys, they don’t come to play with you.

These guys are coming for you.

[men shouting]

[John] I’m pushed up against the wall.

Handcuffed, searched.

They show me a warrant. I didn’t get a chance to read it.

I spent the next 14 hours handcuffed.

[Nanette] Why did the GSU decide to raid McAfee’s compound?

Intelligence at the time suggested that McAfee was mass-producing narcotics or some psychotropical substance that he was offering for sale, unrivaled.

[Nanette] What did they find?

What did you guys find, exactly?

[Mark] Besides the arms and the amount of security, there was some blocks of something that he was producing that resembled methamphetamine or cocaine.

It was built like that. It was produced like that.

But when tested, it did not in fact reveal the properties that would have rendered him liable for criminal prosecution.

[John] They took me to Belize City.

They charged me with having one firearm without a license.

It took the intervention of the U.S. embassy to get me out.

They were planning on trying to find a way to charge me for having an unlicensed lab.

The lab was shut down 18 months ago.

Even if I did need a license, it’s no longer relevant.

McAfee says he’s a victim because he didn’t donate money to a known UDP Orange Walk politician.

[John] A representative of the government came by and said, “Why don’t you donate $2 million to the party?”

I said, “Get the fuck off my property.”

A week later, 42 armed soldiers stormed my compound.

And I’m just sitting down with Reuters News.

So now I’m going public with this.

And so I went I went to the world press.

And now I’m a danger to the government.

They talk about murdering me.

They talk about murdering all my cohorts and friends.

They talk about planting drugs and guns.

I was terrified now that they were coming for me.


[Cassian laughs]


When he came back, then he brought the entourage of all the bodyguards, all of the prostitutes and girls that were with him.

To see somebody on a tourist beach, and they have two or three armed guards, that’s very intimidating to the tourists as well as the locals.

It disturbed the locals quite a bit.

McAfee had a reputation in the neighborhood.

Greg said he’s just a rich American and he’s just terrorizing the neighborhood.

Greg was very vocal of not liking McAfee and I heard from other people that McAfee didn’t like Greg.

I think he lived 600 feet south of John McAfee on the beach.

Gregory Faull, he came to retire in Belize, and because he was into construction, he was going to build and sell homes and that’s how he was surviving.

So this was a hard-working man.

[Eddie] Greg, he always told me, “You know, I love to walk from my house down the beach to Rojo Lounge.

To go to eat and have a few drinks.”

He says, “But McAfee has armed guards on the beach.

Not one. Several.

Including some mean dogs.”

[Tamara] His dogs ran loose on the beach and they were really ferocious dogs.

And I even remember walking by there one time and these dogs were just– really lay into you.

[dog barks]

Greg went to McAfee’s house.

[dog barks]

And said, “John, you gotta take care of these dogs.

They’re disturbing the neighborhood.”

And John reached over to one side and came back with a 12-gauge shotgun, cycled the shotgun, says, “Get off my property or I’ll shoot your ass.”

[Eddie] Greg came to me and he says, “Eddie, I got this problem that is not going to go away.”

So I told him, “This is not something to play with.

Go to the police. Make a report.”

[Daniel] Greg did put a complaint against John’s dogs.

And I did respond to Greg.

[dog barks]

[Eddie] The Mayor says, “I’ve talked to the police to go up there and deal with it,” but that didn’t change him.

Why would it change a man who is buttering the police with Tasers, with vehicle, with guns?

[Tamara] Greg Faull had had it with those dogs, and said, “I’m gonna poison those dogs.”

A day later, John’s dogs were poisoned.

About 12 in the night, one of the security came and said that the dogs is foaming through their mouth.

So he went and he saw the dog.

And then he said, you know, “The dogs have been poisoned.”

That’s what he said.

The first thing came in his mind was that it was his neighbor.

[Nanette] Greg?

Mm, Gregory Faull.


He got his shotgun.

And I said, “What are you gonna do?”

And he said he is gonna take the dog out of their misery.

And then he started crying.

I never saw him cry until that day.

And, um, he went to the dogs and he shot the dogs.

[Marcia] He was walking, like, from one side of the room to the other side.

While he was walking, he was smoking cigarette after cigarette, cigarette after cigarette, cigarette after cigarette.

He said, “I wonder if it’s Greg Faull that poisoned my dogs.”

You know?

[man] Oh, look. Look who’s here.

[man] Nice to see you, man.

[man] Oh, how are you?

[Eddie] He left me a message that night, saying that, “There’s somebody in my yard.”

[bird chirping]

And I said, “Do you want me to come up?”

“No, no,” he says. “It’s okay.

I just wanted you to know.”

He was nervous, that’s why he called me.

He says, um, “I don’t feel good about it.”

[water splashing]

[wood pounding]


[bird squawks]

The next day, Mr. Faull was found dead.

[seagulls squawking]

[Eddie] In the morning, early, my nephew, Finn, calls me and he says, “Tio, have you heard?”

I said, “Heard what, Finn?”

He says, “Greg is dead.” I says, “Oh, shit.”

I still can’t believe it.

[Tamara] There’s no sign of burglary.

Nothing was missing.

The place wasn’t ransacked.

It just appeared that he had basically been executed.

[Nanette] And were there any other marks on his body?

His whole body covered in Taser marks, which were not necessary.

[Art] Sometimes I have visions of what happens when you get shot in the head.

And I just can’t believe it ever happened to my son.

[Nanette] Why were you looking for John?

Well, because…


[man] A murder in paradise.

Police launch a full-scale search for an eccentric American tycoon, John McAfee.

Some breaking news from Belize.

John McAfee, who’s been on the run–

[man] John McAfee is a person of interest in the murder of his neighbor.

Tech mogul at the center of an international murder mystery.

Tonight, McAfee is being hunted for questioning in the murder of his neighbor.

[Daniel] We had CNN in English, we had CNN in Spanish, NBC, ABC, the whole alphabet.

If you’re fearing for your safety, why not just go in and tell them what you don’t know about this murder?

[John] If I am detained, this is where people just simply disappear.

They choke on their own vomit or hang themselves or are beaten to death by fellow prisoners.

[Samantha] John sent me a text and said, “We have to move.”

And I went to take out money from John’s account.


And I took it where he was hiding at the boat place.

[Tom] Two days after the Greg Faull thing, John calls me and says, “I need you to keep me safe and get me out of the country alive.”


We went to, like, a Chinese place, where he started painting his hair and that’s where Tom took us.

I had some sleepless nights because I’d have to get up and move him to another location.

Then I start meeting journalists.

[Samantha] He, um, contacted the press ’cause he said he wanted to clear his side of the story and why he is on the run.

The search to find John McAfee began right here at the airport, not long after I landed.

And it began with three simple words.

“Sorry, I’m late.”

A prearranged code word to let me know I’d met the person who would take me to McAfee.

[Martin] And so we get in this cab and take off on just a crazy drive through Belize City.

It was like a bad movie.

We were doing, you know, switchbacks and turnarounds and then it’s like, “Get out! Get out!”

And then we–he’s like, “No, get in there!”

And it’s another cab we get in. [laughs]

It’s not the Belize you see in the travel pictures.

You know, this is not the pretty part.

And then eventually, we stop in the parking lot of a really low-rent looking hotel.

When we finally got to John McAfee, he’s wearing an outlandish disguise.

Kind of like an old man with a crippled arm, powder in his hair to make himself look old.

And he’s walking with a cane.

John McAfee is coming towards us.

Only it wasn’t John McAfee.

It was John McAfee in really– in a really bad disguise.

We all knew it was John McAfee.

But your problem is that you really wanna talk to him, and I’m afraid that if I say, “Hey John, how you doing?” he’s going to explode and–and storm off, and our opportunity to interview him would be lost.

So we did what we thought was the prudent thing to do, and that was ignore him.

We get up to his hotel room.

And 20 seconds later, he bursts into the room.

And the shawl he had over his shoulders, he flings off.

And he shakes his hair of all this powder.

“Fooled you, didn’t I?”

And, of course, you’re like, “Yeah.

You sure did.”

And then, there we were.

Face to face.

[Martin] Did you kill Greg Faull?

I barely knew the man. And why would I kill him?

He was a neighbor that lived 200 yards down the beach.

[Martin] Do you really believe that this is a vendetta by the government of Belize to take you down and kill you?

Absolutely, sir.

You’re sincerely concerned that if you somehow wind up in their custody, they’re going to assassinate you?

[John] Absolutely.

[man] Do you really think they would kill you?

[John] Absolutely, I do, sir.

[Art] It was all about McAfee.

Everything that we’ve ever seen was McAfee, McAfee, McAfee, who murdered an American businessman.

McAfee who did this, McAfee who did that.

But there wasn’t very much, uh, publicity for my son.

McAfee found a way to keep the attention on him.

We have a President, a Prime Minister, you have the Mayor of San Pedro, the Minister of Tourism, all giving interviews about a man who’s just bat-shit crazy.

Well, I’ve never met the man.

Don’t know what he looks like.

Uh, I don’t want to be unkind, but it strikes me that he’s extremely paranoid.

In fact, I would go so far as to say bonkers.

[Tom] By then, everybody know who is John McAfee.

I couldn’t hide him no more.

So we drove to the southernmost border with Guatemala.

It’s 200 miles south of Belize City.

He saw me bullshit my way through many checkpoints in the time we knew each other.

He knew I could get him out.

[Nanette] So how did you get him out of the country?

I–we just put him on a boat and dump him on land in Guatemala.

We didn’t–no customs, no immigration, no nothing.

That’s illegal.

I told him I could’ve gotten his passport legally stamped in a place called Puerto Barrios.

But once he knew he was getting out in a boat, he took complete control.

He’s John again.

He does what he wants to do.

All my advice to him never really mattered anymore.

He’s John McAfee now.

The great escape. [laughs]


[John] I could walk into the police station, ask directions, and they would give me directions.

[Jose] VICE TV followed him and they just decide to take a picture with the iPhone.

[Samantha] They found out his location.

[Nanette] How did that happen?

With some picture that VICE took with GPS where it was on or something like that.

[Jose] You know, you had VICE TV posting that picture that does give away his location.

He was undone by that in Guatemala.

You know, the tech guy. Who would have thunk?

Now he’s in trouble with Guatemala by entering the country illegally.

That’s when I told him, you know, “I have an uncle who could help you.

I think he could be your lawyer and take you out of the country if you want.”

[woman] McAfee, who is wanted for questioning in connection with a murder in Belize, says he will be seeking asylum in Guatemala and has retained high-profile Guatemalan attorney and former attorney general Telésforo Guerra.

[Nanette] So when he was in Guatemala, was he still considered a suspect, or was he–

[Nanette] So you tried to have him extradited?

[Nanette] Interpol discovered John’s exact location.

And VICE was the only camera crew to capture his arrest.

[man] What’s the problem?

They’re trying to arrest me for coming into the country illegally.

Can’t they take me back to Belize tonight?

No, never. Never, never.

Are you sure?

Can you promise me, sir? Because I’m not worried about anything else.

Of course, they won’t take you to Belize, no. Never, never.

[Telésforo] I will go with you.

[man] Whoa, whoa, wait.

[woman] “Thank God I’m in a place where there is some sanity.”

Those were the words John McAfee said before being arrested in Guatemala City on Wednesday night for illegal entry.

[John] I was put in jail, and the following morning, they were intending to deport me back to Belize.

My lawyer came to my cell.

“He said, I cannot file an appeal until three o’clock.

So until three, they can deport you.”

He said, “Do you understand?”

I go, “Yes, I understand fully.”

[man] Within sight of the assembled cameras, John McAfee suddenly swooned, and appeared to lose consciousness.

[sirens wail]

[John] So I chose to fake a heart attack.

[man] John McAfee was rushed to a hospital, complaining of chest pains.

[woman] Quite a scene was created, as an ambulance took him from an immigration detention center.

[John] They took me to the hospital at three o’clock, when I knew the appeal had been filed.

I said, “I feel better. I wanna go back to prison, to my cell, thank you.”

And that’s what they did.

And an appeal meant that it would be 15 years before they could deport me back to Belize.

Well, it was not in Guatemala’s interest to keep me in prison for that many years, so I was deported to the States, which is what I wanted.

This afternoon, he boarded a flight back to Florida.

[man] Amid a media frenzy, Guatemalan police forced him aboard a U.S.-bound flight.

[woman] Software developer John McAfee has returned to the United States.

[man] The software pioneer is still wanted for questioning in the murder of an American citizen in Belize, but he’s free for now.

And at the moment, he’s still not charged with any crime.

I cannot help but feel that he enjoyed, in his mind, playing the role of kind of a puppet master.

He had a plan, and he was orchestrating that plan.

What’s a better story?

Millionaire mad man on the run.

But you saved my [bleep]. Why?

‘Cause you paid attention to the story.

Because you acted like a mad man?

I did, and it worked.

[Art] It’s something that I guess I have to learn to realize that it’s something that I can’t do anything about.

I can’t rectify it.

I can’t solve it.

I can’t punish anybody.

I can’t do anything except regret the loss of my son.

And, uh– I don’t know what else to say about it.

[Nanette] Mm-hmm.

Is it DNA tested?

We do not have the level of forensic expertise to prosecute a crime like that.

[Nanette] Right.

That is a matter of fact.

We’ve barely begun to touch fingerprinting, that sort of thing.

And our murder/conviction rate is below 3%.

[Nanette] Really?


[Nanette] And who was at John’s house at the time?

[Nanette] Mm-hmm.

[Nanette] Cash had not been easy to find.

Because he didn’t want to be found.

Finally, his friend Eddie Halliday urged him to talk to me.


You know?

[Nanette] He was asking to put money in people’s bank accounts?

[Nanette] So, tell me about what happened with Greg Faull.

[Nanette] What guy’s account?

[Samantha] I was with him the night when his neighbor got shot.

He was with me in the room.

Like, four in the morning, he was still there.

[thunder booms]

[golf cart motor trilling]

[Nanette] And what was he like?

You know, this, that.

[Nanette] Any time in that period that Greg was killed, did you ever see Eddie Mac, or MAC-10 at the house?

He wasn’t there the night dog was poisoned.

In morning he was there.

I saw that guy-this dark-skinned guy.

MAC-10 they call him, yeah.

I only saw him, like, just I got a glimpse of him.

He was in the hall talking to him.

And I just came in, got a juice, and I went back in the room.

[Nanette] Did you ever see him again?

No, I never saw him again.

[Nanette] To do what?

You know, to kill the guy.

[Nanette] Did the police ever question you about the murder of Greg Faull?

Well, you know–

You know?

[Nanette] I was trying to find Eddie McKoy to ask him about these new allegations.

Eventually, he agreed to meet me a second time.

What new information do you have for me?

[Nanette] Well, I’ve looked into that.

Okay, all right. Where were you when Greg Faull was killed?

So can you tell me the real story?

So around that time, did John ask you to do something and give you any money?

Like $5,000?

[Nanette] Mm-hmm.


[Nanette] No?

No, never.

[Nanette] Why are you smiling?

[Nanette] No?


[Nanette] So you didn’t get $5,000 wired into your account?

So some people said they saw you that night.

And–and you went to John’s house.


Oh, no. Never.

[Nanette] Never?


[Nanette] Okay.

[Nanette] So you were not hired by John to kill Greg Faull?

No, no. Never.

[Nanette] And if you were, would you tell me?

No, I–well–

[Nanette] Mm-hmm. All right–

[Nanette] So I-I’m just trying to understand why someone would say this.

[Nanette] I cannot tell you.


[Nanette] Did you have an alibi?


[Nanette] Mm-hmm.

I wanted to check out Eddie’s alibi.

But it felt way too dangerous.

Going around George Street and asking questions?

Not a good idea.

♪ upbeat pop music ♪

♪ I’m going underground ♪

♪ Gonna lose myself in the crowd ♪

♪ Forget my troubles… ♪

[Martin] Now he’s back in the United States, and so many people, they would come up to me and say, “Hey, did they ever catch that guy?” [laughs]

♪ And it’s all over now ♪

[Martin] Remember that crazy time in Belize?

It was as if it hadn’t happened.

[Nanette] It looked like John had lived the full fantasy of an ugly American living large in a poor Central American country.

He had apparently gotten away with possible murder and rape, buying the police, buying young women, indulging in bizarre, degrading sex, all seemingly without consequence.

So I gotta keep the public interested in me, right?


Well, I can do it by doing any number of things.

Being a bad guy, being a good guy, being a fool, being all three at once.

Uh, whatever it takes.

He goes from running away from something to now running for.

And in this case, he wanted to be President of the United States.

[woman] Antivirus software industry pioneer, John McAfee, throwing his hat into the 2016 presidential ring.

Have you actually filed yet, and have you started to raise money?

I filed the papers on Tuesday.

Uh, I’m officially running, yes, ma’am.

We all know he likes attention.

Okay, so, at any point in time, if he’s not getting as much media attention as he would like, then he’ll absolutely do something outrageous, say something outrageous, post something outrageous.

Spy cameras are hidden in cactuses.

The government surreptitiously parses our verbal communications.

And the concept of privacy is fast approaching extinction.

Running for president is pretty outrageous.

Mr. McAfee, as president, what would you do about ISIS?

ISIS is a problem of intelligence gathering more than anything else.

I mean, we have the capacity-certainly– is anybody doing terrorist acts inside of China?

Or inside of Russia? No, it just doesn’t happen.

They are so far ahead of us from a cybersecurity standpoint, meaning, intelligence gathering in the modern age.


[Nanette] While John was running for president, the investigation into Greg Faull’s murder continued.

In early 2016, the Belizean police force asked the FBI for assistance.

This allowed FBI agents to investigate and potentially try the case in the United States if they were able to collect enough evidence.

Tonight, there is a report that Amy Emshwiller, one of McAfee’s girlfriends at the time, has been detained for questioning in the murder of Faull.

She was picked up by the police, who have been working with the FBI to crack the homicide.

[phone line trilling]

[Santiago] Hello?

[Nanette] Hi, Santiago.

It’s Nanette.

I was just checking in to see if there’s been any progress since you interviewed Amy and–

[Nanette] Eddie McKoy?

[Santiago] Yeah.

[Nanette] I couldn’t believe that John’s girlfriend also fingered Eddie McKoy.

It echoed what Cash told me.

But without a DNA test to match the fingernail, there’s not enough evidence to make any arrests.

They would have to find Eddie to see if his DNA matched.

A few days later, Eddie emailed me.

He’s leaving Belize. For good.

So why are you leaving?

[Nanette] Someone shot at you in your home?

[Nanette] Does it have anything to do with John?

Or is it entirely separate business?

[Nanette] Why do you think he wants to hurt you?

[Nanette] What you told me is not–

[Nanette] I mean, other–

[Eddie] Oh, yeah, yeah.

[Eddie] You know–

[Nanette] But not everything.

[Nanette] It’s too complicated?

[Eddie] And, you know?

[Nanette] Are you leaving tomorrow?

♪ [pensive music] ♪

[Nanette] John was attending a Libertarian debate in New York.

We had been emailing, texting, talking on the phone all year.

But this would be the first time I was meeting him face-to-face.

[woman] He’s doing very well in the polls.

[Nanette] Okay.

He’s one of the top three candidates in the Libertarian Party.

[Nanette] Yes.

So let’s go in.

[Nanette] Okay.

[crowd chattering]

You ready?

John, I wanted to congratulate you.

On–on what?

On your campaign.

Oh, our cam–

You’ve done so well.

Thank you very much.

Are you feeling optimistic?

Oh, absolutely.


I don’t see how I can lose. I’m serious.


So, um, I mean, based on the numbers-they just tell me by numbers that–that I have it.

Are you still in touch with people from Belize?

Of course, yes, I have many friends there.

Do you recognize me?

I do not.

You don’t?


I’m Nanette.

You are Nanette.


Oh, okay.

Well, nice to meet you, Nanette.

Nice to meet you.

And are these your people?

These are my people.

Okay, please turn your cameras off.


I do not want to be on your camera.

[announcer] Can I have your attention, please?

We’re in a public event.

[announcer] Can I have all of the state officers, the new ones, all of the delegates from the counties, step into the hallway out there where we can have a meeting where it’s a little bit quiet.

Thank you very much.

Thank you.

[Nanette] Are you leaving, John?


[Nanette] Less than one hour later, John sent me a flurry of emails.

Each one more hostile than the last.

♪ [ominous music] ♪


A few weeks later, at the Libertarian Primary, John came in second, losing out to Gary Johnson.

But he continues to be considered a major player in the cybersecurity world.

We are told by the corporations in power, and our government, that if we have nothing to hide, then why should we care?

[Nanette] He was named CEO of MGT Capital Investments.

And after the announcement, the stock rose over 700%.

I have him on Google Alerts, and every day there are multiple stories in the mainstream press about John being a cybersecurity expert.

He’s legitimized himself again.

It’s an amazing transition.

He is talking about Internet security.

He’s talking about iPhones. You know, he’s talking about real privacy, security issues of our times.

And he’s doing it with the authoritative, “I’m John McAfee.

I’m not that John McAfee who was chasing through the jungle on the run.”

This is the John McAfee, now back to his namesake, online security, kind of, guru.

Even my friends, you know, they think, “Oh, he’s that, you know, he’s that security genius. You know, McAfee Software.”

They–they think he’s a rebel, like I did.

I mean, they think he’s eccentric.

They think, “Oh, he’s a cokehead.”

You know? “Ah, who cares? As long as he’s got brilliant ideas.”

That’s what I thought.

And I see him regaining that– you know, that reputation.

It’s the same exact pattern.

He’s trying to reinvent himself.

He’s getting young, impressionable people involved.

And he’s dangerous.

♪ [instrumental piano music] ♪



[man] Oh, well.

[man] No.


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