The Reporter

The Financial Times of London is one of the last respectable newspers.  That’s why I invited one of its most objective reporters – Adam Thomson – to travel with Samantha and I.  He readilly agreed, and after a two day, circuitous journey from Mexico, involving transfers, pickups, roundabouts and backtracking (to ensure he was not followed), we met in person today.

I would like to say that Adam appears in every respect to be a true gentleman, and a professional of the highest order.  He is quick witted, insightful and honest – the qualities that old time journalists were required to possess.   He is also an outstanding writer.

We had a four hour, intensive discussion, on tape, in which he asked questions that no-one had yet asked – the important questions – the questions I was waiting to be asked.  I answered honestly and openly.  Our agreement was that nothing about his interview would be revealed until its publication, so you will have to read his end result to be enlightened.

However, the intensity of our situation (Samantha’s and myself), overwhelmed Adam and he begged out of remaining with us.  I cannot blame him.  He is a reporter with a conservative financial publication, and the environment of people on the run is alien and intimidating to even hardened adventurers.

At one point, Samantha ferociusly confronted him:  “I am younger and smaller than you, and I am a girl, but I have more balls than you”. I am used to Sam and I laughed, but I fear Adam was embarrassed.  He need not have been.  Samantha has more balls than me as well.

She wants to say something in her own words:

i like his accent.  I wud like to talk like he. but he need mor curage because he scared.  life is ful of scary thing.


Three of my friends are still being held in prison on trumped up charges.  They are:

Eddie Ancona

Cassian  Chavarria

William Mulligan

 They were charged and have been imprisoned because three legally licensed firearms were found in the incorrect rooms on my property (stretching the law to the extreme).  I would ask you to please email the following and demand their release:

 [email protected]
 [email protected]
 [email protected]
 [email protected]
 [email protected]
 [email protected]
 [email protected]
 [email protected]

82 responses to “The Reporter”

  1. Cy Avatar

    Your FT article has just been printed a few minutes ago – here is the text:

    Four hours with John McAfee
    By Adam Thomson
    Exclusive interview with multi-millionaire creator of antivirus software, who went on the run from his Belize home last month

    McAfee at his makeshift hideout
    The meeting
    Belize City bus station is a small building set on a dusty street in the downtown area of the capital. Its only entrance gives on to a long and narrow waiting room with a spine of wooden benches set back to back and two-tone walls on either side – wheat-coloured to the thigh and yellow from there up.
    A crisp breeze was blowing through the terminal, which on this Saturday morning was full of Belizeans wrapped in coats and even scarves as they waited for their ride – former US school buses now in their final phase of life – to different corners of this tiny Central American country.
    I noticed all of this because I had time on my hands – about an hour, according to the deep, oaky, American voice that had called my mobile a while earlier and told me to wait exactly where I was.
    The voice belonged to John McAfee, mathematician, multimillionaire, creator of the ubiquitous McAfee antivirus software, alpha male. Except that in Belize, the country of about 350,000 people to which he had moved four years ago, he was now the focus of a nationwide manhunt – a “person of interest” in an investigation into the recent murder of Gregory Faull, a US citizen and a neighbour of McAfee’s on the picture-postcard island of Ambergris Caye. In other words, McAfee was on the run.
    My people-gazing stopped suddenly when I realised that a perfect stranger – middle-aged, medium height, plain clothes – was looking right at me. “A mutual friend would like to see you,” he said with an outstretched hand to take my bag.
    The next half an hour was a movie reel of Belizean side streets, back alleys, highways and byways – anything and every¬thing to shake off potential tails. We pulled over and waited for a couple of minutes. A check in the rear-view mirror and we were moving again, zigzagging our way through a string of neighbourhoods – middle-class but only just. And then, just as it all began to seem routine, we stopped again. “Step out of the car, you’re going to cross the road and then keep walking. Somebody will meet you.”
    Police officers remove the body of Gregory Faull, found dead on November 11
    One hundred yards later, a figure rounded a corner and started walking in my direction. He was white, about 6ft, in a black short-sleeved shirt, black baseball cap, black shorts and those Vibram five-toe shoes popularised by “barefoot” ultra-marathon runners. Only this man was no athlete: he was dragging his right foot, kicking up dust as it trailed behind him. His right arm was bent up, tight like a cooked chicken wing, and his fingers were twisted into a claw. “Follow me, please, sir,” he said. It was McAfee, the most wanted man in the country.
    The Belize connection

    How a 67-year-old English-born, Virginia-raised multimillionaire ended up on the lam in a Central American country the size of Wales is a long story, or several stories. It is still unclear, for example, why McAfee sold his portfolio of US properties at knock-down prices and headed south in the first place. One theory suggests that it was for tax purposes: after the recession started, McAfee helped spread the word that he had lost almost all of his money. Back in 1994, when he sold his remaining shares in the company that bears his name, this fortune had been estimated at about $100m.
    But Jeff Wise, a journalist who knows McAfee, believes that he did not lose his fortune. Instead, Wise believes that he went to Belize to sidestep a potentially hefty financial payout from a lawsuit after one of the customers at his “aerotrekking” venture died in an accident while at McAfee’s New Mexico property. McAfee was a pioneer of aerotrekking, a sport involving flying souped-up microlight aircraft at breakneck speeds sometimes just a few feet off the ground. He and his flying friends called themselves “sky gypsies”.
    Ask McAfee why he moved to Belize and he will tell you that the main reason is the former British colony’s unique traits: a Caribbean paradise of white-sand beaches and turquoise seas in which English is the official language; a part of Central America but until recently without the horrendous crime problems of its neighbours; swaths of unspoilt jungle laced with meandering rivers and dotted with ancient Mayan archeological sites. “Who wouldn’t want to live here? I mean, get real,” McAfee had told me in a phone call before the trip.
    The place in which McAfee was now hiding was on the top floor of a block that, from the outside, looked more like an industrial warehouse than a residential building. There was a kitchenette and, beyond that, a single bedroom with a large double bed set on a white-tiled floor, and another door to a small balcony. Decoration was sparse save for a couple of chintzy paintings of rural scenes hanging on the white walls. One of them showed a country lane leading past a thatched cottage surrounded by holly¬hocks, foxgloves and other plants you might find in a serene and tranquil English garden.
    There was nothing serene or tranquil about McAfee. As soon as he closed the front door, he ditched the limp and the crippled arm. Then, hands trembling, he reached for one of several cigarette packets lying on the table.
    “I’ve been smoking pretty heavily for two weeks,” he told me. “Under the same circumstances, you might do the same.” He flicked ash nervously out of the semi-open door that led to the balcony. He said he was averaging 15 a day. A quick calculation later on suggested that 30 would be more accurate.
    His distress, and that of Samantha, his feisty 20-year-old Belizean girlfriend – during the interview, she accused me of being scared: “I’m young and smaller than you and I’ve got more balls” – was more than understandable given the saga that their lives had become over the previous few weeks.
    To start with, there were the first nights sleeping rough and on the run on the island of Ambergris Caye, where he has property close to that of Faull, whose body was discovered on November 11 lying face up in a pool of blood. There was a gunshot wound to his head and police found a 9mm shell casing next to the body.
    McAfee lifted his shirt to reveal an impressively toned torso covered in mosquito bites. “I slept all over,” he explained. “In my house, in the bush, at my condo, I just kept moving constantly. It is very uncomfortable to sleep at night in the jungle.”
    Then there was the escape from the island itself. The idea had been to get to the house of a friend, who would then take him and Samantha across the 30-mile stretch of water that separates the island from the mainland. “So we got to the house, everything was set and the engine wouldn’t start on the boat. And you can hear the police sirens as they’re going by. I’m looking through these big cracks through the walls to see if anyone is coming, looking to see if there is anywhere we can hide.”
    Amid all the panic, his friend with the boat had to go to town to get some spare parts. Engine mended, they then discovered that there was no petrol. “That was the scariest part,” he recalled. “The police were looking for us everywhere.”
    The obvious question was, why run at all? After all, the police had said that there were no charges against McAfee yet. “He is still just a person of interest” in the investigation, Raphael Martinez, a police spokesperson, told me. “We are still looking for him.” (Asked why they had not found him, Martinez said, “It beats the hell out of me.”)
    Besides, McAfee insisted that he had nothing to do with Faull’s murder and that in spite of being neighbours – their houses were about 300 yards apart – he barely even knew the man. “He drank and I don’t hang with people who drink,” he said. He also reminded me that Belize was not as safe as people thought. I had already checked the statistics: according to United Nations figures, the country’s murder rate has risen rapidly, from about 16 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2000 to more than 41 in 2010.
    For many people, the answer was that McAfee was paranoid. Or as Dean Barrow, Belize’s prime minister, suggested a couple of weeks ago in statements made in Belize City to a local reporter, McAfee might simply be “bonkers”.
    The inspiration for that assessment came in part from locals on Ambergris Caye, many of whom painted a picture of an increasingly insular McAfee, rarely venturing from his blue-roofed beach compound on the northern part of the island where armed guards kept vigil. Neighbours, including Faull, had complained about his numerous dogs, which barked at passersby, while rumours had been circulating, and with increasing speed, about his cavorting with young women and, above all, about drugs.
    McAfee, who feeds on attention, didn’t help to suppress the rumours. Two years ago, and for several months, he posted regularly on, a Russian-registered drug-aficionados forum, claiming to have rediscovered the formula for “tan” MDPV, a narcotic that wowed the drug community when it first appeared in the early 2000s and then acquired semi-mythical status following its disappearance shortly afterwards.
    From his hide-out, McAfee admitted to authoring the posts but also said that they were a hoax, a practical joke – the inevitable result of being a “prankster”. He said that he gave up all drugs and even alcohol 30-odd years previously. That tallies with other accounts: people who knew him and worked with him closely back then recall that there was never any alcohol at his company parties and that, in the typical style of someone who had at one time taken plenty of narcotics – “There is not a drug I have not taken,” he told me in Belize – he would often “preach” about how bad drugs were.
    Samantha brought us some lunch from the impossibly small kitchen. It was a plate each of tightly rolled tacos filled with beef and thick-cut salsa. McAfee stubbed out his cigarette and, between mouthfuls, he told me that he had decided to run because he felt that tension had been mounting between him and the authorities ever since he moved, a couple of years previously, from the touristy Ambergris Caye to the jungle interior of the country. “I was the only white man living full-time in a district of 30,000 people,” he said. “And that was a mistake. It became clear that I had money. I had automobiles, I had houses, I had things that other people did not have. And so suddenly, I became a target.”
    A wealthy man living in a small, isolated and poor community provided fabulous employment opportunities for many locals. There were jobs in construction work and to provide security, gardening and maintenance of the properties. But there were also the ventures that McAfee set up, like the Studio 54 bar in Carmelita village, which he paid for and then let others administer. During a stay in Carmelita the night before the interview, I was told that McAfee was spending about US$6,000 a week on his local payroll. But it also created plenty of bad blood for those who either failed to get “in” with him or, worse, got a job only to lose it later for one reason or another.

    McAfee properties in Carmelita, inland Belize. McAfee says his move here led to tensions with authorities
    More important, McAfee claimed that living in the interior of the country had brought him into direct contact with local circles of power, which he insisted saw in him a once-in-a-lifetime chance to line their pockets. He gave. But he also believed that he had annoyed the authorities by giving in kind – goods, property, equipment – instead of handing out cash. “No one can skim,” he said. “Instead of giving $5m to the government, I gave it to the people. So suddenly, [it’s] like, ‘Where the f*** is my share? You should have given it to us and we will buy the stuff.’ So that they will take the $5m and buy $50,000 worth of stuff and then give the rest to their families. So I didn’t do that. I didn’t play by the rules. It pissed everybody off.”
    McAfee argued that the breaking point came in April when members of the Gang Suppression Unit, a division of the police force created in response to Belize’s rapidly rising crime rate, stormed his jungle compound. “That’s when I knew I was in trouble,” he said, lifting another taco to his mouth. Police said they were looking for illegal weapons and drugs. According to Martinez, they found some guns but no illegal drugs. He also said that no charges were filed against McAfee.
    Today, the jungle compound, which served as McAfee’s house and laboratory where he was developing topical antiseptics, is gated and the doors of the eight or so houses on the riverfront property, all built on stilts and constructed from local hardwoods with palm-leaf roofs, are boarded up. All of his personal belongings have also been moved out. I came across some of them at a nearby house on a different property that McAfee had said was empty and where I could stay the night. On the phone, he described it as “very comfortable”.
    And it was. But it was also basic and hardly a millionaire’s dream house. Constructed in a similar design to his houses in the jungle compound, it consisted of one main space with a counter top or bar separating the living room from the kitchen. To the side, there were a couple of tiny rooms sectioned off by white walls.
    I slept in one of them. It had a small, rustic four-poster bed and the largest flatscreen television set I could recall seeing. There was a yellow notepad with some of his handwriting on it. It read: “Lesson 6: Solving systems by graphing”. There was also a leather-bound edition of Robert A. Heinlein’s science-fiction classic, Stranger in a Strange Land. No kidding.
    Computer genius
    McAfee was born in 1945 in England to an English mother and a US soldier fighting in the second world war. He described his father as “an alcoholic and abusive”. When McAfee was two the family moved to the US to a small town in Virginia, and into a society that he described as “very conservative, provincial, Christian: I had to go to chapel every week on Wednesday”. As if to ram home the point, he said, “I was an altar boy. I could probably quote the Bible from beginning to end.” To my surprise, he started to do just that and then interrupted himself with a “I never believed it.”
    School friends remember McAfee as pleasant, fun, fond of pranks but never to the extent of being a troublemaker. They also remember him as being good at school, in particular at maths, the subject he ended up studying at the nearby Roanoke College.
    He graduated in 1967, did a year of further maths studies at Virginia Tech and then stopped to think. “What am I doing studying mathematics?” he remembered asking himself. “I’m going to a place where other people told me to go.” So he said he dropped out, packed his bags and embarked on a life of adventure with a first stop, in 1969, at 11th and Broadway in New York. He landed squarely on his feet, getting a job there at Nasa – “I learned computers well and, from that experience, computers were just a natural for me.” The rest of the time, he said he just spent getting stoned and watching bands at the Fillmore East rock venue.
    During the heady days of the late 1980s McAfee became one of the computer era’s brightest stars. He breezed through a string of jobs in the tech industry, from a position at Xerox to working for Lockheed in California. That was when he came across a report of a virus. “My brother-in-law was reading a piece in the paper about a thing called the Pakistani brain, the world’s first computer virus. I go, ‘Let me see that,’ I snatch the newspaper out of his hands, read it and I started thinking, ‘What the f***?’ And then it came to me: ‘Oh, I know how they did this.’ And as soon as I saw how they did it, I saw how you could solve it … I know computers.”
    He phoned Dennis Yelle, a brilliant programmer, and asked him if he could write the code. He couldn’t remember but thought he had paid him $200 for the work. “Within six hours he had the program,” recalled McAfee. “A week later, I had McAfee. That was it. That is how it started.”
    McAfee’s genius lay not only in working out how to combat and eliminate the virus but also in his decision, and at a time when every software company in the world was obsessed with protecting their products, to give his antivirus program away for free.
    “I didn’t think there would be any more [viruses],” he said. “And I thought, that’s a flash in the pan. I’ll get this out for free and I’ll make a name … Well, I did make a name but then, immediately, more viruses cropped up … I called Dennis and said, ‘This is a completely different affair, but we can use the same program, here is what you have to do.’ Within a day, he had the program, I had it out and by then we were the number one antivirus provider because I gave it away for free. I didn’t sell it. Freeware. Take it, use it. Copy it.”
    The model was simple: get the program installed on to everyone’s computers, make a name, attract companies to use it and then charge the companies for the updates. “Eight months after I started, there was $10m in the bank.”
    ©Adam Thomson
    McAfee crossed his long, sinewy legs and lit up yet another cigarette. He appeared a little more relaxed than when I had arrived several hours previously, and seemed to be enjoying the memories. After the initial success the money was pouring in so fast, he said, that the bottom drawer in his filing cabinet at work was stuffed with cheques for $1,000 or less. “I didn’t have time to take them to the bank. There must have been $50,000 in that drawer.”
    At the insistence of his then partner, McAfee said that he moved out of his one-bedroom place in Santa Clara, in the heart of Silicon Valley, and into a $5m mansion in Santa Cruz. She also urged him to swap his beaten-up Datsun Z series sports car for a top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz. “I could care less … two beat-up cars would have been fine for me.” The longer McAfee talked, the stronger the impression grew that money had been at once a liberation and a burden to him. One mistake, he said, was building so many different properties around the world – at least 20. “The South Padre Island one? I spent $5m building it. I was there for a week. That’s how ridiculous life becomes … it’s a f***ing nightmare.”
    Inevitably, perhaps, he discovered yoga, which he embraced in the 1990s, establishing a yoga retreat in Colorado and even writing several books on the subject. One reviewer on described McAfee’s 2001 Into the Heart of Truth: The Spirit of Relational Yoga as “profoundly illuminating… the author is talking to nearly everyone that I know – he’s certainly talking to me.” But, as with most other things, he got bored of that, too, and began to look for the next big thing.
    McAfee admitted that life on the run was tough. But it was also clear that he fed off the drama, the media attention and the uncertainty of what the next day would bring. Change and upheaval had been persistent themes in his life; now he was living them to the extreme. In that spirit, I had little doubt that he embellished many of his stories.
    McAfee told me that he intended to leave Belize in the following few days. He sketched out a plan, how he would make the break and where he might go. But I also knew that he was living day to day and that his plans could and would change.
    We took some pictures, shook hands and said our farewells. There was just one more question, though: “Do you have McAfee antivirus on your computer?” He looked at me and put down his cigarette. “I take it off,” he said. “It’s too annoying.”
    As FT Weekend Magazine went to press, McAfee turned up in Guatemala, making his first public appearance in almost a month. His claim for asylum there was rejected by the authorities. Barring a successful last-minute appeal, he will be deported to Belize. McAfee was taken to hospital briefly on Thursday after suffering hypertension
    Adam Thomson is the FT’s Mexico and Central America correspondent

  2. NotaDog Avatar

    I found other dog stories in Belize news recently…

  3. Annette Avatar

    I have one or two I’m pretty sure did it!

    A little gallows humor!

  4. Annette Avatar

    Then why has he promised to give up the fight, if all of his conditions are met? I’m pretty sure that they won’t be, so I guess it’s a real Catch-22.

    As they say, Rome was not built in a day, & it fell a hell of a lot faster. At least systems have been put in place to stem the violence, but it is a big & very complicated machine. Start petitions, plan marches, commissions, neighborhood associations, picket, organize, let your voices be heard.

  5. Annette Avatar

    I’m sorry, but I don’t believe for one second that the police or any arm of the government had anything to do with either the poisoning of John’s dogs or the murder of Mr. Faull. This is not Haiti & the Tonton Macoute of Papa & Baby Doc Duvalier. The GSU was formed with assistance from the F. B. I. & while it may be flawed, it’s purpose is to fight the influx of the drug cartels into Belize, & the gang violence & murder directly tied to the sale & distribution of the drugs. All of the officers had to undergo very stringent background checks, lie detector tests, extensive training, all under the eye of the FBI, who did the same for Colombia on a much larger scale. Suggesting that any branch of the Belizean government would murder an innocent man, in order to “get” another one, is just preposterous. Believe me, if they truly wanted John McAfee dead, all they’d need is a sniper & he would have been dead or set up for a fall, long before.

    I suggest that possibly someone in John’s inner circle was very angry & upset that the dogs were killed, & decided to vindicate them. Many neighbors were angry about the dogs & had been for quite a long time, but it was Mr. Faull who put his face & name to the complaint, which was filed only a few days earlier. I think that whoever poisoned them, just got tired of waiting. That is the only sensible reason for his being murdered.  

  6. Frenchy Avatar

    Thank you for this comment, so informative and well written. I hope the expats living in Belize will read this and lend their support. It will be better for all in the long run.

  7. John McAfee Avatar

    I have received dozens of tipe but they all have ended at a blank wall. People will apparently do anything for money, including attempting to turn in uncles, cousins, employers, and, most frequently, ex-boyfriends.

  8. Glyn Avatar

    With wall to wall corruption and a seemingly general default position of fuck or be fucked its odd no one has claimed the reward for solving the murder ….. so far

  9. Travis Holub Avatar
    Travis Holub

    One must respect all of the expats living in Belize who rely on tourism or real estate for their livelihood. It looks like John has struck a lot of nerves with them and that is understandable. It also looks selfish that he will call off his attack if he gets an apology and Vidal is replaced. The whole issue is personal with John at this point, however, and it is not the other expats who are having to deal with the whole security apparatus of Belize directed at them. John is fighting for his personal liberty and perhaps even his life as well. Maybe he is making a spectacle of himself but that is his way of attracting attention to his cause, and it is certainly proving to be a valuable method of doing that.
    What the other expats who are mad at John need to realize is that by exposing the corrupt underbelly of Belize, he is necessitating a hard look at the situation. Whether his situation resolves or not is irrelevant at this point. Belize is getting attention for the worst of its practices. No long term expat (of whatever political persuasion) can say that they were not filled with indignation when Ralph Fonseca was minister and said that all the scandal about him would “blow over like di breeze”. No expat could listen to the Gaspar Vega land interview and say, “oh what a lovely fellow. He pillages the government and then says that his family deserved the special government land deals because they are all hard working people”. These kind of things are endemic to Belize and since they stretch from top to bottom there, it leaves the whole country in a mess.
    I do not know if what John is doing will have any lasting effect on Belize. I hope it will at least help tone down the upper levels of corruption there by the most powerful and the richest government officials. Anything can help. But I also think that the other expats need to understand that Belize has become corrupt beyond what was considered “normal” under the last administration. Things appear LESS corrupt on the surface because this administration is not as upfront and brazen about it (barring Mr Vega and a couple others), but this administration has taken two very sharp turns for the worse in my opinion. First, the expropriations were ridiculous and completely counter-productive. Is anyone getting better service and great lower rates on anything expropriated by the government? And would not a much better purpose have been served by bringing in competition like TelMex and cell operators out of Guatemala, to challenge BTL (the local phone company that got expropriated/nationalized) and for them to get the message? Now the government is tied up in court for years of legal battles that in themselves cost millions (all going to Barrow’s ex wife— no conflict of interest there!) and nobody knows what the final bill will be for this folly once all the interest and court bills are calculated.
    Secondly, Belize has become more violent. Both the police and the judicial system is failing the people. Faull’s murder is a high profile case and John is in the center of the hurricane there because of who he is, but so many people get killed in Belize every year and people get away with it because murder has become common now. After seeing so much violence and hearing so much of it on the news (and all around Belize is even worse, with Honduras having the highest murder rate in the world), Belizeans are getting blasé about murder. They are getting cynical. I know because I lived there and I saw it and I started feeling the same way. Not so many years ago, Belize’s corruption tended to stop where human life was concerned. Say what you want, but that was somewhat acceptable to many people. But now even murder is just a bribeable offense, an offense where witnesses get no protection from the state and will never testify because they are literally scared for their lives. Belize is slipping into an anarchic state that goes past the libertarian idea of a small government and gets into kill or be killed, rob or be robbed. It is difficult to define just where Belize passed over the line, but John’s whole case is symptomatic of what is going on now. The GSU is more interested in intimidating political enemies and rivals who don’t pay up, than in actually fighting crime.
    And I do believe that the minister of security is sincere in his desire to fight crime and even his idea of shipping off youth offenders to the Pine Ridge is not all bad. But it just shows that things are getting a bit desperate there if that is what it takes to right the ship. And I am not at all convinced that these ideas will work since in Belize, the real hard ass criminals don’t end up in jail or, if they do, then they get out whenever a trial comes up for them since no witnesses will appear and the police who have to give evidence will have conveniently “misplaced” the evidence.
    So for all the expats out there in Belize that hate John or wish that he would just shut up, think about the real issues and problems in Belize and ask yourself if he is not doing some good by bringing them into open question. When the corruption was just low level stuff that could be ignored, that was one thing, but now the whole society is getting a bit toxic with violence and higher level graft and intimidation of political opponents. I know that people rallied to get rid of the PUP after all of the Fonseca scandals. Many have not even forgiven the PUP to this date. But now we are in a whole new world where Belize is suffering and needs help. Maybe Barrow can change course and help his country, but he will need some fresh ideas. Targeting rich foreigners like McAfee begs the question “why?” It won’t help Belize and, as idiosyncratic as John is, I do not think that a single GOB top brass thinks he actually committed the murder. So why don’t they talk to him on the phone or even on videoconferencing? At this point, the issues are far deeper than John’s problem and John is probably wrong to say that he will shut up about them just because he gets an apology and Vidal gets moved out. But I expect that John will work behind the scenes in Belize, at grass roots levels and beyond, if he comes back. And I would expect that he would try to bring about other reforms in Belize if he can live there in peace. Other expats should take note that he is not the type of guy to give up on things or leave them half done.
    I feel bad for expats who perceive that this blog is hurting their livelihood in Belize. But everything has a silver lining and this one may be that even powerful Belizeans are getting a mirror placed in front of them and are seeing some ugliness that needs to be changed. Belize is indeed a very special country and has many really good people. I have always thought that Belize deserved better governance and a better structure of authority to reflect the decency and innocence of many of its people. John may have a very unorthodox way of looking at things, but I tend to think that he thinks somewhat similarly.

  10. SHERRYM Avatar

    hi john glad to see u are still hanging in there. keep Sam safe and yourself. Sam, just don’t worry about your haters, all of us are not as fortunate as other and sometimes life just is not a bed of roses. Whatever happens in the end just know that you are a good person that stood by the side of another in his time of need, and in my eyes that makes you an exceptional human.

  11. John McAfee Avatar

    Has not been taken of to my knowlege

  12. Gina Avatar

    I watched a video yesterday from a neighbor that relocated to Belize7 years ago, his purpose was to share the beauty of the area and get the point across that it is a safe area to relocate a family with even children. I believe he is a local real estate agent. What are your thoughts on this?

  13. Oh Hey It's That Guy Again... Avatar
    Oh Hey It’s That Guy Again…

    Where does his anger come from? Seriously, I have nothing but respect for Samantha. Rumsrite, you don’t even know her. I don’t know her. But I do know enough that I respect her. She has had to make some very tough choices, choices that I don’t have to make in my cushy life in America. I can’t even imagine waking up every day with the possibility of going to jail for no good reason, and never seeing the sun again. Rumsrite, you are ignorant and your comments reveal your ignorance. Begone!

  14. ITHelp Avatar

    Hey John,
    I’m from the States and have lived in SP for some years now. If there is anything (as long as it isn’t illegal) that I can do for you, let me know. I’ve set a rule on my [email protected] account to fwd anything with your name in the subject line or body to my everyday used email. If you need hot food, water, phone, computer, (i’m a computer guy so anything tech wise…albeit 1980 tech wise since we are in SP) anything man just let me know. I have my dirtbike and can be anywhere in SP pretty quick, south or north of the bridge. I feel for you man. I hope you come out of this alright. Do me a favor though and don’t post this publicly.

  15. rumsrite Avatar

    Some joke bonkers. I’ve had posts go through after u posted that

  16. Aryeh Goretsky Avatar


    A quick search of articles on the Financial Times’ web site reveals that Mr. Thomson writes mostly about Mexico. Therefore, it is likely to assume he is located somewhere in Mexico.


    Aryeh Goretsky

  17. Frenchy Avatar

    Acccording to another expat who has now left Belize, it is common practice for the authorities to throw out poison meat for stray dogs or dogs that are a nuisance for the tourist. Perhaps this is the case here as there was a complaint. See this link to read her story. Just a theory but I think a good one. His neighbor most likely did not poison his dogs and John, like most of the residents there, was probably keenly aware of this pratice, I can imagine.

  18. Frenchy Avatar

    Sorry, typo “there are”

  19. Frenchy Avatar

    The expats are no fools. To support John means trouble for themselves (perhaps their dogs will also be poisoned and they will also be accussed of something they did not do, or worse, their beautiful homes will be no longer). This is in addition to what will happen to their preciuos property values and vacation rental income. Just a theory. Their are also blogs for the ex-expats..I suggest you read some of those as they mirror the information presented in this blog.

  20. Frenchy Avatar

    Samantha, there are always ignorant and disgusting people who hide behind their rude words on the Internet. Do not pay attention, let them go, they are not worth a single minute of your precious time, which is for the moment very precious. You are courageous and strong and there are those of us following your difficult situation that do not judge you or your relationship but are supportive of your plight. Just read the comments that have something interesting to say or that give you strength. Good luck.

  21. Lolo Avatar

    John ,
    You have found something in your lab/home/lifestyle that is truly
    hypersexual….but there is a huge problem ….It causes you to totally fuck
    Yourself and everyone around you.
    Best of Luck
    Malama Pono

  22. Bewitched , Bothered and Bewildered Avatar
    Bewitched , Bothered and Bewildered

    I so enjoyed reading the story about Sam, in her own words, and wondered why the moderator has taken it off the blog? It was raw, honest and eloquent in its primitive simplicity. It gave me more insight into the lives of the “real” young women of Belize and their balls of steel….. its a necessary attribute in a hard knocks life and her current “vibrant chaos ” adventure and cause
    ” Who is John McAfee ” is fortunate to have such a loyal protector and defender, who loves, no matter What.. or Why.
    keep her safe .. and take gentle care of eachother . I wish you well.

  23. Tybee Tomcat Avatar
    Tybee Tomcat

    You can only balance this fucked universe so much, for so far for so long John. So my question for you is, what’s your plan, man.

  24. WEB Avatar

    just an fyi for you. rumsrite last visible post is 11/25 @ 5:17 am., almost 3 hours after your post. Glad you deleted him for being such a pig to Sam, but I guess there is a glitch. 🙂

  25. StuffMongerFan Avatar

    “an advise column for lovers”

    Oh, I would love to see that. I’m sure your advice would be fairly controversial though 😉

  26. WEB Avatar

    Hi John,
    I have been following you with great intrigue since the story broke. Like many, I don’t believe you had anything to do with Mr. Faull’s death, and am more inclined to believe you were the intended target. I am curious about your above response, in particular, the part about “turning the blog into a glowing travelogue for travelers to Belize” if your three requests were satisfied. With everything you have posted, right down to the step by step instructions on getting through a checkpoint, how could you justify your complete change of heart about the plethora of crime, corruption and deplorable conditions? With no offense meant, an apology to you and the release of your friends means nothing in the big scheme of things. You have now enlightened us all to the plight of Belize, and your great desire to change it’s current conditions. Certainly the apology and the releases should be done, but by your own description, your friends do have legitimate charges….they may be antiquated, or self serving but you said yourself that the laws in Belize allow that. As far as an apology to you, I don’t see it. Ever. So that leaves us with the replacement of the GSU Head correcting all the evils you previously mentioned in order for this glowing travelogue to make any sense at all. In my mind, I see him as the Prison Head from Midnight Express (great movie) who wielded great power, and struck fear into any who dared disagree with him. Replacing him probably would have a positive effect, but the type of corruption you have painted a picture of contains a large element of “trickle down” crime, which could take decades to correct/stop. I mean, how does a new GSU Head stop the checkpoint payoffs, or the cops who plant drugs just to get some extra pocket money? Then there are the criminals and gangs roaming around, still to be dealt with, plus, perhaps most importantly, replacing him will not fix the poverty that precipitates much of the crime. Maybe you were just being flippant with the travelogue comment, knowing full well that these three things will never happen, and your great sense of humor did the writing for you. Personally, I don’t want to see you give up the fight you’ve started for this Country just as it’s gaining International attention, simply because you get an apology (+). It’s a great relief to hear that there is finally a journalist who will be writing a story worth reading, and that’s reflective of the real events of the last weeks and months, instead of a sensationalized self serving piece….ie: Josh whats his name, lol. I look forward to the article(s) in the LFT, and wish you and Sam luck and safety in your journey. Hope you take a minute to answer my question, thanks.

  27. John McAfee Avatar

    You were not there. Why don’t you ask Adam how he felt? We just got off the phone with him. He had a great time and loved Sam. She is simply blunt. I am more blunt. I told him that she has more balls than me so welcome to the club. His embarrassment was temporary.

  28. John McAfee Avatar

    God bless you my friend

  29. deb d Avatar
    deb d

    Good evening John, As this day ends I find myself looking back at everything you have shared here. Thanks for writing about your past experience with drugs as I can relate to you a little better there than on a tech pioneer level. As a recovering addict of crystal meth, I have paranoia myself; unlike CRAZY paranoia when I was using, the only paranoia/fear these days is if I come in contact with anyone who is using. and, yes it can be that obvious but only to someone who has known it way to well and paid dearly for having known. So John, I find your paranoia to be normal and hope you continue to use it as another self-defense mechanism. Well wishes from Atlanta for your safety!!

  30. rumsrite Avatar

    Maybe u should go on adam carolla instead of rogan. If joe is high he mite get wishywashy

  31. cmonman Avatar

    You publicly embarrassed Adam in front of thousands by saying he doesn’t have any balls simply because he rightfully realized he shouldn’t put himself in danger (he was probably thinking of his family) over a story that’s really not all that important. And now you’re ridiculing other people for “talking shit” and being negative? That aint right!

  32. John McAfee Avatar

    The GSU is the enforcement arm of the governemnt. If the head is replaced, I believe fully that those who whish to speak out will feel free to do so.

  33. Annette Avatar

    I am sure I will be pounced on for my comments. I hope not. I do not mean to offend, but I am the type of person that needs to see everything in black & white, from all angles. Certainly you can respect that. Good evening & be well.

  34. John McAfee Avatar

    I will of course turn myself in for questioning in that event.

  35. Dan Avatar

    Hi John,

    I read on this blog you are using TOR to stay anonymous online. After you have resolved this conflict I think you should set about developing anonymity software.

    I realize you are occupied by more pressing issues but If you get a moment can you tell us about your technical wizardry. What you code in, the maths you have learnt, how you build software.



  36. JoJo Avatar

    I do not feel you are asking for much. Those three (3) items are justice. If indeed everything were above board, than this situation would be over and you would be safe in your home. Many people are elated that someone (as Sam would say) has the balls to show the curruption for what it is. Jo

  37. Annette Avatar

    Do you really believe that apologies for you & your 3 friends, along with replacing one man in the police force, will fix or change the enormous amount of graft & corruption in Belize? That it will stop all of the crime & violence & the business as usual attitude that has been illustrated not only by the many articles mentioned, but also by the personal experiences of many posters?

    This seems to suggest that you are somehow special, & that only you are deserving of these apologies, almost a personal vendetta against the Prime Minister & Vidal, head of the GSU. Do you plan to provide the proof that either or both of them are actually responsible for extorting money from you, plotting against you, or planning bodily harm in an attempt to get you. So far, I’ve not seen nor heard any verifiable evidence of this, & clear audio, together with video would most certainly satisfy those who are still unconvinced. I think all of us are looking forward to the evidence proving once & for all that these accusations are valid & that you deserve true vindication.

    I sincerely doubt that removing one man will deliver 90% worth of relief to the people of Belize, & the apologies would only serve a rather transitory purpose, mainly benefiting you. I’m entirely confused as to the inherent value of this approach, especially as once granted, you would agree to vacate your passionate cause of freeing the Belizeans from repression, corruption, & hardship & simply return to your life of leisure, devoid of any controversy.

    And what of being questioned about Mr. Faull’s murder? Would you agree to answer any questions they may have & take responsibility for the consequences? Assuming that you had no knowledge or participation, then this seems perfectly reasonable, but I am not confidant that the government of Belize will take very kindly to being strong armed, especially as the Prime Minister played no active role in the raid on your property. Please excuse my saying so, but it seems rather self-serving. Maybe you have yet to produce the big guns that will seal the deal, but I am patient & will not give up up. Meanwhile, I can’t wait to see the December interview!

  38. John McAfee Avatar

    I need feet on the ground. I’ll be in touch.

  39. Nightrider Avatar

    It’s good to hear that you are straight with Washington. I live in San Pedro and actually almost ran into you while riding my bike once on front street. You jumped backward and said, “Sorry Sir”. This stuck in my mind because I look like about a 20 year old kid (lol). Anyhow, didn’t seem like an arrogant prick who thinks he’s better than everyone else. Take care and let me know if you need some feet on the ground back here. You have my email address.

  40. John McAfee Avatar

    I have not called them. I am old and, if my detractors are correctl, possibly paranoid. But I am no fool. I speak frequently with officials in Washington, but no-one here. All will be corrected in time.

  41. Nightrider Avatar

    Well, my previous post was related to the current conversations on that message board regarding you. There is a participant who goes by her actual name of Katie Valk. She has been calling you a coward, sociopath, pervert, and so on. She is also a volunteer warden for the U.S. embassy in Belize and is supposedly involved in the “hunt” for you. What does this woman’s unprofessional behavior and apparent hatred for you tell us about both the U.S. and Belize authorities? I think you can use this information to show why you will not even cooperate with the “friendly” U.S. embassy here.

  42. John McAfee Avatar

    I have no opinion of their opinion. Re-submit your post. Don’t know what happened to it.

  43. Nightrider Avatar

    Is there a reason that my last post to you isn’t visible anywhere? I can’t tell if I broke some kind of rule or something. Also, do you read the Ambergris Caye Belize Message Board? Many expats are sharing their 2 cents worth about your situation, but very few have been kind. What is your opinion of these fellow gringos and neighbors who seem so eager to badmouth and prejudge you?

  44. John McAfee Avatar

    As a joke on Rumsrite, he is apparently still posting, not being aware that his posts are automatically deleted. Not very smart was he?

  45. John McAfee Avatar

    1. Release my friends, with a full apology.

    2. Remove Marco Vidal as head of the GSU. He needs a desk job somewhere. Replace him with someone with a heart. An Ex San Pedro Police Superintendent comes to mind. This will remove 90% of the oppression that this government inflicts on the people.

    3. A public apology from the Prime Minister for the April raid on my property.

    If those three things happen, I will turn this blog into a glowing travelogue for travelers to Belize, or an advise column for lovers, or a blog about cooking, or anything that is bland and non-controversial.

    If these things do not happen, this blog will continue in its current form. I have been preparing this blog for many months and have enough pre-written material to keep it going for a year, even if I am arrested and personally silenced. My compatriots will continue to post my material, even if I am killed. Especially if I am killed.

  46. Connie Avatar


  47. SL Avatar

    You add nothing to the human conversation with talk like that.

    Samantha is John’s companion and confidante. She is an adult. Attacking her character because of who she chooses to be with is rude. She tells it like it is because that is who she is. This does not make her rude.

  48. Fiona Avatar

    John, would you please provide a brief outline of what it is you want/need to quit your present life in the twilight zone and reenter “regular life”? Something like:

    – release of my imprisoned friends
    – ?
    – ?
    – ?

  49. rumsrite Avatar

    I bet if u turned yourself in they would let your “friends ” go. But im sure their friendship dont mean nothing to u!

  50. another old timer Avatar
    another old timer

    This is a huge point that should be stressed. I have not
    seen this in other posts and I have read them all.
    This is important to observers.

    Keep the blog going it is awesome.

  51. Annette Avatar

    It was a completely disgusting & unnecessary remark, as it would be about any woman. Now that is the kind of poster that deserves to be permanently blocked, so good riddance. I do appreciate your allowing some opposing views, as there is no discussion without at least 2 sides. Democracy is based on it.

    Samantha, that comment would have lit a nuclear bomb under me, so I applaud your comeback. The c word is the most derogatory in the English language, as it is mainly used to show utter disrespect for women, but men who use it, are just showing their inability to express themselves coherently, as well as their having a greatly undersized peepee! I like your fighting spirit. Reminds me of someone I know really well….

  52. Rob Avatar

    Stay safe, bro. Rooting for ya.

  53. KillHate Avatar

    Mac, glad to hear you are safe and in the company of a what sounds like a “real woman”. I’m sorry for your troubles and I hope that it all resolves itself quickly. The biggest lesson I ever learned from you was how much responsibility it is to be super wealthy and well known. Neither of which seem that appealing (ok, modest wealth would be fine)…the entourage, extortionists and the beggars, well just never looked like much fun.


  54. Connie Avatar

    Thank you Samantha for responding to him and Thank you John for banning him.

  55. bandontherun Avatar

    I miss when I was one of only a few dozen people following Mac.

    Now the world has been informed and reacts.

    Opportunists come out of the woodwork.

    What makes mnakind different than Belize? Nothing!

    This whole saga is human nature at it’s primal. Isn’t everyone out for themselves in one way or another?

  56. getrealeh Avatar

    Samantha for Prime Minister of Belize!

  57. deb d Avatar
    deb d

    Rumsrite, Do you know Samantha personally?

  58. davidd Avatar

    Agreed that FT is the only newspaper left that could be considered real journalism.

    The first time I read a copy of FT my mind could not understand what I was reading… The sheer lack of bias confused its normal processing abilities.

  59. John McAfee Avatar

    I approved your comment only because Sam wanted an opportunity to reply. I am banning your account and your Domain address. If anyone else here is affected by this banning please email Chad, tell him, and we will fix it.

  60. samantha Avatar

    let me tell you something. look in the mirrow and you will see who is the cunt,first of all you dont know anything about me you just saw my pictuer and to say what you say just shows that you are a low class idote who dont know anything about the cultuer or bueaty that i living and it is also clear to me that you are an uneducated silly ass men who cleary dont have anything possitive to do then talking shit about peolpe especial someone like me you make me feel important by wasting your precious and sweet word of me thank you!lmao oh and advice to you from me sr. please get a life and wast your time on it than making me so famouse, realy i dont need it. i feel sory for you and please do me a favor and stay off the page we dont need your shade post nor a negative ass like you thank you sr have a good day .

  61. OriginalWoman Avatar

    Ugnuegne you sound like a taliban member….your comments make no sense. You sound sick and hateful!!!

  62. OriginalWoman Avatar

    You really sound sick!!!

  63. Annette Avatar

    “they deserve to die like the evil neighbor”.
    “and the neighbor murdered is annoying as fuk”

    Wow, that is just priceless.

  64. Connie Avatar

    Why the personal attacks and name calling? I happen to admire her moxy. She is on the run and has lived a rougher life than those of us born elsewhere would ever comprehend. I would be a little tough on someone (if I was on the run) that I had made extra efforts to get to me and spent time that I didn’t have a lot of and after 4 hours he was ready to leave. Sleep deprived, probably. Hungry, obviously. I don’t think anyone has John McAfee “whipped” in any form or fashion. He appears to be one step ahead in everything he does. Who he chooses to keep company with is not for me to judge. If I was on the run in a foreign country and I was his age, I would want someone just like Samantha with me. She knows the land, people, food etc. Remember she asked to go with him.

  65. rumsrite Avatar

    That whore he travels with sounds like a rude cunt that has him whooped. Lol

  66. a man who understands Avatar
    a man who understands

    John as a programmer, I not only believe you, but i respect you and would sincerely enjoy talking to you.

    holla back, continue being genius.

  67. McAfee4President Avatar

    It will be nice to read something from a decent reporter.
    All these other clowns are just looking for article hits by using ridiculous headlines..
    Looking forward to reading it John!
    Stay safe.

  68. Connie Avatar

    Just read your latest tweets about Adam’s visit! LMAO about the iguana. When your hungry, you’ll eat anything. You can’t keep scaring off the good guys though! Just smile and say, “Next”. Isn’t ironic that Samantha is trying to calm the reporter when she is running for her life? She’s one tough cookie. I see why you keep her with you. Congratulations on over 6000 twitter followers.

  69. ugneugne Avatar

    wow john replies to the guests it is awesomeeeeeee
    Im much angry! only a evil bastard can poison dogs or all animals of this world …..all animasl are really pure soul.
    why those damned wan’t to jail you they deserve to die like the evil neighbour
    john something of great it’s protecting you,you can doing all actions because what you do is right and you can not be hurted
    so let’s start bombing in some manner those who want arresting u and change country they can’t do anything without real evidence’s
    john mcafee evacuate from belize and a start of tabula rasa begins against belize.
    The listeners of human silenced emotions

  70. Connie Avatar

    All for now. Thanks for answering quickly. Btw, I have been a friend of Bill W. since 1992.

  71. Connie Avatar

    Thanks for explaining about the recorders. Is someone staying at your place now?

  72. FarangDong Avatar

    Random typing of gibberish, Anyone can do it

    Qed nuur th uwgp. Ntml htdm dzfp gbu hcb. Xzpq yhivstj. YII!!

    It may seem Blaise to the average Frenchmen. For the Key, Illuminati. Thats were they are from. Safe passage my friend

  73. John McAfee Avatar

    December 7th or 8th was my agreement with Adam.

  74. John McAfee Avatar

    My recording devices from the front and rear of my property were stolen 5 weeks ago and the new shipment from the States has not arrived. It’s the reason I fired my entire security staff five weeks ago. I then hired a single bodyguard – William Mulligan, who is now in jail.

  75. ugneugne Avatar

    I believe you John but even if you kill the killed guy you ar right because he deserved
    I have much animals in my house and i think i kill too if they be killed by or cause of the neighbour!
    And fire arms are awesome to shoot so the nighbour need to change house if he doesn’t like shoots fire. or fireworks because it is a hobby shot fire arms in the garden like who prune plants
    the world is beautiful because of magic people and the neighbour murdered is annoying as fuk lol
    And i think belize is a beautiful country but it’s creepy with those all coloured humans around it as the crimes of the ku klux klan ha ha

  76. Connie Avatar

    Finally it seems as though you found someone you trust to tell some of your story. I have to ask you a question that I have been wondering about from the beginning. Did you get recordings from when the dogs were poisoned? In other words, do you know who poisoned them? You seem adamant that it wasn’t Mr. Faull almost as though you know who did it. You did state that you had cameras on them. Just curious.

  77. ugneugne Avatar

    John McAfee is my master of life.
    Greets from italy and i hope you ar oke john

  78. Gaby Avatar

    Do you know when it will be published? You have to subscribe to read articles on the LFT. Great pub. Looking forward to reading it. I suppose he will tell us why he was so scared or will you?

  79. Mike Diamonds Avatar
    Mike Diamonds

    Ha! Wonder where he is now…