REPORTER: David O'Shea
And now a message from JOHN MCAFEE. Founder, McAfee Software.
JOHN MCAFEE, FOUNDER MCAFEE SOFTWARE: Fuck. Send, send.
A few months ago this bizarre video appeared on YouTube.
JOHN MCAFEE: Hello there. My name is John McAfee. I'm the founder of the McAfee Anti-Virus Software Company. Although I have had nothing to do with this company for over 15 years, I still get volumes of mail asking ‘how do I uninstall this software'. I have no idea.
He packs a lot of craziness into the 4-minute video and finishes by ridiculing the multi-billion dollar anti-virus software company that bears his name.
JOHN MCAFEE: 15 years ago I had beautiful software and they took it over. I don't know what they did. It's like the time I got that Bangkok prostitute to do my taxes while I fucked my accountant. it's the same thing but I know what to do... I know exactly what to do- believe me I've got a fucking solution right here - SHOOTS
Hello. My name is John McAfee.
His second short video being edited here today is no less provocative.
JOHN MCAFEE: You can't tell that she is actually giving me head. Isn't there a shot of her looking up over the desk?
REPORTER: Why are you producing these short filming?
JOHN MCAFEE: Why not? Because I'm 67 and bored, that's one reason. It's a lot of fun. I get to hang out with cute girls who are scantily clad, that is number 2 and Number 3, I get to say something that the world will actually listen to that you can't edit.
McAfee is a renounced prankster and I know he particularly enjoys tricking journalists so I'm on high alert there the outset.
JOHN MCAFEE: Let's go all the way back. My first trip to the Amazon when I went to Ecuador and went down the river and first tasted human flesh, the attraction for human flesh was like so profound that when I came back to the States and they accused me of eating small children, I wasn't sure I'd actually done it or not.
REPORTER: You realise I can't use any of this.
JOHN MCAFEE: You realise that none of that actually happened, so... You're clever to catch on to it that fast.
In the second video, in his own sneaky way, he addresses the accusations being levelled against him.
JOHN MCAFEE: The four most popular factual questions are - number one - did I murder my neighbour in Belize? Was I manufacturing illegal drugs in Central America? Was I having sex with underage girls and... Was I using bath salts? I can answer a resounding no to all three of those questions.
In 2008, taking a Caribbean sea change, McAfee bought this beach home on the tourist enclave of Ambergris Caye in Belize. His behaviour there wasn't what the locals were used to - armed guards, aggressive dogs, and a steady stream of teenage girls sharing his bed. Then in November last year his near neighbour, Greg Faull, a 52-year-old American retiree, was found dead in his home. The victim of an execution-style murder. McAfee instantly became a suspect.
JOHN MCAFEE: I am not charged with anything. There is not a shred of evidence - the police themselves say, "We have no evidence against Mr McAfee". There is nothing.
The fact that he went on the run following the murder turned McAfee into a full-time celebrity, with everyone, including Hollywood, wanting a piece of the action. He is cashing in, too, selling his life story to a production company, who are making an autobiographical documentary.
JOHN MCAFEE: That of course was the result of the hallucinogenic quality of whatever drug he had given me.
McAfee developed a serious drug habit in the 70s and 80's including while he worked as a programmer at NASA ... He even dealt drugs for a while - but says he hasn't touched any for 35 years.... To me, he just seems high on life.
JOHN MCAFEE: Awesome, my friend. Thank you.
He was already rich by the time he sold his company in the early 1990s for $100 million. Who knows how much money he has now, although these days his life is considerably down-sized. He lives in a small rental apartment with only one girlfriend and two dogs.
REPORTER: I suppose some people watching this are going to be a bit confused, they would expect you to live in a marbled mansion or something.
JOHN MCAFEE: I live in the safest place. Right now, you notice we are right on the corner, on the top of the building. There is no-one who can get anywhere close who I cannot see. Who am I most worried about? I don't have a clue. I do know that the world knows or thinks that I have money and lots of it. They perceive me as an old weak man and an easy target.
For McAfee it's not about paranoia, but about being prepared. He's the first to admit that without being a little paranoid he would never have thought up the idea for his anti-virus software.
REPORTER: Have you always carried guns, even in 30 years ago?
JOHN MCAFEE: Since I started Mcafee yes, everywhere. The thought is that they can kidnap me cut off my ear and send it to his wife or his company or somebody. Someone is going to give us a few million bucks just to let him go.
His security detail are ready for anything.
SECURITY: This is an M14 - A mini 14 Ruger. I got that one and then I got my noisy cricket. Close and personal. Its my backup
REPORTER: And you've used these things before?
SECURITY: If I have to.
JOHN MCAFEE: This is an ex-cop, ex-military. I'm an ex-programmer.
REPORTER: Who are you most worried about here in Portland? It's a quiet place, a long way - it's not a particularly dangerous city?
JOHN MCAFEE: You know, what is a dangerous city? Dangerous to whom? Probably not dangerous to you. Bill Gates who lives in a far safer city surrounds himself with hundreds of security people who are highly armed and very aggressive. We read in the paper yesterday where his people attacked some journalists that got too close to him. Is he paranoid? And he lives in a far safer city than this.
McAfee's girlfriend, Janice Dyson, is a former stripper and prostitute. They first met in Miami.
JANICE DYSON: He was visiting and from Belize. I met him on South Beach. He was at the cafe, having a cup of coffee and I'd walk by with my girlfriend and when he saw my butt he said that he had to know who I was and so he told me I have the finest ass in Miami, which...
REPORTER: Quite a compliment?
JANICE DYSON: Quite a compliment, it's very true, very true.
REPORTER: So you saw him as a potential client?
JANICE DYSON: Yes - a potential client.
I've come to Belize to find out more about John McAfee's life here. Below is the idyllic Ambergris Caye, an island which flanks the world's second-largest barrier reef. That is where McAfee bought his beach house but I'm travelling to another property he bought on the mainland near Orange Walk, the second biggest city in Belize, with a population of 14,000 people on the fringes of the jungle.
It was here that he set up his laboratory - apparently with big plans to make medicines from the native plants and who knows - maybe even to discover the world's next wonder drug. My guide to the now-deserted compound is one of his former girlfriends, Samantha Vanegas. She lives next door in a house that he gave her after she started working for him.
REPORTER: Which one is the lab?
SAMANTHA VANEGAS: The green building. I used to work at his lab first before me and he started messing around. I know a little bit about doing the medicines. Right over here was like a big long table with, you know, science stuff and then over here there were the measuring machines and blenders and all that stuff. Not much in here.
REPORTER: So what were you actually researching in that laboratory?
JOHN MCAFEE: Antibiotics, based on a new science called quorum sensing - a very, very exciting field.
REPORTER: What do you know about that? Where is your expertise in that?
JOHN MCAFEE: I have none whatsoever but I have a great interest in it.
When he needed a break from tinkering in the laboratory, McAfee used to visit this bar in town but he wasn't here for the beer or the sophisticated atmosphere. It was the readily-available young girls he was after and the owner helped him find them.
PASUS: Well, I was the one, you know, that helped John to meet a lot of beautiful girls.
REPORTER: Excuse my question, but are you a pimp?
PASUS: Ah, not really. When John always come to see me I tell John, John, which one of these girls you like? You say the word I put it in the plane, yes.
McAfee would then have the girls flown over to his beach house. He settled on 7 favourites.
JOHN MCAFEE: Was I really living with 7 women in Belize? Now that's a tricky one. There were in fact days when all 7 were present. These are the 7 women: from left... Amy 2, Amy 1, Marcia, Angie, Timesha, Zaira and dear Samantha.
Dear Samantha remembers her relationship with McAfee as torrid and tiring.
SAMANTHA: His sex had to last long. I mean, you can't give him one or two hours - he wants more a day. You have to be in that bed from morning until the next day and if you can continue to 7 days, that's sex for him.
JOHN MCAFEE: Another common question is - did these women really try to kill me? Not all of them, of course. In fact, fewer than 50 per cent tried to kill me.
REPORTER: You did try to shoot him in the head, right?
AMY EMSHWILLER: I did.
AMY EMSHWILLER: I was jealous and tired of him. I guess. I also tried to cut his throat but he just leaned against the wall and said, "Do it".
JOHN MCAFEE: Let's include her second attempt in here too.
INTERVIEWER: You tried to shoot him?
AMY EMSHWILLER: Aha.
JOHN MCAFEE: And then this cuts to - "I also tried to cut his throat". I'm still deaf in my left ear from a gunshot fired at close range when Amy tried to shoot me in the head.
Amy Emshwiller was only 16 when she moved into McAfee's beach house. That is her to the left of McAfee in this photo taken on his jetty. That is Samantha on the other side. McAfee believes she also tried to kill him.
SAMANTHA: I was fed up of him doing stuff to me and I don't do anything, and I just picked up the gun and said, "I'm gonna kill you". He took it as a threat.
There was a witness to the madness at McAfee's beach house. He'd invited an American cartoonist to Belize to produce a comic book about his life. Chad Essley struggled to find any humour in the situation.
CHAD ESSLEY, CARTOONIST: The situation there was kind of tense, with some of the people he was surrounding himself with, or people who are moving against him in some way and it wasn't very funny. To me, I think there were a few dangers there that were - it was just not a good - it was not a good scene.
One chapter recreates the night Amy tried to kill McAfee.
CHAD ESSLEY: But I closed my eyes - maybe I didn't want to see the shooting because by then maybe I had grown to like him. So that's a little teaser.
REPORTER: Why do you think she tried to kill him?
CHAD ESSLEY: I think just for the - for money.
CHAD ESSLEY: I think, it must have been either like a lovers spat, or money or both, or gang stuff. They fought a lot.
It was either generosity or self-interest that prompted McAfee to donate masses of equipment to the Belizian Police - guns, handcuffs, tasers, pepper stray, batons... Back in Orange Walk, he even built them a police station.
JOHN MCAFEE: I bought a number of fully automatic weapons. When they used to drive by my house in their trucks, they would take the automatic weapons and do like Che Guevara, like "Thank you". They felt empowered.
But McAfee was ruffling feathers by employing thugs and ex-criminals for his security team. He appointed himself as a crime fighter to chase off the local drug dealers and had some success but he says his troubles began when he refused to pay a large bribe to a senior politician.
JOHN MCAFEE: There were probably $1 million a year or $2 million a year out of his pocket when I saw the drug dealers out. In his mind it was simply, "You owe it to me".
REPORTER: What happened next?
JOHN MCAFEE: He went away and I thought, cool, that's the end of that thing and then a week later I was raided by a 42 armed soldiers.
McAfee believes it was payback by the politician when his compound was raided in April last year on suspicion he was making illegal drugs in his laboratory.
JOHN MCAFEE: I came out naked with a handgun. I laid mine down as soon as I saw the soldiers marching in formation down my driveway. I put my pants on, went back outside, before I could even get outside the door I was grabbed, thrown up against the wall, a piece of paper was shoved in my face, "In is the warrant". The day was pretty much a nightmare.
He tells me they held him for hours in handcuffs and shot his dog in front of his eyes. Whether or not they really believed McAfee was producing illegal drugs, they found nothing.
JOHN MCAFEE: Half the town worked for me at one point in time or other and worked in the laboratory collecting flowers and processing antibiotics, so it was - everybody knew I wasn't doing that. But they had to have some legal reason to raid me.
McAfee was arrested on weapons charges, but then released. He is still seething from the injustice and has been complaining about it ever since.
JOHN MCAFEE: This will blow... I am not going to fucking be quiet - you shot my fucking dog, you destroyed my fucking property and you tortured me. I am not going to shut the fuck up.
He returned to his beach house on the island and continued his tirade against the Belizean Government. Then four months after the raid on his laboratory, the murder of Greg Faull shocked the island. The American ex-patriot lived three houses down from McAfee and had to walk past his armed guards and dogs to get to a bar further along the beach. The dogs were noisy and intimidating. Greg Faull made a formal complaint to the council and told anyone who would listen that he was going to poison them.
JOHN MCAFEE: We didn't have a relationship in five years. I spoke less than 50 words to this man. None of them were bad words. In the last couple of months, I did speak to him twice and both times he said, "You gotta do something about your dogs". I would go, "I agree, they're annoying me, too, and I'm trying everything I can do."
Then one night in November last year, some of McAfee's dogs were poisoned. When his guards discovered them dying, he says he shot them to put them out of their misery, a day later Greg Faull was killed in his home with a single bullet to the back of his head. Many Belizeans believe McAfee was responsible.
REPORTER: Did you kill your neighbour?
JOHN MCAFEE: Let me make this perfectly clear - I had nothing whatsoever to do with the murder of Greg Faull, nothing. I mean, it is not something that could ever possibly enter my mind.
JULES VASQUEZ, JOURNALIST: It is my belief that agents or some subsidiaries or affiliates of Mr McAfee were involved in Mr Greg Faull's undoing. There is no-one interested in doing it.
Belizean journalist Jules Vasquez covers a lot of stories about gang violence, but he says this was different.
JULES VASQUEZ: We have a lot of crime in Belize, we have a lot of murders. That crime did not fit in with any recognisable type of crime.
REPORTER: I suppose many people believe - or think - that you did do it because of the timing of the poisoning of the dogs and then you escaping the next day.
JOHN MCAFEE: All right, okay but those people aren't thinking. I mean, if I were a moron, a total blithering idiot, then maybe and if I had the inclination to murder someone, I would shoot them, or whatever happened, the day after they did something to me. I am not. I mean, get real. If in fact I was intent on revenge, I would hope that I would have enough sense to wait six months - the next fucking day? Please, give me some credit.
Here is McAfee on the run travelling with his entourage, including one of his girlfriends, Samantha Vanegas. McAfee didn't stick around to be questioned about the murder. Instead he invited a film crew from Vice Magazine to document his flight from Belize to Guatamala. They had amazing access to him while he was on the run and hiding out and a feature documentary is coming soon.
Unfortunately for McAfee, Vice Magazine accidently gave away their location with GPS data encoded in a photo they published. McAfee was detained for illegally entering Guatamala and then feigned a heart attack and managed to get himself deported back to the United States.
POLICE: Everybody out, everybody out of here.
While the media focused attention on the McAfee circus, the other character in the drama was overlooked.
REPORTER: Hello Mr Faull.
ARTHUR FAULL: Yes, hallo.
I've come to Jacksonville, Florida, to meet Greg Faull's father, Arthur.
ARTHUR FAULL: We had visited Greg in October - just exactly a month before his murder and this picture was taken the day that we left Belize to come back to the States. So far as I know it's the last picture taken of Greg. We did an awful lot together and it's a terrible loss. Just a terrible loss.
REPORTER: Do you believe that McAfee was involved? Are you convinced McAfee was involved?
ARTHUR FAULL: Not entirely, but why would he run? Why did he not answer the questions? And if he has nothing to hide, why doesn't he speak? This is very frustrating to find that he gets all the attention and my son's kind of a prop for his infamy.
Police say McAfee is still a person of interest, and the case is still open.
POLICE: We'd like to know his whereabouts that night, where he was, and to confirm his alibi, if he has one.
REPORTER: Do you think John killed Greg Faull?
SAMANTHA: No. I know for a fact he didn't kill him.
REPORTER: How do you know for a fact?
SAMANTHA: Because he was with me that night when that incident happened. He was right there the whole night with me, until the morning and he never left my side. So I know that he didn't kill that guy.
So if John McAfee didn't kill Greg Faull, who did?
REPORTER: One of your girlfriends, for example, tried to kill you a few times, so I mean, it could have been her, couldn't it?
JOHN MCAFEE: More than one of my girlfriends tried to kill me a few times. Could have been one of them, couldn't it? I mean, it could have been anybody. This is, these are just the facts.
REPORTER: The fact that you tried to kill John McAfee a couple of times, makes you look kind of like a volatile person.
AMY EMSHWILLER: Maybe I am, I don't know.
REPORTER: And then that kind of leads you to question whether you were somehow involved in the murder of Greg Faull.
AMY EMSHWILLER: Sure it does. But I didn't.
REPORTER: Have you heard other people... Saying that? Suspecting that you had something to do with it?
AMY EMSHWILLER: Yes.
REPORTER: Other Belizeans or foreigners?
AMY EMSHWILLER: Foreigners and Belizeans, too.
REPORTER: And it doesn't bother you?
AMY EMSHWILLER: No.
She says she was nowhere near Greg Faull's house on the night of the murder but considering her own beloved dog was amongst the animals poisoned that night, it's surprising that police never questioned her.
REPORTER: Did the police ever interview you?
AMY EMSHWILLER: No.
AMY EMSHWILLER: No. They never did, because I wasn't here.
REPORTER: Okay. It does seem odd to me that they wouldn't have wanted to talk to you.
AMY EMSHWILLER: I heard they wanted to talk to me, but John gave me money and what not to go to Guatamala and I stayed there for a while and I never came to the island.
REPORTER: And why was that?
AMY EMSHWILLER: Why? Because I didn't want anyone to question me or lock me up for no reason and I guess John didn't want that, too.
Arthur Faull has asked his government to try to find his son's killer but all they offered is this letter.
ARTHUR FAULL: "Traditionally Belize has a poor record of properly investigating unsolved cases and these cases are rarely brought to a successful conclusion." That is signed by the Vice Consul of the American's Citizens Service in the US Embassy in Belize which doesn't give me any warm fuzzy feelings about our government.
John McAfee has now put his Belizean problems well behind him and is settling back into a relatively normal, carefree life. Today he is test-driving a boat he wants to buy.
JOHN MCAFEE: Janice, honey, come up here. I want to show you the foredeck. If someone came and bought you a suitcase full of cash, what would be your price?
MAN: Less than 69.
JOHN MCAFEE: That's good.
As they settle the deal, he can't resist showing them his latest YouTube videos.
JOHN MCAFEE: I'm surprised you haven't seen it. The reason I'm doing these videos is I've got to keep the public interested in me, right? I can do it by doing a number of things - being a bad guy, being a good guy, being a fool or all three at once, whatever it takes. I like it.
His only real concern these days seems to be finding new props for his videos in what seems to be an endless quest to shock and attract attention.
JOHN MCAFEE: The eight women's T-shirts are for the ladies in the video. The scene will open with me having sex with a sheep.
JULES VASQUEZ: His principle defect I believe is extreme narcissism - there is probably a psychiatric term for it and he is a fame whore and the rush of celebrity has engorged his ego so greatly that it's like a high he cannot come down from ...it is obviously the work of someone who has a serious attention seeking disorder.
ANJALI RAO: The bizarre life and times of John McAfee. There's an interview with David online with insight on what it was like spending time in McAfee's decidedly weird world and follow the links to see more from the man himself in his YouTube videos.
Original Music Composed by
Additional stills provided by Brian Finke, Chad Essley, Cartoon Monkey Studio, and San Pedro Sun Newspaper.
5th November 2013