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December 13, 2012

John McAfee returns to US


Following on from my tickle yesterday, security software pioneer John McAfee has landed at the Miami airport this morning, after authorities in Guatemala decided to deport him to the US, rather than extradite him to Belize.

McAfee has been on the run from the police in Belize for over a month. He is wanted for questioning over the murder of his neighbour and fellow US expatriate Gregory Faull, who was shot dead in the middle of November.

McAfee previously said he wanted to return to the US and “settle down”.

McAfee has always maintained he had nothing to do with Faull’s death, even though the two had their disagreements. He is not officially a suspect in the case. However, the eccentric millionaire had a patchy relationship with the local authorities, especially Belize’s Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), which has raided his home in the past.

McAfee later said he wouldn’t hand himself in because he was afraid that GSU would torture him into confession. This motivated the 67-year-old to change his appearance and go on the run, accompanied by his 20-year-old girlfriend Samantha.

After hiding in Belize jungle for three weeks, McAfee had crossed into neighbouring Guatemala, where he was arrested by immigration officials for entering the country illegally. The eccentric millionaire appealed against extradition, as the physical stress started to take toll, resulting in a heart attack scare.

While in detention, McAfee said he would be happy to talk to the police, as long as he wasn’t sent back to Belize. He accused the government of corruption and blackmail, and said he could be killed if he returned. In response, Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow called McAfee “paranoid” and “bonkers”.

“I’ve been running through jungles and rivers and oceans and I think I need to rest for a while. And I’ve been in jail for seven days,” McAfee told the media before boarding the plane. He also revealed his plans to stay in Miami “for a while”. Upon arrival, the founder of the anti-virus empire was escorted away by government agents, and it was not immediately clear what his legal status was.

The US has an extradition treaty with Belize, and McAfee could still be returned there for questioning.

The company founded by John McAfee is now owned by Intel, and remains the second largest security software vendor in the world. After leaving the IT industry, the millionaire’s behaviour had become increasingly erratic. It has been reported that he assembled an extensive collection of guns, was researching mind-altering substances and claimed to have connections with a number of well-known gang members in Belize.

McAfee has blogged extensively about his experiences while in hiding, and maintained contact with select journalists, some of which later gave away his location. He has already sold the rights to the film about his life to a media company in Canada, and a graphic novel is also in the works.

I’m not so sure that I would want to spend money to see it on the big screen, but it would be interesting to find out what films he was watching before he decided to do a “mission impossible” through the jungles of Belize. Perhaps it wasn’t films, I detect a hint of Far Cry with some Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell sprinkled on top.

By Jonny Polea

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Source: BBC News

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Jonny Polea

Editor in Chief at Beginners Tech

I joined Beginners Tech as a Technical Journalist in July 2012 and have never looked back. I love tech, gadgets, games and electronics; whether they are retro, current or future concepts. My loving fiancé Sarah has said that when I receive new items for review I’m like a kid in a toy shop – unable to leave it alone for two minutes! Coming from a design background, I am passionate about the design and aesthetics of tech as well as functionality.