A very weird story about the founder of McAfee

Yesterday I discovered this story on Gizmodo after a friend in my Facebook feed posted it, or commented it, or read it (I forget which, I can’t be expected to remember these things).  It was about the original founder of McAfee, John McAfee (who left the company many years ago).  The story is crazy!

Gizmodo: Meth Labs and Dead Dogs: How the founder of McAfee Antivirus Went on the Run in Belize

If you’re looking at that title and thinking “Huh?  Is that a joke designed to trick me into clicking that link?” the answer is “Most Assuredly Not!”

You really should read it yourself, but if you’re too lazy to click on the link and read the story, I’ll give you a synopsis:

  • John McAfee, 66, is the founder of McAfee A/V who left the company several years ago.  He has done a couple of things since then (some dubious), but his latest business venture is (was?) a company looking to launch a next-generation antibiotic… based in Belize.  Based in Belize?

  • McAfee (from this point forward, I am referring to the guy and not the company) has an odd life, including a 17-year old girlfriend.  But one day, agents from Belize’s Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) show up at his property, armed and taking names, destroying property.  They shoot his dog and arrest McAfee along with some of his employees.
  • The GSU charges McAfee with running an illegal meth lab and possession of illegal firearms.  They toss him in jail.  Calls (from 3rd parties) to the Belizean police are either unreturned or they are simply answered with what I’ve just told you – McAfee is charged with running an illegal meth lab.
  • Eventually, McAfee gets out of prison but has gone into hiding.  He has not returned home but instead is laying low, trying to stay under the radar.  However, he is very bored while in hiding.  There’s almost nothing to do.
  • Why did the GSU charge McAfee? He can only speculate, but he did not donate money to a local politician who became very irate.  His arrest was a message saying “If you don’t cough up what we’re asking for, we’ll get you back.”

Crazy stuff.

PS, below is a picture of me in Belize in 2010.  Had I known that the politicians were that unstable, I may have thought twice about going:


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