Thursday, March 26, 2015

"The Fugitive Millionaire" (John McAfee) on NBC Dateline

Tonight, NBC Dateline, with Keith Morrison reporting, told the story of “The Fugitive Millionaire”, John McAfee, founder of McAfee anti-virus software, which used to be the most important of these companies (along with Symantec Norton).  McAfee, as a younger man, was very determined to eliminate all computer viruses and worms himself.

McAfee, born in 1945, lost a lot of his fortune in the real estate bubble and moved to Belize, which is popular for retirees with low cost real estate and little business regulation, and is relatively stable compared to other Central American countries.  The documentary starts with a visit to his palatial estate “on the beach”, with its guard dogs and security.  He’s playing Gershwin on the piano.  It’s like a James Bond movie opening (“three blind mice”).

But McAfee started having trouble with local police in 2012, and his home was raided.  Neighbors complained about the dogs.  Eventually, a neighbor Gregory Viant Faull, was found shot execution style.  McAfee was regarded as a person of interest, and at one point sought political asylum in Guatemala.  Eventually he returned to the US and lived in several places, settling in Tennessee and starting a new security company in Alabama.

But it’s ironic the documentary appears right after the interesting Robert Durst.

It’s a bit of an ironic coincidence that a local church sends a very active and effective youth group to a summer mission in Belize (see Drama Blog, Nov. 4, 2012).  The social climate in the country seems to be interesting.

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Great Blue Hole, by USGS (pd). 

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