Software mogul hides in plain sight while he eludes police
SAN PEDRO, Belize — Software company founder John McAfee says he's hiding in plain sight, wearing a disguise as he watches police and reporters stake out his home — and blogging about it all.
In the latest twist in the highlypublicized case, McAfee has started his own blog, in which he describes life on the lam after police in Belize called him a “person of interest” in the slaying of fellow American Gregory Viant Faull and asked him to turn himself in for questioning.
In phone interviews with The Associated Press, McAfee has never said where he's hiding. But in his blog this week, he claims to have disguised himself as a grungy street peddler and a foul-mouthed German tourist, and he claims he approached an Associated Press reporter outside his staked-out home on the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye, and almost sold the reporter a wood carving.
It's hard to separate fact from fiction in the whole account, but one thing is clear — seldom has there been more detailed coverage of someone on the lam since O.J. Simpson led police on a low-speed chase in 1994, and much of that detail is being provided by McAfee himself.
The Internet-savvy former tech-company founder has talked about his case with reporters via email, on cellphone calls from undisclosed locations, and now in his blog, “Who is McAfee? The official blog of John McAfee,” whose creation he announced on Saturday.
“Anyone who would like to read the blog and check out the references, will understand my reluctance to turn myself in,” he said, referring to his distrust of the Belizean government and particularly its Gang Suppression Unit, a quasi-military police squad.
McAfee described life on the run as “very fearful” and said it has “not been comfortable.”
But in a blog post Monday, he described it in almost fanciful terms, describing how he donned a far-fetched disguise and watched as police searched his house and reporters gathered.
“I darkened the skin of my face, neck and hands carefully with shoe polish and put on an LA Saints baseball cap with the brim facing backward and tufts of the front of my hair sticking out unkempt through the band,” according to the post. McAfee confirmed the authenticity of the blog in an email that he has been using to communicate with the AP.
“I stuffed my cheeks with chewed bubble gum stuck to the outside of my upper and lower molars — making my face appear much fatter. I darkened and browned my front teeth,” he wrote. “I wore an old, ragged long sleeve shirt. I donned an old Guatemalan style serape and toted a bag containing a variety of Guatemalan woven goods.”