The life of John McAfee is, to put it mildly, extraordinary. If a scriptwriter went to a Hollywood movie producer with such a tale, they’d be laughed out of the room. But John McAfee is real. And he’s back in the US.
The software tycoon landed at Miami International Airport on a flight from Guatemala on Wednesday evening and immediately found himself in the middle of a media scrum.
“I’ve been running through jungles and rivers and oceans and I think I need to rest for a while,” McAfee told reporters.
He wasted little time, however, in getting a post up on his blog. Though later removed, the LA Times managed to catch it before it went offline. In the post, titled “I am in South Beach”, he said he currently had “no phone, no money, no contact information.”
“I was escorted off of the plaane [sic] by Customs and Immigration,” he wrote, adding that 10 agents “whisked me to a safe place, asked some questions, and then said, ‘Where would you like to go?’”
The officials apparently took him to a taxi stand from where he made his way to the Beacon Hotel in South Beach. The post was removed and replaced with a message that asked people – members of the international media currently scrambling to get to the Beacon Hotel no doubt among them – to “please respect John’s privacy this evening.” Fat chance of that happening.
McAfee fled his home in Belize last month after police on the island said they wanted to talk to him about his neighbor who died from gunshot wounds on November 11.
Claiming that the whole episode was part of a government plot against him, McAfee fled to Guatemala where he was promptly arrested for entering the country illegally. On Wednesday night he was deported from Guatemala to the US.
But what next for the eccentric multi-millionaire? LA Times reporter Christine Mai-Duc told BBC radio that it was unclear if McAfee was a free man, saying there was currently no information from officials in the US, Guatemala or Belize as to whether any charges can or will be brought against the 67 year old.
Mai-Duc said that the Belize authorities understand that for the US to consider returning McAfee to the island would require him to be defined as a suspect in the death of his neighbor. Up to now the authorities in Belize have stated that he is not a suspect but instead “a person of interest with whom they’d like to talk.”
But with McAfee, it seems to be less of a case of what the authorities have planned for him and more about what he has planned for them.