Greg Faull, a neighbor of two houses south on Ambergris Caye, was particularly enraged by the racketeering and assault on McAfee’s mutts. Faull was a tall man (5’11 ”, around 220 pounds) who owned a sports bar in Orlando, Florida, and spent part of the year in Belize. It was a tropical paradise for him, except for the nuisance created by McAfee’s dogs. They rumbled and barked incessantly at anyone passing by the beach.
Faull had confronted McAfee about animals in the past. According to McAfee, Faull once threatened to shoot them, but McAfee didn’t believe he would. Allison Adonizio, who had stayed with Greg Faull when she first moved to Belize in 2010, says there was some disagreement between the two men at the time. “McAfee hated his guts,” she wrote to me in an email.
Earlier in the week, Faull filed a formal complaint about the dogs with the mayor’s office in nearby San Pedro. Now, as I try to keep up with the latest details, McAfee dismisses the suggestion that one of his neighbors may have been involved in the apparent poisoning of the animals. “They are still dog lovers,” he says. “And I spoke to them this morning. No one here would ever poison dogs.
He speaks specifically of Faull. “It’s not something he would ever do,” McAfee says. “I mean, he’s an angry guy, but he would never hurt a dog.”
Sunday morning, Faull is found lying face up in a pool of blood. He was shot in the back of the neck, in the style of an execution. A 9mm Luger case rests on the ground nearby. There is no sign of a break-in. A laptop and an iPhone are missing, police say.
That afternoon, Belizean police arrive at McAfee’s home to question him about Faull’s death. McAfee sees them coming and is sure the authorities intend to torment him again. He quickly digs a shallow trench in the sand and buries himself, pulling a cardboard box over his head. He stays there for hours.
“It was extraordinarily uncomfortable,” he says.
Police confiscate all weapons on the property and take Mulligan for questioning. When they leave, Cassian Chavarria, McAfee’s gardener, tells him that Faull has been killed. According to McAfee, this was the first time he heard of the murder. His initial reaction, he says, was that it was the GSU that was trying to kill McAfee himself. “I thought maybe they were coming for me,” he says. “They took him for me. They got to the wrong house. He died. They killed him. It scared me.”
McAfee decides to run away and starts calling me around the clock. I ask him if he shot Faull. “No sir, no sir,” he said. “It’s not even funny.” (Emshwiller also denies any involvement in Faull’s death.)
All McAfee knew about the murder, he says, was that the police were after him, and he believed that if they caught him, he would be tortured or killed. “Once they get me back, it’s the end of me,” he said.
Over the next 48 hours, McAfee bounces from place to place around Belize, aided by a network of “people who cannot be tracked,” he tells me. “It’s complicated, and there’s a lot of risk, and people could turn south at any time.” Samantha Vanegas, one of his girlfriends, is with him, and he says they fed on Oreo Cakester cookies and cigarettes. On Tuesday morning, he says, police raided the house next door, but they escaped capture, eventually landing in a house with no hot water and a broken toilet. There is, however, a working television.
“We watched Swiss family Robinson“, he said.” These are castaways. That’s why we got down to it. It was like, wow, we could do that. We could get some bamboo and build something like that. “
The film had a happy ending. McAfee liked it.
When this article was published, John McAfee was still in hiding and in communication with the author. For updates on his case, visit Wired.com.
Contributing Editor Joshua Davis (@JoshuaDavisNow) traveled the world to Wired (Colombia, China, Nepal, South Korea, Iraq, Israel, Russia). His writing is anthological in the 2012 edition of The best American writing on science and nature, and he is the author of The outsider, an account of his adventures as a sumo wrestler, matador and back runner.