From MAGNATE to FUGITIVE to HOLLYWOOD
The saga of John Mcafee's life and adventures from being an anti-virus software mogul to a wanted man fleeing Belize on questions about a murder has been recounted several times, but there is still some mystery as to why he felt he had to leave his paradise in 2012. This has led to filmmakers wanting to do a movie and documentaries about his fascinating life.
An Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Nanette Burnstein was approached by Showtime with the idea to do a story about the Belize episode in McAfee’s life in 2015. A year earlier, Spike TV asked her if she would make a film with McFee’s involvement. This meant she had to follow him around for a year. She declined that offer. Spike TV went ahead without her and it has since been made into a 6 part series, “The McAfee Project”
Filmmaker – Nanette Burnstein
Burnstein accepted Showtime’s offer and headed down to Belize to uncover the truth that is shrouded in mystery and to this day the murder of Greg Faull is a cold case. In her documentary, named Gringo: The Dangerous Life Of John McAfee, she gains the trust of McAfee’s associates, members of his security detail, and numerous women to learn of McAfee’s alleged involvement in not just the Faull case but other crimes.
Notably, McAfee declined to be filmed for the movie although Burnstein does include some email correspondence between the two at which later John McAfee denies they had. An executive producer for the Showtime documentary, Jeff Wise, who had previously written numerous stories about McAfee presented Burnstein with a promo tape of the interviews they put together of revelations about McAfee from his associates in Belize. This piqued her interest even more so she went to Belize for the next 3 months to work on the film.
One of the first people she met through Wise was Eddie McKoy, a local who is known for his ties with gangs in Belize and goes by the nickname of “Mac 10”. Reportedly he was hired to kill John McAfee but after a meeting with McAfee and some negotiation, he became part of his security detail.
According to the movie, Burnstein uncovers alleged specifics about the Greg Faull murder. Most notably, McAfee's caretaker, Cassian Chavarria, claims on camera that he was ordered by McAfee to wire $5000 to McKoy with instructions to kill Faull after Faull allegedly poisoned McAfee’s dogs. When Burnstein confronts McKoy in the movie with this information, he denies it.
She also learned that the allegations about McAfee’s time in Belize don’t end there.
A man named David Middleton, who allegedly broke into McAfee’s house in Belize, was beaten to death. Men who claim to have been involved in the beating speak in “Gringo” about the incident, saying McAfee hired them.
Then there’s a disturbing recollection by microbiologist Allison Adonizio, who was working for McAfee developing antibiotics derived from jungle plants in Orange Walk. She alleges McAfee drugged her one night and raped her.
According to Burnstein and her film, it becomes clear very quickly that she sees the evidence against McAfee as unequivocal. Burnstein says,
“Is he absolutely guilty of both murders? Do I have DNA evidence to prove it? I can’t. But I think that the evidence is so damning against him that I want people to think about how someone can get away with doing something like this.”
Trailor From The Documentary, Gringo: The Dangerous Life Of John McAfee.
Interesting to note, reportedly Allison Adonizio and Jeff Wise, an executive producer of the showtime documentary were having an affair at the time. Adding to that McAfee states in an interview Adonizio wasn’t the professional, hardworking microbiologist he thought she was. She was unhappy "to the core" and somewhat unhinged. She was more of a partier than a worker and McAfee fired her as a result. These could be the motivations for her allegations McAfee subtly asserted.
In rounding out his theories, McAfee speculated that Wise might be in cahoots with the head of Belize’s Gang Suppression Unit, Marco Vidal. The same man who shot up McAfee’s Belize compound and lab, killing his dog and destroying his property.
McAfee described Vidal as his “archenemy,” and said that Vidal would “would pluck out his own eyes to get me back to Belize and sitting in his torture chair.”
McAfee ‘Gringo’ A Complete Fabrication
Just before the movie was due to be released, it was discovered the 9 people interviewed in the documentary were coerced and paid for their testimonies by Showtime. Of course, Nanette Burnstein and Showtime flatly denied they didn’t and don’t pay for interviews, however, 4 of the people that gave interviews have given sworn statements attesting to the fact that representatives at Showtime paid them to lie about McAfee.
McAfee, among other things, had in his possession, a receipt sent to Eddie McKoy, McAfee’s former employee, a transaction that shows someone was paid $3000 for their interview.
“The beauty of Western Union,” McAfee said, “is that both parties to a transaction are required to provide proof of identity. So… unless Nanette [the director of the film] can somehow convince the world that I managed to get Western Union to lie for me, which given Nanette’s world-class talents in fabricating her own and others’ realities, cannot absolutely be ruled out, then I think it’s game over.”
McAfee noted that if you do a bit of research you can find that Nanette “has in the past entirely fabricated documentaries.” McAfee dismissed the entire documentary as “a fabrication from beginning to end.”
In the video below are the recantations of the people in Belize that worked closely with John McAfee. These people were approached by Showtime who were making the documentary about McAfee and enticed with payments to blatantly lie in their interviews on the film.
Regardless of whether “Gringo” convinces you that John McAfee is a murderer, as some say, or that he’s a victim of a Belizean government plot to kill him, as he claims, it is certainly not short on stories.
McAfee’s Rebuttal Says It All
The Showtime documentary outrightly accuses John McAfee of Murder so he now fights back in his rebuttal. McAfee, for his part, asserts that he has been demonized by the press. He ends his rebuttal with a request, "Please, Showtime, show some grace and simply pay me without the formality of having to deal with lawyers. I will accept $500 million. Thank you.”
There is no question the long-time security guru is eccentric. The question is, is he a criminal?
On A Lighter Note
Currently, there is a movie being produced named “King Of The Jungle”. This is set to have a dark comedic slant of the true story of the tech magnate with Michael Keaton playing the part of John McAfee, and Seth Rogan portrays Wired Magazine investigator Ari Furman, who accepts what he thinks is a run-of-the-mill assignment to interview McAfee, but once he arrives in Belize, he finds himself pulled into McAfee’s escalating paranoia, slippery reality, and murder.
The Hollywood movie does have John McAfee’s blessing but not before he had Johnny Depp fired from the cast. Depp was set to play McAfee before Michael Keaton got the role. McAfee said he didn’t think Depp had the depth to play him as he tweeted,
“He is a great actor, but I didn't believe he had the depth to play me. He turned Hunter Thompson into a parody in Fear and Loathing for example.”
McAfee wanted Morgan Freeman to play the part, but Freeman refused the role. “King Of The Jungle” will hopefully be released sometime in 2020.
Market Manager for Markethive, a global Market Network, and Writer for the Crypto/Blockchain Industry. Also a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech. I embrace "Change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals.