John McAfee denied asylum by Guatemala and U.S., could be flown back to Belize

Steve Mertl
National Affairs Contributor
Daily Brew

If you tried to make up the bizarre saga of John McAfee, you'd end up with a pulp novel, second-rate but a page-turner nonetheless.

Wealthy, eccentric inventor retires to lush tropical island, where his lifestyle puts him afoul of police and a neighbour down the beach. He goes on the lam after said neighbour is found dead, professing he's being framed for murder and will be killed if arrested.

But instead of going to ground, he taunts the authorities via the Internet and fascinated media, claiming to use disguises to hide in plain sight while police hunt for him. Then he slips across the border and seeks asylum after being arrested. His jailer lends him his own computer to blog the latest chapter of his adventure to the world.

Can't wait to see what happens next.

[ Related: Girls, guns and yoga: John McAfee's odd life in "pirate haven" ]

It's been almost a month since McAfee, a millionaire pioneer in anti-virus software, dropped from sight after police in the central American country of Belize sought him as a "person of interest" in the shooting death of neighbour Gregory Viant Faull on Ambergris Caye.

After leading investigators in the former British colony a merry chase, McAfee, 67, slipped across the border to Guatemala this week, where he was arrested for illegally entering the country.

[ Related: Guatemala rejects request for asylum by McAfee ]

But like everything else in this story, this has been no ordinary detention.

"I am in jail in Guatemala. Vastly superior to Belize jails. I asked for a computer and one magically appeared," McAfee wrote in a post on his blog. "The coffee is also excellent."

The computer belongs to prison warden Gino Ennati, according to story by The Associated Press and National Post.

"He makes me coffee and tells tender stories about his life," McAfee wrote. "He is a good companion. I believe I could spend weeks in the desert with him as a sole companion without once becoming irritated."

McAfee said he hoped to hold a news conference about his situation.

Just what his situation is remains as confusing as McAfee's behaviour. According the AP and Post report, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala has told him they can't send the British-born American back to the United States until the Guatemalan justice system has finished with him.

[ Related: The rise and peculiar fall of software pioneer John McAfee ]

"He will be in danger if he is returned to Belize, where he has denounced authorities," said his Guatemalan lawyer Telesforo Guerra. "His life is in danger."

McAfee contends he fears for his safety in Belize because he has inside knowledge about official corruption and had refused to donate money to local politicians, McAfee told AP.

McAfee, who sold his stake in the company that bears his name in 1997 and retired to Belize in 2008, has had several clashes with authorities there.

Police raided his home at one point in an illegal drug and firearms investigation but no charges were laid. He had been working to develop a herbal antibiotic.

McAfee was also reportedly feuding with Faull, an American contractor who lived two homes away, over noise from McAfee's dogs. Faull was suspected when the dogs were poisoned last month, though McAfee would claim thugs connected with Belize's government were responsible.

Whoever did it, Faull turned up dead on Nov. 10, shot in the back of the head. McAfee denied any connection to the murder and fled before police could question him.

According to AP and the Post, McAfee claims to have used several disguises to hide in Belize, and was even a bystander when police searched his home.

Meanwhile, Faull's family has said that what's lost in coverage of McAfee's antics is the fact Faull's murder remains unsolved.