David told me about Joshua Davis' profile of software millionaire John McAfee, who lives in Belize and is wanted for questioning in a murder there. I paid $0.99 for the article on Amazon and it was $0.99 well spent.
There was always something unusual about John McAfee. The tech entrepreneur made a fortune from the antivirus software that bears his name, but he also spent years as a cocaine addict, spiritual guru and yoga expert. In 2009, after losing millions in the stock market crash, he decided to retire to the tiny Central American nation of Belize. That's when things really got weird. He started hanging out with killers, prostitutes, and pimps. He fell in love with a 17-year-old and surrounded his tropical compound with armed guards. In November 2012 his neighbor was found murdered. McAfee, who professed his innocence, fled the police and went into hiding.
WIRED's Joshua Davis had months of exclusive access to McAfee before his disappearance and was virtually the only journalist McAfee had contact with when he went on the lam. In this fascinating profile, Davis takes readers into McAfee's heart of darkness, a harrowing and jaw-dropping tale of ambition, paranoia, sex, and madness.
McAfee's blog is good reading, too:
After two days we returned to the house, in disguise, and I began my watch.
The first day I colored my full beard and my hair light grey- almost white. 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 backwards and tufts of the front of my hair sticking out unkempt through the band. 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. I stuffed a shaved down tampon deep into my right nostril and died the tip dark brown – giving my nose an awkward, lopsided, disgusting appearance. I put on a pair of ragged brown pants with holes patched and darned. I wore an old, ragged long sleeve shirt. I donned an old Guatemalan style sarape and toted a bag containing a variety of Guatemalan woven goods. I adjusted my posture so that I appeared a good six inches shorter than my actual height and slowly walked up and down the beach with a pronounced limp, pushing an old single speed bicycle and peddling my wares to tourists and reporters using a broken English with a heavy Spanish accent. On my second day, while peddling small wooden carvings, I nearly sold a dolphin carving to an Associated Press reporter standing at the edge of my dock. He was pulled away from my enticement by an urgent phone call.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.