Former tech pioneer John McAfee says he has fled Belize, where he is wanted by police in connection with a murder -- and two magazine editors have helped him run.
Weekend news reports suggested the elusive McAfee was captured at the border between the small Central American country and Mexico. A Monday morning blog post by the missing tech mogul tells an even more unbelievable tale: Aided by a battery of true-believers, McAfee enlisted a body-double to fool border police while he fled the country.
'I am currently safe and in the company of two intrepid journalist from Vice Magazine.'
- John McAfee
“I am currently safe and in the company of two intrepid journalist from Vice Magazine, and, of course, Sam. We are not in Belize, but not quite out of the woods yet,” reads the latest from McAfee’s website, www.whoismcafee.com.
Rocco Castoro, the editor in chief of Vice Magazine, wrote on Twitter on Dec. 1 that he was heading to Belize “to get into some bad business.” He claimed to be accompanied by photographer Robert King.
— Rocco Castoro (@rocco_castoro) December 1, 2012
Reached by email Monday morning, Castoro denied any connection to McAfee.
"No idea what you're talking about. I'm in Alaska fishing," Castoro wrote. "I'd appreciate if you respect my hard-earned time off." But a Vice spokesman told FoxNews.com that magazine staff was indeed with McAfee.
"A Vice reporter and a videographer have been traveling with John for the past three days documenting his entire journey," Alex Detrick said.
Aiding and abetting a criminal is a law in the U.S. and in Belize, but McAfee has not been charged with any crime, police department spokesman Raphael Martinez told FoxNews.com. Consequently, anyone involved in helping him is unlikely to have broken any laws at present.
“[McAfee is] not a suspect as such … he’s not a criminal, he’s just wanted for questioning,” Martinez said. “We have not really charged him with anything.”
Martinez said that his department is still hoping to discuss the murder of American expatriate Gregory Faull, a builder from Florida who was shot last month at his home in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye.
The 52-year-old Faull was found by the housekeeper on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 11, lying face up in a pool of blood with an apparent gunshot wound on the upper rear part of his head. Police are still hoping to discuss the murder with McAfee.
“Everybody now should know that he should be coming in for questioning. He’s still out there somewhere,” Martinez told FoxNews.com.
McAfee has been hiding in plain sight for weeks, conducting numerous interviews by phone and in person, building a blog and filling it with thousands of words, and in general acting anything like a man wanted by the police.
Jeff Wise, a freelance reporter who broke the story of McAfee’s situation for Gizmodo, claims McAfee is a compulsive liar deeply connected to the drug world. McAfee replies that Wise has a bone to pick with him.
Yet McAfee’s story becomes increasingly hard to believe -- especially his reported escape from the country.
“My ‘double,’ carrying on a North Korean passport under my name, was in fact detained in Mexico for pre-planned misbehavior, but due to indifference on the part of authorities was evicted from the jail and was unable to serve his intended purpose in our exit plan. He is now safely out of Mexico,” McAfee wrote Monday.
An earlier post indicates that, in addition to the two Vice journalists, numerous female companions and the double detained in Mexico, McAfee now has an “official spokesman” (or two). In a Monday morning missive, Brian Fitzgerald introduced himself as the mouth of McAfee.
Fitzgerald did not respond to FoxNews.com requests for confirmation of the zany story, but his introductory post on the site indicated he had no idea where McAfee is.
“We are very concerned for McAfee's safety and wellbeing. All we can do is hope that we receive word from Mr. McAfee himself or a reliable source to confirm that he is okay,” he wrote.
It was unclear whether Fitzgerald had read the latest from McAfee on the same site.
In his latest post, McAfee points to a lengthy New York Times essay on the mischief he has made, and again insisted on his innocence.
“How long can the press maintain the ‘drug-crazed madman’ perspective? I think it will end with Vice Magazine’s story. They have seen, and heard everything.”
Jeremy A. Kaplan is Science and Technology editor at FoxNews.com, where he heads up coverage of gadgets, the online world, space travel, nature, the environment, and more. Prior to joining Fox, he was executive editor of PC Magazine, co-host of the Fastest Geek competition, and a founding editor of GoodCleanTech.