Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee

Synopsis: Mysteries abound in the life of John McAfee. He made millions creating antivirus software, then reinvented himself as a yogi, a proponent of herbal medicine, and a serial entrepreneur. He was known for his charm and generosity. Then his life took another turn. He moved from the US to Belize and built a heavily armed compound in the jungle, like a modern day Heart of Darkness. McAfee never shied away from media attention and boasted of his libertine lifestyle, maintaining a harem of young women. In 2012 his neighbour in Belize, an American named Gregory Faull, was found murdered by a gunshot. Sought for questioning by local authorities, McAfee fled to Guatemala, then returned to the US where he pursued the Libertarian Party nomination for President in 2016. Over the years, journalists have told pieces of McAfee's story (including the infamous Vice report accidentally revealing his secret location). Here the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Nanette Burstein delivers a deep investigation
Rotten Tomatoes:
97 min


This is 18, 1081.

No, sir.

No, sir.

How much money

do you have in here?

Maybe $4,000.


Yes, sir.

The FBI?


The name McAfee reminds me

The name McAfee reminds me

of my very first laptop.

Like most PCs

in the '90s,

it had McAfee antivirus

software preinstalled.

Software security guru

John McAfee,

he made millions

as one of the nation's

first big

software pioneers.

I didn't think about

that name again until 2012,

when John McAfee

was all over the news.

John McAfee, whose name

was synonymous with security,

is now becoming synonymous

with the mysterious murder

of McAfee's neighbor,

Greg Faull.

Of McAfee's neighbor,

Greg Faull.

I read about John's

bizarre lifestyle in Belize,

including being wanted

for questioning in a homicide

and going on the run.

A murder in paradise,

as police launch

a fullscale search

for an eccentric

American tycoon, John McAfee.


just a few years later,

John was again in the news,

this time, he was running for

President of the United States.

Antivirus software industry

pioneer John McAfee,

throwing his hat into

the 2016 presidential ring.

Throwing his hat into

the 2016 presidential ring.

What has created terrorism?

Our interference in the affairs

of foreign states.

Dropping bombs on families.

And talking about

some of

the most significant

cybersecurity issues

of our time.

But no one was talking

about his past.

You are an expert,

and I know you're brilliant

when it comes to matters

of security.

We are in

the first cyber war.

You said that you

could unlock

the San Bernardino terrorists'

phones for the FBI.

How did John McAfee

reinvent himself?

Are there different rules

Are there different rules

for people with money,

power, and fame?

Or is John just

a master manipulator?

The last 15 years,

I've been making documentaries

on complex and controversial


I've been fascinated

with how being famous

can put you under

a cruel spotlight.

But it can also allow

for extraordinary privileges.

Like the ability

to get away with things.

Was this the case

with John McAfee?

John, where are

you going?

John, where are

you going?

To jail.

What really happened in Belize?

Suspenseful music

When I started the film,

I reached out to John.

He refused

to do an interview.

But he repeatedly

emailed me.

He would say,

"Do not contact me again."

He would say,

"Do not contact me again."

And then email me

five seconds later.

He said...

Even though he refused

to be interviewed.

It started a strange,

yearlong cyber relationship.

In the meantime, I investigated

his story in Belize.

Tropical music

John moved to San Pedro,

Belize, in 2008

and he bought a beautiful

beachside property.

And he bought a beautiful

beachside property.

Buenas tardes.

Just look out there,

you'll see why.

The most beautiful water

in the world.

An offshore reef

that lets me

build a house

right on the beach.

Can't do that in Florida.

How would you describe

this island, San Pedro?

How would I describe

my island?


Well, it's a beautiful island.


Well, it's a beautiful island.

It's the most beautiful island

in this country.

We've got 42 dive sites

from here

within a threemile radius.

It's great.

It's fantastic.

And everybody speaks English.

And, I mean, how many Americans

like English?

This is

a major destination

for people to try to run away

from the United States.

From the United States.

Approximately every

four, six months,

U. S. Marshals

will come down.

They already know

where everybody is.

They'll go through the island

and just make a sweep.

There's expats here

that really like to

immerse themselves

with the local culture.

And the, you know,

the local culture

loves a rich man,

you know?

Everybody knew

John McAfee.

When he first came into

the country,

he was very friendly.

He was very friendly.

I really thought he was

a very nice person.

He bought prime property.

He used to bring his friends

from the States.

We are getting a lot

of tourists because of him.

John started

donating things

to the police department.

Very generous.

Extremely generous.

He told us, "Guys, anything,

you need help,

my doors are open."

My doors are open."

He donated

a considerable amount

of equipment to police.

Boots, stun guns,

different assortment of weapons.

I recall, when he get his

residence card here,

he gave the government of Belize

a $1 million boat.

And that made the news here.

Why this donation

to the Coast Guard?

I've just become a permanent

resident of Belize,

I've just become a permanent

resident of Belize,

and I'm very grateful

that the country of Belize

allowed me to live here


And I wanted

to give something back.

You have to wonder,

if you're giving donations

to the police,

is it out of the goodness

of your heart?

Or are there

some motives behind it?

You know, why didn't you

build that library, or

You know?

The schools always need

another classroom.

There's a lot

of different ways

There's a lot

of different ways

you can be generous

with your money.

Entrepreneur John McAfee

is still doing

what comes naturally:

starting new businesses.

This is an entrepreneur's

paradise, here.

There are virtually

no regulations on business.

McAfee started

a ferry service.

He's also cultivating

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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