'It's All Nonsense,' Says Antivirus Pioneer John McAfee About New Showtime Documentary Linking Him To Two Murders And A Rape
A new documentary sets its sights on the controversial computer antivirus pioneer John McAfee, who made headlines four years ago while on the run from authorities in Belize after they sought to question him in the execution-style murder of his neighbor.
In Showtime’s Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee, which premieres on Sept. 24 at 9 pm, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Nanette Burstein travels to the impoverished South American nation where the multi-millionaire software developer moved in 2009 and digs into his alleged involvement in two homicides and the rape of his business partner.
Not surprisingly, McAfee, whose popular antivirus software was acquired by Intel in 2010 for $7.68 billion, doesn’t plan on watching the documentary.
“Let me make this perfectly clear,” he tells PEOPLE. “I had absolutely nothing to do with the murder of [his neighbor] Gregory Faull or anyone else. And I have certainly never raped anyone.”
Director Burstein, however, insists that what she uncovered during her three months in Belize raises plenty of questions about the eccentric tech guru’s activities during his time there.
“He’s incredibly smart and charismatic, but at the same time he obviously likes to bend the rules and often talks about how he pushes the limits,” Burstein tells PEOPLE. “When he went to Belize I think he thought he could bend the rules quite a bit.”
McAfee’s time in Belize reads like a modern day twist on Joseph Conrad’s seminal novel Heart of Darkness. During his three years in Belize, a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world, his life appears to have slowly spun out of control.
“He was often surrounded by up to 20 bodyguards, many of whom had been incarcerated, and were armed with double-gauged shotguns,” Burstein says.
Over the course of her film, Burstein chronicles the accounts of many of McAfee’s friends, bodyguards, business associates and young girlfriends as they detail his increasingly paranoid, violent behavior. They detail how he allegedly had several thugs hired to torture a local man – believed to have broken into his house – who later died from the beating he received.
The film also explores the allegations of the Harvard-educated microbiologist Allison Adonizio, who claims she was drugged and raped after informing McAfee that she wanted out of their business venture. “She fled the country immediately afterwards and reported what happened to the FBI,” says Burstein. “But unfortunately the FBI doesn’t have jurisdiction in Belize.”
Burstein also pieces together the story behind the unsolved November 2012 killing of Greg Faull, McAfee’s expat neighbor who he believed had poisoned his dogs. Days after the death of McAfee’s pets, Faull was found murdered from a gunshot to the back of his head.
“He’s a dangerous man,” says Burstein. “He was named a person of interest in the murder, but he went on the run immediately afterwards.”
As the release date for Gringo approaches, McAfee has gone on the offensive, insisting that Burstein’s film “is all nonsense,” adding that the people she interviewed were paid to make sensational claims about him.
“That’s absurd,” counters Burstein. “I don’t pay people for interviews.”
But what Burstein finds most shocking about McAfee is his ability to “reinvent” himself since returning to the US in December 2012 after his much-publicized flight from Belize.
“It’s pretty astonishing,” she says. “In the four years since his return he has run for president of United States [he placed second in the Libertarian Party’s presidential primary to Gary Johnson] and become the CEO of a cyber security company.”