The bizarre real-life potboiler concerning on-the-lam software millionaire John McAfee continued today, as -- following a cloak-and-dagger CNN interview with the fugitive -- McAfee's own blog posted an item saying he may have been captured at the Belize-Mexico border.
The item, pictured above and reported earlier by news agency AFP, says little more than that and calls the report of the capture "unconfirmed." We'll update this post -- or link to a new, separate story -- when we know more. (Editor's note: See bottom of story for updates.)
Earlier, CNN managed to track McAfee down for an on-camera interview somewhere in his longtime country of residence, Belize -- where he's in hiding after his neighbor was shot to death. A CNN article accompanying an online video of the interview says its reporter had to provide a secret password and partake in a secret-agent-like, twisting-and-turning car ride to get to the antivirus-software pioneer.
In the brief interview, which you can check out here, McAfee says, "I will certainly not turn myself in, and I will certainly not quit fighting. I will not stop my blog." He says he'll either get arrested or get away and clarifies that "Get away doesn't mean leave the country. It means they will, No. 1, find the murderer of Mr. Faull and, No. 2, the people of this country -- who are by and large terrified to speak out -- start speaking out,"
McAfee has been on the run since November 12, when his neighbor Gregory Faull was discovered with a bullet in his head. McAfee and Faull had reportedly had run-ins with each other over McAfee's dogs and armed security guards. In an interview with Wired that same day, McAfee said he thought the killers had actually been looking for him and not Faull.
Other aspects of the tale include the fact that the 67-year-old McAfee's home was raided in May and that police said they found multiple unlicensed firearms and McAfee with a 17-year-old girl. They also said he was manufacturing an antibiotic in his home without a license. McAfee's blog provides another unusual twist. Apparently begun about a week after Faull's murder, it includes entries from McAfee himself about his flight. In one such post, McAfee writes that he is traveling with a 20-year-old woman named Samantha, whom he credits with helping to keep him fed, clothed, and in hiding:
"She has also helped me evade detection by grabbing me and kissing me, in public, in a fashion that causes passerby's to feel embarrassment at the thought of staring and by creating emotional scenes that cause the curious to momentarily forget what they were looking for," he wrote. "She is acutely aware of her surroundings and is as street smart as a sober hobo."
Today's CNN report noted that police in Belize have said they don't consider McAfee a suspect in the killing; they want him only for questioning. The news agency also noted that McAfee maintains that his troubles began when he refused to bribe a government official and that he will be killed if he's arrested.
Again, the post on McAfee's whoismcafee.com/The Hinterland blog says the report of McAfee's capture is unconfirmed, so it remains to be seen if it turns out to be true. If nothing else, however, the post adds yet another chapter to this strangely unfolding tale.
Update, December 2 at 12:23 a.m. PT: Peter Delevett at the San Jose Mercury News' SiliconBeat blog is reporting that McAfee has not been apprehended and is still on the run.
Update, December 2 at 8:52 a.m. PT: England's Daily Mail is now also reporting that McAfee is still on the lam.