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tv   2020  ABC  June 8, 2017 2:42am-3:43am PDT

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>> of course he's the main suspect. >> did you order a hit on him? >> of course not, please. >> nine of your dogs are poisoned. the person that threatened to poison them is dead. >> for four years, we've tracked him. >> hello? >> as he's played catch me if you can. from belizeguatemala. miami to middle america. >> why go on the run? >> because if i didn't, i'd be a dead man now. >> tonight, he's finally ready to talk about his rise, fall and new rise, only to "20/20." >> oh, christ almighty, my friend. are you losing your mind? >> are you? >> and the fireworks are just getting started. >> none of that happened. good-bye. >> you're walking out on this interview? >> yes, because you are not kept your word. >> good evening, i'm elizabeth vargas. >> and i'm david muir. he calls himself the god of computer security, and now john mcafee, the man who invented the
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mcafee anti-virus so viruvirus answering hard questions about what happened after those millions. >> at a time when everyone is focused on computer hacking, he's front and center again. bull for a man whose every move was once on camera, what happened during those mysterious off the radar years? when the larger than life character was suspected of taking a life? matt gutman's been following him for four years to find out. >> reporter: there are so many layers to the epic disturbing story of john mcafee, maybe because there are so many john mcafees. >> john mcafee is one of the wildest characters you'll ever come across. >> the >> reporter: there's mcafee the party animal. >> john? >> reporter: mcafee, the silicon valley gazillionaire. >> he's someone that i feel is dangerous. >> reporter: even mcagree the presidential candidate. >> stand with me to protect our
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freedom. >> reporter: pinning down the truth in mcagree's life story is never easy, because often, it is as slippery as he is. >> he is like teflon, nothing sticks to the man. >> reporter: if the name mcagree rings a bell, it should. there's a good chance it's on your home computer screen right now. yep, he's the guy behind the famous mcagree anti-virus software. we say we're going to talk tomorrow, does that mean face to face? i first crossed paths with mcagree in 2012 when he'd become even more famous south of the border. he was on the run and would only talk to me by phone. >> you may think that you're not being followed, but i can assure you you are. >> reporter: hello? but i wasn't chasing him around late m latin america because of a cyber crime, but allegations that he murdered fellow american greg fall. >> we begin with that software millionaire on the run. >> reporter: police wanted to question mcagree about the murder, but he didn't want to answer. he dodged authorities all the
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way back to the u.s. where he has been ever since, never charged with a crime. >> the pandora's box has been opened. >> reporter: but what makes this story even stranger is john mcagree's latest incarnation. >> our computers are no longer back in our office, they are in our hands. >> reporter: these days, he's re-emerged also a prophet of digital doom and his warnings about cyber threats attract plenty of eyeballs both in person and on tv. >> we're being spied on by our government. >> reporter: even with all that attention, what he hasn't done since returning home is a no holds barred interview on every aspect of his past. but now, after more than four years, i'm about to get my chance. i admit, i've heard so many things about him. he's erratic, he's a high tech prince of darkness. he's just plain dangerous. that i'm nervous. i've been worried about john mcagree. i'm keeping my second cell phone and my credit cards here at the hotel so they don't get hacked.
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i drive onto our meeting place, a parking lot in rural tennessee, where mcagree greets me like a southern gentleman. >> how are you doing? good to see you. >> reporter: how are you? we talk a bit and head off in his tank-like truck. >> if i have to put up with people like this, then i'm going to have fun doing it. >> reporter: to him, reporters a ball of twine to a cat. something to play with until he gets bored. we arrive at a quiet suburban downtown for a casual lunch at this mexican restaurant. yeah, i like mexican food, sure. said you grew up in a town like this in virginia, right? we talked about his troubled childhood. one of the things that was not idyllic there was your father, you said that he was a raging alcoholic, that he was abusive to you and to your mother? >> yeah. nobody has an ideal life. even children. >> reporter: he died when you were 15? >> 15.
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he shot himself. >> reporter: he shot himself? >> yeah. people always look to the past to explain the present. doesn't work that way. >> reporter: the present for mcagree, this upscale but hardly lavish spread. he shares it with his new wife, janice, his ever present body guard and his dogs. as we sit down inside, fortified by a glass of expensive scotch, mcagree continues with his life story, saying that despite being a lazy kid, he always got straight as. >> math came easy to me. i never studied. i just did what i felt like i should do. >> reporter: in college, mcagree says he began peddling a product he knew he could sell. cocaine. it is interesting that drug dealing was really your first foray into entrepreneurship. >> yeah. well, as it is -- it's entrepreneurship. it's everything. it's salesmanship. >> reporter: then came the dawn of the go-go '80s. ♪ our lips are sealed
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>> reporter: big hair, even bigger shoulder pads. pac-man fever. as the home computer revolution kicked in, mcafee now working as a programmer was among the first to identify its perils and a potential profit. >> a computer virus is a programmer written by a hacker with a unique purpose. and that purpose is to multiply and live. i was speaking out, oh, yeah, i can stop this here, i can do this, i can remove the thing. and wrote a program in a day and a half. >> reporter: so, mcafee was created in a day and a half? >> yes. >> reporter: how well did it work? >> 4 million people were using it within a month. >> five years later, over half the fortune 500 companies in america were using it. that's how important it was to their business. >> reporter: in no time, the software bad boy amassed a fortune. after a few years, he cashed out. you made $100 million from
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selling mcafee, right? >> that's what they say. >> reporter: how much did you make? >> much more. >> reporter: what did you do with the money? >> i wasted it. >> reporter: he built nine homes, filled them with expensive art. filled them with antique cars. >> is that love? isn't it selfishness? >> reporter: his next chapter, creating a yoga retreat in colorado, reinventing himself as a new age guru but stowing his eternal wisdom on his guests. >> it's all about need. and jealousy is all about the fear of losing all of these there sant things which you obtained. >> reporter: but mcafee says his zen was disrupted by what calls prfrivolous lawsuits. in 2009, mcafee let it be known he lost most of his money. >> how to kiss nearly $100 million good-bye.
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>> sometimes a little bit of pain is necessary to see and understand the true circumstances of your life. >> reporter: "nightline" covered this auction on mcafee's ranch where everything, including his beloved airplanes, exotic art collection, even the gold elephant and dinosaur skull went on the block. >> $1 million. >> reporter: mcafee claims it was all a charade, a ruse. he was just trying to look broke so people would stop suing him. >> no, i didn't lose my fortune. i'm not that stupid. >> reporter: whatever the case, one part of that report is indisputable. >> now, mcafee plans to take his remaining handful of millions and head to central america. >> reporter: next stop, belize. he figured, no one would sue him there. >> mcafee hassen eluding police. >> reporter: but he probably never imagined hz time in the tropical paradise would make him an international fugitive.
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stay with us.
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once again, we return to "20/20." here's matt gutman.
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>> reporter: here at chez mcafee, the scotch is brought in by the case. >> and champagne is waiting as usual. >> reporter: champagne is on ice. >> excuse me for smoking, people. but it's one of my vices. >> reporter: cigarettes are always ablaze. and the guns are always loaded. >> this is at 1,300 feet per second. this is 800 feet per second. >> reporter: so which would hurt more? >> oh, this, absolutely. >> reporter: but i'm not here for a party or target practice. i'm here to talk to him about how his life took a very dark turn during his central american interlude. why did you go to belize in the first place? >> well, because, i'm a stupid man. >> reporter: easy to joke now, in his pleasant suburban kitchen. but back in 2009, before everything went so horribly wrong, belize seemed a brilliant idea for john mcafee, who was eager to escape the cascade of lawsuits back in the u.s. >> most beautiful beach in the world, a reef a quarter of a mile offshore.
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i snorkel, i fish, i swim. i love the water. it was beautiful. >> reporter: the quintessential millionaire's dream. he purchased a spread on an island called ambergris caye, surrounded by american expats. but mcafee's most intriguing fantasy wasn't on the beach at all. >> get ready for some serious heart of darkness here. >> reporter: as seen on this cnbc report, he purchased a second property in the interior of the country and moved deep in the jungle to a place called orange walk, where he had set up a lab. >> i thought, wow, this is a dream come true. >> reporter: allison adonizio was a harvard-trained microbiologist he brought into the jungle. the famed entrepreneur was at it again with his latest startup venture, creating plant-based antibiotics. but she says the enterprise fell apart when her benefactor started to come unhinged.
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>> he became very paranoid, he was talking about taking over the country. i started to think, "this guy is a madman." >> reporter: mcafee says he was helping the locals, feeding poor families and providing many with jobs. >> i employed half of the town. i can show you a letter from the mayor, saying that mr. mcafee's done more for orange walk than any of our citizens have. >> reporter: but exactly what was he doing for those citizens? mcafee admits he brought in young women to be in his harem. then there was the gang of convicted criminals mcafee proudly says he hired as his armed bodyguards, his own private militia. >> everybody i hired was an ex-felon and had spent half of their life in prison. >> reporter: it sounds like that's a recipe for disaster. >> they never shot anybody. never even pointed a gun at anybody because they were dangerous people. >> he called them hitmen. he told me repeatedly that he could have people hurt, taken
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out if he wanted to. >> reporter: adonizio says it all became too much for her. but listen to her traumatic account of what she says happened when she told mcafee she wanted out. >> when i did go over there, the conversation did not go as i expected. and -- oh, god, i feel so stupid. >> reporter: she wasn't able to go on. >> i'm sorry, i just -- >> reporter: the one time she was able to describe publicly what she says happened was in a documentary film about mcafee called "gringo." >> i told him i had a headache and he went into the other room and he brought me two pills and a glass of orange juice. it tasted foul.
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>> reporter: she says he drugged her with that juice and then raped her. >> i only have sort of flashes of recollection, he was standing over me naked. i grabbed my clothes, i don't even remember taking them off. >> reporter: adonizio says she quickly fled belize without telling the local police. she says u.s. authorities told her they had no jurisdiction, so no charges were pursued. >> i don't know what to tell you except that i have emotional and physical scars from that experience. >> allison adonizio, a madwoman. >> reporter: a madwoman. >> a madwoman. >> reporter: well, she claims that you raped her. drugged her and raped her. >> well, she can claim whatever she likes. never had sex with her, certainly never raped her. she seemed rational. she was not. >> i find it rather ironic that somebody as unhinged as mcafee would say that i'm unstable.
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i think that i'm pretty strong, considering everything that i've had to go through. >> reporter: then, in april of 2012, mcafee was about to have trouble with the law for an entirely different reason. >> there was a belief he was manufacturing illicit drugs in the compound because of all the different criminal elements that were there. it's very unusual that you would be doing research into plants and you need so many people to protect you. >> reporter: belize's gang suppression unit raided his lab, they say on suspicion he was making meth. no drugs were found. >> police! >> reporter: mcafee claims the goth was harassing him because he wouldn't pay bribes. >> i was on the verge of something. when i refused to pay an extortion for $2 million and a week later, the gang
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suppression unit destroyed my lab. >> reporter: mcafee abandoned the jungle and moved back to ambergris caye. but trouble followed. among his neighbors was this man, greg faull, a builder who came from central florida to central america. >> this is the house in belize. took him about seven years to build it. >> reporter: greg's mother eileen keeney says her son wanted a peaceful retirement in the caribbean but when she came to visit him a few months later, she says it was anything but peaceful. >> greg was not happy with him, and he had had some issues with mcafee. >> reporter: keeney says her son greg was disgusted by what mcafee had brought back from the jungle. that harem of women, the armed guards, and especially the swarm of dogs that constantly menaced passersby. >> he said, now, we're going to be walking past mcafee's house and there's going to be dogs there. now, they're usually fenced up, but he says, i just want to warn you. >> reporter: as keeney headed
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home to florida, she had no clue what was ahead. two days later, she received an unfathomable phone call from her daughter. >> and then she told me greg's been murdered, and i let out this blood-curdling scream. >> reporter: a brutal beachside murder. was the eccentric millionaire involved? i have a couple more questions. coming up, when we press him, we discover that is a touchy subject. >> nothing happened. good-bye. >> reporter: you're walking out on this interview? >> [ bleep ] yes, because you have not kept your [ bleep ] word. >> reporter: stay with us.
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the apartment building where the fire was. when things like this happen, i think you find a new perspective on life. hi. red cross put us in a hotel so we were able to stay together. we're strong and,
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if we overcame that or if we can overcome that, we can overcome anything, so. [ sniffle ] >> reporter: november 2012. trouble is brewing in belize. american greg faull has had it with his neighbor john mcafee's
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pack of aggressive dogs, and he told friends he was going to take care of the problem. >> greg had told him he was going to poison the dogs. >> reporter: then, one evening, some poisoned meat is thrown over mcafee's fence. all nine of his dogs are poisoned. >> gregory faull complained about mcafee's dogs, and shortly after, the dogs are poisoned, and they die. >> reporter: the very next night, an intruder sneaks into faull's home, tasers him several times and then shoots him in the head. >> no one had confronted mcafee and faull did. you see, there's a linkage there. >> reporter: the house showed no sign of forced entry. nothing was taken from inside. >> he was brutally murdered and he had no enemies. >> reporter: but belizean journalist jose sanchez says his country is notorious as a place where just about anyone can get away with murder. >> unless there is an eyewitness to a crime, murder is rarely solved in belize. and that is the reason why there
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is a 3% average conviction rate. >> reporter: still, belize police quickly name mcafee as a person of interest in faull's murder. and because of that famous name, seen on millions of computers worldwide, the story makes international headlines. >> on the run from police in belize. >> john mcafee has been marked. >> reporter: police want to talk to mcafee, but the feeling's not mutual. even as the news of the murder breaks -- >> police launch a full-scale search. >> reporter: mcafee goes on the lam. >> of course he's the main suspect here. you've got motive, you've got the incident with the dogs. you've got their history. >> why would you go to the effort of hiding if you weren't guilty? >> reporter: why did you go on the run? >> because if i didn't go on the run, i'd be a dead man now. >> reporter: mcafee claims that after he refused to pay bribes, the belize government was out to get him, and the poisoning of his dogs and the murder of faull was somehow just part of that sinister plot.
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>> if you think they do not do this, then you are seriously naive and again i want to talk to the audience. please, people, even in television you see this happening constantly, all right? and some part of that television or the movies, some part of it is probably true. >> that allegation that he makes, that the government killed his dogs, and the government killed faull, because he wouldn't pay bribes. it's utter nonsense. >> reporter: the belizean government wouldn't comment on mcafee's accusations, but many, including the prime minister, called him crazy. >> it strikes me that he's extremely paranoid. in fact, i would go so far as to say bonkers. >> reporter: but bonkers or not, belize couldn't catch him. safety first. that's when i started on his trail. >> abc news' matt gutman is in belize with the latest. >> reporter: from just outside john mcafee's compound, its owner this morning is on the run. were you guys scared? >> yeah.
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this is isla bonita. this is paradise. things like this don't happen around here. >> reporter: three weeks underground, all the while calling in to u.s. journalists. >> john mcafee is joining us now by telephone. >> my life has become a little more intense. i'm going to ask you some questions -- >> reporter: including me. you're sincerely concerned if you somehow wind up in their custody, they're going to assassinate you? >> absolutely. >> reporter: why were you contacting journalists while you were on the run? it seems like a bad idea, if you're trying to stay hidden. >> no, it was a really good idea. >> reporter: why? >> as long as the world was paying attention, they couldn't actually shoot me in the street. >> that story continues to get even more strange by the hour. >> reporter: strange indeed. he finally surfaced across the border in guatemala. >> thank god i am in a place where there is some sanity. >> reporter: where we met face to face for the first time. how have you been? >> really good since i got here. >> reporter: he told me his great escape involved everything from burying himself in the sand, to a series of elaborate
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disguises. >> and i had a cane, and i was walking like this, and i had my jaws stuffed with toilet paper. >> reporter: he was hoping for political asylum. but instead, just a few hours later -- >> john, where are you going? >> to jail. >> reporter: vice tv filmed him being arrested, as guatemala prepared to deport him back to belize to face questioning. his attorney has been arguing all along that any move for mcafee back to belize could risk his life. >> reporter: but before they could put him on a plane, mcafee collapsed. an ambulance rushed him to the hospital with a media horde following behind. but miraculously, mcafee opened his eyes and asked the nurses not to undress him in front of the cameras. >> not in front of the press, please. >> reporter: you faked a heart attack. >> sure, i faked it, what would you have done? >> reporter: the whole charade lasted just long enough to allow
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his lawyer to file an appeal. >> john mcafee has been granted a stay of deportation to belize. >> reporter: mcafee outfoxed belize, again. in the meantime, mcafee will have to wait in this lockup full of south american migrants until the high court here can decide his fate. from inside that facility, he still managed to tap out messages to the world. >> i apologize for the format of this conference. our intent is to return to america if at all possible. >> reporter: and lo and behold, that's exactly what happened. >> there's nothing i can say, i don't know what i'm doing, i'm going to miami. >> reporter: guatemala authorities deported mcafee to miami. >> i had no choice. they put me on an airplane, i am here. >> reporter: there, he escaped reporters in this van. i was again able to run him down, and a little while later we sat down at his hotel. how would you characterize the past month, or couple of months? >> more of an adventure than i
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would normally like. i've got nothing now. >> reporter: what does nothing mean? >> i've got a pair of clothes, some shoes, a friend dropped off some cash. >> reporter: a friend dropped off cash? can we see it? >> sure. brand new. really nice. in fact, i thought, it has count counterfei ty, but it was not. >> reporter: so, when you and i spoke that night, you had no idea what you were going to do? >> no, absolutely not. none. i let the universe unveil its plan. >> reporter: the universe led mcafee here to this miami restaurant, where he crossed paths with his future wife. you met in miami, right? >> yeah, that first night. >> the day after he was deported. >> reporter: janice was a prostitute at the time. >> it was, i don't know how to say it, magical. because he saw the hurt that was there. he saw the human in me, you know what i'm saying? but he thought i was worthy enough of a second chance. >> reporter: is it strange for you to have found love in your late 60s, early 70s?
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>> you know what? i instantly saw in janice what i had been looking for my entire life. >> reporter: but as mcafee was starting out on that new life -- >> yes, i was outraged. i was angry. >> reporter: eileen keeney still wanted to make him pay for what she believed were the sins of his old one. >> i have a folder here of all the letters and correspondence that we had with officials in the government. senator nelson, u.s. embassy, belize. >> reporter: she did everything a grieving mother could do to get answers, and justice, for the death of her son. >> i can't say it brought much in the way of results. >> reporter: but now she's got newfound hope, thanks to new allegations against mcafee. you found the smoke to the fire of the greg faull murder. >> yes, i did. >> reporter: did a documentary filmmaker make the case that the police couldn't? >> please turn the cameras off.
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>> reporter: when "20/20" continues.
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hmm. [cell phone beeps] hey! [police whistle blows] [horns honking] woman: hey! [bicycle bell rings]
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turn here. there. excuse me. uh. uh. [indistinct announcement on p.a. system] so, same time next week? well, of course. announcer: put away a few bucks. feel like a million bucks. for free tips to help you save, go to ♪ feed the pig "20/20" continues. >> reporter: in his rural tennessee outpost, john mcafee has a new set of dogs, but he's
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pretty much given up the trappings of his old millionaire lifestyle. for a guy who, in belize, had all of these toys, boats, sailboats, this is a quaint suburban lifestyle. >> the things you think you own, own you. >> reporter: but even here he still has an armed bodyguard anywhere he goes. >> people ask me, you think you'll ever have to use it? i say, no, but you only get one shot. >> reporter: and a private arsenal at the ready inside the house. i don't even know what this is. >> i'm not going to tell you what that is, because that's the newest weapon available. >> we're not going to tell you anything. >> reporter: is it a real gun, though? >> believe me, it's a [ bleep ] real gun. >> reporter: do you have a fascination with guns? >> i have no fascination with guns. i have a fascination with survival. >> reporter: when you held that gun up to your head in that picture, were you thinking about your father, who took his own life? >> oh, christ almighty, my friend, are you losing your mind? >> reporter: are you? >> no. >> reporter: mcafee and his wife
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claim that for the past four years, they've been followed wherever they go. >> we had been chased for days, and you could see the same cars and trucks over, and over, and over. >> reporter: are you paranoid? >> if i were, would i know? >> he makes up a lot of preposterous statements. >> reporter: paranoia or not, there's no doubt at all that filmmaker nanette burstein has been hot on his trail. when her film "gringo" was released last year, it caused shockwaves, thanks to interviews with mcafee's ex-employees who talk about his bizarre activities. when it specifically comes to faull's murder -- you think found the smoke to the fire of the greg faull murder. >> yes, i did. >> reporter: this man, mcafee's beachfront caretaker named cassian, alleges his boss paid to have it done. >> it started the night the dogs were poisoned. the following morning, sometime around 9:00, john calls me. he said, take this money, $5,000, and go put it in this guy's account. >> reporter: cassian says the
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man who got that money called him late the night of the murder to come pick him up. >> i saw him coming out of the bushes. it was like 600 feet from greg's house. then i realized that this $5,000 was for him to do that. >> to do what? >> to kill the guy. to kill the guy. >> reporter: the supposed killer denied both cassian's story, and that he killed faull, but it seems like a damning accusation. >> there was some very convincing testimony, very convincing evidence that i had not seen before that makes me believe that there could be an investigation reopened. >> reporter: this documentary has brought what appears to be new evidence -- [ laughter ] mcafee laughs it off. >> everyone who went on tv called me and said, they offered mekas cash, they offered me $120
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u.s., and i said, take it. >> reporter: mcafee accuses burstein of paying cassian and others in the film to tell lies. >> he got $12,000, but he was smart enough to make up a story that no one would believe except nanette, because she is the most naive woman i have ever met. >> nanette has been after me since -- >> reporter: mcafee posted videos online in which cassian, and others, take back what they said. >> john had nothing to do with that murder. what i told you, nanette, was a fabrication to earn what you offered to pay me. >> reporter: those are some serious accusations. >> they are. >> reporter: burstein denies paying for any interviews, though she says she did pay what she calls a nominal fee for some photos. she says mcafee was the only one who paid for a story, pressuring cassian to recant. >> i called him, immediately, and said, listen, why did you do this? and he said, someone showed up at my house that works for john, they offered me thousands of dollars to say this.
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>> people in belize understand why cassian and the others have to say that they made it all up, because their lives could possibly be in danger. >> reporter: now, both cassian and mcafee deny that he was paid off to change his story. >> let me make this perfectly clear. i had nothing to do with the murder of gregory faull. you are asking the most ridiculous things. >> reporter: you have to admit that it's not ridiculous that your dogs, nine of your dogs, your beloved i dos were poisoned -- >> were killed by the government. >> reporter: that would make a man that loves animals absolutely irate. >> right. now -- >> reporter: it would be enough to make a man, who loves his dogs, willing to kill, some would say. >> does this man look like he would be stupid enough to kill whoever was responsible? >> reporter: i don't think he would be stupid enough. >> the night after? >> because this is a logical question. >> reporter: did you order a hit on him? >> of course not. please. i am sick of belize. we are finished with belize. >> reporter: that is your choice, but we're not. i have a couple more questions about belize.
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as we ratcheted up the pressure on mcafee about belize, he started to walk out on our main interview. you're walking out? >> [ bleep ] yes, because you have not kept your [ bleep ] word. >> reporter: i have kept my word. there had been no preconditions to the interview and mcafee quickly calmed down and sat down. but coming up next, i follow mcafee where none of this matters. where he is a hero and the subject is the future, not the past.
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mcafee. a barely passable virus scanning program that updates at the worst possible times. >> reporter: here's something you rarely see, an inventor trashing the very product that made him filthy rich. >> i've had nothing to do with mcafee software for over 15 years. i've had more pressing things to do. >> reporter: in this masterpiece of satire called "how to uninstall mcafee antivirus," >> he's going to take you through how to uninstall mcafee software. >> reporter: mcafee makes light of his harem and his affinity for drugs and weapons. >> i know exactly what to do. >> reporter: the company that still bears his name called the video ludicrous, saying it "has no basis in reality." >> this ring is two computers. >> reporter: mcafee says he's got plenty of new tricks up his sleeve -- or actually, on his finger.
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>> this is called an nfc ring, near field communications. >> reporter: he's showing me some of the high-tech spyware that's out on the market. >> so i am going to borrow your phone, i put it to my ear. >> reporter: but it's really a warning. >> i could've downloaded a script which took full control of your phone. you're living in an age of no privacy. this is my new product, every key. >> reporter: mcafee is still a player in the cyber security business. >> this is not just the key to my online accounts or the key to my car or the key to my house. it's my every key. >> reporter: but very 2017. >> we are the revolution of access control. >> reporter: he's the ceo of mgt capital, a company that invests in cyber security like this cell phone which mcafee claims is the first ever that can't be hacked. given the obsession with hacking, it seems like a perfect time for john mcafee. >> well, it's an opportunity for me to speak again. people are listening. >> in the cyber security community, there are legends.
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>> people are watching you. >> reporter: he falls into that category. and now, he comes back and says, i was that guy and now i'm still that guy. >> they believe -- ten blocks away from the white house. >> reporter: he's constantly talking with reporters. even when he's got one riding right beside him. >> there is no one person who understands -- >> reporter: and truth is, it's one of the reasons why he says he agreed to spend time with me. so what do you hope to get out of this interview? >> i hope to get at least ten minutes that i can talk about the most serious problem in the world which is cyber security. we're living in 1984. our freedoms are being restricted. our security is being eroded, and we have no more privacy. if we lose privacy, we lose civilization and we will certainly lose our humanity. >> reporter: and mcafee version 2.0 isn't just living in seclusion in tennessee. he's taking his cyber security message on the road. do you know what you're going to talk about on larry king? >> not a clue. >> reporter: on this day, he's in new york city, a guest on larry king's show on the russia today network.
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>> john joins us from new york. all right, what do you make of this, john? >> in my this is the most horrifying of all of the leaks. they could have just as easily taken the plans for the nuclear bomber. maybe they did, i don't know. we're being spied on by our government. duh. i promise you, that dbackdoor will get out. >> reporter: his dire predictions find a home on cable talk shows and also at mainstream cyber tech conferences. >> there will come one day where simultaneously, everybody's wallets are emptieemptied. i was invited, no idea why, to speak to the chinese national security conference, largest in the world, 7,000 people, i got an ovation. >> reporter: mcafee says speeches like this fetch about $25,000. and last year, mcafee took his public persona to new heights. >> welcome back to our
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libertarian platform. >> reporter: remember this guy? mcafee ran to become the libertarian party candidate for president. >> liberty means our bodies and minds belong to ourselves. >> reporter: finishing a respectable runner-up. >> how can someone of that caliber, of that character, think he can run for president of the united states? >> reporter: meanwhile, people like greg faull's mother, eileen keeney, are wondering why no one is asking about what happened in belize anymore. >> i'm thinking, how can this happen? >> i used to think that he was just odd, flamboyant, a rebel. but he's not a rebel. he's a rapist. he's a dangerous individual. >> reporter: authorities in belize have never charged mcafee but he's not out of the woods. former employee and current accuser allison adonizio says the fbi is currently talking to her and others about mcafee's activities. >> my understanding is that there are recent and active
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investigations still into the murder of greg faull. my hope is that justice will eventually be served. >> reporter: but mcafee did have one scrape with the law. >> i am john mcafee. you've probably read about me living here. the fbi is going to be looking for me if you want to call them. >> the fbi? >> reporter: and it was all captured on tape. >> i'm sort of the god of computer security. >> reporter: stay with us.
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at 15, i was addicted. by 40, i'll have lung disease. at 50, i'll die of a heart attack. dr. regina benjamin: cigarette smoke causes immediate damage that leads to health problems, even death. those who quit or die are being replaced by a new generation of smokers. i'm dr. regina benjamin, united states surgeon general. go to cdc.gov. learn how to make our next generation tobacco-free.
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once again, we return to "20/20." here's matt gutman. >> he passes this truck and nearly hit a car head-on coming up the hill right here. >> reporter: the man who played catch me if you can with the law in central america, finally got caught in central tennessee. but not for what you might think. >> put your hands on top of your head. >> reporter: john mcafee is pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence not far from his tennessee home. >> i'm john mcafee, you probably read about me living here. >> i don't know who you are. >> really? >> i don't. >> reporter: he wasn't drunk, he says, he was high on xanax. high on xanax? how many xanax had you taken?
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>> well, it was what the doctor prescribed. it was a legal prescription. i'm the guy that's been accused of a murder in belize. and ran to guatemala. >> okay. >> i escaped to america, i've been living here for three years. >> i got you. >> the fbi's going to be looking for me if you don't call them. >> the fbi? >> reporter: you were in the back seat of that police cruiser raving. >> you still have stuff to do with that computer virus deal? >> well, i'm sort of the god of computer security. my lawyer wanted to fight it. i say, listen, no, 48 hours in jail, i can do. >> reporter: mcafee pleaded guilty and since his license is still suspended, he sits in the back seat with me while janice drives. why were you prescribed xanax? what were you taking it for? >> i was not sleeping properly. i always have a lot on my mind. >> reporter: what's keeping him awake? perhaps not those questions from belize. but no matter how he's reinvented himself, he remains unpredictable. just hours after we said
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good-bye to him, a new mcafee health scare, and this time he wasn't faking. his appendix had burst and he landed in the hospital, texting me this picture. once on the mend, mcafee turned on me again, texting me, "in the end, you proved no better than what one would expect from lowlife mainstream media." meanwhile, back in belize, echoes of mcafee's infamy remain. at the site of his old property, there's now a watering hole fittingly called, "john's escape." >> i can't say i've given up on my hopes for justice. >> reporter: but eileen keeney is confident that "john's escape" is just temporary. >> maybe i just have faith that i believe that god has a way of taking care of people like him. >> we should note, greg faull's daughter has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against john mcafee. >> and there's a movie in the works, johnny depp will be
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playing mcafee in the movie. the working title? "king of the jungle." and that's our program for tonight. i'm elizabeth vargas. >> and i'm david muir. thank you so much for watching. from all of us at "20/20" and abc news, good night. it's earned in every wash, and re-earned every day. tide, america's #1 detergent
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