If you didn't see this one coming - and many media outlets did not - you haven't been paying attention to the John McAfee saga.
As rumors of the antivirus software pioneer's alleged capture circulated widely yesterday - fueled by McAfee's own blog and blogging cohorts - authorities in Belize denied they had the man in custody and, well, should have been believed. Here's a tweet McAfee supposedly posted within the hour:
And here's the latest post, purportedly from McAfee himself, on the blog he has used to communicate since shortly after his neighbor was murdered on Nov. 11 and McAfee went on the lam rather than face questioning from local police investigating that crime. Make of it what you will:
I apologize for the silence, and misdirection. 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. I will do a more detailed posting later today if all goes well. 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.
We are are well, but extremely tired. Vice Magazine, later today will do a posting, with video.
I left Belize because of a series of events which led both Sam and I to believe that she was in danger of capture. She has been my go-between and my eyes and ears in the outside world. I decided to make the move. I will be returning to Belize after I have place Sam in a safe position. My fight is in Belize, and I can do little in exile. My lifeline of information pertaining to the inner workings of the government depends on my physical presence.
Now that's hitting the high points of storytelling: "Misdirection:" check. "Not quite out of the woods:" check. North Korean "double:" check. Bumbling Mexican authorities: check. Girlfriend's life was in danger: check. "Exile" only temporary and a return to Belize coming: check.
As for me, I've been skeptical about all of this from the start, but here's what I intend to believe about McAfee going forward when it comes from the man himself (supposedly), his partners in blogging, and/or his hand-picked media friends: not ... one ... word.
(Update: Seems McAfee and Vice have had a falling out over a photograph, prompting McAfee to issue "another apology." As for the previous apology, it was over a doozy of a mistake by our lead character.)
(Update 2: Gizmodo has more about the photo mishap, which may or may not have revealed McAfee's location.)
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