John McAfee, the inventor of the McAfee antivirus software, is a rapist who has ordered two murders. Those are the allegations made in the Showtime documentary Gringo: The Dangerous Life Of John McAfee. After making a fortune starting a company to defend against computer viruses, John McAfee’s life seemed to go off track. He sold his stake in McAfee, bought a huge estate in Colorado and became a Yoga Guru. He then quit that completely and moved to the Central American country of Belize. In Belize, McAfee set himself up like a local god. There are even clips where he refers to himself like Mr. Kurtz from Heart Of Darkness.
Belize is a very poor, very dangerous country with a high crime rate and lots of illegal weapons. McAfee surrounded himself with heavily armed security men who were hired from the worst elements of the local gangs. If John McAfee walked down a tourist beach, he would be surround by 10 or 12 men with shotguns and AK-47s. He also had vicious dogs roaming the beach near his house.
A local thief named David Middleton had the nerve to rob John McAfee’s house. David Middleton was later was tortured and killed. The documentary claims that John McAfee had David Middleton killed as a lesson to anyone else in Belize who would dare cross him.
Gringo: The Dangerous Life Of John McAfee is directed by Nanette Burstein who does a fantastic job. She only gets 1 short interview with John McAfee, but does have an email relationship with him over a series of months. As it becomes obvious what information Burstein is after, the emails from McAfee get more ranting and threatening.
The film also alleges that John McAfee raped Allison Adonizio, a Harvard biologist who was working in Belize. McAfee had hired Adonizio and funded a lab for her to do biological research.
Allison Adonizio is a very sympathetic person on film. She comes across as a shy young woman. She claims that as John McAfee began acting more and more bizarre, she decided to leave the project. When she told him she was quitting, McAfee drugged her drink and raped her.
The second murder McAfee is accused of is that of American Gregory Faull, who had poisoned McAfee’s vicious dogs. Gregory Faull was a next door neighbor and had argued with McAfee about the dogs running wild on the beach. When the dogs turned up poisoned, McAfee went berserk and the film alleges that McAfee ordered Faull killed. When the Belize police tried to question McAfee, he fled the country and made his way back to the United States.
John McAfee comes across as a nasty, crazy, dangerous person throughout Gringo: The Dangerous Life Of John McAfee. However, that does not mean that any of the allegations are true. It is important to remember that any documentary can be edited to show a particular point of view and lead people to a particular conclusion.
John McAfee states categorically that he had nothing to do with the murders, and points out that he has never been charged for any crime in Belize. He admits to the bodyguards and weapons, but notes that these are a perfectly logical response to being the richest man in a very poor very violent country. He says he left Belize rather than face police questioning, since the police in Belize are so incompetent and corrupt that he could not be assured of a fair hearing.
As for the rape allegation by Allison Adonizio, McAfee also denies that. He says he fired Allison Adonizio since she was making no progress in her research. McAfee claims that before Adonizio left she destroyed every sample and document in the lab. He states the rape story is a vicious attempt to discredit him.
Gringo: The Dangerous Life Of John McAfee is a fascinating documentary and we recommend you watch it and come to your own conclusions. Certain points seem indisputable. One is that you should never visit Belize under any circumstances. The chief homicide detective admits that not only does Belize have a high murder rate, but that less than 10% of the murders are solved. Belize has no DNA testing and even fingerprint analysis is only now just starting to be used. The fact the the 2 murders noted in the film are unsolved is nothing unusual in Belize.
The second indisputable fact is that the American political electorate has an odd selection criteria. John McAfee ran for the 2016 Presidential nomination on the Libertine Party and came in second place. People asked him about cyber security and the economy, but the allegations of two murders and one rape never even came up. John McAfee has once again been able to completely re-invent himself. His days as Mr. Kurtz in the Heart of Belize have simply been relegated to a past life.
- We rate Gringo: The Dangerous Life Of John McAfee Four Stars ****
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