DEVIL IN THE DETAILS:
rUNNING WITH JOHN McAFEE
DEVIL IN THE DETAILS:
RUNNING WITH JOHN McAFEE
When computer anti-virus mogul John McAfee was wanted for questioning over the murder of Gregory Faull in Belize, he went on the run and invited VICE editor-in-chief Rocco Castoro.
Alongside conflict photojournalist Robert King, Castoro documented McAfee’s white-knuckle escape from Belize into Guatemala. But their story has remained untold, killed by VICE's top brass days before publication.
Ten years in the making, this podcast will drag you through the heat of the jungle and inside the paranoid web of McAfee’s twisted reality. It tells the long-censored true story of what happened that didn't make it into the Netflix documentary, Running With the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee.
PROLOGUE: THE McAFEE VIRUS
Ahead of the upcoming Netflix documentary, Running With the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee, Rocco Castoro sets the stage for what really happened when he and Robert King went on the run of a lifetime with John McAfee — and the aftermath of having one of the biggest stories in the world caught and killed by a major media outlet.
PART ONE: BETTER BELIZE IT
After receiving an invitation from a mysterious French-Canadian to join John McAfee on the run in Belize, Rocco Castoro makes the arrangements, enlisting the services of Robert King right after his return from Syria. Featuring unheard audio, Rocco illustrates his first day documenting McAfee's escape from Belize as the paranoid millionaire fugitive crafts elaborate distractions for the authorities to assist his escape.
Ten years later, Rocco re-connects with the man who set him on his bizarre excursion, François Garcia, perhaps the world’s foremost authority on this chapter of the antivirus mogul’s life. Like Rocco, Francois's long-gestating project on McAfee has been killed by powerful forces time and time again.
PART TWO: GUATEMALA OR BUST
Rocco Castoro draws us further into the nebulous vortex of John McAfee as he follows him down the Rio Dulce and into Guatemala. Evading an international crisis of his own making after being labeled a person of interest in his neighbor’s murder, McAfee schemes ways to cross into Guatemala undetected by the government officials, death squads, and narcos whom he is convinced want his head.
Rocco continues his conversation with François Garcia, a film producer who was also managing McAfee’s publicity at the time. François speaks about his intensely bizarre experiences dealing with the world’s most devilish social engineer who, it seems, has forever been on the run. But is McAfee running from oppressive adversaries… or just his own mind?
PART THREE: WE ARE WITH JOHN McAFEE RIGHT NOW, SUCKERS
This episode begins to dissect the specter that has haunted Rocco Castoro since he was editor-in-chief at VICE: the geodata incident. Since 2012, hundreds of news reports blamed Castoro for leaking McAfee’s location in Guatemala while he was on the run.
Despite Castoro’s warnings to remove the data before publishing, the VICE news desk in Brooklyn made the monumental error by irresponsibly publishing the photo with exif data, which had been included in case someone needed to find Castoro's body.
For the first time, Castoro’s former colleague Sasha Hecht talks about what it was like at the VICE office that day while Castoro ran for his life and tried to protect his source after authorities were alerted to his location — and the whereabouts of his source, who was wanted for questioning by Interpol.
PART FOUR: THE BUST
After making it to Guatemala City, John McAfee retains the former attorney general of Guatemala, Telésforo Guerra, who also happens to be the great uncle of McAfee's girlfriend Samantha Vanegas.
Guerra assures crew he can get their passports stamped. Guerra arranges a press conference for McAfee to announce his application for political asylum in Guatemala. Just as the heat seems to simmer down after the geodata incident, federal police and Interpol appear outside the hotel and detain McAfee.
Rocco also speaks with Rick Stepp, professor of anthropology at the University of Florida who spent close to a decade of his career in the same region of Belize that McAfee tried to subvert and commandeer.
PART FIVE: THE ROCCO AND ROBERT SHOW
Polishing off the Running With McAfee article, Rocco walks through the experience of having his belongings stolen and trying to get them back from a Guatemalan detention center.
Rocco and Robert King tell you in explicit detail how the media works vis-a-vis the John McAfee story VICE Media’s bosses killed. Rocco and Robert clown the entire media.
They were 100% correct and every other journalist who wrote about how they weren’t but didn’t bother to call them is a baby brained loser who should roll up the carpets and go hide in the woods before they hurt themselves or someone else does.
PART SIX: THE ROBERT AND ROCCO SHOW
Rocco Castoro and Robert King talk about the aftermath of their adventure and how VICE barred Rocco from any further reporting on McAfee. Robert King continued with the story when McAfee was deported to Miami, using a list of questions from Rocco.
After Rocco announced his resignation from VICE at a media ethics panel at the University of Chicago, King released a short video clip clearing their names of responsibility for the geodata incident, leading to an email from VICE regarding McAfee that raised major red flags.
When McAfee settles in Tennessee, King picks up the story again, going back “on the run” with McAfee after he gets in trouble with the law over and over.
PART SEVEN: HOLLYWOOD vs. McAFEE
While John McAfee sat in a Guatemalan detention cell, he made an exclusive deal with documentary producer Francois Garcia to tell his story. After his deportation to Miami, McAfee traveled the country worming his way back into the media spotlight, despite looming cartel paranoia.
Garcia followed McAfee for several years producing a documentary series about McAfee's life with director Billy Corben, facing some typical challenges of "show business," along with strange interference by documentary filmmaker Nanette Burstein.
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The Wild World of John McAfee
He's the original computer genius gone rogue, inventor of one of the most successful (and most hated) pieces of software of all time: McAfee Anti-Virus. At his peak, John McAfee was worth $100 million. But when his neighbor was murdered, McAfee went on the run -- and invited a film crew (journalist Rocco Castoro and photojournalist Robert King) with him. With access to hundreds of hours of never-before-broadcast footage of McAfee as he's pursued by the authorities, this is the definitive story of a larger-than-life character, a man who ran for President, escaped from prison multiple times, and claimed to have hacked the world.