.....well, following his blog.....

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12-4-12 to 12-17-12

Sam on the run

JM, Sam & Guerra in Guatemala

On December 4, we were officially notified that JM and Sam were in Guatemala.  Sappy comments (me included) about them being safe filled the pages, and that was great, but let's get on with it .......I was itching for some more.  And it came......later that day we got a Vice video , showing the last few days on the run, plus another piece from Vice showing John and Sam in Guatemala City, meeting with JM's new attorney (former Attorney General in Guatemala, and Sam's uncle).  Things were finally looking up.  Or at least that's what most of us were hoping for.

On the 5th, we found out there would be a press conference the next day in Guatemala, where John was planning to shed some more light on the situation in Belize.   Back on wim, we learned of more  abuses of the absolutely disgusting display of corruption, however more common in our readings.  On the evening of the 5th, outside his Hotel, JM was arrested by the SPT (Special Police Task force), for entering the country illegally, and taken to the Immigration Center where he was detained.  It's interesting to note here that while all 4 travelers, John, Sam, Rocco and Robert had entered the country without the required exit stamp from Belize, only John was arrested.

Detention in Guatemala

Being detained was horrible considering how close freedom had come, and I'm assuming boring, because suddenly the posts started coming more frequently.   Blogging from jail was just one more McAfee invention.  So we'd been the first to follow a (mostly) real time escape, with constant updates, and now a laptop in a cell kept us informed.  LOL JM.

The US Embassy proved to be no help, and things were looking bleak.  Then, horrified, we learned JM had suffered one or more heart attacks in the detention center. When I saw the footage of him strapped to a gurney, his concern focused on how he looked for the camera's,  and I had an immediate feeling of relief.....**wink**.  He was rushed to the hospital, with the media in tow.  After a check up and some fluids, it was back to was exhaustion, probably dehydration too, but not a heart attack.  It was after all this we got news that a judge had temporarily halted any actions that would have sent JM back to Belize.  On December 7th, we met Harold M. who started posting on the blog.  It was all very James Bond......information that McAfee wanted released in the event he wasn't heard from for 24 hrs.  Details and documentation started pouring out of Harold, or ummm, John as the more observant noticed (he outed himself again, like File Post 4 & 5....among others) but this whole series of posts provided an immense amount of damning information, and we learned so much in a short time.  Recordings of what sounds like (at minimum) a death wish for JM due to a refused shake down, an attempted extortion by someone named Swan - complete with a drawing by Chad (who had come to Belize about 'The Hinterland'),  an execution plan- the motive.... JM's money,  seekrit meetings, gangsters, and Government corruption around every corner.  Yes,  Barrow and friends had a really sweet deal going on in Belize, and they weren't about to give it up.  No wonder they wanted to 'talk' to JM in person.....

On the 9th, John held a 'press conference' from his jail cell.  Unfortunately, it wasn't the huge  spectacle most of us were looking for.  Poor planning?  Lack of interest?  Limited audience?  All of the above?  Personally, I think allowing questions from 'regular people', (especially informed blog followers), and not just reporters would have changed the whole dynamic.  Suffice it to say that it had none of the impact anyone following along had anticipated.  None.  Instead, JM looked slightly disheveled, out of sorts, and without the flood of questions he expected.  It served as fuel for the 'McAfee went nuts in the jungle' fire and combined with the reportedly 'fake' heart attacks, did JM no favors in the court of public opinion.  A firestorm of 'crazy fucker' started all over again.  It was slowed the next day by the link JM provided about Jasmine Lowe, the young girl whose life had been stolen by a sick & disgusting man that June (the Belize section has more info on the mark Jasmine left on her country).   The termination of his relationship with Vice, reported to us by Harold M. on the 11th fueled the fire again, with so many people questioning JM's media choices.  The leaking of the 'exif' data that led to his arrest in Guatemala was just a little to convenient to have been a mistake, I guess.  How could this technological genius let this happen? I'm still amazed to this day when I hear people call McAfee that.  The man is a marketing just happened to be the I recall, he paid someone $200. to write the original anti-virus program.  Any computer prowess JM held 30 years ago has long since been overwritten by the wave of new techies, but it doesn't even matter......he'll never lose that ability to spin, turn, intrigue, and have  people clamoring to get their hands on whatever he's selling.

'FREE' was the post title of Dec. 12th, and most of us were overjoyed.  'Harold' let us know that JM was going to be released, with the anticipation of being allowed to return to the USA.  That was at 1 am.  An hour later Chad put up his own congratulations post to John, and while it was the middle of the night, the comments were in no short supply.  We were next notified that JM was indeed being released that morning.  While he waited, John explained the reason he had become Harold (as so many of us had suspected all along) was simply to allow him to keep blogging without creating trouble for Guatemala.  It was brilliant....something we had all come to expect from him anyway, but brilliant none the less.

Leaving Guatemala Airport....without John
Hours of calm passed, then suddenly we were told that JM was actually being expelled not just released.  They were taking him straight from the detention center to the airport, or should I say media circus, where he would be catching a plane to Miami.  Period.  He was separated from Sam (and Amy) and had zero choice in the matter.......there was no alternative.  A quick note to let us know he was on the plane, was the last we would hear from John McAfee for a few days.  He was in America, he was safe (?), and we breathed a collective sigh of relief.

This and other shots of Sam appeared and saddened us all over again.  In the joy over JM's safety, we had missed the big picture...... after all this time together.....the escape to freedom, only John would be going on this next leg

You no doubt noticed that I said (the last we) heard from him, not about him.  The comments under the last post had already supplied reports of his arrival in Miami.  There was a momentary message put up from John that he could not reach Sam, which was just as quickly removed.  Luckily The John McAfee Story captured a screenshot, because it was replaced by a message from Admin to please 'respect John's privacy tonight', which collected almost 400 comments of good wishes and offers of help.  It was hard to believe it had been only 24 hrs since we'd gotten the 'FREE' post.  Apparently no one told the media about respecting privacy, and the insane frenzy that ensued over the next few days was non-stop.  That's ok though, it seemed right up JM's alley......I think he enjoyed every last minute of it.  We saw pictures of him;  with fans,  at the center of mob scenes  outside his hotel, having cameras shoved in his face, and shopping for clothes......if McAfee was doing it, someone was filming it.  And interviews........lots and lots of them, usually conducted by talking heads who couldn't form an original question if their lives depended on it, but he was showing up on every network.   In other words,  he was the center of attention and would be getting no peace in Miami Florida.  To me, it was just part of the defense mechanism that had become both natural and necessary to his survival.  Many people misunderstood his need to remain out in the open, thinking he should have chosen a more remote hotel, or stayed in his room......but I think he knew exactly what he was doing.

Shopping in Miami

At the Beacon, South Beach

Is that Sam on the other end?

With Nicki 

Selfishly, it was frustrating for us to suddenly be relying on MSM to provide JM's location and activities......I mean, up to that point we had felt front and center, first to know, important even.  Links flew up on wim keeping us up to date, but it wasn't the same....... we were reading about him, seeing him on the news, hearing there was another Miami siting........everything except what we wanted..... having him post directly to us.  Finally a post to let us know that JM was traveling, and would be writing the next day.  It was already the 16th, and by this time we were like junkies without a fix....well ok, let's say absolutely ravenous for our next story.  We had been fed a pretty steady stream of information up to that point, and we knew there was much more to come, so surely being in the US was going to make that easier, right?   FINALLY.  On the 17th John did post.....about the horrifying massacre at Sandy Hook, and his desire to remain out of the spotlight for a while.  He suggested we do our best to remember only the names of the  innocent victims.   It was very sobering, and provided some much needed perspective.