Political Animal


December 02, 2012 1:52 PM Spectacularly nutzo true crime story of the day: John McAfee

By Kathleen Geier

OMG, this is so insane! True crime fans and others who are looking for a highly diverting read this Sunday afternoon: let me strongly recommend David Segal’s excellent New York Times piece about the bizarre murder case swirling around John McAfee. McAfee, the tech pioneer famous for his antivirus software, is currently on the lam from Belize authorities, who are seeking him for questioning as a “person of interest” in the murder of his neighbor. Best quip I’ve heard about this story so far: “Did his lawyer offer him a 30-day free trial?”

Seriously, folks, you have got to check this article out. There are a multitude of features which make this story so improbably entertaining. First of all, there is McAfee himself, who is, as RuPaul would put it, completely bat@#$% cray cray. And secondly — well, there’s everything else. This story has it all: exotic psychotropic drugs, a bevy of hookers, a multi-million dollar fortune, McAfee’s deranged behavior and bizarrely elaborate pranks, his obsessive quest for a Viagra for women, byzantine conspiracy theories — all set in an exceedingly dodgy tropical paradise that one observer refers to as “the Island of Misfit Toys.” Perhaps most notable in this internet age is the way McAfee has, in Segal’s words, “turned lamming it into a kind of high-tech performance art.”

If any of this sounds interesting to you, do take a look at the piece. It’s a highly enjoyable read. Some enterprising writer will undoubtedly pen a bestseller based on all this.

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee


  • bluewave on December 02, 2012 4:47 PM:

    You're the classic nanny state liberal scold on the subject of state lotteries, which in the end, no one actually forces anyone to buy a ticket for. Yet a story about a deranged guy who is suspected of, you know, KILLING a guy, is just "a highly enjoyable read". Willing to applaud the quality of Segal's writing and all that, but I'm thinking, somehow, that if it were a poor guy on the lam, your take would be much different. But what do I know? Not wanting to go all nanny-state scoldie here myself, however having trouble wrapping my head around the perceived disconnect.

  • ericfree on December 02, 2012 7:42 PM:

    Can't read the New York Times because they want to charge me for it. But what the hell is "bat symbol cray cray?" Do you think you're talking to small children? What's wrong with batshit crazy? This column used to say batshit crazy all the time. After all, it accurately describes most of the Republican Party.

  • Anonymous on December 02, 2012 8:19 PM:

    A Howard Hughes for our times.

  • JR on December 02, 2012 9:13 PM: