If John McAfee Wants to Stay Out of Jail, Maybe He Should Stop Talking to Reporters

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The anti-virus millionaire John McAfee, a man hiding from the police because he doesn't want to talk to them about his possible involvement in the murder of his neighbor, has given away his disguise, telling it to Wired's Joshua Davis who wrote about it for all the Internet to see. Just in case the authorities are wondering, he no longer has his frosted sun-faded do, but has dyed his hair, mustache, and eyebrows jet-black, describing himself with the "murderer" look. "I have modified my appearance in a radical fashion. I’ll probably look like a murderer, unfortunately," he said. Guess he thinks the new look will help him fit in? (The darker hair thing, not the murderer part.) But, now any Google savvy officer will know to look for a light eyed, light complected man with unnaturally dark hair. McAffe, man, you probably shouldn't have given all that information to a reporter. Maybe now's the time to stop talking? 

But considering his constant communication with Davis, we doubt McAfee will take our advice. He calls with "semi-hourly" updates, says Davis, who posts the notable bits on Twitter and on Wired's Threat Level blog. He claims he has maintained this tether to get his side of the story out there, which we understand, even if it comes from a place of paranoia. (He has been doing this self-promotion even before the murder, talking with Davis and Gizmodo's Jeff Wise about his tense relationship with the government.) But, at this point, it's hurting his cause, which we thought was to not get caught for as long as possible. In addition to his disguise, he has also divulged tid-bits about his hiding places, telling Davis he rode in boats, huddled on the floor of taxis, and sleeping in a lice ridden bed. All of these clues could potentially lead police to him.

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If he insists on getting his story out, why is he being so careless, then? He thinks the police will inevitably find him, he has said, so maybe he cares more about getting his words—any words—out before that happens, even if they compromise his cause. Or, at this point, maybe he just cares about attention. Describing yourself as looking like a murderer when police want to talk to you about maybe murdering someone is a fool-proof way to facilitate more blog posts with your name in the headline. Or maybe, maybe McAfee is playing the smartest game of all and throwing us off of his trail, pretending to be disguised as a murderer, when really he still has that sandy hair. 


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.