Readings — From the February 2013 issue

Spywear

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From a November 19, 2012, blog post by John McAfee, the founder of the antivirus-software company McAfee, who in mid-November came under suspicion by Belizean police of murdering his neighbor Gregory Faull and was apprehended in Guatemala after evading arrest for three weeks. Sam is one of McAfee’s girlfriends. 

The first two days Sam and I were on the run, I felt helpless, especially given the fact that so many of our friends and workers were being arrested. I realized that unless I knew moment by moment what was happening, my chances of coming out of this intact, both emotionally and physically, were slim. My safety is contingent on the truth being discovered. After two days we returned to the house, in disguise, and I began my watch.

The first day I colored my full beard and my hair light gray — almost white. I darkened the skin of my face, neck, and hands with shoe polish and put on a Saints baseball cap with the brim facing backward and tufts of the front of my hair sticking out through the band. I stuffed my cheeks with chewed bubble gum, making my face appear much fatter. I darkened and browned my front teeth. I stuffed a shaved-down tampon deep into my right nostril and dyed the tip dark brown, giving my nose an awkward, lopsided, disgusting appearance. I put on a pair of ragged brown pants with holes patched and darned. I wore an old, ragged, long-sleeve shirt. I donned an old Guatemalan-style serape and toted a bag containing a variety of Guatemalan woven goods. I adjusted my posture so that I appeared a good six inches shorter than my actual height and slowly walked up and down the beach with a pronounced limp, pushing an old single-speed bicycle and peddling my wares to tourists and reporters using a broken English with a heavy Spanish accent. On my second day, I nearly sold a dolphin carving to an Associated Press reporter standing at the edge of my dock. 

Among the people I spoke with that day was the caretaker at Mr. Faull’s house. The police had stated that Mr. Faull’s housekeeper discovered the body. His caretaker told me that Faull did not have a housekeeper. He himself discovered the body, he said. I found this interesting and filed it away as a piece of data that might help at some point. Why would the police lie about this? Lies always have a reason. Then I watched the police dig up my four dogs that had been poisoned and buried. They cut off the heads and reburied the bodies. I found this curious. The dogs had been dead too long for an effective autopsy. What was this all about? I watched the police search my residence seven times. At one point I got too close and was angrily ordered to go away. I did so while muttering “Pendejos!” loud enough for the officers to hear. On two occasions the police carried large duffel-type bags into the premises and left with the bags appearing nearly empty. Perhaps the bags contained their lunch, and they ate while searching. Perhaps not.

On subsequent days, using different disguises, I did the same general thing, one day selling tamales and burritos that I had purchased wholesale from a real vendor; on another pretending to be a drunk German tourist with a partially bandaged face wearing Speedo swimming trunks and a distasteful, oversize Hawaiian shirt and yelling loudly at anyone who would listen, “Leck mich am Arsch!” What I discovered is that the police are more concerned with finding me than with catching Mr. Faull’s killer. I will continue my investigations, since the police seem to have defaulted on this obligation. I have offered a reward. If anyone has any information, please give it directly to me. I will publish it here on this blog first, then provide it to the police. That way it cannot just conveniently disappear if it is evidence the government finds distasteful.

p.s. No one at the house, including the staff, knows that I am nearby. If the police are reading this, do not randomly round up everyone for harboring a fugitive. Please.

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