John McAfee

John McAfee, Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate, Responds to Wrongful Death Suit Story

McAfee insists he had nothing to do with the death of his former Belize neighbor Gregory Faull, and that "I am not required to co-operate with anyone attempting to extort me."

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Part of the colorful legend of antivirus software pioneer John McAfee, now seeking the presidential candidacy of the Libertarian Party, is the still unsolved 2012 murder of Gregory Faull, a neighbor in Belize.

McAfee/Weiss for President Facebook

The Belizean government wanted to question McAfee in relation to the murder. McAfee insists he had nothing to do with it, and that the Belizean government's harassment of him (which began prior to Faull's death) was about his refusal to kowtow to bribery, not any actual belief he was a criminal.

The story of McAfee's Belizean adventures and travails is told at length in one of the ur-sources of the modern McAfee legend, Joshua Davis' 2012 Wired profile. (If you read it you will not be surprised to hear it was optioned for a movie by Warner Bros., a movie still unmade.)

In 2013, Faull's estate filed a wrongful death suit against McAfee (and initially two other parties, who have since been dropped from the suit). That got some press, and some reaction from McAfee, back then. He continues to insist he had nothing to do with Faull's death.

The suit's current status? After continued failure to serve McAfee on a second amended version of the suit over the past year, U.S. Magistrate Judge Karla R. Spaulding for U.S. District Court in the middle district of Florida declared in an April ruling that unless by May 10 the plaintiff "shall show cause in writing why this case should not be dismissed for failure to serve Defendant" the case would be dismissed.

Joseph A. Wolsztyniak, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, says today that they are awaiting a decision on a motion they filed to allow what their documents show as a successful December 2014 service on an earlier version of the suit, not the most recent amended one, to stand and to proceed with the case.

Judge Spaulding wrote in the April ruling mentioned above that in an earlier version of the amended complaint, the plaintiffs "failed to plead sufficient facts to establish that McAfee was liable."

The most recent amended complaint does lay out a narrative claiming that McAfee, or possibly just his associates with his complicity, committed the murder of Faull, though it doesn't lay out its reasons or evidence for believing that story is true. Wolsztyniak says he cannot speak to details of the case not already in the public record of filings, and he's instructed his clients not to either.

The Faull estate's wrongful death suite was re-publicized in the context of McAfee's L.P. campaign this week with a story on the website A Libertarian Future, and people supporting his opponents' campaigns have been raising questions about whether this should make Libertarians think twice about nominating the controversial McAfee.

McAfee today emailed me some of his thoughts and observations about the suit and the politics of the suit. Below are excerpts, not all in the original order in which he wrote them, from what he told me:

Let me make this perfectly clear: I had nothing whatsoever to do with Gregory Faul's death.

America is the most litigious nation on the planet. 80% of the world's lawyers live in America and 15 million lawsuits are filed in the U.S. every year. Prominent people in America all suffer under this system. 95% of of all lawsuits are filed against people who are perceived to have money. Why? Suing people has become a profession for many people who do not wish to work….

Myself and my various agencies have been sued more than 200 times. Among these lawsuits have been two wrongful death lawsuits—potentially the most lucrative class of lawsuits for the plaintiffs.

The first wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of a man who was killed in a plane crash in which my nephew, Joel Bitow, was the pilot, and who was also killed. My nephew ran a flight school, and the school leased a piece of property owned by me. I was sued for wrongful death, basically, for owning the property on which the flight school was located and for being instrumental in urging my nephew to follow his passion—flying. The jury awarded the plaintiffs 2.5 million dollars. The family also sued the airplane manufacturer and 15 other agencied for wrongful death in the accident. Each if the other agencies settled for unspecified amounts.

Regarding that plane crash suit, McAfee added in response to a follow-up question:

I am still negotiating the amount. I consider such judgements in this specific situation (owning the property on which the airplane took off), to be immoral, unjust and unconstitutional. I resist them.

Various filings from Faull's estate's lawyers contain colorful details of alleged McAfee attempts to evade past service on the suit, including accusations of having a private investigator sent to serve papers "threatened with serious bodily injury if he entered onto Mr. McAfee's property" and of McAfee supplying an address in Montreal "which ended up being in the middle of an intersection."

McAfee's response to those points in our email exchange:

All of my properties are posted as private property, and any trespasser will be threatened with arrest, whether or not they are private detectives. I certainly neither threatened the man nor even spoke to him. As to an adress in the middle of an interection—how would a person even write down such an address? It is impossible. The middle of intersections do not have addresses. Please sir—I am a busy man. Had you given any thought, you could have divined the absurdity of this specific allegations.

(In my defense, I presumed the lawyers meant "a nonexistent address in between real addresses which were on either end of a road crossing," but point taken.)

When asked whether, even if he had nothing to do with Faull's death, the suit's very existence was a political liability that should concern Libertarians deciding whether to choose him for their presidential slot, McAfee reminded me of the facts he'd written earlier about how many frivolous lawsuits are filed in the United States, and emphasized that "A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed against anyone, for any reason in this country. Over 20,000 of them are filed in this country every year."

Further, McAfee notes that he sees his stance in the Faull suit as one Libertarians should see as exemplary rather than troublesome:

I never spoke with anyone representing the Faul suit about anything whatsoever.  I am not required to co-operate with anyone attempting to extort me, which is exactly what this suit is. Most lawsuits never go to trial. Instead the defendents, in order to avoid the enormous costs of defending such suits (it cost me 3.2 million dollars to defend my first wrongful death lawsuit, in addition to the judgement), simply settle them. These lawsuits nearly always count on the defendents' co-operation in their own extortion. This system must stop. It is one of the greatest perversions within our government and the legal system it has created.

McAfee says he is working on an article on his own about this suit, which he expects to appear in Newsweek soon.

NEXT: "Judge Grewal to Leave Bench for Facebook Post"

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  1. And this guy wants to be our latex salesman?

  2. 95% of of all lawsuits are filed against people who are perceived to have money. Why? Suing people has become a profession for many people who do not wish to work….

    I like this guy.

    1. That is poor logic. No one sues poor people because it’s highly unlikely to be worth the cost of bringing suit.

      1. Exactly, why would you sue a poor person? So, who do you sue?

  3. That is EXACTLY what someone who DID have something to do with the murder would say.

    1. Who are you, Angela Lansbury?

      1. One more thing *stares sideways with his lazy eye and rumpled trench coat* , I don’t understand, see, why he would illegally cross the international border if it was only a matter of extortion. See, I’m concerned about why an innocent man would run? Also, with the drugs and the guns. It gets me thinking. That’s all.

        1. Also, with the drugs and the guns. It gets me thinking. That’s all.

          What kind of libertarian are you?

          1. I was role playing Columbo. My take was that he was no libertarian.

            1. [taps fingers impatiently waiting for the inevitable deus ex machina clue to be revealed]

  4. McAfee better turn himself in before his free and fair trial offer expires.

    1. Don’t worry – when it expires, another will popup.

  5. Is this evidence of the libertarian moment?

  6. Who is more deluded: Gillespie or the guy from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge?

    1. Bill Kristol.

    2. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

      That was an awesome episode of Twilight Zone.

      1. Marcel Ichac and Paul de Roubaix have a sad.

  7. The story of McAfee’s Belizean adventures and travails is told at length in . . . Joshua Davis’ 2012 Wired profile.

    Very interesting story, glad I took the time to read it. McAfee may be batshit cray, but I’d still vote for him over Trump or Clinton any day of the week.

    1. Over Clinton for sure, but maybe not over Trump. So far I haven’t seen any evidence that Trump has been responsible for anyone’s deaths.

      1. Over Clinton for sure, but maybe not over Trump. So far I haven’t seen any evidence that Trump has been responsible for anyone’s deaths.

        Not yet, Trump hasn’t.

        But very prescient, objective-minded people entirely unswayed by ideological agenda or emotional bias, have been screaming in online comments sections that Trump would rule like a dictator and probably be American Hitler.

  8. McAfee says he is working on an article on his own about this suit, which he expects to appear in Newsweek soon.

    I’m hoping the article starts out: “It was a balmy April afternoon, a gentle sea breeze rufflling the hair of the hooker who lay with her head buried in my lap, ice shifting in the tumbler of rum I held in my hand, the peyote was just kicking in. ‘Tuesday’, as we called it in Belize, a fine day to be alive.”

    1. Agile Cyborg, is that you?

    2. “A few minutes later, as I snorted the line of coke across her deliciously defined ass crack, I heard a pounding on the door. Ah, I thought to myself, my rhinoceros steaks, which I was having air delivered from Africa, have arrived. I threw a brick of Triple Diesel at the hooker and told her to get lost. It was lunch time. I tucked my Titanium Gold Desert Eagle into my cargo shorts, in case it was my neighbor at the door, and went to the door.”

      1. And then it goes into an extended drum solo.

  9. Nope – if this guy is a Libertarian who loves his country and appreciates the rights and freedoms upon which it was founded then why is he buying property in Belize? I agree that he is being extorted, but this just shows bad judgment if not hypocrisy. NEXT.

    1. I too was a little put out about him buying property in Belize. If this guy had any respect for the values of our Founding Fathers, he’d march right down there and kill off the natives and steal that land. Right of contract? “Contract this! ya bastards” as you throw a smallpox-infested blanket at them. That’s just how us libertarians roll.

      1. +1 Wounded Knee

  10. Even if McAfee did kill his neighbor* he’s still a light-years better candidate than Gary Johnson.

    (I see no reason to think he had anything to do with it)

    1. There is no end to the bottomless pit of SIV’s irrationality.

    2. Even if McAfee did kill his neighbor* he’s still a light-years better candidate than Gary Johnson

      True that.

      And honestly, if he feels like adding to his bodycount, he might as well make Gary Johnson dead for us too?not that anyone would ever recognize a difference.

  11. The Faull estate’s wrongful death suite was re-publicized in the context of McAfee’s L.P. campaign this week with a story on the website A Libertarian Future, and people supporting his opponents’ campaigns have been raising questions about whether this should make Libertarians think twice about nominating the controversial McAfee.

    You’d think it’d make him *more* attractive to mainstream Republican and Democrat voters – both of whom really love it when a candidate demonstrates a willingness to kill.

    1. From a DISTANCE.

  12. . . . McAfee supplying an address in Montreal “which ended up being in the middle of an intersection.”

    Right. That’s simply not how addresses work.

    1. 0 Rue Sherbrooke (e.g.) would return that result, no?

      1. Nope. Because only lots are numbered and given addresses. Street aren’t – at least not in the United States.

        0 Rue Sherbrooke may not exist, but it would never be ‘in the middle of an intersection’.

        Just because your GPS isn’t smart enough to figure it out doesn’t mean a *person* can’t.

    2. Lawyers don’t know that.

  13. He hasn’t killed off as many people at the Clintons have, so in political terms he’s just another amateur hour. If he can improve his body count, that’ll make him more attractive to anti-establishment voters. I think he should sit this one out and work on that.

  14. Ya know, Gregory Faul admitted not just to poisoning all of McAfee’s dogs, but to killing the other neighbor’s dogs on that island too. The reason? Because they always barked at him when he walked past them to the pub. So his death is not without reason. The other suspect by the Belizian police in this case is McAfee’s ex-girlfriend (who interestingly also tried to kill McAfee), one of the other neighbors whose dogs were killed. Of course, she’d make an unworthwhile target for lawsuit or extradition out of Belize.

    1. Would. Well 18 year old her, anyway.

  15. I see that the Gary Johnson campaign cronies continue their dirty tricks and smear jobs. Trump would be proud. I expected better of Reason.

    1. Yes, shame on the Trumpanzee Reasonids.

      #NeverJohnson

      1. Wtf? The freaks come out at night.

    2. This is why we can’t have nice things.

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  17. I’m not going to pretend to be familiar enough with McAfee to say with any real degree of certainty how he rates on some kind of “libertarian purity scale”, but I just watched this video from back when he was floating the idea of the Cyber Party, and he sounds libertarian to me:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcZstP0mvQ0

    I’ve also watched the LP debate on Stossel’s show, and he seemed the most well-spoken and sensible of the candidates. I’m starting to think he could be our best bet. McAfee has charisma and presence, and even his eccentricity might be an asset for broadening the appeal of the LP in the current anti-establishment climate. I imagine him doing very well if we could get him on a debate stage with Hillary and Trump.

    1. The Libertarian consensus on here appears overwhelmingly partial to McAfee (he’s my choice also).

      Only exceptions I can think of are Ken Shultz, who seemed to dislike him. And Michael Hihn who seemed partial to Johnson.

  18. He’s probably the only one of the remaining candidates that has the balls to counter Trump in the only way that might work – whenever Trump opens his mouth, roll your eyes and make a jerking-off motion.

  19. Like I have said all student lawyers making A’s become Corporate or Wall Street lawyers. The B students become ambulance chasers and the C students become politicians. Pass one law; No person who has gone to law school or sat for the bar can hold a public office.

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