'Running With the Devil': Who Is John McAfee and What Happened to Him?

If you were a fan of The Dropout, Steve Jobs, and The Social Network you will not want to miss Running With The Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee on Netflix.

The documentary movie from BAFTA-winning filmmaker Charlie Russell explores what happened to Silicon Valley's golden boy, John McAfee, and the controversies and mysterys surrounding his later life.

From tech entrepreneur to fugitive, there is a whole lot to unpack about John McAfee from Running With the Devil but who was he and what happened to him?

Newsweek has a recap of everything you need to know.

John mcafee
John McAfee in 'Running With The Devil' on Netflix. Metflix

Who Was John McAfee?

John McAfee was a British-American computer programmer, businessman and politician.

Born in Gloucestershire, England to an American solider-turned-road surveyor Donald McAfee and an English mother Joan, McAfee grew up in Salem, Virginia.

He went on to study mathematics at Roanoke College in Virginia before inventing McAfee computer security software in 1987.

McAfee stepped down from his company in 1994 that today is thought to be worth more than $14 billion. He also had stints at Nasa, working on the space shuttle program, founded the companies Tribal Voice, QuorumEx and Future Tense Central and worked with Everykey.

Speaking in Running With the Devil, Alex Cody Foster, a ghostwriter who worked for McAfee, shared that after retirement, he became increasingly obsessed with technology and its ability to spy on governments.

Cody said: "John told me that he created a software [that] enabled him to spy on anyone in the world. The CIA, FBI, the KGB, NSA, and even the White House. Everyone.

"John had access to information on virtually everybody in the world."

However, McAfee had a significant fall from grace in 2012 when he was accused of shooting dead his next-door neighbor, Gregory Faull, in Belize, going from tech entrepreneur to wanted fugitive.

As seen in Running With The Devil, McAfee invited two VICE journalists—Rocco Castoro and Robert King—on the run with him and with the help of Samantha Herrera, his girlfriend at the time, they managed to escape to Guatemala.

He returned to America after suffering what was reported at the time to be a heart attack. However, his lawyer said he did not suffer a heart attack and instead, had high blood pressure and suffered anxiety attacks.

McAfee later said he had faked a heart attack in order to fight his deportation to Belize, reported CNN.

The death of Faull remains unsolved and McAfee was never formally charged.

He then ran for president of the Libertarian ticket in 2016, losing to former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.

However, in January 2019 McAfee was in trouble with the law again after admitting on his Twitter account that he had not paid taxes in eight years.

However, instead of facing the courts and paying back what he owed, McAfee went on the run again in 2020.

What Happened to John McAfee?

After being on the run from the U.S. authorities for over a year and being deported to Europe by the Dominican Republic in the process, McAfee was captured and arrested in October 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

In early June 2021, McAfee found out he was to be extradited to the U.S. He then took his own life in his prison cell on June 23, 2021.

In November 2019, McAfee famously tweeted he feared his death would be portrayed as suicide, alongside a tattoo reading "$WHACKD."

He wrote: "Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: 'We're coming for you, McAfee! We're going to kill yourself.' I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn't. I was whackd. Check my right arm."

As heard in Running With the Devil McAfee's wife Janice was convinced McAfee did not die by suicide but was killed. However, this has never been proven.

Speaking to Esquire, Running With the Devil director Charlie Russell shared his thoughts on McAfee's fate.

He said: "I talked to Robert [King, the videographer who spent a lot of time filming him] about this quite a lot. Robert veers between real sadness and a feeling that this guy ended up dead in a prison and to this day his body hasn't been released by the authorities.

"Robert can't understand that. It's very weird. I think he feels that the guy at least deserves a burial, despite all the bad things he's done. At the same time, Robert would say John liked telling stories, and if at 75 you find out you're going to be extradited to the U.S. to face the rest of your life in prison, are you going to go for that or are you going to give the ultimate ending to your stories?"

McAfee's former girlfriend Herrera claims at the end of the documentary she received a call from McAfee after his supposed death but this has never been confirmed.

Running With The Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee is streaming on Netflix now.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "988" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.