Netflix’s ‘Running With The Devil’ Reveals Insanity Of Suspected Murderer John McAfee

John McAfee became incredibly wealthy protecting other people’s computers, yet at some point in his life the famous pioneer of antivirus software decided the only way to protect himself was to go abroad, armed to the teeth, ingesting tons of drugs and drinking alcohol and regularly fleeing the police and the forces of darkness that he saw lurking around every street corner. Charlie Russell’s Netflix Documentary Run with the Devil: The Savage World of John McAfee is taken from footage of McAfee during the last decade of his life, when he hopped between tropical islands, Miami and Central America. What it boasts about in the intimate and personal chaos, however, it lacks in telling coherence.

Following the type of brief tabletop editing that has become de rigueur on Netflix and its streaming brethren, run with the devil (August 24) picks up with journalist Rocco Castoro and cameraman Robert King in December 2012. On a mission for Vice, the duo board a plane for Belize to join McAfee, a millionaire who lives in the country of America central for years, and is currently accompanied by his girlfriend Sam. McAfee is, at this point, in hiding from the Belizean authorities who he believes will kill him because they blame him for the death of his neighbor , Gregory Faull, 52, from Florida, who was shot once in the back of the head just days after the two argued over McAfee’s dogs and their bullying behavior towards the beloved parrot of Faull. Local reporter Jose Sanchez flatly states that there is “a strong likelihood” that McAfee had something to do with Faull’s execution-style murder, and when Castoro and King meet McAfee, he claims he is wanted by the Prime Minister of Belize, who placed a $150,000 dead-living-gold bounty on his head.

To add to the craziness of this scene, once ushered into an airport SUV, Castoro and King are greeted by a thirsty, goatee McAfee munching on rose petals and repeating a, shall we say, politically incorrect routine of a disabled man who , according to him, will help him escape detection. .

From the moment McAfee appears onscreen, it’s clear he’s a maniac, and the rest of Russell’s film serves to repeatedly reconfirm that first impression. run with the devil plunges one into its heady on-fire storyline, handing out only snippets of backstory along the way. This gives the material a bit of a punch at the start, aided by the sheer weirdness of McAfee, who brags about hacking Belizean government cellphones, worries about being arrested at any moment, and quickly takes everyone to Guatemala by boat – a decision that leads to more problems when, upon arrival, they are questioned at length about not having the proper passport stamps (for exiting Belize) and are forced to seek assistance from the Sam’s great-uncle, who happens to be the country’s former attorney general.

As Castoro and King recall, it was a dizzying oddity on an agonizing scale, and run with the devil skillfully conveys the aura of danger and excitement that McAfee created wherever he went. King’s clips showing McAfee trying to negotiate his way out of customs trouble, hiring Sam’s parent as his legal representative, thinking about his Joker-type persona (“Do you think I give a damn? No, people, I I don’t care”) and proclaiming that he can access anyone and everyone’s data is legitimately off-the-wall, and portrays him as an unhinged psychopath driven by deep-rooted paranoia. Of course, some of those fears are justified, because at certain stops on his ramshackle journey, strangers seem to be chasing him. Nevertheless, the portrait that emerges is that of an individual lost in a runaway generated in equal parts by complex neuroses of persecution, narcissism I am the center of the world and narcotized delusions.

McAfee presents himself as a smart, self-absorbed rich man with a brain muddled by far too many illicit substances (including, as one person suggests, copious bath salts), and run with the devil traces his brief but turbulent odyssey with Castoro and King – whose presence was meant to feed his ego and protect him from public arrest – and, in 2019, with just King, who joined him on a boat that swept away. quickly traveled to the Dominican Republic. At that time, McAfee had already run in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as a Libertarian Party candidate. He had also, while in Miami after his time in Guatemala, married Janice, a prostitute who admits she hitched her wagon to McAfee because she “just saw an opportunity.” It’s a love story that fits perfectly into this bizarre saga, which hurtles headlong into greater madness as McAfee searches his seagoing ship for stowaways and drinks bottles of booze for the sake of it. breakfast, and Janice recounts how her pimp conspired with members of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel. to force her to try to poison her new husband.

McAfee searches her seagoing ship for stowaways and drinks bottles of liquor for breakfast, and Janice recounts how her pimp conspired with members of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel to coerce her into trying to poison her new husband.

McAfee’s out-of-control behavior is mildly entertaining in a sort of car crash, but more importantly, he turns out an exhausting one-note loose cannon. Grinning devilishly and constantly alerting everyone to imminent deadly threats that must be immediately fled, he is a madman who becomes less believable as run with the devil keep on going. King and ghostwriter Alex Cody Foster both speak fondly of him, despite their comments about his dangerousness and, also, the possibility that he killed Faull and, decades earlier, his father (whose death was ruled a suicide). Yet with only snippets of verifiable fact and reportage, it’s unclear what’s real and what’s fictional, and while director Russell’s refusal to contextualize the action is initially exciting, it ends up undermining any attempt to understand McAfee and the cheeky choices it made.

McAfee committed suicide on June 23, 2021 in a Barcelona prison, where he was awaiting extradition to the United States on tax evasion charges that could have seen him spend 30 years behind bars. Given his relentless claims that he was in grave danger, many continue to believe – in a Jeffrey Epstein conspiracy fashion – that he was the victim of nefarious forces. run with the devilhowever, has no concrete answers about the late tycoon, only lots of flying inconvenience that obscures, rather than illuminates, the truth.

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