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Why was John McAfee on the run? The true story behind the Netflix documentary

Why was John McAfee on the run? Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee
Why was John McAfee on the run? All your questions answered. (Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022)

Running With The Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee is the latest fascinating true crime offering from Netflix. The documentary tells the mindboggling story of John McAfee, the founder of the $14 billion McAfee antivirus software company who went on the run after being accused of murdering his next-door neighbor. 

When Gregory Faull died of a single gunshot wound to the head in his Belize beachside home in 2012, his eccentric neighbor John McAfee became chief suspect for the crime. But despite maintaining his innocence, John went on the run from the police, convinced he was being hunted by multiple enemies including members of drug cartels and even the government. 

Here we answer all your questions about Running With The Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee on Netflix... 

Who is John McAfee?

Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee

John McAfee was the founder of the McAfee antivirus software company.  (Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022)

John McAfee was the founder of the McAfee antivirus software company, but after making millions in the 1980s the playboy inventor spent a lot of his cash on drugs and women. 

In 2008 John moved to Belize, a Caribbean country on the northeastern coast of Central America, where many people move to spend their retirement. However, it is claimed by journalist Jose Sanchez in the Netflix documentary that the government doesn't keep a close eye on those moving to the country making it the "perfect place for those wanting to escape something in North America".

Why was John McAfee on the run?

Sam Herrera and John McAfee in Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee

John McAfee with former girlfriend Sam Herrera in Running with the Devil.  (Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022)

When John moved to Belize in 2008 he moved in next door to a man called Gregory Faull, but the pair soon ended up in a dispute. So when Gregory was found shot dead in 2012, John unsurprisingly became the prime suspect. But rather than cooperate with the police and go in for questioning, he went on the run to Guatemala.

Soon a bizarre game of cat and mouse began, with John taking on various strange disguises and pretend disabilities to avoid people recognising him. He also took a film crew along, as well as security guards and the various women in his life like his former girlfriend Sam Herrera and later his wife Janice Dyson. John spent most of his time on the run living on a boat as he travelled the world, as well as paying people off to avoid being caught. 

What happened to John McAfee?

Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee

The Wild World of John McAfee reveals how John went on the run from police.  (Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix © 2022)

Eventually, John returned to the US and it seemed the game of chase was over when the authorities seemingly lost interest in him, leaving him to even run for the Libertarian Party nomination for president of the United States in 2016.

But by 2019 John was on the run again, this time from the US government for tax evasion and insider trading. He was facing 30 years in jail and in October 2020, he was arrested in Barcelona. However, in a turn of events that no one saw coming, John was found dead in his prison cell on June 23, 2021 in an apparent suicide, just hours after Spanish courts ruled he was to be sent back to the US to face his charges.

Despite the fact his death was ruled as suicide, as the documentary comes to a close it is revealed that John had always maintained he would never take his own life. In the years leading up to his death, he has maintained that if he ever died and it looked like suicide then he would have been murdered. 

John's wife Janice also released a statement after his death, saying she'd spoken to him hours prior to him being found dead, and that he'd told her he loved her and that they'd made arrangements to speak that same evening. 

Is John McAfee really dead?

Despite the fact John McAfee's death hit the news on 23 June, 2021, the documentary goes on to say that circumstances around McAfee’s death are still being contested and ends on a bizarre claim that John faked his death so that he could start a new life without anyone knowing. 

There is no evidence to support this claim, however his ex girlfriend, Sam, says right at the end of the documentary that she got a call from John two weeks after his death and he reportedly asked her to run away with him and told her: "I paid off people to pretend that I am dead, but I am not dead". 

Despite this claim, it has recently been reported by Reuters (opens in new tab) that John's body remains in a Spanish mourge more than a year after his death, with his wife, Janice McAfee still petitioning to have his body released so that a independent autopsy can be carried out. Janice maintains that John didn't take his own life, and hopes that a second autopsy would reveal more answers surrounding his death. 

Is there a trailer for Running With The Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee?

Yes! The trailer shows John going on the run after the news of his neighbor's death breaks. The clip, which is less than two minutes long then sees John's unbelievable journey as he tries to avoid being caught by the authorities in various countries around the world...  

How to watch Running With The Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee 

Running With The Devil is now available to stream worldwide on Netflix. 

How many episodes is Running With The Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee 

The documentary is just one episode that runs for one hour and 45 minutes. 

If true crime is your thing, check out our other guides on the biggest Netflix documentaries... 

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.