Hi Sally - I thought it was tonight and I am looking all over for the time, but can only find a listing for Sept 24, 9 PM EDT. Not sure where I saw the posting that it was tonight, but am still hunting for it.
Review: Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee Review
Remember when just about every computer would come pre-installed with McAfee antivirus software? Perhaps you’ve already heard the crazy story of its outlandish inventor, but after watching Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee, I don’t know how I hadn’t. John McAfee made his fortune from creating the first commercial antivirus software in the late 80s, and though he sold his stake in that company to Intel in 1994, the software still bore his name until 2014 when the events examined in this documentary caused them to rebrand.
Director Nanette Burstein (The Kid Stays in the Picture) at first paints a picture of what seems like your garden variety eccentric rich genius. After retiring from the computer security business, McAfee became a Yoga guru, writing several books on the subject and hosting free Yoga retreats. It was after he lost most of his fortune in the 2008 crash and moved to Belize that the real story began. Here McAfee lived like a Central American crime boss. He bought a huge compound, hired ex-cons as armed guards, buttered up local police, and kept multiple teenaged girlfriends. Fuelled by narcissism, hubris, and paranoia, McAfee used his money to wield power and intimidation over this small impoverished town before becoming a ‘person of interest’ in a murder case, forcing him to seek refuge in Guatemala.
A theme that Gringo shares with several other recent “true crime” docs like The Jynx and O.J. Simpson: Made in America is that people with enough money can get away with just about anything. Burstein mounts her own little investigation into the murder and creates a plausible case for how it likely went down. The strongest part of her film is the candid interviews she was able to get with McAfee’s former Belizean employees and girlfriends… suspiciously candid even. McAfee himself refused to appear on camera for the film but was apparently very receptive to emailing, often goading Burstein on, sometimes appearing angry at her questioning, and other times providing pretty straightforward answers, but always giving her lots to work with. He clearly loves the attention and implies that every story about him is one that he’s meticulously orchestrated. I don’t know how Burstein motivated the interview subjects to be so candid on camera, perhaps it was because they know McAfee can’t return to Belize, or maybe they’re still on his payroll and saying exactly what he wants them to, even if it’s not entirely flattering. This documentary paints a portrait of a monster, but he might love it.
As almost a postscript, McAfee has since regained legitimacy by returning to the tech game and even having a go at politics – he was almost the Libertarian party’s 2016 presidential candidate (next to McAfee, Trump actually seems like a reasonable person). He walks among us once again and this documentary won’t change that, it will only fuel the myths, which is probably okay by him.
Gringo is an enthralling story that hits every note, from humour to horror. Burstein teases out several moments of disbelief with this larger than life character. If the picture painted of John McAfee is accurate, he’s probably reading every review of this movie… in which case, Hi John! You really creeped me out in this, but I guess there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?
Four Mcafee related Belizeans don't want their interviews aired in Showtime documentary "Gringo."
Their attorney has sent information to the producer of the documentary claiming they were either paid or under the influence of alcohol at the time of their interviews. The documentary premiered at the Toronto Film Festival recently and John Mcafee has released a video featuring the same people claiming to have falsified statements made. The 4 individuals: Tyrone Moralez, Zaira Majil, Saka Canul and Cassia Chavarria ) will host a press conference during which they will speak new truths. Though it had been known from last year that the documentary would air by summer 2016, this objection comes days before the September 24th, airing on the cable network.
Some of the allegations made during the interviews include:
Allegedly paid a Belize hitman $5,000 to torture and kill Greg Faull, his American neighbor. Faull had several run-ins with McAfee over the eccentric McAfee allegedly letting his dogs roam the neighborhood and local beaches;
Allegedly hired thugs to abduct David Middleton, whom he suspected of robbing his home. They allegedly repeatedly tasered and stabbed Middleton, who slipped into a coma and died; and
Allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted biologist Allison Adonizio, while she was working for him on a pharmaceutical project; and
Allegedly bribed local police by showering them with expensive firearms and other equipment.
As I was interviewed myself along with several others who covered the Mcafee story in Belize, I was neither under the influence of any substance or offered payment.
Four Claim They Lied For Money On McAfee Documentary
On Saturday night, SHOWTIME is airing a documentary about John McAfee - who made international headlines for his outlaw lifestyle in Belize. He's been the subject of all types of US news reports and special features investigating the death of his American neighbor on San Pedro, Greg Faull - but the new documentary is the first extensive study of McAfee's life and times in Belize, and is expected to make strong claims about Mcafee's alleged connection to the Faull murder. For the past week, McAfee has been blasting the documentary on social media, and, now, four Belizeans who participated in building that narrative for the documentary film-makers and recanting their statements. They say they lied, or were induced to lie by the film's producer Nanette Burstein. They've gotten attorney Bryan Neal to write the producers and tell them not to air any portion of the film showing their interviews - and today in Belize City they held a press conference to tell the media why they lied about McAfee in their interviews:...
Bryan Neal, Attorney for Showtime Documentary Subjects "My 4 clients who are named in the press release are here today to give their side of their story to say that certain producers named in the press release came to Belize, manipulated them, got information from them under false pretenses, forced them to sign documents. In certain cases, gave them alcohol, and payment to say bad things about John McAfee and also we are making a request as I have written to ShowTime and the producers to ask them to refrain from sharing any images attributable to my clients. We have indicated to them that if they go ahead and publish it, we will retain attorneys in the United States to pursue our case."
Tyrone Morales, Says He Lied in Documentary "I met Ms. Nanette and she came over in my village after I received a couple phone calls from her telling me that she wants to do an interview with me. Eventually when I reached to her, she set up my mind. I would say she was using her woman skills to get me into this interview here. She knows what she's doing, so she eventually got me to do the interview. After the interview she gave me $5,000 total BZ. She also made me sign a paper that I tried to read but the words were too small, I couldn't read it."
Cassian Chavarria, Says He Took 12.5K and Lied "I asked what were they offering for the interview and they asked what I wanted, so I said about $30,000 BZ and she said 'no I can't make a decision on that, I would have to talk to my superiors'. So I said 'okay go ahead and tell them'. She came back about 3 hours after and said that she's ready to give me $10,000 BZ, but then what happened is that the more I was talking, the more I had this hook in her. When I looked at my watch I saw that 30-35 minutes was already up because I did specify to her it was only going to be 30 minutes, take it or leave it. she told me, 'sir you know what give me another 15 minutes, let's make it up to an hour and I will give you $2,500 more and I agreed, that was the end of it. she gave me and then she gave me 5 or 6 pages of a document to sign, I guess it was the release but I couldn't read it, I'm already using glasses and my room has lights but it's not bright. In fact, bottom line I didn't even bother reading it because she was already showing me this pack of probably $12,500 and I just wanted to hold that in my hands and let them get out of the place. Certain things I said were outright lies, but I tied it in with certain truths to make it more plausible, credible "I want more," it's like when your reading a good book and you want to get to the bottom of this thing. Seeing that she had already made that offer of $10,000 and I said I'm just going to give her something."
Jules Vasquez, 7News "So then if you agreed and accept that, you have lied for money, why should we believe you now and not thing that maybe Mr. McAfee is sending you money to counter lie?"
Cassian Chavarria, Says He Took 12.5K and Lied "Okay that is not possible because it's a matter of me feeling betrayal on my part to John."
Reporter "Betrayal because you spoke the truth?"
Cassian Chavarria, Says He Took 12.5K and Lied "No, like I said, betrayal because of the lies that I made up to earn the money. Can you imagine what Denys Barrow said, he made a thousand dollars per hour. I was making like 300-400 a minute, can you imagine that? Why shouldn't I take it?"
Zaira Majil, Says She Was Paid/Pressured by Producers "She was trying to make me say lies that John killed the man and so forth. When the interview finished, she paid me $800 US in $10."
Reporter "What was the content of your conversation? What kind of questions was she asking?"
Zaira Majil, Says She Was Paid/Pressured by Producers "She was only on one basic question, if I know if John McAfee killed the white gringo. That was basically it."
Reporter "Did you sign a release as well? Did you take time out to actually read or did she actually explain to you what that release would constitute?"
Zaira Majil, Says She Was Paid/Pressured by Producers "She was in a hurry like she had to go interview someone else, so she didn't give me time to read the papers. She just hurry paid me and said 'please sign this paper and you can leave'."
Jules Vasquez, 7News "Are you being paid to make your statement here today?"
Zaira Majil, Says She Was Paid/Pressured by Producers "No, I came here to tell the truth and only the truth, but no one paid me to do this. We came together, spoke as a group to do this."
Jules Vasquez, 7News "You realize that your clients don't have a position of optimal credibility, because they've all admitted that they lied for money? Why should anyone take them seriously and believe them now?"
Bryan Neal, Attorney for Showtime Documentary Subjects "Well that is my point to ShowTime, now that they're saying this, take them out of the documentary, their story cannot assist you in anyway. Take them out, that's all we're asking for."
Jules Vasquez, 7News "Sir have you been retained in this matter by Mr. McAfee or agents acting on his behalf?"
Bryan Neal, Attorney for Showtime Documentary Subjects "I wish, I don't know John McAfee, I have never met him and he is not paying me to represent these people, no."
Jules Vasquez, 7News "Are you at liberty to say who is paying?"
Bryan Neal, Attorney for Showtime Documentary Subjects "They are paying me, they have come together and come to a private arrangement."
We did email the producer in question Nanette Burstein for comment today and we received a brief comment from Showtime Networks saying, quote, "Showtime Documentary Films does not pay subjects for their interviews. We fully support Gringo's filmmaker Nanette Burstein and applaud the bravery of those interviewed in the film." End quote. That basically means that, as expected no interviews will be removed, and today's press conference was most likely just a tactic to muddy the waters. "Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee air on Showtime on Saturday night at 7:00.