Just when it seemed his story couldn't get any stranger, software pioneer-turned-fugitive John McAfee followed up his Wednesday night capture with a series of bizarre blog posts from a Guatemalan detention center, then collapsed and was carried from a facility on a stretcher.
His attorney said McAfee suffered two mild heart attacks, then backtracked hours later and told Reuters that McAfee only suffered from stress, hypertension and an abnormally rapid heart beat.
Meanwhile, Guatemalan authorities were locked in negotiations with Belizean ministers about whether to return McAfee to Belize, where he is wanted for questioning in the slaying of his neighbor.
The latest chapters in a tale no screenwriter could concoct played out, as earlier installments have, before Central American media and a rapt online audience. In several weeks on the lam, McAfee has adopted disguises, falsified GPS coordinates, even buried himself underground -- or so he has claimed.
All the while, the 67-year-old Silicon Valley anti-virus software guru has seemed to enjoy himself thoroughly, even after being seized by Interpol officers outside a posh Guatemala City hotel Wednesday night.
"I asked for a computer and one magically appeared," McAfee wrote early Thursday morning on his blog, www.whoismcafee.com, describing his experience in detention. "The coffee is also excellent."
In one of his five blog posts of the day, McAfee wondered whether he might go down in history as a pioneer prison blogger.
"I believe, by the way, that blogging from a jail cell might be a groundbreaking activity," he wrote. "Let's see if it catches on."
Investigators in Belize want to interview McAfee as "a person of interest" in the Nov. 11 shooting death of fellow American expatriate Gregory Viant Faull, 52, who lived two doors down from McAfee on the Belizean island of Ambergris Caye. Faull had complained to Belizean officials about McAfee's dogs and armed body guards weeks before he was killed.
McAfee says Belizean police are out to get him because he failed to pay a bribe.
If McAfee is returned to Belize, "It will not be an extradition," Belize police spokesman Raphael Martinez told this newspaper Thursday. "It will probably be an expulsion because of his immigration status."
The company that bears McAfee's name started in Santa Clara and continues to produce anti-virus software, a product that turned McAfee into a millionaire and is still widely in use around the world.
Since the discovery of Faull's body, McAfee had been on the run with his female companion, Sam, 20, and had recently been joined by a crew from Vice magazine, which videotaped McAfee's apprehension by Interpol agents.
In his many blog posts Thursday, McAfee wrote sometimes optimistically -- and sometimes fatalistically -- about his future.
Because there was no television for McAfee to watch, he said he responded to a reader who "asked, in a kindly way, whether I felt like killing myself. My reply:
" 'I enjoy living, and suicide is absurdly redundant. The world, from the very beginning, hurls viruses, accidents, hungry animals, defective DNA -- and uncountable more -- in an attempt to kill us. It always succeeds. Suicide is simply aiding and abetting.' "
In a different post, McAfee wrote that he had spoken to a duty officer at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala "who said there is nothing that they can do. I asked to be returned to the States, and again ... nothing they can do. So I will wait and see.
"P.S. Anybody have friends in the State Department?"
McAfee's whereabouts in Guatemala appear to have been given away Monday by Vice magazine, which posted a brief report and a photo of McAfee under the headline, "We Are With John McAfee Right Now, Suckers."
McAfee initially claimed that he manipulated his cellphone to disguise his true location. Then he later came clean, calling the Vice photo an "accidental release of my exact coordinates by an unseasoned technician at Vice headquarters."
It's often been difficult to discern reality in McAfee's blog posts.
On Monday, McAfee's "official spokesman" Brian Fitzgerald blogged that an anonymous voice mail said McAfee had been picked up while crossing the Mexico border.
McAfee then blogged Monday that Mexican authorities had only temporarily detained his "double."
The double, McAfee wrote, was carrying a North Korean passport bearing McAfee's name.
Contact Dan Nakaso at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/dannakaso.