Dateline | January 18, 2013
>>> like greg faull, john mcafee earth, but while faull was drawn to belize by its tropical breezes, mcafee told cnbc 's
>> this is an entrepreneur's paradise here.
>> mcafee met with the cnbc crew in 2009 he was in the midst of rebooting his life.
>> this is called snake alley for obvious reasons anyway that i hope we don't find out about.
>> after two divorcees and a run of bad luck in the states, the 64-year-old was tattooed and tan and looking incredibly buff.
>> all of these mounds, by the way, are mayan ruins. everything is totally flat, so with you see something elevated, was there something under there.
>> to be sure it was not archaeology that lured faber and his crew overseas it was the outside rags to riches boom to bust story of john mcafee 's life.
>> we were embarking on a documentary and we called it the bubble decade and we thought that john mcafee was a very good representation. he made a fortune in the technology bubble and then he lost it all in the real estate bubble .
>> not quite all. mcafee told faber he still had about $4 million in the bank to tie him over and in belize , $4 million apparently went a long way. mcafee was not only able to build this beach estate on the ambergris cove, but a second one near the village of carmelita.
>> my life has turned around 180 degrees down here. i mentioned the freedom here. there are virtually no regulations on business.
>> a lot of it was how belize is a paradise for people like me because i can do anything i want. there are no laws. intellectual property, nobody cares . i can start anything.
>> it must have felt like the good old days where after kick drugs and alcohol, john mcafee suddenly emerged as one of silicon valley 's princes of high tech .
>> in the past three weeks we've seen five new viruses.
>> like his contemporaries, steve jobs and bill gates , mcafee was an inventor, entrepreneur, self-promotor all rolled into one. here he is on the "today" show in 1988 .
>> computer virus technology is like the wizard's wand. it's the magic of the new technology.
>> working out of a corner of this modest house in santa clara , mcafee created the antivirus software that bears his name.
>> silicon valley was extremely high energy , a lot of optimism, optimistic and engineers, programmers and entrepreneurs, a lot of cooperation.
>> the antivirus software made him rich and famous and in 1993 he sold the company.
>> he made $100 million when it was something to make $100 million.
>> but mcafee wasn't finished. like greg faull, the man he would later clash with, mcafee threw himself into things, all kinds of things. he pion eared instant messaging technology and dabbled in yoga instruction. established a flight school for ultra light planes and invested heavily in high-end real estate .
>> his house is art which in a booming economy you might be able to sell and make some money, but in a recession, completely worthless.
>> real estate , his achilles heel . when the market tanked in 2008 mcafee 's fortune was seriously downsized. on top of that, he was contesting five lawsuits. the most serious was a wrongful death suit stemming from a fatal 2006 ultra light crash at his flight school .
>> one of the lawyers suing mcafee accused him of leaving the united states to avoid paying a huge judgment in that ca case, but whatever his motivation by 2009 mcafee had re-settled in belize and he wanted david faber to tell the world he was back in business.
>> i'm an impatient sort of person when it comes to business, and i'm able to do things, you know, very quickly, very freely and without incumbrance. so this is the place.
>> to make his point, mcafee set out to show the cnbc crew just what a creative capitalist could achieve in belize .
>> this water taxi service, up and running in just two months. these ultra lights, that fatal crash back in the states was no deterrent here.
>> with the new river research project --
>> the crown jewel of mcafee 's new start-ups was to be the new river research project .
>> when we began this, what you're seeing on this side looked like the other side impenetrable jungle.
>> this patch of jungle was being cleared to make medicine from native plants .
>> and hopefully we'll be production of fairly unique pharmaceuticals.
>> he'd already hired a microbiologist to do the research and he set up a temporary lab in the home of an absentee neighbor who lived in florida at the time, but of course, you already met that neighbor. greg faull. the arrangement apparently did not end well. when mcafee relocated his lab to his mainland compound and removed his equipment from faull's house on ambergris key he left a mesa, cording to faull's friend jeff spiegel and vivian yu.
>> all of the place was smashed and maggots in the refrigerator and the place was trashed.
>> thus a conflict was born.
>> back in 2009 said david faber he saw no hint of the troubles that would eventually engulf john mcafee , but stuck in his mind was a night that held the eerie trappings of a mystery beginning to unfold.
>> i remember the night i arrived in belize he invited me over to his home. it was on the water, and i think i was picked up in a boat and taken there, and it was very dark and then we pulled in to his home which was lit up. and i walked in and he was playing the piano.
>> and it did have the feel of almost being in a bond movie and this is your villain in some ways. he didn't turn to me and say hello, mr. faber , but it almost had that feel to it. it was -- it was unlike everything i've ever kind of experienced.
>> charming eccentrics always made good stories, but rarely good neighbors. so perhaps it was only a matter of time before john mcafee 's neighborhood dispute over dogs blossomed into tabloid gold.
>>> coming up, gun fire in the night.
>> we thought there was a war going on outside. we're talking 30, 40, maybe more shots fired.
>> bullets, poison and a puzzle when "dateline" continues. of flavor