John McAfee continued to tease and deceive on Monday.
The Silicon Valley guru-turned-fugitive claimed in a blog post that he manipulated his cellphone so a photo of him taken during his flight from police made it appear the picture was shot in Guatemala, just south of Belize where McAfee has been sought for three weeks as a "person of interest" in the death of his neighbor.
It was all part of a flurry of McAfee-related news, tweets and blogs Monday monitoring the 67-year-old, anti-virus software creator who claims to have used disguises to hide in plain sight from authorities.
In his first blog post of the day, McAfee referred to a pair of "intrepid journalists" from Vice magazine who were traveling with him and had posted a photo of McAfee under the headline, "We Are With John McAfee Right Now, Suckers."
The Twitter-verse then exploded with posts from people claiming that GPS tracking data showed the iPhone photo had been taken in Livingston, Guatemala, and that Vice had unwittingly outed McAfee's location.
Almost instantly, others began tweeting that the GPS data was probably bogus, and likely just one more of McAfee's sometimes preposterous, often elaborate ruses to avoid detection by authorities in Belize while keeping the media spotlight shining on him.
At the least, the exercise over the GPS location of Vice's photo led McAfee to abandon his short-lived
"I, for my own safety, manipulated the xif data on the image taken from my cellphone, and created a fake emrgency (sic) so that the urgency of movement led, as I knew it would, to the hasty posting on their website. I felt that our tenuous situation demanded action, and that was the action that I chose. I do not believe that Vice will remain with me further."
It has been a typically strange few days for McAfee.
Early Monday, McAfee's "official spokesperson" Brian Fitzgerald blogged that an anonymous voice mail said that McAfee had been picked up while crossing the Mexico border.
McAfee then blogged Monday that Mexican authorities on Friday had, in fact, temporarily detained his "double" who was carrying a North Korean passport with McAfee's name.
At the same time, CNN continued to air an on-camera interview that McAfee granted Friday from a "safe house on a tropical island paradise."
In the interview, McAfee repeated many of the themes he has blogged about and repeated to journalists: He maintained his innocence in the death of his neighbor Gregory Viant Faull, 52, and repeated his claims that Belizean authorities in San Pedro Town where he lives are out to get him for failing to pay a bribe.
About a month before his slaying, Faull had hand-delivered a letter to the San Pedro Town Council complaining about McAfee's security detail and his dogs.
Then, on Nov. 11, Faull's housekeeper found him dead from a single gunshot to the back of the head.
Daniel Guerrero, the mayor of San Pedro Town, said in a recent interview that police have been conducting house-to-house searches north of San Pedro where McAfee has a beachfront compound.
Police still believe McAfee is in Belize, but police spokesman Raphael Martinez told this newspaper Monday that investigators have not told him why they think so.
While McAfee is still considered a "person of interest" in Faull's killing, no charges await him for fleeing, Martinez said.
"No crime has been committed," Martinez said.
McAfee's interview with CNN was arranged through "middle men, telephone calls with ever changing numbers and, finally, a cloak and dagger meeting complete with a secret phrase and response," CNN said. "The phrase: 'Sorry I'm late.' The response: 'That's OK, we are waiting for our co-worker.' "
"I will certainly not turn myself in, and I will certainly not quit fighting," McAfee told CNN. "I will not stop my blog."
While he's on the run, McAfee is traveling with his female companion, Sam, and had been joined for four days by Vice's editor-in-chief and photographer/videographer.
Vice was planning to produce a "long-form documentary about his ordeal," the magazine said. "It will be nothing but absolutely epic, that much we can assure you."
On Monday, Vice's website had an eclectic journalistic offering, including the latest installment on gruesome photos taken from a Syrian field hospital to a first-person account titled "My Very Gay Night at Very Straight Strip Clubs."
At one point Monday, McAfee blogged that he plans to return to Belize if, indeed, he ever left.
"I will be returning to Belize after I have place (sic) Sam in a safe position," McAfee wrote. "My fight is in Belize, and I can do little in exile."
Contact Dan Nakaso at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/dannakaso.