Kim Dotcom, "Germany's most notorious hacker," as he's often called, lives in the most expensive private home in New Zealand, a $24M rental on 60 acres near Auckland. The labyrinthine grounds and imposing stone walls were no deterrent to New Zealand special forces, though, who arrived on Dotcom's doorstep in January with assault helicopters, automatic weapons, sledgehammers, and even a circular chainsaw, all with the sole intention of arresting the millionaire founder of the file-sharing site Megaupload for leading a $175M conspiracy of copyright infringement, money laundering, and racketeering.
Today Wired runs a massive profile on Dotcom and his digs. This is a megalomaniacal, paranoid, model-obsessed fraudster who owned $4.8M worth of cars alone—ones with license plates bearing words such as "GUILTY," "EVIL," "MAFIA" and "STONED"—at the time of the police raid, so it's not hard to imagine just how over-the-top the Dotcom Mansion, in effect a deep, dark, fortress of solitude, actually is. Below, the best details.
1. "His bed of choice is a remarkable piece of custom Swedish craftsmanship made by a company called Hästens. Each one takes some 160 hours to produce and is signed by a master bed-maker who lays out the most perfect matrix of horsehair, cotton, flax, and wool. Price after custom framing: $103,000. Kim has three such beds in his New Zealand mansion, one of which faces a series of monitors and hard drives and piles of wires and is flanked on either side by lamps that look like, and may well be, chromed AK-47s."
2. "The Dotcom Mansion is impossible to miss, mostly because of the chromed industrial-park letters spelling out dotcom mansion across the gatehouse in blue backlighting."
3. "For three months he was confined to the guesthouse, a prison of black lacquer and black leather, black Versace tables and wall-sized LCD flatscreens. The walls are adorned with poster-sized photographs of Kim and his beautiful 24-year-old wife, Mona, but mostly just Kim: Kim in front of a helicopter, Kim on the bow of a luxury yacht, Kim reeling in a great fish or in front of a European castle holding a shotgun and a limp duck, or straddling a mountaintop, eyes pinned on the distant future."
4. "The cavernous stone labyrinth of rooms swallowed and scattered sound, and the thick velvet blackout curtains blocked out everything else. Kim guessed it was his helicopter."
5. "This noise was coming from the other side of his office door. It was heavy hardwood several inches thick, secured by stout metal bolts in the stone casement. Kim struggled to his feet as the door shook and heaved on its hinges."
6. "But it is always dark somewhere. And it is always night in the Dotcom Mansion. Great black curtains shut out the light, thick stone walls block the sound."
7. "The men file back down the hill to the warmth of Kim's house-sized kitchen beside a 16-foot saltwater fish tank."
8. "Ahead lay a supersized bathroom and the blue-lit atrium of a one-lane, 30-meter swimming pool. Towels for both were stored in a closet. The shelving hid a secret door to a hidden staircase. This was what Tempero called the Red Room. It was a simple carpeted attic following the curved roofline."