John McAfee: Security Pioneer and Ex-Fugitive's Denver Ties, Presidential Bid

Three years ago, anti-virus pioneer John McAfee made several appearances in Westword — first as a major player in a feature article headlined "The Hot Yoga War" and later due to his status as a fugitive in Belize, where authorities wanted to question him in regard to a murder.

These days, McAfee, who was never charged in the Belize matter, is keeping busy on a number of fronts. He's reportedly backing a Denver tech startup known as BlackCert — and despite a recent bust for DUI and possession of a handgun while under the influence, he's running for president.

Watch out, Donald Trump. You're not the only egocentric entrepreneur with designs on the White House — and he's got an even more colorful backstory than The Donald.

Consider his time in Belize. In April 2012, as we reported, McAfee's compound was raided, with police discovering an arsenal of weapons (all of them legal) and a lab that he apparently used in an attempt to purify MPVD, a drug (also allowed in Belize, but against the law in the U.S.) that's said to enhance sexual pleasure.

"I'm a huge fan of MDPV," he was quoted as saying. "I think it's the finest drug ever conceived, not just for the indescribable hypersexuality, but also for the smooth euphoria and mild comedown."
McAfee was not charged with a crime following this incident, but he remained wary of cops, particularly following the murder of his neighbor, American expatriate Gregory Faull, 52.

He and Faull had been beefing over the half-dozen or so dogs McAfee is said to have kept on his property — and McAfee later claimed they'd all been poisoned.

But while McAfee insisted that he'd had nothing to do with Faull's death, he refused to speak with authorities about the case — although he talked to plenty of other folks about it, including comic Joe Rogan and Alex Jones, of Infowars fame.

He was just as chatty this past August, when, as CNBC reported, he "was arrested by the Tennessee Highway Patrol for DUI and possession of a handgun while under the influence."

His explanation? McAfee pointed to Xanax.

"I had just that morning received a prescription for Xanax from a doctor," he told the network in a video on view below. "I'd never taken them before." He added that he was pulled over after dropping his phone — and even though he had a weapon, he stressed that possessing a gat while driving in Tennessee is perfectly legal so long as an individual isn't impaired.

Legal complications haven't slowed McAfee down. As noted by the Denver Post, he's put money behind Denver-based BlackCert, which specializes in online encryption — and BlackCert's co-founder and president, John Casaretto, is said to be the senior campaign manager for his presidential bid, which he spent yesterday pimping at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco.

A memorable quote he shared with Re/Code: "I will be president. You can laugh if you want."

Look below to see McAfee's presidential announcement, followed by his Xanax explanation on CNBC and an interview with Jones during his time as a "fugitive."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts