| News |

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

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

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."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.