Portland, meet your newest resident: software millionaire John McAfee.
Yes, that John McAfee. Until late last year, McAfee had been best known for the
anti-virus software company that bears his name. But last fall he became an overnight star of
his own strange media story involving a murdered neighbor, poisoned dogs
and elaborate strange tales of government plots and intrigue.
Authorities in Belize, where McAfee has lived for several years, want to question him about the murder of his neighbor, American ex-pat Gregory Faull. McAfee, 67, denies he had anything to do with it, and says crooked cops harassed and blackmailed him and even committed murder themselves, all because they wanted his money. (He also claims they poisoned his dogs.)
McAfee has spun an increasingly bizarre tale of corruption and power that culminated when he wrote a post on his blog Jan. 3, accusing officials in Belize of partnering with Hezbollah to train Lebanese terrorists. He also claimed he launched a convoluted counter-surveillance campaign by loading laptops with keystroke-monitoring software and giving them to his enemies.
He's been called a modern-day Col. Kurtz, a pimp, a spymaster, drug-addled, and just plain crazy.
McAfee has helped fan the media attention—in part, he says, by acting
crazier than he really is. McAfee has not been press-shy, giving plenty
of interviews in Belize, while on the run, and after he returned to the
U.S. McAfee's own writings were posted on Gizmodo in November. (His journal included accounts of living with eight former prostitutes.) Wired magazine, which had been working for months on a long profile of McAfee, decided to publish the article instead as an ebook.
We were as surprised as anyone when, on Jan. 9, he showed up in
Portland, posing for photos to accompany a British newspaper profile with dancers at Mary's Club.
WW tracked down McAfee at his hotel, and he agreed to sit for a video interview at Coffee Division in Southeast Portland, where he told us he
is looking for a home and plans to live for the next year and
a half while he collaborates with local artist Chad Essley on a graphic novel
about his life.
In these two clips, McAfee talks about moving to Portland and looking for a house. (Essley was also present and can be heard in the video as well.)
UPDATED: We've added this clip to our site and we'll post more of our interview soon.