John McAfee's Bizarre Life on the Run

Software pioneer might as well be in a spy novel: Jon Swartz

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 26, 2014 3:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – John McAfee is leading a relatively public life—he's often on Fox, and he's running a Montreal-based startup—even as he lives in hiding. The software developer believes there's a $650,000 contract on his head, though that's down from $2 million, he tells Jon Swartz in USA Today: "So my value dead is in steep decline." McAfee and his wife have been traveling across the US for months after a dust-up in Portland, Ore. He met with Swartz "somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains" and discussed his secretive lifestyle, one which "sounds so LeCarre," Swartz writes.

McAfee, who says a drug cartel is after him, carries 10 guns; he's got a pit bull keeping an eye on visitors. He regularly buys cell phones and duct-tapes them to traveling trucks in an effort to trick those apparently following him. He stays in hotels under assumed names, paying in cash. But is anyone actually in hot pursuit? Another reporter, John Casaretto, says a huge volume of documents back up McAfee's claims. "There is too much evidence, too many coincidences, for this not to be true," Casaretto says. For his part, McAfee showed Swartz text messages he says are from an FBI agent with whom he speaks regularly. Click for Swartz's full story. Meanwhile, Intel has dropped McAfee's name from its antivirus software.

In this Dec. 4, 2012, file photo, software company founder John McAfee listens to a question during an interview at a local restaurant in Guatemala City.
In this Dec. 4, 2012, file photo, software company founder John McAfee listens to a question during an interview at a local restaurant in Guatemala City.   (AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File)
In this Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012 file photo, antivirus software founder John McAfee walks on Ocean Drive in the South Beach area of Miami Beach, Fla.
In this Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012 file photo, antivirus software founder John McAfee walks on Ocean Drive in the South Beach area of Miami Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)
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