SOMEWHERE IN THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS, Tenn. — John McAfee’s distinctly British accent is on the other end of the cell call — and his instructions are precise.
“Sir, upon your flight’s arrival, text me, and my people will coordinate their pickup of you,” he says. “We will determine our rendezvous point.”
Several hours later, after a circuitous journey from Memphis, I encounter McAfee sitting on the back porch of a remote farmhouse nestled deep in Tennessee’s Blue Ridge Mountains. He is chain-smoking in a semicircle of weapons. McAfee travels with 10 guns — a Beretta .40 is hidden in the small of his back and a Ruger .380 is in his right front pocket. Often, he cradles a rapid-fire Kel-Tec shotgun as one would a newborn. A pit bull patrols the 40-acre spread, always keen to strangers.
It all sounds so LeCarre, but these are things one comes to expect from a rattled, sleep-deprived McAfee, who is convinced someone has put out a $650,000 contract on his life. He insists the initial hit was for $2 million, “so my value dead is in steep decline,” he jokes.
McAfee is considered a legend in the computer industry for creating and popularizing antivirus software for the masses. But he cemented his place in the American zeitgeist with a murder mystery in Belize — he was named a “person of interest” in the case — and his desperate flight to freedom. That international adventure led to McAfee’s claims of widespread corruption in the Belize government and, he insists, a contract on his life by a drug cartel. He and his wife, Janice, have been on the run in the USA for several months.
Authorities haven’t called him a suspect in the murder. Raphael Martinez, a spokesman for the Belize police, says McAfee has not been charged and there is no plan to extradite him. U.S. authorities have made no effort to question McAfee since he returned in December 2012
Read More about McAfee by clicking On the Road With McAfee