The Man Behind The Screen

Temi Lufadeju, Writer

Who even is John Mcafee? John Mcafee is the man inside your computer. In the 80s, Mcafee created one of the world’s most famous antivirus software. An antivirus program is designed to protect your private information. Any antivirus software can be put on your computer and even your cellular device. McAfee ranks No. 3 in Pcmag of Best Antivirus Software of 2022. 

Mcafee was raised in Salem, Virginia by his British mother and an American father. Mcafee’s father was an abusive alcoholic who eventually killed himself when Mcafee was 15 years old. Mcafee grew up to be a businessman and tech entrepreneur. John Mcafee was a successful and smart man. 

 At the prime of his wealth, Mcafee was reported to have a net worth of $100 million; This fortune was raised when Mcafee sold his stake in the software business. In 1994, Mcafee resigned from his company, just 7 years after it was founded. After Mcafee’s resignation, Mcafee explored his other “desires”. This exploration led Mcafee towards a road filled with fanciful conflicts. Due to the 2008 global recession, Mcafee was hit especially hard due to the fact that most of his fortune was in luxury homes. Mcafee was forced to sell his real estate property; Mcafee sold a 25 million home for just $5.7 million. Mcafee’s net worth had decreased over time; Mcafee’s net worth went from $100 million to less than $10 million. Mcafee told ABC News “I feel a sense of freedom. People think that it’s a joy to own things. But it really isn’t”. Mcafee was like no other he imagined; He wanted to be different and to be different he would have to do the unmanageable. People do not just lose over $90 million without feeling some sort of emotional loss. Would Mcafee still be telling news reporters that it is not a joy to own things if the recession never happened? If the recession never happened would Mcafee not be living in his beachfront property in Hawaii or his Colorado mansion in the shadow of Pike’s Peak?

The question that has yet to be answered is what made John Mcafe go mad? What made him go from AntiVirus genius to a madman on the run? For starters, what makes one person go mad? Coach Sue Kampert says “I would say losing their sense of purpose in life and not having something or someone to guide them forward”

 There are many traits that make him different from your regular computer programmer. In reality, it was hard not to notice him. Mcafee loved the attention. Mcafee even ran to be the President of the United States in 2016 and 2020. Cooper Jones, class of 2025 is aware of Mcafee and his “social behavior”. Jones said, “He was the guy who made the antivirus right. And then he killed his neighbor”. How did Mcafee go from running for president to potentially killing his neighbor? “I don’t think he did, ”said Jones. “ I think the government staged him. I think he was framed.” John Mcafee himself believed he was framed by the authorities for the murder of Gregory Fall. Fall was Mcafee’s neighbor who was found dead on November 11th, 2012 at his home in Belize. Fall and Mcafee were not the best of neighbors.  Greg had begun having an issue with Mcafee’s “violent dogs”. Greg had supposedly witnessed them attack a tourist. This caused tension between the two as well as some threats made. 

John’s dogs were poisoned around November 8 or 9, of 2012. In the documentary “Running with the Devil”, John claimed that he had to shoot four of them to put them out of their misery. Greg was found dead a few days later, on the 11th. Before the line of questioning from the police, Mcafee went on the run for the first time with his 20-year-old girlfriend Samantha Venegas. In 2019, McAfee went on the run once again to avoid tax evasion charges. Jillian Farley ‘25 is not aware of John Mcafee. Although, Farley is not surprised a genius went crazy. Farley says “He was definitely a genius who went crazy”. Farley believes that a man still inside your computer is “fishy”. Farley says “It makes me question what I should be doing on my computer and I feel like I don’t have privacy. It makes me feel violated”. 

Mcafee died at the age of 75 in his prison cell due to committing suicide. In the documentary “Running with the Devil, Mcafee’s ex ex-girlfriend, Samantha claims that John Mcafee has reached out to her after his apparent death. According to Samantha, she got a call from Texas.  Supposedly Mcafee said, “’It’s me, John. I paid off people to pretend that I am dead, but I am not dead. There are only three people in this world that know that I’m still alive”. Today the Mcafee virus remains one of the most popular antivirus programs. It is left a mystery whether Mcafee killed his neighbor or if he is still alive.