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Anti-virus founder McAfee may call Rose City home

by: COURTESY OF JUSTIN BEACH: KOIN LOCAL 6 - John McAfee talked Saturday with KOIN Local 6 reporter Lisa Balick in his first interview with a Portland TV reporter.Anti-virus software founder John McAfee has turned up after fleeing Belize, and he’s living in Portland.

The software millionaire was wanted in Belize for questioning late last year in the death of his neighbor. He left the country — and was in Guatemala before being deported to the U.S.

On Saturday, in his first local TV interview, KOIN learned John McAfee is shopping for a house in Portland.

“I don’t need antivirus,” McAfee told KOIN, saying he “never” uses the anti-virus software service which still bears the McAfee name to fight off online attackers. ”I know what to do.”

McAfee is clearly a controversial character. Here’s how he decided on a college major in either math or physics: “Since I’m a lazy person I chose math.”

McAfee started working in computer programming at GE, then at NASA, Xerox and Lockheed. When the world’s first known computer virus showed up in the 1980s, McAfee figured out the antidote — and anti-virus giant McAfee Associates was born.

A few years later, the namesake sold his shares: “I got bored; it was no longer fun.”

Next he developing one of the first instant messaging programs, and headed to Belize for several business ventures. Then, late last year, he made international news — wanted for questioning by police in the suspected murder of one of his neighbors in Belize.

“I left,” he said matter-of-factly, “because I ran afoul of the government.”

In previous interviews with CNBC, McAfee has said he’d be glad to answer questions about the murder case if authorities were to meet him in a neutral country. He also said he barely even knew the victim.

McAfee wouldn’t talk further with KOIN about that case, but he did say he snuck into Guatemala before he was deported back to the U.S. in December. He says he’s under an agreement with a London newspaper not to share details about the case until they publish his story. But he will share that he’s planning to buy a house here in Portland, where he’s collaborating with a Portland blogger on a graphic novel and a movie about his life.

“We have sort of a collective,” he said. “And Portland is the central place for that.”

McAfee said he plans to live in Portland for the next 18 months, working on the book. He said the movie deal could be with actor Sacha Baron Cohen.

He also said he’s not interested in leaving a mark or a legacy. For him, ”loving what you do makes the difference between success and failure.”

Lisa Balick contributed to this news report.