Former antivirus software mogul John McAfee has been hit with a restraining order from his former building manager, who says McAfee thought he was in on an international kidnapping conspiracy. A stalking complaint was filed earlier this month by Connor Hyde, assistant property manager for Portland apartment building the 20 on Hawthorne. In the filing, posted by The Oregonian, Hyde describes a strange series of emails in which McAfee implicated him in a broad web of people he believes framed him for the murder of his neighbor in Belize last year.
"I warn you — no more lies Connor."
Problems started when McAfee fell behind on his rent, leading Hyde to send an eviction notice by email and ask how he wanted to proceed. "Your answer will be in the newspapers later this week," McAfee responded, according to emails included in the court filing. "I hope you are prepared to explain what happened to the surveillance tapes the night that your acquaintances attempted to collect me. I saw the video if [sic] you and your sidekick entering the video room at 7:26 in the morning after the failed attempt. What do you think the real police will make of it? I hope you have a safe to run to." The email further notes that it was sent from John McAfee's HTC phone. "Contrary to the respondent's belief," Hyde writes, "I am not nor have I ever been part of any conspiracy against him."
In another email, McAfee names several other members of the conspiracy, including Belize Minister of National Security John Saldivar and former major KFC franchisee Zubair Kazi. He tells Hyde that he plans to "deal with" other members, but has "no interest in seeing anything happen to you." He then adds an amazing "one time only" ultimatum that would be right at home in a thriller script:
Cooperate FULLY with me, and I guarantee that your name will ever come up in any context in any action that I take. If you refuse, or you continue to lie to me, then I promise you, I will consider you as an integral part of what happened to me.
I warn you — no more lies Connor. Consider your response carefully. You made a poor decision in choosing to be involved in this matter. Do not make yet another poor decision.
McAfee, of course, has denied that he threatened anything but a lawsuit and says he didn't even know he was being evicted until now; he moved to Montreal two months ago and doesn't plan to return to Portland any time soon. Indeed, the threat probably wouldn't be taken so seriously if it weren't sent by an often heavily armed suspected murderer who spent several weeks on the lam in Central America before being arrested and sent back to the US. Now, Hyde claims that McAfee "employs bodyguards from a 'motorcycle club' that are often armed."
The order was granted temporarily by a Multnomah County court, which will hold a January 3rd hearing to determine whether it should be continued. McAfee told The Guardian that he did not plan to attend the hearing and struck back at Hyde with his own complaint: "He gave keys out to all of his friends, and friends of friends. ... People were partying in vacant condos. It's turned into a nightmare ever since the new owners purchased the building four months ago."