John McAfee hides from Belize police after neighbour's murder
Anti-virus software pioneer phones Wired to say he is innocent and claims authorities want him dead
JOHN MCAFEE, founder of the multi-billion-dollar cyber security company McAfee Inc, is in hiding from the police in Belize after his neighbour was found shot dead. McAfee, who has had various run-ins with the authorities in the Central American country, says he fears the police will kill him if they find him.
The neighbour, a retired builder called Gregory Viant Faull, 52, was found shot dead at his home on the island of Ambergris Caye on Sunday morning. His body was discovered face up in a pool of blood with a single gunshot wound to the back of his head.
McAfee gave his side of the story in a telephone interview with tech magazine Wired yesterday. He said he knew nothing about the murder and described how, fearing for his life, he buried himself in the sand and hid under a cardboard box from police who were searching the area on Sunday afternoon.
"It was extraordinarily uncomfortable," he said. "But they will kill me if they find me."
McAfee is not only worried about the Belize authorities. He also fears that the murderer may have got the wrong man. "I thought maybe they were coming for me. They mistook him for me. They got the wrong house," he said. "He's dead. They killed him. It spooked me out."
McAfee, a wiry, tattooed figure, had been embroiled in a dispute with Faull over his dogs. Faull had reportedly complained about their barking - and then on Friday night the dogs were mysteriously killed by poisoning. McAfee told Wired he did not believe Faull was responsible and says the Belize authorities had killed the animals.
McAfee has had run-ins with the local authorities before. In April, the Gang Suppression Unit raided one of his businesses looking for drugs and guns. They seized some arms, but McAfee claims they were legally held. He later said he was being victimised for refusing to give money to a local politician.
McAfee is now hiding out somewhere in Belize. "Under no circumstances am I going to willingly talk to the police in this country," he said. "You can say I'm paranoid about it but they will kill me, there is no question. They've been trying to get me for months. They want to silence me. I am not well liked by the prime minister. I am just a thorn in everybody's side."
However, refuses to leave the country, which, he says, is "the nicest place on earth".
There is confusion over whether McAfee is wanted for murder or just for questioning. Marco Vidal, head of the Gang Suppression Unit, told Wired that McAfee is a "prime suspect" in Faull's death. But the Crimes Investigation Branch, which is investigating the murder, told The Daily Telegraph that McAfee is wanted merely for questioning, adding: "We don't have any evidence he was involved in any way."