Founder of antivirus computer software –and Cuenca condo owner– is wanted for questioning in Belize murder
John McAfee, the estranged founder of the antivirus firm that bears his name, is wanted by the Belize police in connection with a murder.
McAfee, whose very name is synonymous with security and who is recognized as an internet pioneer, is a prime suspect in the murder of American expatriate Gregory Faull, a well-liked builder from Florida who was shot Saturday night at his home in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye, according to Vienne Robinson, assistant superintendent of the San Pedro police department in Belize. Robinson said her office is actively searching for McAfee.
“We are looking for him in connection with the murder,” Robinson said. “No one has been charged with murder yet,” she said, noting that there is one suspect already in custody.
Another police source said that authorities in other countries where McAfee owns property have been put on alert in the case he leaves Belize. McAfee owns a condo in Cuenca though he is not a legal resident of Ecuador.
The 52-year-old Faull was found by the housekeeper on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 11, lying face up in a pool of blood with an apparent gunshot wound on the upper rear part of his head, according to a police report.
According to Joshua Davis of Wired magazine, McAfee claims he is innocent and says he is being persecuted by the Belizian government. Government agents were sent to McAfee's hacienda in April, looking for drugs. Nothing was found in the investigation and McAgee, who had been jailed briefly, was released.
According to Davis, McAfee is wanted for questioning because of a Friday night incident when several of his guard dogs were poisoned. McAfee and the murdered Faull had arguments about the dogs, Faull complaining about their barking.
McAfee’s life has turned in recent years from cybersecurity to drugs, guns, prostitution and violence, according to Jeff Wise, a freelance reporter who who writes for the Gizmodo blog. "He will tell you he moved to Belize for the good life, for the country, to rescue the Belizean people from poverty,” Wise said. In reality, McAfee became embroiled in bath salts and the quest for the ultimate high, he said.
Wise visited McAfee in the Western Caribbean nation twice, once in 2010 and again this past April.
“It really scared the hell out of me,” Wise said. He wasn’t alone. A woman who went to visit McAfee to co-develop an herbal medicine ended up running from the country in terror, “fleeing for her life,” Wise said.
McAfee’s descent into darkness began in 2008, after the death of a colleague. He had been involved in a new sport involving low-flying tricycles, Wise said — a strange twist to the bizarre tale.
Following that incident, McAfee's life changed around, Wise said. Although a one-time drug user, the computer expert had cleaned up his act.
“Mcafee had been a hard-core drug addict in his 30s and 40s. He had a heart attack right around the time he sold his company for $100 million,” Wise told FoxNews.com. He moved to Belize and apparently pursued several lines of business, from creating a new form of herbal medicine to helping save the country from poverty.
He also became deeply involved with bath salts, Wise said, a dangerous drug notorious for its psychotic effects.
“Around the time his herbal drug plan collapsed, he started to get really heavily into this kind of synthetic, hallucinogenic hyper-aphrodisiac,” Wise told FoxNews.com. “Everyone was scared of McAfee. He was walking around the beach carrying a gun.”
Faull's wife Vicki told CNET that she didn't know many details about her husband's death and only was informed of it yesterday morning. "I just know that McAfee alienated a lot of people around him. Frankly, I was surprised to hear that he was still living there," she said.
McAfee spokeswoman Kim Eichorn told FoxNews.com the company doesn’t comment on former employees, and that McAfee is no longer associated with the company that bears his name.
Calls to the Belize Embassy in Washington, D.C., went unanswered, and the U.S. Embassy in the Caribbean country was closed Monday for Veterans Day.
“When I came back from Belize, I told everyone I wouldn’t be surprised if [McAfee] was dead by the end of the year,” Wise said.
Credit: www.foxnews.com and other sources; photo caption: John McAfee, earlier this year, at his hacienda in Belize.