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Belize police seek McAfee founder in murder probe

Antivirus pioneer suspected in killing
Tue Nov 13 2012, 10:30
A man behind bars

PC SECURITY ENTREPRENEUR John McAfee reportedly is being sought for questioning about a murder in the Central American nation of Belize.

Local authorities reported that the body of McAfee's neighbour was discovered on Sunday, dead from a gunshot wound. While authorities have said that they are following "several leads" in the case, McAfee has been widely reported as a suspect in the case.

In an interview with Wired, however, McAfee has denied that he was involved in the killing, claiming that he knew nothing about the shooting. In fact, he believes the person who shot his neighbour was actually looking for him.

"I thought maybe they were coming for me," he said. "They mistook him for me. They got the wrong house. He's dead. They killed him. It spooked me out," he said.

McAfee, who long ago cut ties with the security company that bears his name, has been living in Belize while reportedly running a biomedicine start-up that sought to synthesise medical compounds from tropical plants in the region.

McAfee has also been the subject of anti-gang and drug raids in Belize, though he has not been formally charged in those cases.

Technology news website Gizmodo, which recently ran an extensive profile of McAfee and his dealings in Belize, noted that McAfee had a history of confrontations with the neighbour and reported that the PC antivirus security company founder has had ties to high-profile drug kingpins in the country.

A report speculates that McAfee, whose recent behaviour has been described as increasingly erratic, might also have been involved in researching psychoactive chemicals known as "bath salts".

McAfee holds a place in computing history for his role in helping to create the antivirus market. McAfee, whose credits also include stints with Univac and Xerox, is said to have developed his first PC antivirus software product after receiving a copy of the "Pakistani brain" computer virus. µ


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