John McAfee, the estranged founder of the antivirus firm that bears his name, is wanted by the Belize police in connection with a murder, FoxNews.com has confirmed.
McAfee, whose very name is synonymous with security, 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 a series of exposes on tech blog Gizmodo. Vienne Robinson, assistant superintendent of the San Pedro police department in Belize, told FoxNews.com that police are actively searching for McAfee.
“We are looking for him in connection with the murder,” Robinson told FoxNews.com. “No one has been charged with murder yet,” she said, noting that there is one suspect already in custody.
'Everyone was scared of McAfee. He was walking around the beach carrying a gun.'
- Freelance reporter Jeff Wise, who met McAfee in April
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 posted on Gizmodo.
McAfee’s life has turned in recent years from cybersecurity to drugs, guns, prostitution and violence, explained Jeff Wise, a freelance reporter who broke the story for Gizmodo. "He will tell you he moved to Belize for the good life, for the country, to rescue the Belizean people from poverty,” Wise told FoxNews.com. In reality, McAfee became embroiled in bath salts and the quest for the ultimate high, he said.
Oak Ridge's new Titan supercomputer is the fastest in the world
RIM announces Jan. 30 Blackberry 10 launch plans
Silicon style: Geeks redefine online shopping
Facebook testing sound alert feature for Timeline notifications
New Apple flagship in California has a noise problem
Apple Still Can’t Keep Up With iPhone 5 Demand
Apple Deepens Tumble into Bear-Market Territory
Microsoft builds language translator that uses your own voice
Software mogul at center of South American murder case
100 more must-have tech toys
Mossberg: Microsoft Surface Historic
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 told CNET.
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.
“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.
A State Department spokesman confirmed Faull's death and said the U.S. Embassy in Belize is in contact with his family and providing consular assistance.
Jeremy A. Kaplan is Science and Technology editor at FoxNews.com, where he heads up coverage of gadgets, the online world, space travel, nature, the environment, and more. Prior to joining Fox, he was executive editor of PC Magazine, co-host of the Fastest Geek competition, and a founding editor of GoodCleanTech.