Published November 11, 2013
It has been a year since fallen software magnate John McAfee fled his adopted home and country -- wanted by police for questioning in connection to the murder of his neighbor.
In that year, the often eccentric programming pioneer led the media and the public on a wild ride with his outlandish behavior and off-the-wall statements during a catch-me-if you-can escape from the small Central American country. McAfee is a person of interest in the investigation surrounding the murder of his neighbor, American ex-pat Gregory Faull, near his compound in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye. No headway has been made in the investigation -- and authorities in Belize are still looking to speak with McAfee.
“Nothing has really changed. It’s not a closed case,” Belize Police spokesman Raphael Martinez told FoxNews.com. “He is still a person of interest.”
McAfee has maintained that he is innocent and refuses to return to Belize to speak with cops, claiming that he fears for his safety.
“There’s no law in Belize,” McAfee told FoxNews.com. “It’s a pirate haven.”
“I’ve had an ongoing war with Belize for a year and a half,” McAfee added, claiming that an emissary tried to extort $2 million from him. When he refused, his first home in the country was ransacked and destroyed by a few dozen soldiers.
“He came back and asked if I reconsidered about giving them the ‘donation,’” he said.
McAfee also claims that officials in Belize are not thrilled with his willingness to speak to the press and all of the unwanted attention in the news. In retaliation, they burned down his compound.
“They couldn’t shoot me, but they wanted to shut me up,” he said. “[The compound] burned down to the ground a week before a sale was to be finalized. Just out of spite they burned it to the ground.”
McAfee’s life reportedly took a dark turn in recent years from cybersecurity to drugs, guns, prostitution and violence beginning in 2008 after the death of a colleague. After selling his company, which created the first anti-virus software, for $100 million, he moved to Belize and attempted to pursue several new business ventures -- including herbal medicine -- to help save the Central American nation from poverty.
But after his venture collapsed, he got heavily into the hallucinogenic drug known as bath salts, explained Jeff Wise, a freelance reporter who visited McAfee in the Western Caribbean nation twice, once in 2010 and again in 2012. McAfee alienated a lot of people around him, according to published reports.
The Belize police grew suspicious of McAfee after the November 2012 murder of American expatriate Faull, a well-liked builder from Florida who was shot at his home near McAfee’s compound.
The incident caused McAfee to flee Belize into Guatemala and eventually back to the U.S. and Portland, Ore., where he now resides, working on various projects documenting his life story, including books and a film. He also chronicled his own exploits by blog and phone, turning the crime into farce.
Authorities in Belize still want to speak with McAfee, but he has refused to return to the country.
“I have offered over and over to meet in a neutral country of my choosing,” he told FoxNews.com. “I have even offered to pay to have investigators flown to Miami.”
“I will do a Skype interview any time, but they don’t really want any answers.”
The Belize police have responded to these claims.
“That would be a decision for the [police] commissioner to make,” Martinez said. “I think he has his reasons for not coming down, but we would still like to speak with him.”