American technology pioneer, John McAfee, 67, most known for his anti-virus software, is back in the U.S. after fleeing Belize on suspicion of murder.
On November 11, 52-year-old Gregory Faull, McAfee’s neighbor in Belize, was found dead in his home with a gunshot wound to the back of his head.
According to a story on Wired magazine’s website, McAfee said regarding Faull’s death that he knew “nothing, other than I heard he had been shot.” McAfee told Wired that he’s been at odds with Belizean authorities for months, adding that he was hiding from them somewhere in the country.
Faull was killed after four of 11 dogs belonging to McAfee were fatally poisoned, said Wired Magazine Contributing Editor Joshua Davis. Faull had frequently complained about the dogs barking. The dogs were poisoned on Friday night and died very quickly. Sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, Mr. Faull was killed. To put them out of their misery, McAfee shot each in the head and buried them on his property.
Raphael Martinez, a spokesman for the National Police in Belize said there had been “some sort of misunderstanding” before Saturday between McAfee and Faull about the dogs. McAfee is not a suspect, Martinez said. He is a person police want to talk with “to clarify the situation, to allay the fears of everybody that perhaps he is indeed involved in the murder of his neighbor,” whose house is about 300 yards away. Three people have been detained for questioning in the killing, police have said, and investigators are pursuing multiple leads.
McAfee told Davis that when police visited his home on Sunday, he hid from them. “McAfee saw them coming and he dug a hole in the sand and buried himself in the sand, he says, and he put a cardboard box over his head so he could breathe,” Davis said. “He said it was extremely uncomfortable, but he believes that the police will kill him if he turns himself in.” McAfee has a history of problems with the government, Davis said.
On December 4th, almost a month after the shooting, and after McAfee was nowhere to be seen, he surfaced in Guatemala. McAfee requested asylum in Guatemala, arguing that he left Belize to escape police persecution. However, the following day McAfee was detained and his asylum request was “suspended.”
“Any citizen of any country must be expelled if they enter Guatemala illegally. This is what has occurred at this time. Because of this, [McAfee] is in the custody of immigration, so they can conclude the administrative process, and then he will be expelled from the country,” Francisco Cuevas, a spokesman for Guatemala’s president said. McAfee was then imprisoned in a Guatemalan immigration detention center.
Days later, John McAfee said he faked a heart attack while detained in Guatemala to buy time for his attorney to file a series of appeals that ultimately prevented his deportation to Belize, hastening the government’s decision to send him back to the United States. So, after weeks on the run and days in immigration detention, McAfee arrived in Miami on Wednesday. “Our intent is to return to America, if at all possible, and settle down to whatever normal life we can settle down to under the circumstances,” he said. “There is no hope for my life if I am ever returned to Belize.”
McAfee said he planned to stay in Miami until his girlfriend, 20-year-old Belizean Samantha Vanegas, and a woman he called “Amy” could join him. The 67-year-old British native said he has no money and no home in the United States and has been getting by on cash that a Canadian friend sent him until his property manager comes to Miami with his cash and credit cards.
McAfee bristled as reporters in Miami repeatedly asked him why he won’t answer questions from officials in Belize, denying he was under investigation. He stressed that he was afraid to answer questions because dozens of officials there stormed his property, killed his dogs, handcuffed him for hours and tried to extort money. He has not been charged with a crime.