* Tech millionaire in hiding after neighbor's murder
* Proclaims innocence in Wired magazine interview
BELIZE CITY Nov 13 Computer security industry
pioneer John McAfee says he has gone into hiding in Belize
because he believes authorities there are trying to frame him
for the murder of a neighbor, a crime he says he did not commit,
according to Wired magazine.
Belize police are searching for McAfee as "a person of
interest" in a murder investigation.
"You can say I'm paranoid about it, but they will kill me,
there is no question. They've been trying to get me for months.
They want to silence me," Wired quoted McAfee as saying on its
website. "I am not well liked by the prime minister. I am just a
thorn in everybody's side."
The magazine reported that McAfee, 67, contacted one of its
reporters by telephone after his neighbor Gregory Faull, was
found dead on Sunday in a pool of blood. The 52-year-old
American was apparently shot in the head.
Police say McAfee had a history of conflict with Faull,
whose post-mortem was expected to be conducted on Tuesday.
McAfee, who amassed a fortune by building the anti-virus
company that bears his name, has homes and businesses in the
Central American country where police say he has lived for at
least two years.
It was not the first time McAfee, who has tattoos, a goatee
and moustache, and a penchant for guns, has drawn police
His premises were raided earlier this year after he was
accused of holding firearms, though most were found to be
licensed. The final outcome of the case is pending.
He was also suspected of running a lab to make the synthetic
drug crystal meth.
"He was suspected (of making crystal meth) but he was not
convicted nor was he charged. He was only suspected," said
Belize police spokesman Raphael Martinez.
McAfee also owns a security company in Belize as well as
several properties and an ecological enterprise.
Reuters has been unable to reach McAfee, who police want to
"It would be quite nice for him to come in and answer some
of the questions that could lead to the closure of this case,"
Martinez said. "He is not wanted for murder, but he is wanted
for questioning as a person of interest."
The Belize police department has reached out to counterparts
in neighboring Mexico and Guatemala, asking them to detain
McAfee if he leaves Belize overland.
McAfee was one of Silicon Valley's first entrepreneurs to
amass a fortune by building a business off the Internet.
The former Lockheed systems consultant started McAfee
Associates in 1989, initially distributing anti-virus software
as "shareware" on Internet bulletin boards.
He took the company public in 1992 and left two years later
following accusations that he had hyped the arrival of a virus
known as Michelangelo, which turned out to be a dud, to scare
computer users into buying his company's products.
McAfee currently has no relationship with the software
company, which has since been sold to Intel Corp.