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John McAfee blogs for help, offers $25K reward for neighbour's killer
Disguises include: Man selling burritos, drunk German tourist
John McAfee has taken time out from life on the lam to start a blog. The antivirus pioneer is wanted for questioning by Belize police in connection with the murder of one of his neighbours in the Central American country, although they maintain he is not a suspect.
McAfee's neighbour, Gregory Faull, a fellow US expat, was shot dead on Saturday, 10 November. McAfee denied any involvement in the murder in an interview with Wired shortly afterwards. Police say that they only want to interview him as a material witness but McAfee said he has doesn't trust the authorities, whom he alleged poisoned his dogs and wish to kill him. He denies these fears amount to paranoia.
Belize’s prime minister, Dean Barrow, said McAfee was "bonkers" and urged him to come forward to aid police with their investigation.
Last Friday, McAfee set up a new blog called The Hinterland - which has been confirmed as authentic by Chad Essley, a friend of McAfee who is writing a graphic novel about the anti-virus pioneer.
An entry on the blog on Sunday criticised police in Belize for the "systematic roundup of my friends and associates” since Faull's homicide.
McAfee charges that police arrested his housekeeper, his British bodyguard, the bodyguard’s wife, a taxi driver who ferried McAfee away from his property, and McAfee’s best friend in Belize. Some of these individuals remain in police custody, according to McAfee, who is calling for the international community to apply pressure on local authorities to secure their release.
The Register has been unable to independently confirm whether or not these individuals are still being detained, although a Belizean news station is reporting that two of them are being detained on weapons charges.
A post on the blog dated on Monday offers a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for Faull's murder.
"I also needed to do my own investigation, since the police only seemed to be investigating my whereabouts. My safety is contingent on the truth being discovered. I today announced on NBC Television that I am offering a $25,000 reward for the capture of the person or persons responsible for Mr. Faul’s [sic] murder," McAfee writes.
McAfee goes on to say that after spending two days a long distance from his compound he has returned to the neighbourhood of his home on the island of Ambergris Caye. He stated that, having donned various disguises, he watched police repeatedly searching his property as well as digging up his dead dogs.
"I watched the police dig up my four dogs that had been poisoned and buried. They cut off the heads and re-buried the bodies," he writes, claiming that at one stage he disguised himself as a burrito salesman and on another occasion as a drunk German tourist.
Other entries in blog criticise a reporter at Gizmodo for harbouring a personal grudge and Wired for running pictures of McAfee shirtless and brandishing a shotgun alongside an interview with him denying involvement in Faull's untimely demise. He alleges police may be attempting to frame him.
There's also a guest post by Samantha, McAfee's 20-year-old girlfriend, who appears to have gone on the run with the tech tycoon.
Essley said that the blog has allowed McAfee to directly express his views about his (frankly bizarre) situation.
“He’s got a lot of time to think and write and sort, and has been using the time to update his blog with some of the concerns about the Belizean government,” Essley told ABC News.
McAfee, who has begun working on the theory that Faull was killed as the result of a failed real estate deal, signed off the blog with a promise that it will continue to be maintained even if he is captured.
"If I am captured, this blog will continue. I have pre-written enough material to keep this blog alive for at least a year. In addition, the administrator, Chad, will continue to monitor comments. He will administer the reward and post any information received. In truth my continued involvement from this point is irrelevant," he said.
McAfee has continued to give interviews to various news outlets during his eight days on the run and some reports suggest he may even be staying on his own compound, making it even more curious why he has yet to be picked up by police.
Relations between McAfee and local authorities have been strained since officers from the Gang Suppression Unit raided his property in May. The raid was carried out as part of an investigation into unlicensed drug manufacturing and possession of an unlicensed weapon. No charges were ever filed. ®
Former computer hacker turned security consultant Kevin Mitnick is offering top tips for McAfee on life on the run via his Twitter feed, including advice to ditch his girlfriend because "she’ll be the first to snitch on you when she is caught".
"I cannot believe McAfee is naive enough to carry his cell phone as a fugitive. My prediction is that he will get caught soon." Mitnick writes.