In blog McAfee denounces murder accusations
John McAfee. / Personal photo
Software company founder John McAfee denies he killed a neighbor in Belize but says he won't turn himself in for questioning because he fears a police anti-gang unit wants to kill him.
Belize police have said they want to question McAfee, who they describe as a "person of interest" in the slaying of fellow American Gregory Viant Faull. Faull, 52, was shot to death over the weekend on the Caribbean island where both men lived.
McAfee told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Thursday that he is in hiding with a young woman somewhere in Belize. He says he is unarmed and has been changing locations frequently to stay one step ahead of police.
In recent days the software company founder has extended himself to various media, and has even launched his own blog, whoismcafee.com, in which he protests his innocence, attacks Belizean government officials and security forces, and slams journalists who have written critical pieces:
"With lots of time on my hands and very little to do with it, I've been reflecting on the recent detour my life has taken. How did I end up as a murder suspect on the lam?"
Chad Essley, an animator and graphic artist and director of the Portland, Ore.-based Cartoon Monkey, confirmed to CBS News that he set up and hosted the blog for MacAfee, whom he referred to as a friend, but said that McAfee is posting material himself.
In his blog posts McAfee affords special attention to journalist Jeff Wise, who has written about McAfee for National Geographic Explorer, Gizmodo and other outlets."Jeff has made a life work out of smearing my character," McAfee blogged, alluding to alleged indiscretions on the writer's part as a possible reason. "The net result of his stories, however, has made my life appear much darker than the mere 'eccentricity' that most people, including myself, ascribe to me."
Wise, who appeared on "CBS This Morning" last Tuesday, said when he first got to know McAfee, "He was just a larger than life, very charismatic character. Famous, wealthy. The world was really his oyster, and in the five years that I've known him, he's followed a downward trajectory.
"He has some dark aspects to his character, and in a sense, being able to do whatever you want can be a curse at times," said Wise, who added that the last time he met with McAfee he was concerned for his own safety.
Asked what he's capable of doing, Wise replied, "I don't really know what he's capable of doing. He's a very strange man. He's one of these people who the more I've gotten to know him, the harder it is for me to pin (him) down exactly."
McAfee, the creator of the McAfee antivirus program, has led a life of eccentricity since he sold his stake in the anti-virus software company that is named for him in the early 1990s and moved to Belize about three years ago to lower his taxes.
He told The New York Times in 2009 that he had lost all but $4 million of his $100 million fortune in the U.S. financial crisis. However, a story on the Gizmodo website quoted him as calling that claim "not very accurate at all."
Of his neighbor, McAfee told the AP that Faull was an "annoyance." He acknowledged he had differences with the dead man, but he denies killing Faull, who was found Sunday morning with a gunshot wound to his head inside his two-story home.
"I barely knew him, I barely spoke ten words to him in the last three years," McAfee said, speaking on a cellphone. "Certainly he was not my favorite person and I was not his."
"He was a heavy drinker and an annoyance. But the world is full of annoyances; if we killed all of our annoyances, there would be nobody left," McAfee said.
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