McAfee is the main suspect in the murder of Gregory Faull, the 52-year-old American expatriate who was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head on Saturday night at his home in San Pedro Town, located in the southern region of Ambergris Caye island in Belize. There was no sign of forced entry, but his laptop computer and iPhone were cited as missing, according to a police report obtained by the website.
Last Wednesday, Faull had filed a formal complaint against McAfee in the local mayor’s office, claiming that the software mogul had been firing off guns and exhibiting “roguish behavior.”
McAfee, 67, had been at odds with Faull for some time. He accused his neighbor of poisoning his dogs earlier this year and filed an official complaint.
“There was some conflict there between (them) … prior to the death of the gentleman,” said Miguel Segura, the assistant commissioner of police. “But those dogs didn’t have a post mortem to see if the toxicology would confirm what type of poison, if any.”
The professional decline of McAfee, who founded McAfee Associates in the 1980s, began at least three years ago when his wealth plummeted from $100 million to $4 million, and he auctioned off property to pay his bills, according to The New York Times. Intel purchased the company in 2010 for $7.68 billion.
At the time, the Times described him as “an atypical businessman who was easily bored and given to serial obsessions.” He had a penchant for yoga and began investing in real estate in remote locations.
In April, McAfee’s Belize compound was stormed by Belize’s Gang Suppression Unit. A chemistry lab, $20,000 in cash and a stock of firearms were found in the house, but McAfee claimed the raid was linked to his not giving money to “the local political boss,” according to Network World, a tech news website. Everything was found to be legally in McAfee’s possession and the police quickly released him from custody.
McAfee, who is believed to have relocated to Belize sometime in 2010, 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 its 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 Michelango, which turned out to be a dud, to scare computer users into buying his company’s products.