John McAfee, the reclusive software mogul wanted for questioning in Belize over an expat neighbor’s death, broke his silence Monday in a US newspaper interview in which he pleaded his innocence.
“People ask me, ‘How did it feel to kill a man?’ and I can honestly tell them I wouldn’t know, because I never have,” the founder of the anti-virus software brand that bears his name told USA Today.
McAfee, 67, fingered another neighbor, also an expatriate, as a suspect in the November 2012 shooting death of American expatriate Gregory Viant Faull, 52, but that person was not identified by the newspaper.
No-one has been charged over Faull’s death, but police in Belize want to question McAfee — who claims he was nowhere near the victim on the night he died — as a person of interest in the case.
“I am not a madman,” said McAfee, a British-born former NASA programmer whose namesake anti-virus company was bought by Intel in 2010. “I am eccentric, gracious, attentive, kind, humorous. We humans are funny creatures.”
A US citizen, McAfee was deported to the United States in December after he was arrested in Guatemala, where he had feigned illness and applied for political asylum to avoid being sent back to Belize.
McAfee, who now lives in Portland, Oregon, said he was not surprised to have been implicated in Faull’s death because, he alleged, he had refused to pay a $2 million bribe to Belize officials a few months earlier.
He also said he most of his assets — about $5 million in property and investments — remain in Belize, a Central American country that he described as “physically beautiful” but a “third-rate banana republic.”
McAfee now spends his days working on a movie project, collaborating with 1970s cocaine smuggler George Jung on an official biography and generally shunning publicity.
“I’m not doing a movie to clear my name,” he said. “It is to make money. I’m too old to work at McDonald’s and tired of technology.”