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John McAfee: The Government Wants to Kill Me

In a muffled and convoluted audio recording, the ex-councilman of the village of Carmelita, Anthony Rhaburn, allegedly tries to convince an employee working for John McAfee to help the government of Belize kill him. The audio recording (embedded at the bottom of this article) is part of a blog post made by McAfee, as the saga of his collapsing world unfolds.

John McAfeeLast week, John McAfee, the man behind Intel’s security company of the same name, went on the run after police discovered another man shot in the head on the island. According to reports in the media, McAfee and the murdered man, Gregory Faull, had a falling out recently, which has given the police cause to bring him in for interrogation. However, before a police raid on his home, McAfee left the area and has remained in hiding since.

On Nov. 14, Prime Minister Dean Barrow urged the anti-virus software pioneer to turn himself in to Belizean authorities, and told CNBC that McAfee's fears were unfounded. "Come forward man," the prime minister said.

However, shortly after the manhunt started, McAfee started a blog. In it, he covers a wide range of topics, sprinkled with his own observations and thoughts. On November 19, he posted about the first two days in hiding.

From his November 19 blog post:

“The first two days Sam and I were on the run we were far from our house. I felt helpless, especially given the fact that so many of our friends and workers were being arrested. I realized that unless I knew, moment by moment, what was happening, my chances of coming out of this intact, both emotionally and physically, were slim. I needed to be close to area where the events occurred and needed to watch, and hear, the actions of the authorities. I also needed to do my own investigation, since the police only seemed to be investigating my whereabouts...

A day later, McAfee details how he performed some of those investigation duties, including video and audio surveillance.

“The media has portrayed me as paranoid. I am a poor judge, since if I am paranoid; it is a paranoid mind judging itself. However, I am a technologist and use that as best I can for my own purposes. Shortly after the raid on my property by 42 soldiers in riot gear looking for a non-existent meth lab, I began a program of observation and recording of everything that happened to me,” he wrote.

“I planted tiny POV video cameras and sound recorders on myself, some of my dogs, all around my property, in my cars, on my boats, at the Studio 54 bar in Orange Walk, on trees, in bushes, – everywhere I could... My first big break came when an ex-councilman from the village of Carmelita, named Anthony Rhaburn, was caught on one of my devices while trying to convince one of my employees to help the government kill me. The language is Creole, but non-Creole speakers can get the gist of it if you listen closely...”

SecurityWeek contacted a source who speaks Creole. However, the quality of the audio recording is simply not enough to confirm McAfee’s claims.

Early in the recording, a voice is heard saying, “kill him,” followed by “that’s what he fucking needs.” At other points in the audio, the main speaker references the “white man” several times, and tells the person he is speaking to repeatedly that he appreciates his time. Again, there is simply too much distortion to draw any solid conclusion from the audio file.

At the same time, McAfee’s name isn’t mentioned (at least not clearly), and there is no other source audio to use for voice comparison. Attempts to locate other audio samples with Mr. Rhaburn’s voice were unsuccessful.

McAfee has offered a reward of $25,000 for anyone who can send him information that helps catch Mr. Faull’s killer. He says that the data will be published to his blog first and handed over to the authorities after, in order to prevent them from making him disappear should they not like the evidence.

Additional information on John McAfee, which he claims is written by a reporter who has made it his life’s work to him, can be found in two articles on Gizmodo here and here.

As a company, McAfee, the security unit of Intel, has not commented on the case, and is standing a good distance away from their former founder.

“John McAfee has no current affiliation with the company, and we don’t comment on former employees,” McAfee told SecurityWeek in a statement last week.

Below: Audio File of Anthony Rhaburn allegedly trying to convince an employee to help kill McAfee.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.