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Spam King and Family Dead In Murder-Suicide 1081

Posted by kdawson
from the coming-to-a-bad-end dept.
Lt.Hawkins was one of many readers sending in word that the escaped spam king discussed yesterday was found dead in Colorado, after apparently killing his wife and 3-year-old daughter. A teenager was injured, and an infant was found alive in the car.
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Spam King and Family Dead In Murder-Suicide

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  • Coward. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:07AM (#24333169)
    It wasn't necessary for him to take them with him. May he burn in hell.
  • Re:Woo! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:09AM (#24333209)

    Celebrating someone killing their family. Fuck you.

  • by the4thdimension (1151939) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:09AM (#24333221) Homepage
    Psychologically speaking, the very act of going to prison(even if its minimum security)can be highly damaging. There is no telling what caused this guy to snap but its likely that he didn't sit there and stew about it and decide to do it on his own. It was likely a snap decision brought on by q pretty high amount of stress and depression.

    Not justifying it, just stating that its not so cut and dry as a simple choice to kill your family.
  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JasonWM (991689) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:10AM (#24333227) Homepage
    WTF is this? There is a dead woman and child and you pop off at the mouth calling them things like "crotch fruit?" After seeing such comments the only conclusion I can extract is that I hope you never breed, we need less people on this earth that act like you just did.
  • Re:Sad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:12AM (#24333263) Homepage Journal

    I guess that's what happens if you get into a pound-in-the-ass federal prison. You'd rather die than to ever return there.

    But he was at one of those white-collar resort prisons. That's why he was able to escape.

  • by LordKaT (619540) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:12AM (#24333269) Homepage Journal

    It's the fundamental problem with being institutionalized in America: it's all about vengeance, not social rehabilitation.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:13AM (#24333281) Journal

    Doesn't care about anyone (millions of people inconvenienced by his spam), doesn't have a conscience and leaves a trail of misery and destruction behind.

    Psychopaths are very charming but still, girls, try not to marry one.

  • by darkmeridian (119044) <william.chuang@g ... minus herbivore> on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:13AM (#24333287) Homepage

    Okay. This was one guy who should have been sent to a pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

  • by R2.0 (532027) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:14AM (#24333293)

    "I'd rather kill myself than spend time in the pen. And since I'm God's gift to man, my family has no reason for livingh after I'm gone, so I'll take them with me."

  • Re:Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:14AM (#24333299)

    Mod me down if you like, but DEATH to all spammers. I'm glad he took his crotch-fruit with him, so they won't grow up to spam like daddy.

    I'm not sure if you're aware of this but you weren't the victim in this story. I know, I know, it's very hard to consider other people but there is a 3 year old girl dead, a middle aged woman dead and an injured teen. All of them (to our knowledge) completely innocent.

    They most likely have other family members and friends, I think you should consider these people to be the victims in this story, not you. Our thoughts and condolences should go out to them, not some nepotistic sentiment that they would automatically become their felon of a father.

  • by ShadowsHawk (916454) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:14AM (#24333303)

    It takes someone with a minor god complex. "I'm the only thing that matters to my family, so they're better off dead." I know some people here will celebrate the spammers death, but I would have rather seen him in a 8x10 cell.

  • Damn... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stanislav_J (947290) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:14AM (#24333307)

    Good riddance to him. But how sad for his family. Why do assholes like this feel the need to take others along with them when they decide to check out? It's times like this when I'm sorry to be an atheist -- I want to believe that he's burning in Hell. Mere nonexistence is not a sufficient punishment for him.

    So much for spammers being "non-violent" criminals...

  • Dumb (Score:3, Insightful)

    by raedeon (1246638) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:14AM (#24333309) Homepage
    Putting mentally unstable people in minimum security is a bad idea
  • by R2.0 (532027) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:16AM (#24333347)

    "It's the fundamental problem with being institutionalized in America: it's all about vengeance, not social rehabilitation."

    That's right - the US penal system killed that little girl and her mother.

    Asshole.

  • by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:17AM (#24333353) Homepage Journal

    The guy was in a minimum security farm prison, if you ask me it had a lot more to do with social rehab than vengeance. The guy wasn't going to be able to access an uncontrolled computer in the two years he was there, if they wanted vengeance they may have sent him to a maximum security prison for longer than two years.

  • by Red Samurai (893134) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:18AM (#24333367)
    From TFA:

    "Davidson, 35, was sentenced in April to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $714,139 in restitution to the IRS after pleading guilty to falsifying header information to send spam e-mail, tax evasion and criminal forfeiture."

    So, all it took for this guy to snap was 21 months and a shitload of debt? He must've known the consequences if he was ever caught. If you ask me, he killed in the wrong order.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:18AM (#24333369)

    Pretty much. Seriously, the US prison system breeds criminals - if you're not one going in, you sure as hell will be coming out.

  • Amazing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by east coast (590680) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:18AM (#24333375)
    I really wouldn't expect this kind of action out of a guy who built his entire living on annoying the public and ripping off the unwitting...

    [/sarcasm]

    The fact is that this guy was a half a step above a common thief. He probably had a serious feeling of entitlement and couldn't bear the fact that he had lost it all and would be forced to seek a legitimate job after his stay in the pen.

    I feel bad for his family but he got what was coming to him. He was probably no different than most street thugs and we see this kind of violence in that community every day.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:18AM (#24333381)
    Truly, this guy was a EPIC level scumbag.
  • TGIF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wiarumas (919682) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:19AM (#24333389)
    ...and it was such a pleasant Friday morning until I heard this news.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I would be willing to take a lifetime of spam to spare the life of his wife and daughter. The positive news of the story (the spam king is gone for good) pales in the shadow of this tragedy.
  • Re:Jackass (Score:5, Insightful)

    by R2.0 (532027) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:19AM (#24333399)

    "He also didn't deserve death for what he did; the jail time and fines/restitution was plenty."

    Don't you mean his FAMILY didn't deserve death? Because whether or not he deserved it is moot - he did it to himself.

  • Jesus (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:20AM (#24333409) Homepage Journal
    It should also be a lesson to all you married folks out there that feel you should help your spouse break jail... even you aren't clear of the line of fire. I am sure you can apply this metaphor to friend-of-the-quiet-guy-at-the-post-office and such, but this is so screwed up, my reality detector is going nuts.
  • Suicide (Score:5, Insightful)

    by caffiend666 (598633) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:20AM (#24333419) Homepage
    Suicide is the ultimate statement of self-empowerment and control. We now know for sure, this man was unconcerned about disrupting countless lives, and now even destroying them; for his own sense of peace, prosperity, and control. What he feared most was being out of control of his own life, and didn't care about the lives of others. A person unconcerned about disrupting millions of lives for five seconds at a time, could not be bothered to have his interrupted for a few months. Poetic in a monstrous pig way.
  • Bad problems (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info@devinmoo r e . c om> on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:22AM (#24333449) Homepage Journal

    Apparently this guy had a lot worse going on inside than just spamming people. There are plenty of spammers that would never dream of killing anyone.

  • yes yes YES!!!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CdBee (742846) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:22AM (#24333461)
    Thank god, somebody actually gets it. I sit here in Europe gritting my teeth at all the Americans flooding the web chatting cold-bloodedly about killing criminals or locking them away for life, with no apparent conception of the idea that people can be reformed or that punishment ought to be appropriate rather than exemplary if you want people to respect the law.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:23AM (#24333473)

    That's right - the US penal system killed that little girl and her mother.

    Asshole.

    You can throw all the pejoratives you want, the fact remains that the US penal system does an excellent job of making petty criminals into hardened criminals. Never mind issues like prison rape. This guy may have been serving in a minimum security facility but he US penal contains a number of penal facilities that are such hell-holes that being sent there could be construed as cruel and unusual punishment.

  • Re:Jackass (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:25AM (#24333511) Homepage Journal

    I know he did, but what I meant was even his death isn't something to be celebrated. The man was obviously deeply disturbed. Implying that someone like him should die (and that implication has been made many times here on /.) is just whacked.

  • by Hyppy (74366) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:29AM (#24333589)
    You can't seriously believe that everyone sent to prison is a criminal, can you?
  • by KGIII (973947) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:31AM (#24333639) Journal
    I think the whole killing of his wife is a bit over the top and goes to show how he truly was a monster with no morals. He could have just killed himself and done us all a favor. Now he's hated even more, which is going some.
  • Re:beware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Like2Byte (542992) <Like2ByteNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:33AM (#24333679) Homepage

    beware (Score:5, Funny)

    by appleLaserWriter (91994) [slashdot.org] Alter Relationship on Friday July 25, @09:07AM (#24333167 [slashdot.org])

    spam kills

    Man, where's '+1 Tasteless' when you need it? Funny....but tasteless.

  • by jank1887 (815982) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:34AM (#24333685)

    Optimum: 8x10 cell, family alive. Not as good, but tolerable: dead by his own hand, family alive. Absolutely horrible: him dead with wife and his 3 year old child.

    As a father of 3, I cannot fathom what drives a person to do that to their own child. An adult can create conflict that may drive you to retaliate. A 3 year old cannot.

  • Re:Coward. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DustyShadow (691635) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:37AM (#24333759) Homepage
    But I bet you never say "I wish there was a heaven for that guy" when someone dies in a really heroic act.
  • by MightyYar (622222) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:39AM (#24333801)

    You can't seriously believe that everyone sent to prison is a criminal, can you?

    As in 100%? Of course not. But I think "innocent man sent to jail" is very, very rare.

    Now don't get me started on why I don't think that you should go to jail for drug crimes, but that's another matter.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:40AM (#24333807)

    Instead, we have criminals being jailed and released the next day because that way we don't have to spend so much money on prisons. Thus, in Spain we have attracted mafia from all the world, because the weather is good and our law was written by morons like the above poster, who think that serial killers and reoffending sexual assaulters will behave exemplarly after 10 years in jail.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:40AM (#24333827)

    There is no telling what caused this guy to snap but its likely that he didn't sit there and stew about it and decide to do it on his own.

    If he was still alive and having to defend himself in court, he'd probably plead temporary insanity.

    Insanity means without reason or utterly foolish. Something must have really snapped in his head, put him on another plane of consciousness.

    That's all I can think of. I can't believe a father would really kill his innocent little child. I want to believe that he would not have done so in even a remotely reasonable state of mind. He must have really lost it.

    My condolences to those affected. :(

  • by b0ttle (1332811) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:43AM (#24333857)
    It's so easy to criticize behind computer screen. No one knows what he's been through. Nothing justifies the killing of his wife (maybe she agreed?) and daughter (this one has no maybes), but we just don't know what really happened, and never will. So I prefer not to judge.
  • Okay, but ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:45AM (#24333873)
    You may not judge, but murder is NEVER okay. Delivering death? Maybe. But not murder.
  • Re:Woo! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PunkOfLinux (870955) <mewshi@mewshi.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:50AM (#24333989) Homepage

    Yes, because in modern America, we're still responsible for the missteps of our parents. That child had NO reason to be killed.

  • Re:Good (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:51AM (#24333997)

    Can you make sure someone posts a notice when *you* die? I'd like to celebrate *that*.

    Pussy.

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:51AM (#24334001) Homepage Journal

    The positive news of the story (the spam king is gone for good) pales in the shadow of this tragedy.

    Except that there are many, many, more spam kings around. This guy was just one fish in a large, toxic pond. While the world is better off with fewer spam kings, the loss of one of them is statistically insignificant.

    Add that to the fact that he took his wife and child out with him, and there is almost no real silver lining to this story.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:52AM (#24334017) Homepage

    Initially, I was considering "taking back" my previous suggestions that a death penalty be imposed for hardcore spammers. I had gone into great detail about my reasoning behind the notion, but it could easily be summed up by a conclusion that people who go through the extreme measures that spammer go through to circumvent various security measures, hack on private users' PCs to create botnets, and have generally caused the vast majority of the crap that endangers the systems and services around the planet (some of which are 'critical' and/or sensitive in nature) are nothing short of antisocial psychopaths and should be considered dangerous. People have commented that my conclusions are extreme, but I have to disagree. You have to consider what it takes (or what has to be missing) for a person to work so hard to cause so much damage and care so little about it. It's nothing the average 'business man on the street' would be capable of doing even if he were skilled enough to pull it off. It is the characteristics that enable the behavior of a spammer that mark him as an antisocial psychopath.

    But as I was saying, I was considering retracting my previous suggestions because now that I see in the news a story of an actual dead spammer, I feel a bit sickened. And not sickened by the additional death and injury exclusively, but by the situation as a whole, leaving me uncertain that I would want spammers put to death. Truthfully, I'm still not sure, and am more certain that it was simply anger and frustration over the whole problem of spam to begin with. But one thing I am more certain about than ever before:

    Spammers are DANGEROUS people.

    The characteristics that indicate they have no moral boundaries to commit crimes, elude and evade security measures, hack into private computer systems and create networks of compromised computer systems used to create hell on a global scale, are the same characteristics of mass murderers. Before you disagree with me on this point, break it down for yourself. If you see major differences between the mentalities of the two (spammers and mass murderers) please detail them here. I'm not afraid of being wrong. I just don't think I am in this case.

  • by Snowgen (586732) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:54AM (#24334035) Homepage

    If the teenage girl was shot but escaped and is coherent enough to talk, why do the authorities talk about the "apparent" gunman? That seems to me the sort of language you use when all you have is circumstantial evidence.

    Just because a witness says something happened a certain way doesn't at all mean that's what really happened. No doubt the investigation is ongoing.

  • by PunkOfLinux (870955) <mewshi@mewshi.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:56AM (#24334073) Homepage

    That wasn't the point. Studies have *shown* that the prison environment is actually *more* destructive to the rehabilitation of criminals. Rather than focus on incapacitation, we should be focusing on rehabilitation, which, dollar for dollar, has a *much* higher rate of return than prison. I'm not saying we should keep murderers out of prison, but unarmed robbery? Please, just help the people actually survive, or, if they do it for the 'thrill' help them with that. It works something like 30% better than prison.

  • Re:Woo! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RobBebop (947356) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:58AM (#24334117) Homepage Journal

    There is a lot to be said of the value of human life. It is priceless. It is a gift.

    But a man who would earn his fortune in the despicable business of Spam? That is not a gift.

    And the woman would would choose such a man as her partner? Unless she had no idea what his business was, she isn't innocent either.

    Women (and men) need to learn to identify certain undesirable traits in the partners they choose. It is a choice to be with a criminal (yes, Spam is a crime), and there should be less sympathy for somebody who took that risk.

    I am not saying the wife deserved it. I am just saying she knew what kind of relationship she was getting into when she started it.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@NoSPaM.mac.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:58AM (#24334119) Journal

    I can't believe a father would really kill his innocent little child.

    This wasn't a normal father. He was a criminal. If he was self-centered enough to make his living by fraud and theft, then it's not that much of a stretch for him to decide that if he was going to off himself, he'd take a few people with him.

    -jcr

  • by Graff (532189) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:06AM (#24334279)

    Let me tell you what life is like behind the bars at the "farm system"

    You mean that people get PUNISHED for committing crimes? The horror!

    As far as the punishment goes it is pretty mild. The military gets treated rougher than these guys do and there are a lot of jobs out there that are harder on a person. Yeah the farm system isn't a "country club" as some people put it but it certainly is pretty trivial for jail time.

    I'd say that just about anyone can easily tough out 2 years in the farm system without much trouble. It's pretty obvious that this "spam king" was very psychologically damaged and managed to fly under the radar in his psych evaluations. He should have been put into some sort of institution and watched closely for his stay but no system is perfect. Lets face it, some people are VERY good at hiding their problems and they can pass as normal until some extreme stress causes them to break, as it did here.

    Anyways these farm systems are not meant to completely rehabilitate prisoners, the assumption is that these prisoners are people who made bad choices and aren't hardened criminals. Supposedly all these people need is a punishment to show that there are consequences to committing their crimes and that the farm system is enough of a deterrent for them to stop committing crime. Does it work? I don't know about that I do know that we need to have both mild and severe punishments for different levels of offenses and the farms serve as about as mild of a punishment as we can easily create.

  • by GregAllen (178208) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:07AM (#24334293) Homepage

    Psychopaths are very charming but still, girls, try not to marry one.

    I would say "sociopath". There are female sociopaths, too.

    The same comment applies to boys: try not to marry one. Especially you young, unsuspecting geeks out there. She is very charming, but don't ignore the red flags. Just see my .sig to know where it could lead you. :)

  • Re:Jackass (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:11AM (#24334373) Homepage Journal

    I think I said disturbed, not mentally ill in the sense of a formal diagnosis. I am not a psychologist, but anyone who kills his wife and 3 year old as part of a murder-suicide is disturbed in my book. It was already pretty obvious based on his actions in the past that he had sociopathic leanings.

  • by ShadowsHawk (916454) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:19AM (#24334499)

    As a father of 3, I cannot fathom what drives a person to do that to their own child.

    This person was obviously not in their right mind. Anyone that could harm a child, let alone their own child is severely disturbed.

    An adult can create conflict that may drive you to retaliate.

    A 'family exterminator' truly believes that they are the center of the universe for their family. In their minds, they believe that they are helping them by preempting any suffering that they could experience. I also would not be surprised to learn that the spammer blamed everyone except for himself. Car wreck, the other driver. Late for work, the news reporter didn't mention traffic. On the larger scope; Financial ruin, the feds. Jail time, congress set him up. etc, etc.

    It's a twisted view of reality that is based around the assumption that he is all that matters and that his family can not survive without him.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:19AM (#24334517)

    That depends entirely on where your moral line of when-is-it-right-to-kill lies.
    For some people, killing is never acceptable, even for those who murdered thousands of people, for others it's justified to kill someone just for breaking a minor law.

    No kidding. A pacifist here.

    Nobody really deserves to die. Not for those people. After living a long life and suddenly becoming sick and in pains, I think that people deserve a right to die. But deserving to die because of having done bad things?

    Nobody benefits from his death. Not at all. He doesn't even get punished from his death, at all! There is no benefit in him dieing to anyone or harm to him but still he just "Deserved to die"? is there ANY LOGIC AT ALL behind that? It is disgusting how little distance we have gained to the medieval lynching crowds...

    People also seem to have forgotten why laws even exist. Punishment is a bad word, the reason for it to exist is not to punish people.

    Punishments are for one thing only: To keep people from breaking the law. Thus, rehabilitation is as good as a prison sentence or better: Person won't commit that crime again. However, we also have punishments because just rehabilitations won't keep people from committing crime the first time, they need to fear the bad consequences (or utopistically, just love the society enough to not want to do it but that isn't happening).

    Punishing the person who has committed a crime, the actual suffering inflicted on a person after already having done something bad, isn't the purpose of punishments. It is just the only mean to partially (it's not that crimes didn't exist) achieve the goal for what we know...

  • by Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:29AM (#24334683)
    Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. It's not like he was going away for life in a super-max prison or something like that, for being a serial killer. The stupid bastard was going away for less than two years for being a scammer and a spammer! Not worth taking your own life, LET ALONE THE LIFE OF A CHILD AND YOUR WIFE! I hope he's gone to The Special Hell for this.

    Oh, and BTW: Shame on you if you're making jokes about this. This has gone from being an amusing triumph of justice over one of the nastiest spammers on the planet, to a true tragedy culminating in the murders of innocents. It's nothing to be joking about, and it's NOT FUNNY. Mod me down all you like for chastising, I really don't care.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:30AM (#24334717)

    So what you essentially say is that a criminal, no matter how "trivial" or unrelated to homicide his transgression may be, is by the very fact that he broke a law a potential mass murderer?

    Good lord! The RIAA is right, the internet is full of potential terrorists!

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:34AM (#24334801) Journal

    Really? Have you ever been to one, or is that just what you think it is like? I ask because you apparently don't know anything about the American correctional system.

    Your little forced labor comment is the big clue. There is no forced labor. It was ruled unconstitutional.

    Oh, and those dorms, they sound a lot like boot camp barracks.

  • by wattrlz (1162603) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:37AM (#24334865)
    You must be new here. Judging is what we do.
  • Murder suicide (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cro Magnon (467622) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:38AM (#24334871) Homepage Journal

    It's my opinion that the people who commit murder/suicides are doing it in the wrong order. They should commit the suicide first.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@NoSPaM.mac.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:38AM (#24334887) Journal

    No, I'm saying that someone who's demonstrated this kind of self-centeredness is more likely to kill additional people as opposed to only killing himself.

    -jcr

  • by Dimensio (311070) <darkstar@@@iglou...com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:41AM (#24334943)

    Email spammers are inherently and universally sociopaths. It is not unreasonable to consider that any given email spammer would, if it could be profitable, commit murder.

  • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:41AM (#24334951)
    So what you essentially say is that a criminal, no matter how "trivial" or unrelated to homicide his transgression may be, is by the very fact that he broke a law a potential mass murderer?

    Every single person alive, innocent or guilty, is a potential mass murderer.
  • > This wasn't a normal father. He was a criminal.

    That's not fair. There are many criminals, who are also fathers, who love and don't harm their children.

  • by Moraelin (679338) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:42AM (#24334977) Journal

    Well, there may be more than you wrote there, I wouldn't know, never been to jail. But what you do write, is no worse than army life anywhere in the world. And some even use conscription to inflict it on almost every male. Not that I defend conscription or anything, but it's not living hell either.

    Dorm living with fully grown men. These "dorms" are sometimes the size of a gymnasium. A gymnasium full of grown men. Fully grown, under enormous stress, living in close quarters. Honestly, you'd have much less stress living in a car.

    A lot of barracks out there pack a lot of grown men in a large confined space. Maybe not gym sized, but nevertheless. And they're under stress. Tough shit, learn to cope.

    Frankly, I'm not exactly an extrovert myself, but I really don't get the "OMG, it's a big place with lots of men" mentality. So was the army, so is the office, etc. Most of human history happened that way. Whether you'd be packed with a lot of agricultural workers in little more than a big barn, or packed in a small house together with your extended family, or as a soldier in a longship/tent/barrack with at _least_ 8 or 10 members of your squad/decuria/watchamacallit. Go back to prehistory, and you'd be sleep with a lot of men, women and children in the confined space of a cave. It may seem like the end of the world if you spend your life in a basement trying to avoid contact with other humans, but it's not. Most humans are actually made to be social people. Being in a crowd won't kill you.

    2 minute showers, enforced.

    Well, the navy manages to live on even more inconvenient showers, to conserve water. It's giving up a bit of comfort, no doubt, but it's not the end of the world.

    Scheduled bathroom times. Gotta shit? Hold it until shit time, which is usually at the start of the day and the end.

    Ever pulled guard duty in the army? You're supposed to stand there and not desert your post until your time is up. This also means you can't go to the bathroom whenever you wish.

    Forced labor. They don't even bother matching you up with work from your skillset. Too fat? Go work in the yard. Too stupid to know how to kill someone with a knife? Kitchen work.

    Well, tough shit, sherlock. Noone asked me if my aspirations or skill set were perfectly matched to running with an assault rifle up hill, or operating a big loud AA gun. Nor if, say, cleaning the floor is against my religion.

    Plus, that's the story of most people's lives even outside prison. You're rarely in a position to get your ideal dream job, or most people's work day would consist of getting blowjobs and surfing for porn. Instead most people get what's available. The guy behind the counter at the gas station or the one frying your burgers at McDonalds also aren't really paired to the best match for their aspirations and skills.

    And again, if you look at human history, it used to be even worse.

    Basically, I don't know. If you'd be telling me that there's something inherently humiliating or inhuman about the work they're asked to do, ok, I might even show some sympathy. But, basically, OMG, they're like Army Lite, with actually less stress and effort than the real Army... heh... dunno, fails to move me much.

  • I've got a feeling that he broke out specifically to kill his wife. She probably told him she was filing for devorce, or that she was getting regular stuffings from the pool boy or whatever. If he was already near the mental edge, it wouldn't have taken much to push him over the edge. The kid, though? Hard to say. Situations can get very ugly, very quickly.

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:45AM (#24335035) Homepage Journal

    How's that a troll? The guy was a sociopath. Read the definition and see if it's not a perfect fit. The innocent child's death is horrible, but the wife married someone borderline criminally insane and enjoyed the fruits of his fraud. That doesn't mean she deserved to die, but she's no more blameless than someone who tries to beat a train through an intersection. What did she think would happen? Even though he got rich defrauding millions and annoying billions, he'd treat her with respect and dignity?

  • by ODiV (51631) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:52AM (#24335169)

    This wasn't a normal father. He was a criminal.
    I agree this guy was a complete selfish asshole, but you're treading on dangerous ground here. There aren't two different types of people: "criminals" and "non-criminals". Someone being a criminal doesn't make them morally corrupt and somehow more able to commit murder/suicide.

    With the ways the laws are lately, we're pretty much all criminals. That doesn't make us any more or less likely to do something insane like this.

    What this guy did was a not uncommon response to his type of situation. There are psychological factors at work that we should work to understand instead of dismissing this as just the actions of a criminal and sweeping them under the rug. That doesn't help anyone.

    It's similar to our reaction to the Columbine shootings. When someone does something that far off from our own moral compass we label them as the Other. They were "monsters" and that's how they did what they did. Well no, sorry, they were human beings. Identifying them as monsters doesn't do anything constructive to prevent similar tragedies in future.

  • Re:beware (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cajun Hell (725246) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:56AM (#24335245) Homepage Journal

    the whole case stopped being less "funny" and more tragic when..

    The two are orthogonal. There's no limit to how sad something can be, while still being joke-worthy. Put a million babies and puppies into a slow shredder that takes 10 minutes to kill each one as they scream in agony and horror while their parents watch, and someone might find something funny to say about it. The thing is, making the joke doesn't mean they're the insensitive monster you say they are. It just means they saw a funny angle. Don't make me quote Mel Brooks.

  • Re:Coward. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by boarder (41071) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:02AM (#24335389) Homepage

    Man, I hope so.

    Ok. But what about the plastic cock?

  • by TobyRush (957946) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:05AM (#24335439) Homepage

    True. And -- psychologically, not legally -- it's never really as simple as { criminal | !criminal }, is it? My guess is that he was more like William H. Macy's character in Fargo... it started out as a smallish transgression made by someone in a stressful financial tight spot. "I'll just do this one thing, and then I'll be able to get out of this hole and be back on track."

    I'm just saying that there are a lot of different depths of criminal behavior, and a hardened Lex Luthor-type criminal wouldn't let a 21-month prison sentence affect him like this. Not defending him, but this guy sounds a little more like someone I might see on the golf course or at church or something.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:06AM (#24335463)

    Just once, I'd like to see these murder-suicide perpetrators do The Right Thing (TM) and *start* with the suicide!

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:07AM (#24335467)

    He is self-centered (or rather, more self-centered than the average Joe) because of what? Because he sent out spam emails and didn't care that he got on your nerves? By that logic, every cold calling CCA is also a self centered bastard who's ready to pop any second.

    And yes, they're annoying as hell (maybe more than even spammers), but that doesn't make them more likely to go on killing sprees than the average Joe.

    I fail to see the connection between being a spammer and being a murder-suicide in the making. Basically, we're all self-centered. Do I care about your wellbeing? Not really. Do you care about mine? I doubt it. Does that mean we will leap at each other's throat the moment we spot each other? Dunno about you, but I won't. Usually, people don't care too much about people they don't know.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:15AM (#24335613)

    I was about to say that. If there is money in it and the chance to get caught reasonably small, some company will certainly do it. Hell, if murder was legal you'd have murder agencies pop up left and right, if the money is right.

    If it is profitable and either legal altogether or at least the chance to get caught is small enough (or the fines well within the profit margin), a company will do it. The formula for profit is income minus expenses, morals doesn't exist in that equation.

    And while every person may have moral concerns, they don't apply as soon as a company can absorb that moral problem. A worker there could have moral qualms because he does something he knows is "wrong", but he has to do it, he has to bring home money to feed his kids. A manager who lays off a worker he knows can't get a new job and thus is threatened with poverty might have moral concerns over it, but he can brush that aside and see that this way he can continue employing those other 10, and if he didn't lay off the one, the company might lose profit and cut the whole branch, making 12 people (i.e. the 11 and him) lose their jobs. The top management might even have moral concerns, but they can shift the blame on the investors who want first and foremost money for their investment, and the managers are responsible that this money is well invested money. The investors in turn don't even know what they invest in, they just hand money to their bank, trusting the bank to multiply that money. And the investors working at a bank might even know that a company is doing "evil things", but they have to put their moral concerns aside, they have promised their customers to do the best investments they could so they have to invest in the "evil" company, because it's the most profitable one.

    You see, nobody to blame, no moral problem for anyone. Everyone can shift the blame on someone and morals don't play a role anymore, even if they did for a single person, the moment you can shift it on someone else, it's all fine, after all, you don't do evil, you're forced to, by the circumstances.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:21AM (#24335705)

    Optimal: not having to feed and house the guy.
    Less than optimal: millions of dollars in legal fees to get the death sentence... which wouldn't have been justified anyway for the crime this guy was convicted of.

    Sounds to me like he did us a favor. It's a tragedy that his wife and child had to be punished for being involved with the scumbag, but as you alluded to, that was his bad decision. He was an idiot through-and-through.

    It's a moot point now, but I'm actually curious whether the wife knew how this guy made his money. I hope not... if she did, how did she stand to live with herself? If somebody in my family was a spammer, I don't think I'd be able to conscience letting them get away with it. There are anonymous tip lines for that sort of thing.

  • by bryce4president (1247134) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:22AM (#24335721)

    Usually, people don't care too much about people they don't know.

    I think your base assumption is flawed. If this was true then the Red Cross wouldn't exist, neither would other charitable organizations that receive money from everyday people and disperse it to others in need. If people didn't care too much then they wouldn't give too much. But the fact of the matter is that the people of this world care very much about the well being of others. I'm sorry that you don't, but I think I'm speaking for the majority of people when I say that I do.

  • by grolaw (670747) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:30AM (#24335845) Journal

    Basically, we're all self-centered. Do I care about your wellbeing? Not really. Do you care about mine? I doubt it. Does that mean we will leap at each other's throat the moment we spot each other? Dunno about you, but I won't. Usually, people don't care too much about people they don't know.

    Swift one there, Ayn! I guess that those firemen walk into your burning house to pull you away from a horrible death for the pay. Likewise the physicians, therapists and the other adherents to the social compact.

    Public interest lawsuits, seat belts, vaccines - yep, you have hit the nail on the head: everybody is exactly like you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:32AM (#24335893)

    Trash logic. First of all, joining the army is voluntary, right? That makes a hell of a difference. Hopefully the people who volunteer know what they are getting into and are motivated enough to stand it. Quite probably a lot of criminals do not make such deliberate considerations, and fuck the clichés a about heat and kitchen and so on.

    Second reason it's crap thinking is that just because something else is in a comparable way, doesn't mean it's a *good* way. So *even* if life in the army is living in a hell hole and you *didn't* make an informed choice to join, (conscript or whatever) that's does NOT per se mean it *has* to be like that.

    (I wonder why I cared about this, it's not like I'm going to get any kind of intelligent reply anyway. :/ )

  • by gnick (1211984) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:34AM (#24335921) Homepage

    > This wasn't a normal father. He was a criminal.

    That's not fair. There are many criminals, who are also fathers, who love and don't harm their children.

    Indeed. I admit to being a criminal. I've stopped cracking accounts illegally, I've stopped buying/smoking weed, I no longer brew up explosives/build bombs, etc - I'm a married/employed father now and am no longer willing to accept the risk associated with those juvenile habits. But, I still drive ~10% over the speed limit most times. Most people speed - Cops maybe even worse than the rest of us. I've even been known to jaywalk. Most of us are criminals in one way or another.

    But that does not imply that I'm remotely violent with my children. It would take an inconceivable brain fracture for me to ever become an intentional threat to my family. As a matter of fact, the only scenarios where I could envision myself becoming violent would be in defense of them, myself, or another innocent - In that order.

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionaryNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:40AM (#24336025) Journal

    Most humans have a natural desire for justice and fairness. This is evolutionarily advantageous, it helps us build functional societies. Punishment is a tool. It is never 'right,' or 'good' to punish, those are moral judgments. Sometimes, it is effective, that is all we need say about it.

    This was no more right or wrong than a rat eating its babies, or a lion killing an antelope. Shit happens. We punish transgressions like this not because the act is wrong or bad, but because it is ineffective, it doesn't work for society, and we are programmed to uphold what is right.

    All punishment starts from within. It usually starts from a moral judgment or a feeling that something is not right with the universe. But right and wrong don't exist outside the minds of sentient beings.

    You know the saying, "Judge not, lest ye be judged?" One will not make moral judgments against another unless one thinks that making moral judgments is a good thing. If you think it is a good thing, you will do it to yourself.

    There is no place you can hide from your own judgment. People who make moral judgments are trapped in their own skulls with a monster they can't hide from or defend against. They use their own power against themselves.

    This man has no capacity to damage society anymore. There are therefore only two possible reasons to hope for a Hell for him to suffer in. One obviously faulty reason is the hope that his suffering will restore some kind of balance to the universe. But his actions never had the power to put the universe out of moral balance. Nothing does.

    The other reason is the hope that his suffering in hell will somehow deter others. Which might be true if there were any kind of proof it was happening, but there isn't.

    Wanting to punish this dead man only reinforces the desire to punish in general. It tells the part of our brain that makes judgments and metes out punishment that it is doing the right thing. And some day, all that righteous anger, pain, and humiliation will be directed internally, at the person making the judgment, as soon as they fail to live up to their own internal rulebook.

    Don't get me wrong, discernment is a good thing. Knowing what works and what doesn't, and why, is a good thing. And fortunately, doing 'good' does not require moral judgment, only discernment and self interest.

    Perhaps the worst thing about moral judgment is that it gets in the way of true discernment. If one thinks that certain things are inherently evil and need to be punished, one will have a hard time honestly recognizing when one is doing those things. I said there was no defense against the monster in our heads, that is not quite true. One can lie to oneself.

    But if one refrains from judgment, both internal and external, one can really, honestly look at one's actions, decide which are effective and which ineffective, and reward the effective actions. Reward is the only motivator for new behaviors.

    Wow, long rant. And I will admit, forgiveness is hard. It is much easier to give in to the feelings of anger and moral righteousness. I still do much of the time. But I don't judge myself for judging myself. :)

    So don't judge this guy. Realize his actions were part of a larger pattern, that they weren't effective, that they did not bring him what he wanted, that they are detrimental to society, and that those sorts of actions should be punished only to help society function better, not because they were evil. He is now beyond the ability to harm society, and beyond our ability to witness his punishment, so all practical reasons to wish for punishment are gone.

    What is left is only the mind's desire to judge everything in the universe, and harm that which is judged evil. Acting on that desire is harmful to the self.

  • by jmvbxx (1074458) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:45AM (#24336103)
    I consider myself a very passive /. lover insomuch that I read it religiously but rarely, very rarely, post anything. But upon reading today's tragic stopy of the Spam King's murder/suicide I feel compelled to write. I am sure that I am not alone in this crowd when I say that I've done some incredibly stupid things in my life and at many times I have wished for a quick out or an easy solution but what this man has chosen to done is unforgivable! The supreme cowardice required to run from a prison camp (is there an easier sentence?) but then to murder your spouse, who has chosen to share her life with you, and finally your children who did not ask for life yet had theirs stolen from them by their own father!!! Absolutely disgusting and this offends me to core of soul!
  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:55AM (#24336241)

    "You can't deny the world would be a better place if all spammers would kill themselves and their snowflakes."

    Yeah, the number next to my spam folder would say (0) instead of (30). I really want to spend human lives to change that. /sarcasm.

  • by PIBM (588930) on Friday July 25, 2008 @11:58AM (#24336301) Homepage

    If you were to check who are the ones donating most, you'd see that it's often (not in all cases, no) people who have suffered / had relative suffer of what they are giving for.

    We had a cancer case in my wife family, and suddently everyone started talking about having given money to help fight cancer, someone at the PHD level changed direction to go fight it, and all.

    So, having seen that, and heard that before, I believe many people basic reason to give isn't that they are simply thinking about the well-being of the whole planet, but more about helping on something you are aware of. In the case of blood giving, it's either that, or they are Homers wanting donuts =)

  • Re:Damn... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Spatial (1235392) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:02PM (#24336373)

    It's times like this when I'm sorry to be an atheist -- I want to believe that he's burning in Hell. Mere nonexistence is not a sufficient punishment for him.

    I'm not. Eternal punishment for finite crimes can never be fair.

    It wouldn't benefit him, us, or the people killed. It's just hatred, no good at all.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:04PM (#24336397)
    Where as non-caucasian males would, customarily, just walk away with no guilt and no feelings of any responsibility?

    Why would you say that? The GP is pointing out that when placed under similar levels of stress and feelings of guilt and inadequacy people in other cultures (surprise!) behave differently.

    Sounds pretty racist, any way you want to try to advance that argument.

    Why do people insist on labeling any perception or documentation of differences between races or cultures as "racist"? People are different, that's why we can make such distinctions as race in the first place! Furthermore, to posit that all races are equal/identical in all ways is ridiculous. For example, I'm a white guy and my girlfriend is African. I have to wear sunblock ... she doesn't. Is that a racist comment?

    This kind of automatic negative reaction to any mention of racial differences immediately eliminates legitimate discourse, because now the dialog shifts from communication to accusation and defense. That, actually, is often the point of crying "racism!", because it puts the other guy on the defensive, even if he happens to be right. Maybe especially if he happens to be right.

    If the facts bear out what the GP is stating (i.e., that there are such differences) then his comment is not racist, but informative. And if he's wrong, then he's probably just misinformed. Personally, I saw nothing inflammatory or racist in his commentary. At least, I'll reserve judgment before making any accusations.

    Japanese males, for example, tend to commit suicide in silence, alone. Well, traditionally they do: I read somewhere that that has been changing. Regardless, am I saying that suicidal Japanese men are a. inferior or b. superior to their Western counterparts? The answer is c. neither ... I was making an observation.
  • Wrong Framework (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anna Merikin (529843) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:11PM (#24336527) Journal

    Sociopathy is not a disease like flu with a cause and exact symptoms; it is a disease of the psyche, which itself is a virtual reality in that we do not interface with the world except through the psyche as medium. As Bruno Bettelheim said, "personality is perception".

    If a person believes it is OK to do anything for money -- that money, itself, is the entire meaning of life, and if that person marries another who feels the same then they might delay having children until their futures could be secured. And if that security was taken away then that sick individual, always working rationally from a mistaken perception (that money is all) might feel it was his responsibility to relieve them of a future filled with poverty.

    It is not fun getting into the mind of sociopaths/psychopaths, so I'm just saying....

  • by tobiasly (524456) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:13PM (#24336559) Homepage

    I agree this guy was a complete selfish asshole, but you're treading on dangerous ground here. There aren't two different types of people: "criminals" and "non-criminals". Someone being a criminal doesn't make them morally corrupt and somehow more able to commit murder/suicide.

    Have you read Confessions of a Former Spammer [infoworld.com]? These assholes do things like scrape emails from support websites for recovering gambling addicts and then send them invitations to online gambling sites. This is more than just fraud or theft. They prey on the weak and vulnerable for their own profit. And they do it in the most cowardly way possible, where they never even have to meet or see their victims.

    You're correct in that these types of generalizations aren't really productive, but I think it's a rather safe assumption that anyone who has made millions off of spam aren't just a thief but truly a sociopath [answers.com]. They know that they're ruining the lives of others; they just don't care.

  • by debest (471937) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:23PM (#24336717)

    It is the characteristics that enable the behavior of a spammer that mark him as an antisocial psychopath.

    One of my favorite documentaries, The Corporation [wikipedia.org], shows that companies (under the implicit direction of its board of directors) also show all the characteristics of unfeeling psychopaths. Laws are broken all the time, if it can be shown that the risk is considered minimal and the payoff is great.

    Lots of "entrepreneurs" fall into the category as well.

    I think that if you were to give the death penalty to every amoral asshole who cares about nobody but themselves, and causes harm (but not kill) to a lot of people, you would certainly have a more pleasant place to live, but one that entirely undervalues human life.

  • Re:Good (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:24PM (#24336723)

    And no, I don't have nor want offspring of my own, there's way to many of the little buggers already.

    Well, thank frigging God for that. Advocating the death of innocent children puts you way, way lower on the sociopathic scale than spammers.

  • by tehcyder (746570) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:25PM (#24336745) Journal

    Anyone else think this could have been a pro hit?

    Why would they bother killing the 3 year old child?

  • by UncleTogie (1004853) * on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:48PM (#24337165) Homepage Journal

    Next time, do what I did:

    Chart the staff...while they're charting during shift change.

    They look at you for a sec and scribble. Look right back at them, note the lack of eye contact, and write that down. Watch them again and repeat.

    You'd be amazed how weirded out they get when they notice someone observing THEM... and the fact that it's while they're charting just makes it more delicious!

    Other fun activities:

    Invent an imaginary friend, but ONLY react to it in the presence of ONE staff member. They'll get weird looks when they talk about your imaginary friend, as no one else has seen it but them, and YOU don't have ANY idea what they're talking about...

    At night, on a sleepless wing, do the "chicken". This requires enlisting some help. Start clucking from the room nearest the staff's station. When you hear them draw near, stop. The next room will take the cue and start clucking. They'll go bananas trying to figure out who to bust.

    Convince your roommate that he's hearing voices at night... by whispering into your pillow.

    Remember, folks, the trick to staying entertained is creativity!

  • Re:Coward. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stinerman (812158) <nathan@stine.gmail@com> on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:53PM (#24337225) Homepage

    Actually, I do.

    What was the bet?

  • by Mr Abstracto (226219) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:55PM (#24337271)

    Usually, people don't care too much about people they don't know.

    I think your base assumption is flawed. If this was true then the Red Cross wouldn't exist, neither would other charitable organizations that receive money from everyday people and disperse it to others in need. If people didn't care too much then they wouldn't give too much. But the fact of the matter is that the people of this world care very much about the well being of others. I'm sorry that you don't, but I think I'm speaking for the majority of people when I say that I do.

    If people usually cared about people they don't know, there would be no need for the Red Cross and other charitable organizations to exist in the first place.

  • by KlomDark (6370) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:58PM (#24337331) Homepage Journal

    What afterlife? Spare us your boogeyman superstition please...

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday July 25, 2008 @12:59PM (#24337343)
    You're confusing cultural differences, which are real, with racial differences, which are illusory. Yes, in the predominant "black" culture in the US, it is more socially acceptable for men who don't feel they can adequately provide for their families to abandon them; I believe statistics show there are proportionally more black single moms. That doesn't mean all people with dark skin buy into this cultural norm. A large number of caucasian men also abandon their families -- there is just more of a stigma attached to it in their culture. Also, the genes for African external physical characteristics are dominant genes, so saying the behavior of "blacks" in America is caused by their race, when many of them are in fact of predominantly European, not African decent, is just bad science. I'm a redneck married to an African woman from Sierra Leone. Cultural, Africans are different from American blacks. American blacks assume I am biased against them and shy away from socializing with me until after they get to know me. Africans have been dealing with diversity for so long that it is second nature for them; they make no assumptions about me and welcome me with open arms. Of course, the Africans immigrants I deal with are some of the best and brightest people from Sierra Leone and Nigeria who had the motivation and means to emigrate to the US. They are not necessarily representative of the average person from their countries. Does acknowledging cultural differences I've observed with my own eyes make me a racist?
  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Friday July 25, 2008 @01:26PM (#24337831)

    Where the hell is all the Tinfoil-hat suspicion I usually see around here?

    The guy more then likely had money stashed. He more then likely went to others for help once he escaped. Doesn't anyone think its possible that he was killed for this money by someone even sleazier then himself?

    Nobody questions that there is an unrelated teenage FEMALE and a BABY involved? WTF?

    C'mon /.

    Escape, THEN kill yourself and family? Why not just fucking bedsheet yourself at the first "lights-out"?

    This sounds HIGHLY suspect to me. Cheeeerist! I can think of dozens of scenarios that would explain this just as well as the scenario posited by the "authorities". And none of them as cheery as a murder/suicide.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Friday July 25, 2008 @01:47PM (#24338273) Journal

    Simple. The cold calling folks are doing a job without intentionally breaking the law. Spammers often commit multiple illegal acts (compromising other people's computers, obfuscating sender information, violation of opt-out laws, etc.) to make money. The second you cross the line into believing that laws don't apply to you because you're making boatloads of money and believe you can buy your way out of jail, you've crossed into sociopathic (if not psychopathic) territory.

    There's also the remote possibility that the murder-suicide was staged (i.e. he made the wrong people mad by informing on them). Either way, suicide or hit, it's sad that dirtbags always end up causing so much collateral damage.

  • by dubl-u (51156) * <2523987012NO@SPAMpota.to> on Friday July 25, 2008 @02:01PM (#24338505)

    What he is saying is everything we do is driven from a selfish motivation. Firefighters derive a sense of satisfaction from protecting people and that is why they do it.

    This is a rhetorical trick that has always annoyed me. By definition, all motivation for action is at some point internal. To say that all motivations are therefore equally selfish is idiotic.

    Let's assume that:

    • Attila the Hun liked killing people.
    • Torquemada liked torturing people.
    • Mother Teresa liked helping people.
    • Gandhi liked making the world more just.

    That they are all personal motivations is undeniable. Calling them equally selfish, and saying that therefore people are equally selfish is a trick where you confuse two different meanings of selfish.

    We are born with a capacity for compassion, in the same way we are born with a capacity to run. Whether we choose to develop those capacities is up to us.

  • Tragedy + Distance (or time) = comedy

    Search Google for "Towery" for a good example.
  • There is, perhaps another possibility: He simply didn't like his family. People like that do exist. They are shackled with unwanted children, bad step-kids, etc. It could be all kinds of revenge motif going on inside his head. No one will know what went through his head, but it could be something something as simple as pure hate for the world, and everyone in it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @04:10PM (#24340581)

    Thank you for confirming my suspicion. You're talking about something entirely different, and putting what I said not only out of context, but in the entirely wrong one. Way to go. Let's read what I said together, shall we?

    1. "joining the army is voluntary,"
    Yes, I know most countries practice conscription, I was one myself once. Believe it or not, it wasn't hell in any way, shape or form, so it doesn't *have* to be that way, even if that concept might be hard to grasp for some. But the poster I replied to, who compared with the military, is most probably living in a country with a voluntary army.

    2. "I don't think most criminals ended criminals by mistake and without any consideration"
    Here you are making two mistakes in the same section.

    First of all, yes most crimes are committed by people acting on impulse. In fact research shows that highly impulsive persons are more prone to commit crimes, which explains why harsher punishments generally doesn't keep crime down, just more people behind bars.

    Secondly, I am *neither* talking about the specific criminal in this case, but rather criminals in general - since that's how the parent was looked at it - *nor* did I say he should be exempt from responsibility from his actions. I'm just saying that comparing prison to army does not wash. But thanks for the nice demonstration of a prime straw-man.

    3. "It's not supposed to be a "good" thing, lemming."
    And here, I present you strawman #2. In the future it would be nice if you even bothered with reading the stuff you're replying to, *before* you resort to "ad-hominems", (you might want to look that up) because it really makes you look like a jackass with your trousers down around your feet. *IF* you had read properly, you would have realized that I was referring to life in the army, since the argument from the parent was that it was "ok if life in prison sucked since it sucks in the army" - which I have already demonstrated is not true. At least not if you mind people going crazy.

    [Leaving out crap about Hawaii, etc, since it's obviously retarded.]

    "So my point isn't that it's a "good" place to be."
    Dude, nobody said it should be "a great place to be". It would be suitable for you to apologize for repeatedly trying to make the argument that anyone said so. The issue was that comparing to military lifestyle does not wash. It might, in some countries, but it doesn't *have* to.

    "It's that it's actually a rather mild punishment." So, if the punishment makes the prisoner go nuts, kill a few people and himself, while the punishment still isn't matching up to your arbitrary standard of "harsh", it's A-OK? IIRC he was punished with some time in prison and paying fines, not becoming a crackpot and going postal. Prisoners are humans too. You might need to reflect on that.

    "As punishment goes. In fact, so mild that millions of people go through that or worse without it being called a punishment."

    How do you know that for a fact? Have you tried it? Did you ask anyone who tried this "step up" in living standard? If life in prison is so great, why is history full of people *dying* just to get out of jail so they could live like chased animals for the rest of their lives?

    "It won't kill him. It's not hell, it's an inconvenience."

    Well, apparently the mere thought of going back there, or most likely to a worse place since he escaped, was enough to make him kill himself. Seems like *he* - you know the guy with the first hand experience - considered it hellish enough to prefer death.

    [Cutting out stupid insults that shows that you really had no idea what I was talking about.]

    "he _is_ a convicted criminal,"

    Well, was.

    "and that the law _is_ supposed to include a _punishment_, I'm not moved to tears by his being a little inconvenienced there."

    Again, such a hugely simplified view on crime and punishment. The entire point of his sentence wasn't to move you to tears, you know. It was to make him repent his crimes, and hopefully return

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

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