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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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  • by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:07AM (#24333163) Journal
    I can't believe someone would be so upset over being institutionalized (for their own actions, no less!) that they'd feel the need to kill their family as well as themselves.

    What a sad state of affairs.
    • 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.
      • if only he had used canadian antidepressants! I am sure I could find the mail somewhere which had extremely good rates from a company called International Pharmacy.
      • 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 Goobermunch (771199) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:59AM (#24335317)

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

          This kind of murder-suicide is a relatively common experience (murder-suicides being highly uncommon events in the first place). Customarily, they are committed by Caucasian men. The shrinks and the profilers believe that this particular type of murder is an insidious relative of a "vanilla" suicide. The male figure feels shamed due to personal and professional failings and feels that he is unable to provide for his family. In a state of depression he determined to kill himself. However, the basis for the suicidal impulse is the fear of being unable to care for the family, a result guaranteed by the suicide. Therefore, the perpetrator, as "patriarch" decides to commit suicide for the entire family. That way, he can prevent them from dealing with the consequences of his failings and his suicide. These cases often appear in connection with financial failures.

          --AC

      • 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.
      • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:54AM (#24334037) Homepage Journal
        It isn't just prison, but institutionalization in general.

        Once upon a time, I was put into a "mental health facility" (loony bin) after a drawn out period where I started seeing spiders coming at me in all directions (an extreme phobia of mine). Today, we have found out that this condition only emerges when I don't sleep at least 6 hours a night, and stress contriubutes largely to my ability to sleep. Well, about a day into this place, I was literally going nuts. They had TVs, but you weren't allowed to watch them... ever. The only game they had was a deck of cards... with 35 cards. They took away your shoes and most common clothing, where most of us had to wear a hospital gown... the place was at a constant 60 degrees F. There was one hallway... 84 steps from end to end. The only thing to do there was drink coffee and smoke. I never did either before I went there, but when the coffee cart came out, you grabbed one. There was nothing else to do. When smoke break came along, you smoked one. There was nothing else to do.

        I started coming up with games to play with myself around the place to try and keep what sanity I had left. I got locked into solitary for playing "Die Hard" and being too "loud and obnoxious, which stirs up the other patients" I was told. The first visitation from my wife I was allowed to have, I had her get a lawyer and get me the hell out of there.
        • by Noexit (107629) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:04AM (#24334241) Homepage

          I spent a week in a loony bin myself once. We had the same problem with the cards. Apparently nobody in there ever played with a full deck...(wait for it)...

        • 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!

    • 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.

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:18AM (#24333381)
      Truly, this guy was a EPIC level scumbag.
    • by Xtravar (725372) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:10AM (#24334347) Homepage Journal

      How do we know someone else didn't do it and then make it look like a murder/suicide?

      That was my first thought when I saw the headline.

  • beware (Score:5, Funny)

    by appleLaserWriter (91994) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:07AM (#24333167)

    spam kills

  • 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:Coward. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Bastard of Subhumani (827601) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:15AM (#24333325) Journal

      You're just jealous because he went one better than you. Right, Hans?

    • Re:Coward. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:22AM (#24333453)

      As an atheist, it does make me wish there really was a hell for guys like this.

      The christians have it so easy sometimes :)

  • by iamhigh (1252742) * on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:07AM (#24333179)
    "What a nightmare, and such a coward," U.S. Attorney Troy Eid said. "Davidson imposed the 'death penalty' on family members for his own crime."
    • 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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by R2.0 (532027)

        "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 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.

        • 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.

      • 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 LordKaT (619540) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:34AM (#24333695) Homepage Journal

          Have you ever been in the "farm system" (as you so daintily put it)? Let me tell you what life is like behind the bars at the "farm system":

          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.

          2 minute showers, enforced.

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

          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.

          This "farm system" isn't about rehabilitation, it's about "serving your time" and getting the fuck out.

          That's not rehabilitation, it's life structure enforcement. Rehab means breaking a person down into their individual pieces, examining all of those pieces, finding out what's wrong, and then learning to live life with the knowledge that you have a problem.

          • by tb()ne (625102) on Friday July 25, 2008 @10:29AM (#24334687)

            2 minute showers?!? Living in dorms?!? Waiting to shit?!? That's outrageous!

            Or maybe that's why it's called punishment - it's not supposed to be pleasant. I won't defend the deplorable conditions in PMITA federal prisons or deny that they're just making bad people worse or deny that they make no significant effort to reintegrate prisoner with law-abiding society. But you haven't convinced me that there's anything deplorable going on in the "farm system." Most of your description sounds like boot camp in the military

            That's not rehabilitation, it's life structure enforcement. Rehab means breaking a person down into their individual pieces, examining all of those pieces, finding out what's wrong, and then learning to live life with the knowledge that you have a problem.

            Oh, so we should have just turned him over to the Scientologists?

            The "problem" that a lot of these people have is simply that they are criminals and they will happily break the law if they think they can get away with it, not that they have some psychological problem that will be cured by counseling or psychotherapy. And fear of consequences is more of a deterrent than realizing you didn't get enough attention from mommy. I would be interested to see some statistics on repeat offenses for white collar criminals who spend time in Club Fed, as opposed to those who spend time in PMITA federal prison.

          • 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.

      • 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 j_snare (220372) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:13AM (#24333275)

    I saw another article that linked to this one http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_9985333 [denverpost.com] that had a couple of other details.

    It sounds like they weren't just a big happy family...

  • 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 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. :)

  • by insomaniac (469016) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:14AM (#24333295)

    SpamAssassin

  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A thousand words... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by joedoc (441972) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:28AM (#24333585) Homepage
    In the comments here yesterday about this guy escaping from the can, I expressed surprise at the thuggish, almost murderous look the guy had in his recent mug shot.

    The guy's a spammer, I thought, but he looks like a serial killer.

    Now I feel really creepy about what's he's done to his family. I don't care about what happens to him; he should suffer for all eternity for killing his wife and child.

    I just don't understand the brain activity that would make him do this for 21 months in the can. He's white collar; he may have received parole after a few months for good behavior.

    Maybe it's misfiring synapses, but I just don't get it.
  • 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 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.

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