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July 25, 2008

Horrible ending to one spam sentencing story

I have been having some fun while following the federal sentencings of various "spam kings."  But, as detailed in this Denver Post article, the latest development after one spammer escaped from a low security federal prison is no laughing matter:

Just four days after escaping a federal minimum-security work camp, "Spam King" Eddie Davidson shot his wife and child and wounded a teen-age girl before turning the gun on himself.

Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of gunfire in the small plains town of Bennett at about 11:15 a.m. today and found Davidson, 29-year-old Amy Lee Ann Hill and their 3-year-old daughter shot to death.

Davidson's most recent spam business, Power Promoters, was based in Bennett....

Media and prosecutors have dubbed Davidson "The Spam King" for years for his prolific anonymous e-mails selling a raft of products.  Davidson had pleaded guilty to tax evasion and falsifying information about the sender of e-mail pitches for low-cost, high risk stocks. He was sentenced in April to 21 months in federal prison camp in Florence and reported to begin his sentence in late May.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Neff said Davidson had become a "consultant" to the FBI investigating other spammers.

This story is a very sad.  The fact that Davidson escaped and snapped while serving as a "consultant" to the FBI has me wondering if the government was aware of any warning signs that this guy might go postal.

July 25, 2008 at 09:26 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Maybe escape is a crime of violence . . . (and perhaps drunk driving, too).

Posted by: | Jul 25, 2008 12:03:49 PM

I draw two lessons from this sad story.

First, the government should be cautious about enlisting the help of a person who has demonstrated massive disrespect for the law. Being cautious doesn't mean you never do it. It means thinking twice about who you're dealing with.

Second, the fact that a defendant is a "non-violent first offender" doesn't mean he's not dangerous. It means that the RISK he's dangerous is less, on the average, than is true of more serious criminals. But "on the average" will do no good here, where two people have been murdered.

The system has no choice but to deal in probabilites, and less serious criminals are better risks than more serious ones. No one doubts that. My only point is that, since risk is inescapable, doubts about punishment and restraint should be resolved not in favor of the convict, but in favor of the public, which has no practical choice in the matter and no realistic chance for self-defense.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jul 25, 2008 12:14:07 PM

good riddance.

Posted by: bruce | Jul 25, 2008 4:27:59 PM

other than to the wife and toddler

Posted by: federalist | Jul 25, 2008 5:20:15 PM

I think these stories are sad for another reason. To my mind, and I don't usually go here, but there is an inherent element of old-fashioned sexism to these crimes. The way these people feel is that "my family is my property and I will dispose of it (quite literally) however I want." Suicide I understand; but homicide, especially homicide of a 'loved one' befuddles me.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 25, 2008 7:23:42 PM

federalist: well, the wife is collateral damage, but I don't mind if the spawn of spammers are taken out of the gene pool. The wife, presumably, did not have the "spammer gene" but the toddler was 50% spammer. Now I don't know if the spammer gene is dominant or recessive, but either way, I'm not going to sob over the death of the child of a spammer. Then again, I've made my thoughts on "children" in general quite clear here before. And now that I think about it... the wife married a spammer. Clearly she's an ethically devoid scumbag too, even though she may not have spammed anyone herself - she not only tolerated and supported a spammer, but she married one and produced his spawn. Having her out of the gene pool is not a bad thing, either.

The gene pool got some chlorine - no reason to be saddened by it.

Yeah yeah... get it out of your systems and say that I should be out of the gene pool for being such an asshole so as to make yourself feel better (and show your hypocrisy).

Posted by: bruce | Jul 25, 2008 8:02:15 PM

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