back to article Fugitive spammer in murder-suicide

Fugitive spammer Eddie Davidson shot his wife and infant daughter dead on Thursday before turning the gun on himself - four days after going AWOL from a minimum security prison. Police responding to reports of gunfire in the small town of Bennett, Colorado found Davidson along with his wife Amy Lee Ann Hill, 29, and three-year …


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  5. James Le Cuirot
    Thumb Down

    A whole new low

    This is a whole new low for spammers. It's not like the sentence was even that long. Unbelievable.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "A superstitious and cowardly lot"

    So not only was he a spammer, he was mentally weak and cowardly; instead of taking the punishment like a man, or going on the run, he was too mentally weak to face up to his actions. Sanford Wallis has a certain chutzpah about him - you have to respect his nerve, even if you hate him - but this chap was beneath contempt.

  7. Echowitch

    Nuff said really

    I think his actions speak very clearly and very loudly want a piece of utter slime and scum that he was. Clearly he was an incredibly selfish individual.

    Such a shame his wife and child had to suffer for his evil !!

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  10. David Gosnell
    Thumb Up

    Thank you John

    Thank you for not sinking to the extreme low shown by another place's hack in reporting this story... This one's definitely the time and place for objectivity, so well done.

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  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly a psychopath

    No ability to predict or even care less about other people in the least.

    Good qualities for a spammer, bad for a human in general.

    Much like most managers too.

  14. Chris Dupont
    Dead Vulture

    Maybe he was in deep with organised crime?

    "Hey pal, you'll never guess what we're going to do to you and your family..."

    Of course he may have just snapped, but it's hard to know until the motivation is uncovered.

  15. heystoopid

    A sick man

    A sick man living in a sick sad world , who chose an easy income from the stupidity of the gullible few brain dead individuals then selected a bad way out for his final epitaph and some one now unfortunately deserving an extra verse or epitaph from "Chasers War On Everything" eulogy song as per youtube !

    No one has won and three people died for his folly of insanity and one will live with those scars hidden from view for the rest of her life , and the question will always remain unanswered as to why the prison authorities obviously ignored the signs of his acute mental illness in the first place ?

  16. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Criminally Insane

    What is the definition for that?

    And why should the ratio of nut cases to undiagnosed nut jobs be any different with the IT crowd than in every other walk of life?

  17. Hollerith

    a lack of meum and tuum

    A man who shoots his wife (and child) before killing himself sees them as his property to be dealt with. Men attempting this who have survived their own suicide attempt have explained that they 'needed to make sure wife would not suffer' once he was dead, clearly not being able to fathom the idea that the world, including his wife, can get along without him. It appears to be the same with men who have tried to kill their children along with themselves, eg driving the car over a bank into a lake; the ones surviving felt they had to take the little ones out with them to 'tidy up' and 'not let them suffer' aka live their lives without daddy. It's a lack of the ability to separate himself from things attached to him, and the evidence of an early failure to understand that what you want, the rest of the world doesn't necessarily want. It's a step in the development of this brain to take in this I-am-me-not-the-world concept and accept it, but there are a lot of people who don't make this step. Sociopathy is an extreme form.

    Now apply this mental failure to the practice of spamming.

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  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    There are very few hospitals that treat mentally ill people so many end up in prison since they can't be turned away. I don't know anything about the spammer in question so I can't comment on his circumstances.

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  21. Jesse

    RE: a lack of meum and tuum

    Great info, thank you.

    This story was funny yesterday, but pretty sad today.

  22. Neil Hoskins

    @AC and heystoopid

    Word has it that he was a druggie. Personally I don't count that as mentally ill. Mentally ill people don't have a choice; druggies have a choice not to take the drugs.

  23. Mike Silver badge

    Drugs and mental illness

    Some drug-users got that way by self-medicating for conditions that they could not otherwise get treatment for. Attempting to draw a line between them and folks who just woke up one morning and decided to become speed-freaks is going to be "interesting". (My drugs of choice are beer and coffee, but I certainly can sympathize with the urge to do _something_ with my mental state)

  24. Simpson


    A sociopath is not mentally ill. It is a personality disorder. They can not be treated. It is who they are.

    So this guy was senteced to 21 months in a minimum security, white collar "prison" camp. One that he could just walk away from. A "prison" that was close to home too. Not exactly hard time.

    He would have been paroled after 14 months. What a piece of crap. These kind of people lose it, when they lose control over their victims. She probabaly missed a visit, then told him she didn't have time that day.


    i feel bad for all of the other minimum security prisoners who are going to suffer from the policy changes that this brings on.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Neil Hoskins

    >Word has it that he was a druggie. Personally I don't count that as mentally ill. Mentally ill people don't have a choice; druggies have a choice not to take the drugs.

    It is not as clear cut as that, lot of mentally ill people "medicate" themselves with drugs for reason.

    In Finland we had one guy who flipped out in metro with axe. He was certifiably insane and in addition to that druggie.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    Hard to describe what may be mental or not; but a lot of folks with mental problems can be helped with medication and just can't be bothered with it or don't like the side effects (like "normalcy"). We can't lock them up any more because courts have decided it violates their rights (what about our right to be safe from them) and the old nuthouses have all been closed up and no state wants to spend money to open one even if they were allowed - so this leaves regular hospitals to try to take care of them with inadequate facilities and personnel or to jails - which aren't equipped to handle them either but at least have an option to lock them up.

  27. Andy Hards
    Black Helicopters

    Drug addiction

    Drug addiction, just like other addictions ARE illnesses. If it was so easy to do more people who want to give us smoking would be able to. Most alcoholics want to give up. It's a bit more complicated than just choosing to stop.

  28. RW

    @ Neil Hoskins & I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    "druggies have a choice not to take the drugs."

    Once they're addicted they don't have that choice unless they've got a lot more will power than most people.

    Just look at Alcoholic Anonymous and all the folderol they go through to stay sober; that should give you some idea just how difficult it is to stay off whatever intoxicant that has you in its grip.

    "why should the ratio of nut cases to undiagnosed nut jobs be any different with the IT crowd than in every other walk of life?"

    As anyone who's dealt with computers knows, the experience is all a matter of black and white, no gray areas. The natural world in which Homo sapiens has evolved is nothing but gray areas. Conclusion: it takes a somewhat twisted mind to succeed with computers, and what else is a nut job but someone with a badly twisted mind?

    Bonus dig at Microsoft: Microsoft's attempts to dumb down the computing experience and make it suitable for those with untwisted minds is inherently doomed to failure. No matter how hard they try to create fuzziness and gray areas, it still boils down to inflexible true-false logic, though on a grand scale.

    Hence the frequent situation where a Microsoft program in a misguided attempt to be helpful goes off the rails, to the consternation of the user.

  29. Jonathan Morton

    At least some of his family survived...

    I think this shows that the legal system needs to be more cautious when dealing with spammers and scammers - because they *can* do this kind of thing, and are perhaps more likely to than your average white-collar criminal.

    His son is too young to be significantly affected by this, so long as he gets a good new family to live with. The teenager, however, doesn't have that luxury. I can only hope that she survives, and without too much permanent harm done. Perhaps she can find some "comfort" in helping to look after the little boy, if she is in fact part of the family.

  30. Joe Zeff

    @Ashley Pomeroy

    As you say, he couldn't "take his punishment like a man." His sentence was 21 months, before any time off for good behavior, ignoring the chance of parole. At most, under two years. But he just couldn't wait. In my book, that shows why he couldn't "take it line a man:" in the most important way, he wasn't a man but an overgrown boy who still had to have everything right now.

    I feel sorry for his family, and especially the daughter who escaped. I hope she recovers without scarring and is able to put this behind her and get on with her life. Alas, I'm almost certain that she's going to be forced through so much grief counseling and other therapy that it's going to end up reenforcing what they're trying to dull, and aggravate any emotional scarring.

    On a side note, has anybody besides me noticed that people seem to have more trouble getting over disasters like this than they did fifty years ago? Back then, you were expected to grieve, then put it behind you and go on with life, and almost everybody did; they might have a friend or a clergyman to talk with, but that'd be it. Today, there's psychologists, psychiatrists, grief counselors galore, but people are finding it harder and harder to let go. Is there a connection? I have no idea, and hope not. Just wanted to throw that out and see if anybody else wants to comment on it.

  31. Eddie Johnson

    @All "addiction as illness" supporters

    >>"Once they're addicted they don't have that choice unless they've got a lot more will power than most people."

    So on El Reg we CAN be disdainful of people who don't have the willpower to refrain from clicking on emailed links but we CAN'T be disdainful of people who don't have the willpower to control their chemical indulgences which they've embarked upon voluntarily?

    Good to know. To me they are pretty much the same. Don't get on the train if you don't want to end up at the destination.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does this qualify for a darwin award?

    Or is everyone a little too shocked. Stuff like this happens, especially when the crime was of sending a few data packets. Sure we might hate spammers, and no one likes the stuff, but approx two years for sending email, perhaps a little too severe.

    Cannot help thinking that somehow skews the response, some people have served less time for aiding and abetting in multiple murders, you do the time you do the crime?

    There is shifting of guilt going on here, people call for blood, and it happened, he is dead, and so is a chunk of his family. It is not like your words of 'taking prison time like a man' is going to touch the guy now, and it is an odd reaction, are you thinking you would take the time like a man. Man's natural response is revenge, and so is society's, our history is littered with it. This was his revenge on society's revenge, it is a vicious circle. Can you not take spam like a man?

    They started seeing this with the school shootings, the rationale is they can do what they like as long as they are willing to swallow a bullet, often at their own hands. The policy now appears to be not to report it, the fear of emulation is too great.

    How about this punishment for spamming: all proceeds of spamming confiscated, and no computer access for one year; let the punishment fit the crime.

    He was going to get caught again, serve a longer sentence and just rationalized to suicide; there has to be something worth living for, and perhaps that was his family, once that was removed from the equation.

    Shit happens, personally I don't wish others dead or incarcerated as a rule, tends to allow one not to feel any guilt.

  33. Acme Fixer
    IT Angle

    I can't believe that..

    all the previous comments are so much BS about the state of the spammer, and absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the world, which is going to be a better place without his spamming. I wish, hope and pray that the other spammers would do the same, and save the rest of the world from literally billions of abominable spams.

    P.S. I've received at least a half dozen 419 spams this week, seems like some wild animals have been unleashed and allowed to sneak past the filters with their nastygrams.

  34. heystoopid

    Re Drug Addicts in Yanker Land

    Recent digg showed an interesting web site which intriguingly shows that based on assorted reports it would appear that well over 45% of the entire resident US population suffers from some form of drug addiction from both licit and illicit drugs and this excludes the alcoholics and those addicted to nicotine which are legal drugs that are equally addictive as well !

    link =

    Scary stuff indeed given those odds , but what price a choice for all the survivors both direct and indirect in the long term ?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Eddie Johnson

    My personal addictions include tobacco and caffeine, totally legal but the first will kill ya and the second can make ya a bit edgy, occasionally.

    I have to agree with Eddie Johnson though, "Don't get on the train if you don't want to end up at the destination.", about addiction.

    This is such a sad story, hope the surviving family can come to terms and move on.

  36. Nomen Publicus

    @ Anonymous Coward

    To qualify for the Darwin Award the person must not have breed. In this case there were children so all we have is a very selfish man who was unable to distinguish between himself and his family.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "I have to agree with Eddie Johnson though, "Don't get on the train if you don't want to end up at the destination.", about addiction."

    So would I, but I can't help it now that when I was 16, eight years ago, I had a few cigarettes. Now I'm addicted, trying to stop, and the only reason my health is in jeapordy is to keep bloody Philip Morris + Govt in the black. Banning them outright is the right thing to do.

    So I agree but it's a bit self-righteous to feel smug about not being a druggie.

    In other news, RIP that family.

  38. Adam Foxton

    @Darwin award

    Nope, wouldn't class under any of the rules of the darwin awards- and is also covered by most of the exclusions.

    @Joe Zeff

    Yes there is a connection. You ever tried telling an angry person to calm down? Tell them they're over-reacting? Notice how they don't- they just get angrier?

    Well, it's exactly the same thing. Tell someone the rape wasn't their fault, it'll introduce doubt into their head. Tell someone repeatedly that they're not an evil person, just a bit messed up and they'll get more and more evil as time goes by.

    Essentially, psychiatrists suck and end up reinforcing their clients problems in a surprising number of cases. Grief counsellors are even worse and just make you feel like a helpless little victim rather than building yourself up and making you a stronger character who can deal with things.

    To get over things like this you need a loving, trusting and trustworthy support network (friends, family, congregation, etc) to talk to and a shoulder to cry on. Or at the very least a God to pray to.

  39. Dave The Cardboard Box

    SUV, + sociopath= American dream

    How could anyone even guess what he was going to do? (In America)

  40. Edward


    ...for reporting this in a tasteful way. I've been following this story on The Register, and I have to say I was really shocked to see this.

    A well reported article, thanks John,

  41. storng.bare.durid

    This is indeed a tragedy.

    Ponder upon:

    1. Gun laws

    2. Risk assessment and appropriateness of punitive measures.

    3. The stretched prison system (what part of the world is there where this does not exist).

    My thoughts:

    1. Banning guns altogether would make scenarios like this less likely - but not inevitable - as knives etc still do exist and frankly it would be quite senseless banning kitchen utensils. Some common sense should still prevail. Shooting sprees in countries where guns are banned _are_ less likely.

    2. There should be some sort of risk profiling of convicted criminals

    3. There could be other punitive/corrective measures which could be more effective than just plain prison but I am no criminal psychologist

  42. bob
    Dead Vulture

    repsect to the family

    like other people have said, too bad he couldn't suck it up and just serve his term at club fed. he could have made some legitimate business contacts.

  43. Tom

    Prison Rating...

    Must wonder if he was being targeted in prison.. like sex offenders are considered the bottom of the barrel and will be killed inside prison for what they have done... maybe they found out he was a spammer and he got placed just above the sex offenders on the rating of Bad to Evil.

    I think the bigger tragedy here is that he was allowed to escape and commit such activities and the authorities didn't see that he was clearly deranged in someway as it takes a lot to turn a gun on your loved ones.

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