... has always come over as being a bit of a tit.
There's an air of celebration down at The Inquirer at the news that fugitive spammer Eddie Davidson decided to do the decent thing and kill himself. Here's our take on the story, but check out the opposition's view on the whole sorry affair. Well, as an opener, this takes some beating: "Not all stories have a happy ending, …
To the Inquirer, that is.
What a vile little rag. To cheer at the idea that someone killed themselves and their family is simply revolting. You should have been much, much harsher on the twunts who wrote that piece.
Spam is a pain in the @rse, without a doubt. But to glory in the fact that a man shot dead himself, his wife and his three year old daughter, and left a teenaged girl with a life-threatening wound and, if she survives, a nightmare that any sane person wouldn't wish on their worst enemy, is just sick.
Lester, thanks for reminding me why I don't bother reading the Inquirer (among other reasons).
There is a difference between 'edgy' or controversial editorial and this kind of juvinile nonsense. It's the sort of thing I'd expect to see written by a 14-year old on Slashdot who thinks the idea of prison rape is funny, and somehow thinks that sending spam e-mails is morally equivalent to mass murder.
There is a time and a place for schadenfreude, and this wasn't it, no matter how much of an ass the man may have been.
So hats of the Vulture central for showing some maturity and not sinking to such easy lows.
(Flames, because that's where the Inquirer' should be)
The spammer or the Inquirer.
If it had just been his own suicide you could almost see where they were coming from and it would almost have been okay to make comments like this- moreso if he didn't have a family.
But the guy shot his family- to kill them- as well as killing himself. That's not a laughing matter, spammer or not.
.....for not sinking to that level. I read the Inq article first, and had to read it again just to check i wasn't dreaming and really was published like this.
I'm all for getting rid of spammers, but preferably in jail and hopefully to learn not to do it again! As you said, the outcome of this is shocking and disturbing and feel very sorry for the family, both the ones killed and the impact on the surviving family.
How horrific. I can't help thinking, though, that the Inquirer is just indulging in completely crass link baiting - it's exactly the sort of thing that gets picked up by other media - like El Reg - and social news sites; I wouldn't be surprised if this is making its way up the ladder of Digg and Reddit as soon as America wakes up properly. Which makes the Inquirer not just crass, but something else beginning with C, too.
"That anyone should kill his wife and child and then himself is a tragedy, " .... and a failing in and of the [DiscOperating] System. IT Lacks Future Dynamsm aka HyperVision.
Have Microsoft Cracked the Quantum Kernel Enigma for Dynamic Flash AIdDrivers yet? Are they Phishing for IT or dDeveloping ITs Protocols?
There is no happy ending, just a tradgedy. Families in pain due to the murder of their loved ones. How any journalist could put it in a "good light" is beyond me. Though I read some of the comments in the 1st reg article, and some of the posts struck me as just as bad as the inq article, humanity sucks.
how many people (ok idiots) lost their life savings to the 'nuisance bloke' spam scams and ruined their lives ... maybe even to the extent of taking their own lives.
The fact that he decided to take 2 innocent people with him shows the character of the man, not a human I will miss I have to say but the inq piece is pretty poor taste.
Call me cynical but 'news' sites/hacks sniping at each other about standards is the pot calling the kettle black. I've seen plenty of articles on this site over the years in appalling taste that someone somewhere will find abhorrent. The saddest part of this story is the baby that was in the back seat. What a welcome into a shitty world.
Paris, because she can't read spam so she eats it instead.
whatever moron in the inquirer wrote that story should be sacked. how could anyone rejoice over something like this!! he shot a baby and his wife! its slightly out of proportion to expect the death penalty for spam!! although the inquirer article does make a reference to a little blue pill ( by which i assume they mean viagra)
e only made millions from spam because people are trusting idiots and greedy and ingredibly gullable. to eb honest anyone who falls for the " im a multil millionare and need to smuggle money out of <insert african country here> " scam deserves to loose their money
I know that El Reg has never (ever) done anything to stir up controversy, but the Inquirer has really crossed the line here. It's the sort of maniacal mouth dribblings I would expect out Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh, but not out of a tech rag, no matter what their editorial policy is.
I guess THG regains the fourth tab. And that hasn't been worth reading since the 1GHz P!!! incident.
Nice to see a bit of spleen being vented, and in a worthy cause - The Inquirer should have a quiet moment of reflection on this. Bad taste is - well - generally to be commended, but common decency suggests this story should not have been handled in that way. Even in malice there should be style, and - just a little humanity.
1) Are they really "the competition"? Do you not elevate them somewhat?
2) The Reg is not immune to its own lapses of decency. This
(WARNING: link to unpleasant video with little news interest)
was sufficient to ensure I am more careful about clicking on Reg stories, and less careful regularly to click advertiser links, than I once was.
That said, I am glad Haines has taken issue with the Inquirer's story.
Meh. I don't really like this kind of clean hands journalism. It's the kind of tabloid stuff that gives us "Jordan calls Posh scrawny cow" (psuedo quotes). Brilliant! Y'see the printing media didn't say it, Jordan did! But we get to print all the juicy details. Whoopeedoo! And you can be disgusted at the same time! Yey!
Same thing here.
If you've got some spat with some other rag, keep it to yourself eh?
That's out of order.
The guy was obviously scum, but to celebrate the event when he killed his wife and one child and clearly tried to kill another - that's a bit sick.
The whole thing does reflect on what we've thought about spammers before, that there's more than a hint of the sociopath about them, but it's an out'n'out tradgedy.
Always thought the Inq were a tabloid to the Reg's broadsheet.
A pathetic piece of writing, not worthy of the word "journalism". I guess maybe the writer fell for a 419 or penis enlargement pill? Or is just a worthless tosser who gets his jollies by causing outrage.
Although the spammer's death is of no great loss to the human gene pool, the method by which he chose to exit it, taking his wife and child with him and grievously wounding another child, makes this an incident to mourn, not celebrate. At no time, ever, should the death of a child be treated in such a manner - even more so when the murderer is the one person in the world who should be protecting the child with his own life.
Nice to see, for once, that the comments here so far (though perhaps due to moderation) maintain a veneer of decency.
As with your own earlier coverage (which I almost commented on, but decided to not to as I've been doing rather more comments than work recently!), I don't see the link between being a scumbag spammer, and being happy in any way about this tragedy.
The guy may have had a nasty line of work, but to be pleased his dead just crosses a line of bad taste. And to add into that what he did to his own family, well it seems pretty obvious he wasn't well mentally, and should be mourned rather than gloated over.
Skull and crossbones, 'cos it was the nearest to an RIP I could think of.
I know I posted a comment highlighting the poor taste and insensitivity of the article, and that it did the Inquirer no favours. I guess it sums them up when they write an article like that, and then silence any form of subsequent criticism. T0ssers.
(The article is still available on the Inquirer, but it's disappeared from their front page, so I maybe someone there has an ounce of common sense, but still not enough).
In common with a lot of the above, I think the Reg has overstepped the mark on a couple of occasions in the past ('PC poor pop pops pills' springs to mind), it's never sunk to that depth.
None of us like spammers, but to be full of glee when someone is driven to such an act of despair is beyond wrong.
I believe I have read at least one article where Charlie admitted to have been drinking while writing.
Unfortunately, like spam, a sensationalist can come off as a total dick even though it is merely his job to come off that way for increased revenue.
I blame the system more than I blame the people. But, yeah, he ought to rethink some things.
has easy access to a weapon. It is bad enough that the fool decided to end his own life (when swearing off the Internet would be enough for most of us, albeit that there are those who would agree that burying him just to his head at low tide might be appropriate, too) but killing a spouse and child is a crime beyond cruel.
Easy access to deadly weapons makes these stories commonplace. Only in the US will the lunatics argue that weapons make us safer, as if we are all ready, willing and able to engage in the high-noon quick draw to save ourselves and families.
I notice that the 3 year-old didn't have time to defend herself with her nursery gun - and somehow, mom must have forgotten to pack heat that day.
Nope, this is the standard outcome in a nation that has taken the Beatles at their word, "Happiness is a Warm Gun."
Why couldn't gun-boy have taken up arms against his spam colleagues, instead?
Oh well, sick story, sick people and sick outcome.
As noted by a few above, regardless of the 'artistic slant' that Charlie Demerjian and the editorial team at The Inquirer might claim have, the mental image of a three year old being shot isn't something I could put 'Yay' next to really.
That article is pretty fucking brutal, even by my admittedly shady standards of humour.
Ah well, sums up what I have always thought of Inq - the electronic equivelant of The Sun/Daily Star - not even suitable for use as toilet paper, because it's already full of steaming shite.
To revel in and praise the taking of human life is simply disgusting. How would the inquirer report on one of their employees shooting and killing the other employee who took lunches from the fridge every day and his tease of a secretary? Would they see positive light in that?
spammers - I think I've pointed out before now in jest that if you remove their hands, they can't use a keyboard, with obvious limitations on the alacrity that they can then steal bandwidth.
Edward "Eddie" Davidson - I wouldn't comment beyond speculating on whatever disorder was affecting the state of his mind and whether an improvement in the conditions in the federal pen might have prevented this scenario. I have my doubts when it comes to the latter point. Read back over some of the run up to arrest - he didn't present as being posession of the full deck.
Guns - Here in the UK we have now banned them, but gun crime is at no lower a level now than it was prior to Dunblane I would suggest. Hell we have our own brand of perps these days packing UZi's and Ingrams according to the police and the press. (Slightly off topic - What was wrong with the idea of allowing private ownership of firearms only by licensed members of approved clubs, with all ammunition, firearms themselves and reloading of expended brass kept on club premises ? I can only assume that much like the controversies on Devil Dogs, delinquent kiddies, wasters with disability, evil immigrants/asylum seekers, and every other scare story perpetrated by our wonderful press and beloved politicans that an assumption was made that something had to be seen to be done. I used to shoot at clubs in the UK (can't do so now) but would never have bothered with ownership, simply sign for a club weapon, enjoy my paper perforating, then sign it back in with the unexpended ammunition.)
The big difference between here and the US doesn't seem to be the will to use fireams amongst our various miscreants, simply the relative numbers of perps and guns in circulation.
In a sober editorial entitled "That suicide spammer story", INQUIRER editor Paul Hales analyses and apologies for his decision to publish the article.
In my view, there's nothing good about spam, nothing good about murder and nothing good about most suicides, including this one. None of the several tragedies involved here lessens any of the others.
As Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi put it: An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.
...and have acted accordingly.
"That suicide spammer story, Editorial, By Paul Hales: Friday, 25 July 2008, 5:45 PM
IT'S NOT OFTEN that I have to leave my ivory tower and dive into the maelstrom and explain myself.
Charlie's personal take on the apparent suicide of escaped spammer Edward Davidson presents one such occasion, so here we go.
But in this case, our presentation of an argument may have crossed from bad taste to offensive. I apologise for that. µ"
Can we go back to playing nicely now?
The response to a suicide is never simple. Nothing we can say or do will affect the dead. Leaving us with doing the next right thing for those who alive.
How we respond to someone else's crisis is a good measure of our humanity, our personal morality and a strong reflection of family values. Imagine the impression this person is making on his children and grand children.
In case you haven't done any follow up, which seems to be case in point for this rag, the Inq posted an apology. Is it the right thing to do, yeah, but it's not standard operating procedure for them, so I am sort of impressed.
Charlie is a dick, but he says that the article was supposed to be sarcastic and extremely dark humour. If it was meant as satire, then we all missed the point. When Jonathan Swift first wrote A Modest Proposal, people were in an uproar over his disgusting piece, taking it as truth; satire often has that effect.
Was it bad taste? Absolutely. Is Charlie a fraction of the writer Swift was? Not even close. But if that was the intention of the article, then do your best to stop being biased and accept that.
What I find almost as deplorable as the original article as Charlie wrote it, is the fact that a rival rag takes this opportunity to post a snippy little article flaming the Inq about this. How is bashing your competition and writing sanctimonius articles news? It's sad. I am sure if both sides wanted to, you could fire back and forth about tons of articles, and watch us readers leave you both behind. The article was in bad taste, and your reply was petty and shallow. Did it make you feel good?
Both sides need to try and become real grown up journalists at some point.
First, the fact that Charlie's article even saw the light of day was wrong. Secondly, to make a half-hearted attempt at downplaying the death of this individual's wife and child and the injury of another shows a complete lack of class by the 'reporter'.
To be perfectly blunt, Davidson was a waste of skin and got what he deserved. I absolutely refuse to feel any remorse for a criminal, coward and a murderer of their own family. I hope the bastard is roasted in a most vile place in hell.
Conversely, my heart goes out to the survivor and remaining family members and I wish them a full & speedy recovery and most heartfelt condolences on their loss.
Hmmm, who causes the most harm? Some guy who wastes our time and money filling up our inboxes, or some moron who thinks its 'cool' or 'telling it how it is' or thinks he's being 'brave' by 'challenging' the wolly-minded liberal elite that runs the media (yes, the one that only exists in the mind of would-be Brownshirts) by celebrating some guy killing his little girl and his wife.
I'm all for the freedom of the press, so I wouldn't wish to see this guy stop writing. However, I think the level of hell reserved for spammers is probably much less painful than the one kept aside for journalist like this.
Maybe more important than the easy access to guns is this little tidbit from the Denver post article.
"Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Neff said Davidson had become a "consultant" to the FBI investigating other spammers."
I wonder if that status is what allowed him out of jail. Work release is very common in minimum security jails. In other words he walked out on his own.
Forget the gun issue. It is nothing but a hunk of metal until someone uses it. If he had been where the Judge put him. In jail. None of this would have happened.
The whole gun-control argument is deeply tedious (and i honestly don't want to have it again for fear of being shot) but i think it's fair to say that if the idiot in question did not have a gun, he wouldn't have shot his family.
Would he have gone round and suffocated them one-by-one with a pillow? we'll never know. But that isn't really the point is it?
brutally slain vulture icon, for obvious reasons.
I don't understand why some people say he was downplaying the murder of wife and kid. That wasn't' the subject of his article. Might his article have been phrased differently? Maybe so. However, his article was about the spammer and his opinion of the fellow.
He did not attack the family or make light of it. Plenty of news outlets have discussed the entire tragedy. Why would he need to repeat what everyone already knows? He wrote the article specifically about a guy he truly despised and said good riddance.
If Bill Gates or President Bush/Obama/Kennedy (or any famous name) went down in a plane crash most of the news outlets would focus on that famous person and not go much into the details of the other individuals (pilot/passengers). Why is this any different? Before people go and shout and rage they out to think a little bit.
I enjoy reading both sites and I rarely comment. But this time I felt the need to respond for 2 reasons.
#1 I don't think Charlie was in the wrong and is getting bashed for no reason.
#2 I think The Register used this story as more of a "kick in the pants/we gotcha" piece more than an actual news worthy story. I may be wrong but that's how it came off to me.
Let's get all done with the bickering and go back to enjoyable reading. It'd be a shame to lose either one of you.
in my country. Life is simply too cheap. However, I can't imagine any publication here would go in the direction of the Enquirer regarding such an event. Topping ones' self is all well and good, but leave the innocents and bystanders out of it.
Only Darwin awards can really be addressed humourously.
This post has been deleted by its author
Judith Martin is the American newspaperwoman who uses the trademarked nom de plume "Miss Manners" for her books and newspaper columns on etiquette and manners.
Somewhere in her books, she discusses what can be broadly called "penalties for misbehavior" and comments that society sensu latu imposes far more severe penalties on those who break its rules than the law does on those who violate mere statutory law. Further, that social penalties have no court of appeal: they are simply imposed by a large number of individuals acting on their own.
Now this analysis is an exaggeration, but at the same time it contains a great deal of truth. It puts the universal, profound distaste for spammers in a different light -- and leads to inhumane articles such as the one in the Inquirer under discussion.
Consider the thinking process (however flawed) of this now-deceased spammer. The worst that the law would do to him on recapture was to extend his sentence, and imprison him in a less comfortable jail. But (I speculate) his social environment had been shattered, and from that there is no recovery. Everybody hates spammers.
One can speculate that his conviction had opened his eyes to the nature of his sins, and he could not contemplate a life of social ostracism. Perhaps we can say that he had been improperly socialized as a child and only now, when it was too late, had he realized how important fitting into society is.
I will, in view of the seriousness of the discussion, refrain from childishness such as proposing courses in etiquette for geeks.
But I must say, not for him.
I have often thought that if the light discontent felt by the millions of people who received one of his mail was concentrated on the spammer, he would be vaporized instantly.
I would maybe not cheer his death, but as for a Darwin award, I do feel the world is not missing much. The fact he killed his family makes him even more despicable. It may be that, as he knew the world would not regret his death, he took his family with him out of spite to make the world feel bad: "Look what you made me do".
Condolences to the still-living daughter.
The only thing that's happening here is that the Inquirer is getting free publicity. Which is exactly WHY such cheap rags (computerised or not) engage in these calculated 'errors of judgement' - and then bask in the furore afterwards while everyone throws their name around, click to see what all the fuss is about, write in to express their disgust, and so on.
You don't have any idea what spammers do. Even if he had no blood directly on his hands he deserves no restraint just because he's a supposed "white collar" criminal. In any business which steals hundreds of millions of dollars though you can bet they *are* responsible for numerous deaths. I personally have been driven nearly to a blind rage just from the frustration of dealing with the onslaught of spam. I would bet he's contributed to more than a few suicides, ie from people screwed in his pump and dump stock scams. In my book he's a serial murderer.
"Only in the US will the lunatics argue that weapons make us safer"
No. I'm a Brit, now living in Ireland, and I think a society where citizens are armed, educated and trained in using weapons is safer. If you look at the stats fopr the places where gun control has been relaxed in the US and you'll see more people are being shot. Look a bit deeper and you'll see the people BEING shot are most often would-be perpetrators of crime.
If his wife had been armed, trained and educated, would he have been able to perpetrate this crime, I wonder? Maybe, maybe not.
But as it seems she wasn't, she didn't get the chance to prove otherwise.
Your fear of weapons is no reason to disarm the rest of us.
I'd like to echo Joe's comments above, and add my own two pennies worth.
The reaction to Charlie's article seems rather similar to the supposed outrage of various politicians/newspaper editors/media commentators etc following Channel 4's Brass Eye special on pedophilia a few years back. Just as Chris Morris (in Brass Eye) wasn't making light of the problem of pedophilia, neither was Charlie of the deaths of these innocent people.
Yes, the event that lead up to these articles is most certainly a tragedy for the innocent victims, their families and friends. But I somehow doubt that any of those are the people commenting here about what Charlie had written. They surly have other things on their minds right now.
And yes, Charlie's article probably was close to the mark, and for that The Inq have apologised. But I do not see how using this tragedy as an excuse to have a dig at a rival (or should I say sibling given The Inq and The Reg's common parentage) is any better, Lester.
So lets all come down from the moral high ground for a bit, the air is somewhat thin up there after all.
As much as I dislike the original Inq article, I find the Reg using it as a thinly veiled attack on it's sibling even more repellent, using a situation like this as ammunition to attack the Inq is tasteless beyond belief. I thought the Reg was better than this.
At least the Inq reconsidered and apologised!!
What kind of world do we live in where the death of people can be "OK" because one of them was a spammer?
Some things are funny and El Reg sends them up sky high, such as crowd farms. Some things are not funny... such as babies being shot.
Thank you El Reg for you very factual and sober coverage of this tragic event. Thank you even more for providing an insight into just how low some people, Inq, are. To think we share a genone with such...creatures.
To anybody who thinks being a spammer is justification for getting killed; Turn off the computer, get up and go outside. There is a big world out there, maybe you will find a place in it. I could say something unkind but Lester shows us we don't have to be like that.
And what editorial value does your mud-slinging piece of drivel you call a "news" story have? Your story is nothing more than an attempt to cash in on the same tragedy. Yours is just "disguised" as editorial comment. Charlie's story may have been poorly worded, but yours is just attention seeking garbage.
Most here are showing a normal and healthy standard of human compassion, which is heartening.
However, this guy was a *spammer*, a class of cerebrally deficient sociopaths that just do not have the concept of conscience, and have no qualms about nuking the oceans to catch the shrimps. There is no place on earth for this kind of scum.
I am sad for his family, but I shed no tears for him.