We all hate spam, no-one that I know likes to check their email and discover that out of the 100 emails in their inbox only one or two are actual emails, the rest are offers for cheap Viagra, Russian brides, or discovering that you are the sole heir to millions of dollars in Nigeria!
 
I for one was happy when on April 28, 2008 Edward Davidson was sentenced to serve 21 months in a federal prison and ordered to pay $714,139 in restitution to the IRS after pleading guilty to falsifying header information on emails to send spam to millions of people, tax evasion and criminal forfeiture were also featured in the case. He was ordered to report to the prison to begin serving his sentence on May 27.
 
Last Sunday, a scant two months into his incarceration he had a change of heart, one can only assume that the call of the wild got to him, as a result,  he escaped from the minimum security prison in Florence after he had a visit from his wife. When she was leaving Davidson allegedly jumped into the car with her and they took off. He was last seen in the Denver Suburb of Lakewood, where he got a change of clothes and some cash, and then he took off in his wife’s silver Toyota Sequoia.
 
Thursday morning Davidson was found at his former home near Bennett, Colorado. He apparently shot his wife and 3 year old daughter to death and then turned the gun on himself.
 
Davidson was found just outside the driver’s side while his wife was on the passenger side. The three year old was in the back seat. Also found in the vehicle was a 7 month old boy still sitting in his car seat unharmed.  A 14 year old girl which was identified as Davidson’s oldest daughter was found where one of Davidson’s bullets grazed the side of her neck. She managed to get to a neighbor’s house to get help. She was conscious enough to tell authorities what had happened before they transferred her to a hospital where she was treated and later released.
 
“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.”
 
Davidson was known as the Colorado “Spam King” after he earned millions of dollars between 2003 and 2006. He was operating a spamming operation called, Power Promoters, outside his home. He would change the header information on his messages to make it look like they were coming from legitimate companies and then send them out to thousands of other addresses. With the assistance of subcontracted spammers he sent spam on behalf of some 19 companies.
 
He got paid very well from the business. According to court documents he got paid about $1.4 million for his services. When his primary source of income was spam between 2003 and 2006, bank account deposits into Davidson’s account totaled about $3.5 million.

I doubt that Davidson will be missed by many Internet users, but what a sad end to the story for his family.

Simon and Jan Barrett

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