Spam King in Murder-Suicide

Convicted penny stock e-mail hustler Eddie Davidson kills his wife and young daughter before taking his own life just days after escaping from a federal minimum security prison.

Convicted spam king Eddie Davidson has committed suicide after killing his wife and 3-year-old daughter, according to media reports. Just five days ago, Davidson, the infamous online hustler of penny stocks, escaped from federal prison in Florence, Colo.

According to a story by the Denver Post, Davidson, 35, was found dead in the driveway of a home near Bennett, Colo., an apparent gunshot suicide victim. In a 2006 silver Toyota Sequoia located in the driveway, authorities found the bodies of Davison's wife and toddler, also gunshot victims. An unidentified teenager survived the killing spree, as did an infant in the backseat of the SUV.

Davidson escaped from the minimum security prison at Florence on July 20. Davidson was just two months into a 21-month federal sentence for his role in sending millions of e-mails promoting questionable penny stocks. The Rocky Mountain News reported that Davidson forced his wife to help him escape from the minimum security facility.

The newspaper also reported that the teenager who was wounded was Davidson's daughter, who escaped the murder scene and was lucid enough to tell authorities what had happened.

"What a nightmare, and such a coward. Davidson imposed the death penalty on family members for his own crime," U.S. Attorney Troy Eid told the newspaper.

Davidson was sentenced on April 28. In addition to his nearly two-year prison sentence, Davidson was ordered to pay $714,139 in restitution to the IRS. As part of the restitution, Davidson had agreed to forfeit property he purchased, including gold coins, with the ill-gotten proceeds of his offense.

According to government documents, Davidson conducted his spamming operation from July 2002 through April 2007. The primary nature of Davidson's business consisted of providing promotional services for companies by sending large volumes of unsolicited commercial e-mail.

Davidson's original spamming activities were provided on behalf of companies to promote watches, perfume and other items. Beginning in the middle of 2005, Davidson sent spam on behalf of an unidentified Texas company to promote the sale of the company's stock. The company generated its income through selling stock on behalf of small companies on the public market.

Davidson, aided by several subcontractors, sent hundreds of thousands of unsolicited e-mail messages to potential purchasers throughout the United States and the world touting the excellent investment opportunities the stock offered.

The e-mail messages contained false header information, which concealed the actual sender from the recipient of the e-mail. Davidson operated his spamming activities from his personal residence in Bennett, where he had a large network of computers and servers that facilitated his business.