Davis Wolfgang Hawke was found dead in a burnt-out SUV in Squamish, B.C., on June 14, 2017. Police said his death was a homicide. (IHIT)

Davis Wolfgang Hawke was found dead in a burnt-out SUV in Squamish, B.C., on June 14, 2017. Police said his death was a homicide. (IHIT)

Father of man found dead 3 years ago in Squamish offers $10,000 for information on death

Davis Wolfgang Hawke had been a Neo-Nazi turned renegade internet spammer

The father of a Neo-Nazi turned renegade internet spammer whose body was identified this week — years after it was found in a burnt-out vehicle — said news of his son’s death is not entirely unexpected.

Davis Wolfgang Hawke — who was born Andrew Britt Greenbaum and also went by the alias Jesse James — was found dead of a gunshot wound inside a burned pickup truck in 2017, but his body went unidentified until mid-October.

That’s when Hyman Greenbaum, Hawke’s father, said police knocked on his door in Medfield, Mass., and told him the news.

Greenbaum said he and his wife gave their DNA to cops some years ago in the event of just such a situation.

“He sometimes seemed to hang out with people who might not have been all that good people,” Greenbaum said.

The last time Greenbaum spoke with his son was about 15 years ago when he was being sued by AOL, he said.

“He didn’t want to settle the suit or anything, so he basically decided to leave and hide his assets and disappear.”

In 2005, AOL won a $12.8 million judgment against Hawke, but was unable to contact him to collect the money. The company accused Hawke of violating U.S. and Virginia anti-spam laws by sending unwanted emails to its subscribers.

Rather than collecting cash through conventional channels, AOL said it planned to dig up his family’s backyard because it believed he had buried gold and platinum there.

Greenbaum said the company didn’t follow through on that plan, but did gather depositions from him, his wife, and Hawke’s grandparents, who had receipts showing that he bought some gold.

At the height of Hawke’s internet activities, experts believed he and his partners earned more than $600,000 each month — much of it in cash — by sending unwanted sales pitches over the internet for loans, pornography, jewelry and prescription drugs.

The head of J.J. Teaparty Inc. of Boston, Miles Coggan, told AOL’s lawyers that Hawke bought $350,879.50 worth of gold from the company between August 2003 and March 2004, court papers said. The company representative told lawyers Hawke claimed to have earned the money “selling pills on the internet.”

Greenbaum said he believes his son had some gold.

“He told me he was going to bury it in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, which at the time I didn’t think much of,” he said.

“He told me he was going to convert his assets to gold and disappear.”

But Greenbaum only learned of his son’s fate when police got in touch earlier this month.

“We really didn’t know where he gone or what name he was using or anything. We tried to locate him from internet and things like that but not with any success,” he said.

“We thought maybe he’d gone to South America or Central America. As it turns out we found out he was in Canada, living under the name Jesse James.”

Greenbaum described his son as a “good kid” who was academically bright and a gifted chess player — but eventually became a Neo-Nazi in an effort to “gain power and influence.”

He tried to organize a march in Washington DC in the late ’90s, which the father described as a “total flop.” He said that failure marked the moment when his son gave up on Neo-Nazi activities, Greenbaum said.

“At that point he got more into this spamming activity, which is what got him sued by AOL,” he said.

Greenbaum is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who can give information that can lead to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for his son’s death.

Greenbaum said that when he closes his eyes, he thinks about taking his son to chess tournaments or on climbing trips in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

He believes his son carried a bit of the mountain climbing passion with him, saying Hawke was well-known in Squamish as an avid climber.

He plans on visiting some of the places in Squamish where his son spent the last few years of his life, he said.

He is “in a way kind of glad” that Hawke’s mother died first, Greenbaum said. Peggy Greenbaum died in April last year.

“She passed still wondering what happened to him, and we both were hoping he might come back here one day.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2020.

—with files from The Associated Press.

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press

Crime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RNG plant
Construction on ground-breaking RNG plant in Fruitvale set to go in spring 2021

REN Energy partners with Calgary engineering firm for innovative West Kootenay gas plant

Terry Miller
Rossland voters select Terry Miller as new councillor

City of Rossland releases results of advance voting and final voting day of council byelection

This picture of Taghum resident Marc Savard was taken in February when he first spoke to the Nelson Star and little was known about the virus that had shut him out of his job in Wuhan, China. Photo: Tyler Harper
VIDEO: Once an outlier, Nelson man’s COVID-19 experience now typical

Savard was living in Wuhan, China, when the pandemic began

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

Communities like Nakusp are grappling with the challenge of hooking high-speed internet up at individual homes. File photo
‘Last mile’ debate a Gordian knot in Slocan Valley’s fibre-optic cable plans

How do you bring high-speed internet not just to communities, but individual homes?

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Follow public health recommendations, says Interior Health as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Revelstoke. (Image courtesy CDC)
Revelstoke positive COVID cases grows to 29

Interior Health announced a cluster in the community on Nov. 26

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Most Read