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

Lake Country looks at big-ticket projects

Bottom Wood Lake Road construction are the biggest investments

Police outside a home on Leathead Road on Monday evening. (Jen Zielinski - Black Press Media)
Police presence at home near Ben Lee Park in Rutland

Several RCMP cruisers are on scene; Leathead closed between Franklyn and Hollywood

Hillview Elementary students Emma Li and Mina Nadeau were awarded by the Premier’s office for winning the annual holiday card contest. (Karen Rogers photo)
Vernon students’ art featured on Premier’s cards

Hillview youth chosen for annual holiday card contest

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun in Salmon Arm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccinations underway in Salmon Arm

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun

This is the location, 3240 Skaha Lake Road, of where BC Housing plans to build a four storey supportive housing project for the homeless and at risk of being homeless. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton mayor and MLA concerned about new BC Housing project

‘Penticton already has its fair share’ of BC Housing projects

Interior Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long term care home over Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place care home declared over

‘This has been one of our most challenging outbreaks so far,’ says chief medical health officer

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

Penticton Bylaw officer Glenn Smith, as well as resident Zak Laycock (not pictured), received the Governor General Award from the Royal Canadian Humane Association to recognize their heroism in a summer 2019 incident. (Contributed)
Bylaw officer and Penticton resident given awards for intervening in sexual assault

Bylaw officer Glenn Smith said he was simply in the right place at the right time

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Most Read