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

A memorial to Hudson Brooks outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo)
Officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran testified at coroner’s inquest Tuesday morning

Photo posted to facebook.com/HoratioAlgerCA.
Eight Surrey students among 170 Horatio Alger scholarship winners in Canada

‘Need-based scholarships’ given to high school students

File photo
Surrey council members give themselves a raise in secret meeting

A redacted report was subsequently posted to the city’s website

Students with Seaquam Secondary’s Delta Youth Advisory Council are collecting non-perishable food donations Feb. 1 to March 5 to help feed local families in need over spring break. (Delta School District/submitted photo)
Seaquam Secondary food drive to help feed 15 North Delta families

Donations can be dropped week days between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Monday, March 8

Jennifer Brooks with a stone tablet that adorns the memorial to her son Hudson, outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment parkade where he was fatally shot by police in July 2015. (File photo)
Coroner’s inquest underway to examine Hudson Brooks’ 2015 police-shooting death

Witness recalls ‘feeling scared’ for South Surrey man in moments before RCMP fired fatal shots

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to 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

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Most Read