Will the real spam king please stand up?

Many vie for the title, but only one can be crowned the true Spam King, Bane of Internet Users.

Edward Davidson

Alias: Fast Eddie

Current Status: Dead by His Own Hand

Few spammers' stories are more senseless or tragic than Davidson's. According to the FBI, Davidson operated a business called Power Promoters that flogged everything from perfumes and watches to penny stocks. In June 2007, Davidson was indicted for violating the CAN-SPAM Act. He plead guilty and was sentenced to 21 months in a minimum security prison.

Last July Davidson simply walked out of the prison camp, and forced his wife to pick him up and drive him home. The 35-year-old fugitive then murdered his wife and his three-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself. His 16-year-old daughter was shot but survived; an 8-month-old son was unharmed. Davidson had served just two months of his 21-month sentence.

Spam Royalty Rank: Dauphin of Despair

Bill Waggoner

Aliases: Ric Melhalf, Steve Lister

Current Activity: Network Consultant

This 7th-grade dropout made his reputation pushing penis pills and bogus weight-loss cures. Waggoner is one of the rare spammers, or bulk e-mailers, to come out in public, speaking at the FTC's spam hearings in 2003 (He also calls antispam activists "terrorists.")

Though still named in the Register of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO) list of the Top 200 spammers, the 34-year-old Waggoner now bills himself as an expert on "network optimization, marketing trends, ad placement, and many other business needs" for affiliate marketers.

Spam Royalty Rank: Viceroy of Viagra

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Dan Tynan

PC World
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