Several years ago, “backhoes” became a bit of a running gag online as several incidents involving them severing critical network cables occurred. In fact, to many netizens, “backhoe” became a shorthand threat for permanently disconnecting people.
My, how things have changed.
Now AOL (whom many people would like to “backhoe”) is threatening to employ a backhoe of its own against one particular individual — or to be more precise, his property.
In one of those “who the heck do I root for?” cases, AOL went after a couple of persistent spammers/scammers — and won. They settled with one guy (I’m ashamed to say it was a 21-year-old New Hampshire man), but they secured a $13-million-dollar settlement against the Massachusetts native. They’ve collected some money and assets, but want more.
And in a brilliant PR move, the spammers’ money and assets seized (including a Hummer H2) were given away to its subscribers.
It seems that Davis Wolfgang Hawke (who has disappeared after losing the court case) used to buy gold, platinum, and other precious metals, and AOL thinks some might be buried in his parents’ back yard in Medfield, Massachusetts. And AOL is thinking about doing some prospecting there.
I see a possible crossover promotion here. AOL should contact Fox News and arrange to have Geraldo Rivera oversee the live excavation of Hawke’s parent’s yard for an AOL/Fox News special. It’s been 20 years since he did the Al Capone’s Vault story, but I’m sure he’s still got the chops…
And even though it’s in (shudder) Massachusetts, I’ll be glad to drive down to the scene and throw a chair in Geraldo’s face, just for old time’s sake.