Climber Murdered in Squamish Burned Vehicle Identified
A man who went by Jesse James has been identified as Davis Wolfgang Hawke and there are reports that he was a Neo-Nazi
In spring 2017, the body of a man was found in a burned out vehicle on the Cheekye Forest Service Rd in Squamish. Climbers in Western Canada knew him as Jesse James and he kept a blog called Whippers and Tears.
Jesse James has now been identified as U.S. resident Davis Wolfgang Hawke, according to a story in CBC.
Cpl. Frank Jang of the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said this week that little is known about Hawke, 38. He died from a gunshot wound before being burned in the vehicle.
RCMP said they are aware of a Wikipedia file describing a man with the same name as a “Neo-Nazi spammer from Rhode Island.” The page says that in 2004, AOL won a $12.8 million judgement against Hawke for violating anti-spam laws. RCMP has not confirmed this is the same man. Some climbers say Hawke has been climbing in Canada since 2006.
“From my understanding, I think he was a person who really didn’t want to be known if he was going by an alias, he wasn’t using his real name,” Jang said. “So there’s more than one question on this case.”
A Rolling Stones article from October 1999 titled The Rise + Fall of the Campus Nazi said: “Like a lot of college students, Davis Wolfgang Hawke (a.k.a. The Commander) wanted to change the world. But the world isn’t having any of it.”
In the article, Hawke’s mother said, “I honestly hope that someone, when he goes to class today, kills him… That’s what I hope. I want him to be dead. He’s no longer the son I knew.”
He was known to troll top climbers on social media, and theories about his true identity circulated around campfires and crags.
Rumours about Hawke included him travelling with bags of cash that he said was from Bitcoin transacations and that the Russian mafia was looking for him. He also might have authored a book called Psychology of Seduction: Seduce Women Using Evolutionary and Social Psychology.
His Twitter profile said, “Nutrition researcher, rock climber, vegan athlete, adventurer, philosopher, poet, writer and physicist.”
Squamish RCMP Cpl. Sascha Banks said in 2017: “Due to the difficulty of fire investigations and the suspicious nature of the incident IHIT was engaged from the onset. Hawke’s death was determined to be a homicide.
It has been determined Hawke was in legal possession of the vehicle at the time of his death. “This case has been shrouded in mystery since that time,” Jang said.
Hawke was reported missing by his family in the U.S. a number of years ago, Jang said, but it’s not known at this time when he came to Canada.
“This case truly is a mystery and we’re hoping some people know something now that we know his name,” Jang added. “It is truly a case of ‘who-done-it’?”
Hawke had no history of any criminal activity in Canada, but police are working with U.S. authorities to determine more about his life south of the border.
If anyone has any information on Hawke, they are asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-4448 or email them.