Man who escaped mysterious fatal Bethesda fire has checkered past

- Fifteen days after a deadly fire in a residential Bethesda neighborhood, police are continuing to watch the house around the clock.

A man found dead in the basement of a home on Danbury Road still remains unidentified as investigators try to get to the bottom of what happened.

Another man also in the house was able to escape from the fire. Several neighbors have identified him as Daniel Beckwitt, the owner of the home.

Beckwitt is so well known in the world of computer hacking that he was invited to speak at two high-profile annual hacking conferences – DEF CON and ShmooCon.

RELATED: Cause of deadly Bethesda house fire still a mystery as concerned neighbors seek answers

Beckwitt, who was an engineering student at the University of Illinois, got into some trouble in the winter of 2013. According to news reports at the time, he was accused of tampering with campus email accounts, damaging locks at one computer lab and installing "key loggers" on keyboards at another engineering building to access sensitive information.

A few months later, he pleaded guilty to computer fraud and was sentenced to probation.

According to people who know Beckwitt, apparently after his conviction, he spoke at a hacking conference in disguise.

On the internet, people who know Beckwitt say he changed his handle from skunkworks1337 to 3Alarm Lampscooter. There is a Twitter account in that name and a link on the account shows what appears to be an underground bunker.

Two sources familiar with the investigation say a bunker or what might be described as a series of tunnels were found under the house where a bed and a computer were set up.

Beckwitt was burned during the fire and neighbors say he appeared to be distraught when firefighters didn't pull the other man out of the basement alive. Those same neighbors say they have seen him in the neighborhood since the fire.

FOX 5 has been trying to get in contact with Beckwitt through email, telephone and social media since the fire, but he has not responded to any of our requests for comment.

No one has been charged with a crime related to the house fire.

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