So she got to thinking, what had she done with the account lately. Well, with the super-pristine one, the answer was absolutely nothing, because it's just an alias she uses for forwarding email to a real account whose identity might change with the shifting winds of employment, etc. Which confuses the matter more. But, she did remember sending an email to an AOL user from the real account that contained a line along the lines of "You can send me email at [alias address]."
So, the question is, did AOL harvest both addresses from the header and body of this email, repsectively, and sell them as spam fodder?
What I'm going to do is set up a few pristine email accounts and sent some email from them to AOL, hotmail, yahoo, and a few others, and see if any of them start getting spammed as a result. Anyone wanting to do the same and share their results here is welcome. This could be educational.