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Thread: US census worker found hanged in Kentucky with "FED" scrawled on his chest

  1. #31
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    and this is why im scared to visit the south...........

  2. #32
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darksithbunny View Post
    They didn't for me. She just showed up one night but I gave her the info. Wondering with all I am hearing maybe I shouldn't have.
    You are talking about the American Community Survey, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by AliceInWonderland View Post
    and this is why im scared to visit the south...........
    Alice, don't you know you're not allowed to say anything bad about the South?

  3. #33
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliceInWonderland View Post
    and this is why im scared to visit the south...........
    Overall, the South isn't that scary, Alice. But there are parts that I would never want to go into without a weapon.

  4. #34
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    ^

    i know, some of you get all pissy when i write that, but that area seriously scares me! like the middle of florida - alligator alley

    and i swear to gawd the whole damn south is haunted as well!

  5. #35
    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    MSNBC.com

    Slain census worker was warned about area
    Anti-government anger eyed after man found with ‘fed’ scrawled on chest
    The Associated Press
    updated 9:37 a.m. PT, Thurs., Sept . 24, 2009

    WASHINGTON - When Bill Sparkman told retired trooper Gilbert Acciardo that he was going door-to-door collecting census data in rural Kentucky, the former cop drew on years of experience for a warning: "Be careful."

    The 51-year-old Sparkman was found this month hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery with the word "fed" scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.

    "Even though he was with the Census Bureau, sometimes people can view someone with any government agency as 'the government.' I just was afraid that he might meet the wrong character along the way up there," said Acciardo, who directs an after-school program at an elementary school where Sparkman was a frequent substitute teacher.

    The Census Bureau has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, until the investigation is complete, an official said.

    The law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the case and requested anonymity, did not say what type of instrument was used to write the word on the chest of Sparkman, who was supplementing his income doing Census field work. He was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of Daniel Boone National Forest and an autopsy report is pending.

    Manchester, the main hub of the southeastern Kentucky county, is an exit off the highway, with a Walmart, a few hotels, chain restaurants and a couple gas stations. The drive away from town and toward the area where Sparkman's body was found goes through sparsely populated forest with no streetlights, on winding roads that run up and down steep hills.

    Dangerous terrain
    Manchester Police Chief Jeff Culver, whose agency is not part of the investigation because the death was outside city limits, said the area where Sparkman was found has a history of problems with prescription drug and methamphetamine trading.

    "That part of the county, it has its ups and downs. We'll get a lot of complaints of drug activity. They'll whittle away, then flourish back up," Culver said. He said officers last month rounded up 40 drug suspects, mostly dealers, and made several more arrests in subsequent days.

    FBI spokesman David Beyer said the bureau is assisting state police and declined to discuss any details of the crime scene. Agents are trying to determine if foul play was involved and whether it had anything to do with Sparkman's job as Census worker, Beyer said. Attacking a federal worker during or because of his federal job is a federal crime.

    Lucindia Scurry-Johnson, assistant director of the Census Bureau's southern office in Charlotte, N.C., said law enforcement officers have told the agency the matter is "an apparent homicide" but nothing else.

    Census employees were told Sparkman's truck was found nearby, and a computer he was using for work was inside, she said.

    'Such an innocent person'
    Sparkman's mother, Henrie Sparkman of Inverness, Fla., told The Associated Press her son was an Eagle scout who moved to Kentucky to direct the local Boy Scouts of America. He later became a substitute teacher in Laurel County, adjacent to the county where his body was found.


    She said investigators have given her few details about her son's death. They did tell her his body was decomposed and haven't yet released it for burial.

    "I was told it would be better for him to be cremated," she said.

    Acciardo said he became suspicious and went to police when Sparkman didn't show up for work at the after-school program in Laurel County for two days. Authorities immediately investigated, he said.

    "He was such an innocent person," Acciardo said. "I hate to say that he was naive, but he saw the world as all good, and there's a lot of bad in the world."


    'Saddened'
    Sparkman had worked for the Census since 2003 in five counties in the surrounding area, conducting interviews once or twice a month. Much of his recent work had been in Clay County, officials said.

    The Census Bureau has yet to begin door-to-door canvassing for the 2010 head count, but thousands of field workers are doing smaller surveys on various demographic topics on behalf of federal agencies. Next year, the Census Bureau will dispatch up to 1.2 million temporary employees to locate hard-to-find residents.

    Mary Hibbard, a teacher in Manchester, said she recognized Sparkman on the news as the census worker who visited her house this summer for about 10 minutes. Hibbard said he asked some basic questions including the size of her house, how many rooms it had and how much she paid monthly for electricity.

    "I know he has a Christian background," she said. "You come to my house, we're going to talk religion."

    Hibbard said she thinks most people in the area were shocked by the death.

    "I think the negative publicity of it is a stigma on our county. It makes people think less of us even though this is an isolated incident."

    The Census Bureau is overseen by the Commerce Department.

    'A shining example'
    "We are deeply saddened by the loss of our co-worker," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in a statement.

    Locke called him "a shining example of the hardworking men and women employed by the Census Bureau."

    Kelsee Brown, a waitress at Huddle House, a 24-hour chain restaurant in Manchester, when asked about the death, said she thinks the government sometimes has the wrong priorities.

    "Sometimes I think the government should stick their nose out of people's business and stick their nose in their business at the same time. They care too much about the wrong things," she said.


    Appalachia scholar Roy Silver, a New York City native now living in Harlan County, Ky., said he doesn't sense an outpouring of anti-government sentiment in the region as has been exhibited in town hall meetings in other parts of the country.

    "I don't think distrust of government is any more or less here than anywhere else in the country," said Silver, a sociology professor at Southeast Community College.

    The most deadly attack on federal workers came in 1995 when the federal building in Oklahoma City was devastated by a truck bomb, killing 168 and injuring more than 680. Timothy McVeigh, who was executed for the bombing, carried literature by ultra-right-wing, anti-government authors.

    Sparkman's mother is simply waiting for answers.

    "I have my own ideas, but I can't say them out loud. Not at this point," she said. "Right now, what I'm doing, I'm just waiting on the FBI to come to some conclusion."


    Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    URL: Slain census worker was warned about area - Crime & courts- msnbc.com



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  6. #36
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Agents are trying to determine if foul play was involved
    If? Yeah, it's really a question at this point. I realize they can't say anything due to the investigation, but in this instance it just comes off as stupid.

    Anyone else notice that the man was probably killed on 9/12?

  7. #37
    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliceInWonderland View Post
    and this is why im scared to visit the south...........
    Hey now- to be fair, Kentucky is another one of those states that is like 3 states in one. I actually worked in Kentucky last year, and overall it was a good experience. In the northwest part of the state that borders IL and IN, its actually really progressive. Obama won some of the counties in that region, as well as in Louisville and Lexington:


    For comparison, Clay County, where he was found, went for McCain by 78%. The people in north and northwestern Kentucky even hate to claim eastern Kentucky as part of their state because its such a different world. Kentucky is strange- you'll have tiny towns that aren't rural at all and seem like a small city. But you get half a mile outside of the town, and you're in a completely rural area. From that article- this is a really good description of what I'm talking about:
    Quote Originally Posted by Moongirl View Post
    Manchester, the main hub of the southeastern Kentucky county, is an exit off the highway, with a Walmart, a few hotels, chain restaurants and a couple gas stations. The drive away from town and toward the area where Sparkman's body was found goes through sparsely populated forest with no streetlights, on winding roads that run up and down steep hills.
    But the region that this man was working in, you're right. Eastern and northeastern Kentucky truly are Appalachia. I had a friend working in Pikeville, KY, about 2 hours from Clay County, where he was found. My friend has some incredible stories, but he had a rough go of it.

  8. #38
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    If? Yeah, it's really a question at this point. I realize they can't say anything due to the investigation, but in this instance it just comes off as stupid.

    Anyone else notice that the man was probably killed on 9/12?
    Yeah, Rachel Maddow pointed that out last night. The AP reporter that she was talking to said that locally this story was news. But it didn't become national until now because investigators didn't want the case to be used for political purposes to fuel the anti-government hysteria.

  9. #39
    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    I was wondering about the date because they said he was "found on 9/12" but apparently it's been recommended that the mother go with cremation due to deomposition. Doesn't sound like he was out there for just a few hours.
    Kill him.
    Kill her.
    Kill It.
    Kill everything... that IS the solution!
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  10. #40
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    How can they recommend cremation? That's none of anyone's business. His family can have a "normal" funeral. If it's really bad, just go for a closed casket.
    "If you are not outraged, then you are not paying attention," Heather Heyer's facebook quote.

  11. #41
    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    How can they recommend cremation? That's none of anyone's business. His family can have a "normal" funeral. If it's really bad, just go for a closed casket.
    Well... in another article, it mentioned that the body had begun to decompose. That could be a factor.

  12. #42
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliceInWonderland View Post
    and this is why im scared to visit the south...........
    And we are all grateful for that!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  13. #43
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    theres all kinds of shit, spooks and goblins hidden in the forests down there! a lot of history from the olden days and prohibition days, im getting chills just thinking about it!

  14. #44
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Here's the original article about his death from Sept 17th.
    Published: September 17, 2009 12:49 pm

    Mystery surrounds death of man found in Clay Co. cemetery

    By Tara Kaprowy
    Staff Writer

    Found lifeless near a cemetery Saturday, Laurel County substitute teacher Bill Sparkman, 51, was mourned Monday.

    “He was just super,” said Gilbert Acciardo, Johnson Elementary Family Resource Youth Service Center director. “Dependable, fun, a professional. He really loved the kids and he loved the teaching profession.”

    Sparkman’s body was found in a clearing in a wooded area near Hoskins Cemetery on Arnett’s Fork in southern Clay County.

    “Someone was going to the cemetery where they had family members buried,” Kentucky State Police Trooper 1st Class Don Trosper said. “As they were driving to go up to the cemetery, that’s when they saw. It was reported by a passerby.”

    KSP Detective Donald Wilson was sent to investigate.

    “At this time, the manner of death is unknown,” Trosper said. “Foul play has not been ruled out.”

    Sparkman’s body was taken to the state medical examiners office in Frankfort for an autopsy. The cause of death is pending its results.

    Trosper confirmed Sparkman had not been shot, as some rumors indicated.

    Acciardo and his colleagues at Johnson Elementary became concerned over Sparkman’s well-being when he didn’t show up to work at after-school day care Thursday.

    “Mr. Sparkman was a very responsible person,” Acciardo said.

    Acciardo went to Sparkman’s home — he lived alone — to check up on him.

    “We even went late that night when he normally would be home,” he said. “We know him and we know his habits and we know if he should be home or not.”

    All they found was Sparkman’s dog Jack.

    “By Friday morning, we were sure something was wrong,” Acciardo said. “I contacted the state police and had them start an investigation about his whereabouts and his well-being.”

    Sparkman moved to Laurel County in 1993 as part of an assignment for his job with the Boy Scouts of America. Shortly after arriving, he became a volunteer at Johnson Elementary, an experience he so enjoyed he became interested in pursuing a career in education. He was eventually offered a position as instructional assistant, which he accepted.

    “For the nine years, I did it, I loved,” he told The Sentinel-Echo in March 2008. “All those years at Johnson, I taught the first hour of the morning, they called it daily oral review ... I loved teaching that.”

    So much so, Sparkman decided to become a teacher.

    In the summer of 2005, Sparkman enrolled in Western Governor’s University to earn his bachelor’s degree.

    Spending an average of 20 hours a week studying and plowing through classes, Sparkman was set to graduate in December 2007.

    But in September 2007, he showed his doctor a cyst that had developed on the side of his neck.

    “As soon as he saw it, I went to the hospital,” he said.

    He was eventually diagnosed with Stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Sparkman underwent six session of chemotherapy, during which his Johnson Elementary colleagues rallied around him.

    “They were sneaky,” he said. “They gave me two huge baskets full of food, books, tapes and clothes and gift certificates. I was just ... I couldn’t believe they’d done that.”

    Despite his illness, Johnson continued to work and, by the end of December, he’d completed his classroom work and student teaching. In answer, his Western Governor’s University mentor asked him to attend graduation in Salt Lake City as the keynote speaker. He agreed and made the trip, imparting some words of wisdom to 600 of his fellow students.

    “I’d been knocked down, but I refused to be knocked out,” he said. “Those brick walls will appear from time to time in your career. Do not let them stop you. There are no failures, just teaching moments.”

    Sparkman was substituting at schools this fall. It is believed he was also working for the United States Census Bureau.
    Sentinel-Echo.com - Mystery surrounds death of man found in Clay Co. cemetery

  15. #45
    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Interesting commentary from Gawker:
    Census Worker's Death: The Next Generation of Lynching?

    By Andrew Belonsky




    We know that the levels of right-wing vitriol have reached psychotic new heights. But could they really be behind the "apparent homicide" of a Kentucky census worker, William Sparkman? Should we be calling this, as some are, a "lynching?"

    On September 12, the same day as those wacky protests, Sparkman was found hanging from a tree with the word "fed" carved into his chest. The 51-year old single father and substitute teacher had been canvassing Kentucky's rural, poor Clay County for the Census Bureau. That sounds like a pretty safe job, yes, but locals warned Sparkman of hidden dangers lurking in the blue grass. Recalled former state trooper Gilbert Acciardo:
    I told him on more than one occasion, based on my years in the state police, 'Mr. Sparkman, when you go into those counties, be careful because people are going to perceive you different than they do elsewhere.
    Even though he was with the Census Bureau, sometimes people can view someone with any government agency as 'the government.' I just was afraid that he might meet the wrong character along the way up there.
    Sadly, that appears to be the case. And, if this was in fact murder, the death would seem to be targeted — "fed" was, after all, carved into the man's chest — and some are calling this a modern day lynching.

    One twitterer wondered, "Why has the Bill Sparkman lynching in KY that happened on or before 9/12 not been reported nationally until now." Another also used the l-word: "Sparkman lynching reminds me of young Obama volunteer I got hooked on politics - she had shotgun pulled on her during O canvass."

    Such symbolic use of the word "lynch," though convenient, may do more harm than good. This case has all the makings to become a rhetorical landmine: those who think tea baggers pose a danger could use it as an example of the right-wing's lunacy. Already concerned citizens are saying Sparkman's death should teach conservatives like Michele Bachmann that stoking anti-government sentiment brings death and destruction. And it's likely the discussion on this particular topic will grow more shrill in the coming days.

    Turning Sparkman into a symbol will be easy — he was a single father, an Eagle Scout and completed his teaching degree while fighting cancer — but it's also something of a Catch-22. Of course politicians and media personalities should be wary of fanning outraged flames, and hopefully Sparkman's death, even if not murder, will make people think twice about churning up national shit. (Are you listening, Glenn Beck?) That said, there's also a real danger that a one-sided, accusatory conversation will only make the right feel more isolated and, therefore, help spread anti-government sentiment. And then it will be civil war all over and the old adage will be proved true: everything old is new again.
    Census Worker's Death: The Next Generation of Lynching? - William sparkman - Gawker

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