Police: Suicide not ruled out in death of Census worker found hanged

posted at 9:56 pm on September 24, 2009 by Allahpundit

His body was allegedly found with the word “fed” scrawled across the chest, which was all the evidence the nutroots needed to conclude that the right’s long, long-awaited murderous rampage had finally begun. Minor details after the fact: (a) Cops haven’t ruled out suicide, (b) they won’t confirm the “fed” bit, and (c) there were unspecified “errors” in the original AP story.

2) His death has been ruled “asphyxia,” Trosper said in an interview. “There was a rope around his neck. It was attached to a tree,” Trosper continued, adding this intriguing detail: “He was in contact with the ground.”

That raises the possibilty that the cause of death was not hanging. Asked if this were possible, Trosper said: “Nothing is being ruled out.”

3) Trosper said the initial AP story on the death contains “flaws and errors.” That means it’s possible that the AP’s claim, based on an anonymous source, that he had the word “fed” scrawled on his chest could be false. Asked if that were the case, Trosper declined to comment.

Lefty Michael Roston urges caution, noting correctly that this might indeed be a case of militiamen gone wild but there’s good reason to think that it isn’t. Turns out the area’s filthy with pot growers, drug dealers, and meth-heads known to get antsy when someone from the government knocks on their door.

Discourse in our nation may be getting scary in some situations – I certainly don’t like hearing about ‘watering the tree of liberty’ with our fairly elected president’s blood. But our drug war has had a lot of collateral damage for people at points all over the socioeconomic ladder, and regardless of their political orientations. A lot of folks on the left are eager to find a case to hold up against the overblown depiction of the Belleville bus fight last week. I fear that the interpretation of Mr. Sparkman’s likely murder may be shaded by those events, instead of seeing this for the drug war consequence that it is.

Consider for instance that Rachel Maddow in her broadcast last night failed to even discuss the drug possibility. And over at Talking Points Memo, Zachary Roth argued today that, “it may be hard to separate those two motivations,” of drugs versus anti-government sentiment. But anti-government sentiment by illegal drug producers is not the same thing as anti-Census and anti-Obama sentiment. Failing to hold up this possibility is a failing on the part of media that cover this story.

A further interesting detail buried in WaPo’s story on this tonight: The Census Bureau says it has no information that Sparkman was targeted because he worked for the agency, which is hard to reconcile with the “fed” detail. Either it’s true and the cops are keeping it under wraps for now or there never was any “fed” writing and the Bureau knows it.

What’s uniquely disgusting about stories like this is the eagerness, to borrow Ace’s perfectly apt description, to find an ideological motive with which to bludgeon one’s opponents. The human life involved is reduced to the crudest sort of political prop. It reminds of when that nut walked into Hillary’s campaign headquarters in New Hampshire during the Democratic primary and took everyone hostage, and for hours no one knew anything about the motive. I remember the palpable sense of anticipation in the blogosphere as people waited to find out if it was a crazed right-wing Clinton-hater whodunnit or a crazed left-wing Obama supporter. (The punchline: He ended up having no political motive.) If you think “eager” is the wrong adjective here, feast your eyes on the graphic being featured at Brad Blog, churned out with such amazing speed that it seems to have come from some sort of template. Skim the post while you’re there, too. Turns out that even if this isn’t the fault of conservative America in toto, it kind of is.


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Again, I say suicide or an accidental death by mis-adventure.

Blake on September 25, 2009 at 12:10 AM

The left: always ready to wield “larger truths” when reality doesn’t suit.

spmat on September 25, 2009 at 12:17 AM

I would not be surprised to find that he was offed by a pot grower. Growing weed has largely replaced moonshine as THE money maker on the spine of the Smoky and Appalachian ranges, and they still hate the ‘revnuers’ with unbridled passion.

So it’s not shocking that a census worker was killed, if that’s the case. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time, and certainly won’t be the last.

Look at the history of the mountain folk, all the way back to Europe and before, then you’ll understand their ‘distaste’ for government.

Spiritk9 on September 25, 2009 at 12:21 AM

Maybe he was approached and advised by ACORN and threatened to talk?

viking01 on September 25, 2009 at 12:28 AM

Bet his dick was hanging out.

Just another sick, leftist, sexual pervert who hated his mommy.

David2.0 on September 25, 2009 at 12:32 AM

Anyone ever notice you never, never, never meet anyone from Kentucky on any of these political blogs

Jeff from WI on September 24, 2009 at 10:06 PM

I try not to be rude. It’s not a part of my Kentucky upbringing. If I was a rude person I might write something on a political blog to the effect of “Anyone ever notice you never, never never meet anyone from Wisconsin who isn’t severely intoxicated or mostly brain dead.” But, I was brought up better than that.

Listen folks, I worked in the Kentucky mountains for five years. I worked on emotionally and politically charged projects throughout the region and, really, across the entire state.

My first notion is that this is a suicide that was an effort to make it look like something else. That’s my first notion.

My other notion is that this guy ratted out a local grower at some point, and they caught up with him. Ouch! If you’re on the ground in those parts and you’re not with law enforcement, you should never report where a marijuana crop is located or who is trafficking large amounts of OC.

I always made sure that local law enforcement knew where I was going to be working, and when I was on the ground, I made sure everybody in an area knew who I was and what I was doing.

Most people outside of Kentucky don’t know anything about this state. They are spoon fed stereotypes by the media and by Hollywood, and I don’t understand why they take the gruel so willingly. These are the institutions that conservatives — real conservatives — love to hate, and rightly so.

During the ice storm in January, national media, which just barely covered the worst natural disaster in our state’s history, made sure they talked to every hick they could find. Often times, they talk to people like me and opt to air footage of some hayseed so they can perpetuate the stereotype of Kentucky.

Yep. If I was a rude man, I might say Jeff in WI is a narrow-minded moron who embraces stereotypes that make him comfortable. But, that’s not me. Instead, Jeff, why don’t you spend a week traveling with me throughout this great Commonwealth. You might learn something. I travel the state with my job, and you can ride along.

Ya sceered?!

Ampleforth on September 25, 2009 at 12:42 AM

Tawana Brawley is unavailable for comment.

Ugly on September 25, 2009 at 12:44 AM

David2.0 on September 25, 2009 at 12:32 AM

You should try being more forward with your thoughts.

A Caradine reference would have probably gone over better.

LevStrauss on September 25, 2009 at 12:44 AM

Afrolib on September 24, 2009 at 10:01 PM

I didn’t know they allowed you to use computers in jail. I have it on good authority that you were arrested in the G-20 riots today.

chemman on September 25, 2009 at 1:02 AM

Janos Hunyadi on September 24, 2009 at 10:58 PM

Very accurate description of how it is happening. Workers drove 200 yards onto my property, past a clear no trespassing sign, to get to my house. Got out of the truck, walked onto my porch and proceeded to GPS the house. Had I not seen the Census worker sign in their truck they were on their way to being introduced to Mr. Springfield. It would have been a 7 mile walk to the nearest town to get a tow truck.

chemman on September 25, 2009 at 1:22 AM

AP- Clean-up on aisle:

David2.0 on September 25, 2009 at 12:32 AM

profitsbeard on September 25, 2009 at 1:23 AM

You’re more likely to get killed in urban areas than Appalachia. You guys have seen Deliverance one two many times.

Blake on September 25, 2009 at 1:30 AM

Another thing is where this guy was found: His truck was near by, his computer in the cab where he left it, his body near a cemetery, and he was discovered by someone walking by.

IOW, he was not in the backwoods where anything illegal was going on. My theory is that he was under a lot of stress and suicidal, stopped his truck, and hung himself.

Blake on September 25, 2009 at 1:37 AM

So why was this particular murder or suicide singled out by AP and brought to national attention in the first place? He was not a celebrity or politician. Nobody knew him. Why?
What could possibly be the motive to promote this one death?

betsyz on September 25, 2009 at 1:50 AM

They’re scrapping up anything they can get to deflect the attention off the ACORN story, the healthcare fiasco, the ignorant crap Obama belches out and all the rest of their corruption.

Griz on September 25, 2009 at 1:59 AM

I think you know why, betsyz.

Blake on September 25, 2009 at 1:59 AM

My brother said that the DEA has long had a habit of having agents pose as Census workers. Not a popular ploy among real Census workers, significantly upping the danger level of the job.

eeyore on September 25, 2009 at 2:45 AM

I would suspect that it was drug dealers. Bill Sparkman’s mother lives in Florida. I won’t divulge which city out of respect and safety of his family. To all of those who are speculating with “evidence” you pulled out of your ass PLEASE SHUT THE HELL UP until all the true evidence is made public. You are showing dis-respect to his family and causing un-necessary pain.

Best Regards

hamradio on September 25, 2009 at 3:01 AM

AP- Clean-up on aisle:

David2.0 on September 25, 2009 at 12:32 AM
profitsbeard on September 25, 2009 at 1:23 AM

Fully agree. Class-less. Bad taste.

balkanmom2 on September 25, 2009 at 3:40 AM

That image…

They really frighten me. They absolutely cannot wait for some sort of violence/instigation to shut us all down. Simply rabid.

Great word-cloud effect, too…to think that someone did that themselves or collaborated with others to do that is… amazing. Imagine the dialogue. What really shocks me is that people are walking around, and they truly believe these things about us.

Diane on September 25, 2009 at 5:41 AM

I clicked on the lynching image, not much too say besides this is what we are up against, fanatical hatred, that can spout sanctimonious comments of civility without even noticing the contradiction. The lesson, there is no reaching across the aisle with the left.

rob verdi on September 25, 2009 at 6:24 AM

AP- Clean-up on aisle:

David2.0 on September 25, 2009 at 12:32 AM

profitsbeard on September 25, 2009 at 1:23 AM

Agreed.

Shiny_Tiara on September 25, 2009 at 7:39 AM

Sooooooo why is the dude in the picture wearing a winter ski cap indoors, if he were cold he wouldn’t be in a short sleeve polo shirt. Odd pic.

Alden Pyle on September 25, 2009 at 7:46 AM

People forget, the media loved the peanut farmer …

tarpon on September 25, 2009 at 8:20 AM

Sooooooo why is the dude in the picture wearing a winter ski cap indoors, if he were cold he wouldn’t be in a short sleeve polo shirt. Odd pic.

Alden Pyle on September 25, 2009 at 7:46 AM

Probably because the chemotherapy caused him to loose his all his hair and he wasn’t into the bald look.

Blake on September 25, 2009 at 8:21 AM

All I have to say is, thank God for the blogosphere, because 15 years ago any errors in the AP’s original narrative would have been buried away in a 2 line page 15 correction, if they acknowledged it at all.

JohnW on September 25, 2009 at 8:37 AM

You’re more likely to get killed in urban areas than Appalachia. You guys have seen Deliverance one two many times.

Blake on September 25, 2009 at 1:30 AM

When I was in AIT at Chanute AFB in Illinois we took a trip up to, I think it was Springfield, for the weekend to go to some bar. We weren’t completely sure where this bar was at and became lost. We passed a police officer and he pulled out behind us and pulled us over. We talked for a while and he asked where we were headed, and we told him, although the name of the bar escapes me now, and he told us that if we continued down the street we were on that we would probably be killed. He told us to turn around and follow him and he would take us to the bar. Is it common practice in cities to station police officers at the entrance to dangerous areas to save the lives of lost visitors?

DFCtomm on September 25, 2009 at 8:38 AM

I smell another bogus Duke rape case

Bevan on September 25, 2009 at 8:39 AM

I smell another bogus Duke rape case

Bevan on September 25, 2009 at 8:39 AM

You’re a regular bloodhound, on the right path…

right2bright on September 25, 2009 at 8:48 AM

If this is our fault, just try and hold us responsible lefties.

Bring it on, sweethearts.

We’ll hand you your ass in a sling and make you like it.

NoDonkey on September 25, 2009 at 8:49 AM

When I was in AIT at Chanute AFB in Illinois we took a trip up to, I think it was Springfield, for the weekend to go to some bar.

Up? No, you went south west.

We weren’t completely sure where this bar was at and became lost. We passed a police officer and he pulled out behind us and pulled us over. We talked for a while and he asked where we were headed, and we told him, although the name of the bar escapes me now, and he told us that if we continued down the street we were on that we would probably be killed.

I doubt he meant literally you would be killed but that you were going into a bad part of town and stuck out like sore thumbs.

He told us to turn around and follow him and he would take us to the bar. Is it common practice in cities to station police officers at the entrance to dangerous areas to save the lives of lost visitors?

DFCtomm on September 25, 2009 at 8:38 AM

I would assume he was trying to be kind to a carload of young airmen, being that at one time he was once a young man, too. And, yes, most police officers will warn people away from bad areas.

Years ago, there was a black vs. latino gang war in Venice, CA, that resulted in numerous shootings and 17 deaths in less than two years. The police would stop and warn people to get out before dark. They also deferred a lot of arrests for non violent crimes because they could not afford to be off the street.

Blake on September 25, 2009 at 9:50 AM

It wasn’t Fed.

It was

F’ed!

pabarge on September 25, 2009 at 9:51 AM

DFCtomm on September 25, 2009 at 8:38 AM

You sure you didn’t go to Champaign-Urbana? Springfield is about 150 miles from Rantoul.

Blake on September 25, 2009 at 9:54 AM

This was not a crime like Channon Christian. The Knoxville horror is still in the trial phase now, sentences being handed out with the MSM still absent.

Why this single worker?

GunRunner on September 25, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Yet one more piece of evidence confirming the notion that if the state-run media says the sun’s up, you’d better go look out the window to fact-check them.

As if we needed any more proof of that.

Gator Country on September 25, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Is it common practice in cities to station police officers at the entrance to dangerous areas to save the lives of lost visitors?

No. The common practice is to wait for the lost visitors to be robbed and killed, then to clean up the mess afterwards.

Which do you prefer?

rvastar on September 25, 2009 at 11:02 AM

We all know some far right lunatic was behind this.

Afrolib on September 24, 2009 at 10:01 PM

From Obama’s mouth to Afrolib’s ears.

blah, blah, blah

GrannyDee on September 25, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Everytime someone is murdered, robbed, raped, assaulted, etc by the Cripts, Bloods, MS13, illegal aliens,ELF,SEIU the left is responsible for insighting them. Wanna play that game? Ok.

Child In Time on September 25, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Kentuckians are fine people who also happen to be patriotic, private people who like most of this country right now, don’t trust the government.

That said I believe the guy was stroppin’ his monkey and enjoying it too much for too long.

Jakefut on September 25, 2009 at 3:38 PM

You sure you didn’t go to Champaign-Urbana? Springfield is about 150 miles from Rantoul.

Blake on September 25, 2009 at 9:54 AM

It was Champaign. Sorry about the mistake but it’s been a few years, and I wasn’t an airman, although the other guys were. It was a joint school and my class had army and air-force.

No. The common practice is to wait for the lost visitors to be robbed and killed, then to clean up the mess afterwards.

Which do you prefer?

rvastar on September 25, 2009 at 11:02 AM

I would prefer people quit bad mouthing Kentucky while no go areas exist in their own state, this was just the most extreme example I have experienced.

DFCtomm on September 25, 2009 at 7:26 PM

He was found in a cemetery. Maybe he was there registering more Democrat voters.

pdigaudio on September 26, 2009 at 2:32 PM

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