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Census Worker Lynched In Kentucky





liljp617
Quote:
A U.S. Census worker found hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery had 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.


http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jbzG_BlkG2Hfc818EPRRn1bBlP6gD9ATASJ00


Is this really the type of action we're going to take in a time of government disapproval? Are we still this 'small' as individuals, after all this time?

That's all I have to say.
ocalhoun
Wow, looks like somebody dislikes government interference even more than I do!

Still, that's quite a bit extreme, for just a census.

Now, if a firearms ban is ever passed, brace yourself for a LOT of this kind of story.
Ophois
I just love how they say they are investigating if he was the victim of anti-Government sentiment. DUH! He was lynched and had the word "FED" scrawled on him. So... if a guy is lynched and has the word "JEW" scrawled on him, are they confused as to whether or not there was some anti-Semitic sentiment?

It's a fairly straight forward message, by the looks of it.
jmi256
I think you need to be careful about using the word "lynch." I'm not saying that may not be the case, but here in the US the word carries strong connotations.

I read an article today that tried to link this apparent crime to a racist attack on Obama (like everything else apparently). The logic followed something along the lines of:

Fed = Federal
Federal = Big Government
Big Government = Democrats
Democrats = Obama
Obama = Black
Black = Racism

Therefore:
Fed = Racism
handfleisch
Obviously we have to wait til all the facts are in to know for sure. But if he was indeed lynched for being a census worker, that would be exactly the kind of violence that everyone feared was being whipped up by the rightwingnuts spewing garbage about the census being a plot for the government to control everyone's lives, the anti-ACORN hysteria, the shrieks about the non-existent threat to gun owners rights, all the "take back America" crap. By wingnuts I mean the likes of Michele Bachman, an arguably the most deranged person in Congress, and Glenn Beck.

Bachmann and Beck & the scary scary census
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk3pDStAaMA
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
Obviously we have to wait til all the facts are in to know for sure. But if he was indeed lynched for being a census worker, that would be exactly the kind of violence that everyone feared was being whipped up by the rightwingnuts spewing garbage about the census being a plot for the government to control everyone's lives, the anti-ACORN hysteria, the shrieks about the non-existent threat to gun owners rights, all the "take back America" crap. By wingnuts I mean the likes of Michele Bachman, an arguably the most deranged person in Congress, and Glenn Beck.

Bachmann and Beck & the scary scary census
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk3pDStAaMA



That's a pretty big leap based on no facts at all, but hey, why should you stop doing what you do best? It's interesting that when Obama and the other Democrats used their union thugs to attack citizens using their right to voice their opposition to Obama's government-run healthcare scheme, and the left-wing media skewed their reporting to make fun of and ridicule I didnít see you attacking them for their actions. But I guess thatís why they invented hypocrisy. If you just change a few words in your quote above it reflects the same thing.

Quote:
Obviously we have to wait til all the facts are in to know for sure. But if he was indeed attacked for being a town hall protestor, that would be exactly the kind of violence that everyone feared was being whipped up by the leftwingnuts spewing garbage about the town hall protests being a plot for the vast right-wing conspiracy to control everyone's lives, the anti-1st Amendment hysteria, the shrieks about the non-existent threat to healthcare rights, all the "take back America" crap.


http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-109247.html
Ophois
jimi256 wrote:
I think you need to be careful about using the word "lynch." I'm not saying that may not be the case, but here in the US the word carries strong connotations.
You do realize I'm here in the US too, right? In the South, even. The definition of the word is "to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal sanction". I used the word because when people get strung up like that, it usually involves at least a few culprits. Screw racial connotations, if a couple guys stretch another guys neck, it's a lynching.

I can't seem to find the case, it was some years ago, but a kid was pistol whipped at the fairgrounds in Charleston, SC. The kid later died, and the one that did it was charged with lynching. I'm not even sure if there was a group thing going on. Off topic, but this post just reminded me of it. Blah.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Obviously we have to wait til all the facts are in to know for sure. But if he was indeed lynched for being a census worker, that would be exactly the kind of violence that everyone feared was being whipped up by the rightwingnuts spewing garbage about the census being a plot for the government to control everyone's lives, the anti-ACORN hysteria, the shrieks about the non-existent threat to gun owners rights, all the "take back America" crap. By wingnuts I mean the likes of Michele Bachman, an arguably the most deranged person in Congress, and Glenn Beck.

Bachmann and Beck & the scary scary census
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk3pDStAaMA



That's a pretty big leap based on no facts at all, but hey, why should you stop doing what you do best? It's interesting that when Obama and the other Democrats used their union thugs to attack citizens using their right to voice their opposition to Obama's government-run healthcare scheme, and the left-wing media skewed their reporting to make fun of and ridicule I didnít see you attacking them for their actions. But I guess thatís why they invented hypocrisy. If you just change a few words in your quote above it reflects the same thing.

Quote:
Obviously we have to wait til all the facts are in to know for sure. But if he was indeed attacked for being a town hall protestor, that would be exactly the kind of violence that everyone feared was being whipped up by the leftwingnuts spewing garbage about the town hall protests being a plot for the vast right-wing conspiracy to control everyone's lives, the anti-1st Amendment hysteria, the shrieks about the non-existent threat to healthcare rights, all the "take back America" crap.


http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-109247.html


Your full of it. Do you know it? I hope so because it's even sadder if you don't. I very clearly said we have to wait til the facts are in. And then I speculated on what it could mean if the situation is as it seems to appear at this point, using very real facts about what right wing loons like you have said about the census, about "taking back America", about screaming that big bad government is going to take their guns away.

By the way, there were no Obama union thugs. So maybe you are delusional after all, to bring that garbage up again, since you were proved so whacked on it. All you did was post blurry mobile phone vids from youtube and then rant and rave about the conspiracy. As I said at the time, given that the media is happy to take the bait against ACORN and papers like the Wall Street Journal would love a union-bashing story, why did they not report it? Because it didn't happen.

Go back to school or something and let the adults discuss this tragic event.
jmi256
Ophois wrote:
jimi256 wrote:
I think you need to be careful about using the word "lynch." I'm not saying that may not be the case, but here in the US the word carries strong connotations.
You do realize I'm here in the US too, right? In the South, even. The definition of the word is "to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal sanction". I used the word because when people get strung up like that, it usually involves at least a few culprits. Screw racial connotations, if a couple guys stretch another guys neck, it's a lynching.

I can't seem to find the case, it was some years ago, but a kid was pistol whipped at the fairgrounds in Charleston, SC. The kid later died, and the one that did it was charged with lynching. I'm not even sure if there was a group thing going on. Off topic, but this post just reminded me of it. Blah.


No, I didn't know where you are located Solon/Ophois. I was actually trying to point out the racial connotations since the term "lynching" is commonly used when a black person is strung up by whites.


handfleisch wrote:
Your full of it.

handfleisch wrote:
Go back to school or something and let the adults discuss this tragic event.

Stick and stones Handfleisch... It's funny though that a washed up poet who doesn't know the difference between "your" and "you're" wants to tell someone else to "go back to school."
Ophois
jimi256 wrote:
No, I didn't know where you are located Solon/Ophois. I was actually trying to point out the racial connotations since the term "lynching" is commonly used when a black person is strung up by whites.
Yeah I know. I just don't bother with walking on egg shells around terms like that.

The way News Agencies and Law Enforcement spokespersons word these stories amazes me.
Quote:
FBI spokesman David Beyer said the bureau is helping state police determine if Sparkman's death was the result of foul play, and if so, whether it was related to his census work.
Um... he was hanging from a tree with the word "FED" written on his body. How the hell is that not foul play? Do they really think suicide is a possibility? Without the word "FED", I would consider it, but that's not how suicide notes are usually written. I don't know... maybe I'm wrong.
jmi256
Ophois wrote:
jimi256 wrote:
No, I didn't know where you are located Solon/Ophois. I was actually trying to point out the racial connotations since the term "lynching" is commonly used when a black person is strung up by whites.
Yeah I know. I just don't bother with walking on egg shells around terms like that.

The way News Agencies and Law Enforcement spokespersons word these stories amazes me.
Quote:
FBI spokesman David Beyer said the bureau is helping state police determine if Sparkman's death was the result of foul play, and if so, whether it was related to his census work.
Um... he was hanging from a tree with the word "FED" written on his body. How the hell is that not foul play? Do they really think suicide is a possibility? Without the word "FED", I would consider it, but that's not how suicide notes are usually written. I don't know... maybe I'm wrong.


Yeah, you have to wonder. I don't know all the details of the case, but if I found someone hanging from a tree with anything written on him, the last think I would waste time contemplating is whether it was an accident or not.
ocalhoun
Ophois wrote:
Um... he was hanging from a tree with the word "FED" written on his body. How the hell is that not foul play? Do they really think suicide is a possibility? Without the word "FED", I would consider it, but that's not how suicide notes are usually written. I don't know... maybe I'm wrong.

Well, first, they have to eliminate the possibility that he strung himself up there... Maybe he hated himself for being a 'FED'...

Can't take anything for granted in an investigation.
liljp617
They are keeping the door open for suicide I believe. I personally think that's quite a long shot, but I guess we'll see.

jmi256 wrote:
I think you need to be careful about using the word "lynch." I'm not saying that may not be the case, but here in the US the word carries strong connotations.


The word is likely used in the correct context.

It is "to punish a person without legal process or authority, especially by hanging, for a perceived offense or as an act of bigotry."

I don't know what connotations you're talking about. I assume the thousands of lynchings of black people, but I don't know why that would make any difference; the word meant what is defined above for those acts as well as what is in the thread title.

jmi256 wrote:
I read an article today that tried to link this apparent crime to a racist attack on Obama (like everything else apparently). The logic followed something along the lines of:

Fed = Federal
Federal = Big Government
Big Government = Democrats
Democrats = Obama
Obama = Black
Black = Racism

Therefore:
Fed = Racism


The article tried to make a connection between "fed" and racism? Not the fact that this person was lynched in a rural region where racism often runs rampant (I live in Kentucky, so I'm not just randomly attacking based on stereotypes)?

Are you sure you read the article right? It makes no sense to me that someone would try to tie the writing of "fed" to racism and ignore the person being hanged part...seems like it would be much more effective and easier to connect random hangings to racism.
jmi256
liljp617 wrote:
They are keeping the door open for suicide I believe. I personally think that's quite a long shot, but I guess we'll see.

jmi256 wrote:
I think you need to be careful about using the word "lynch." I'm not saying that may not be the case, but here in the US the word carries strong connotations.


The word is likely used in the correct context.

It is "to punish a person without legal process or authority, especially by hanging, for a perceived offense or as an act of bigotry."

I don't know what connotations you're talking about. I assume the thousands of lynchings of black people, but I don't know why that would make any difference; the word meant what is defined above for those acts as well as what is in the thread title.


I'm not trying to sound like a jerk, but you may want to look up the difference between "connotation" and denotation." That may clear up your confusion. But assuming you know the difference: My point is that in the past the term "lynching" was used when a black man was beaten, hanged and generally punished outside of the law, which was brutally used by Southern Democrats in the post-Civil War South. I have no doubt that Solon understands the connotation of the word, and that's why he used it.

liljp617 wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
I read an article today that tried to link this apparent crime to a racist attack on Obama (like everything else apparently). The logic followed something along the lines of:

Fed = Federal
Federal = Big Government
Big Government = Democrats
Democrats = Obama
Obama = Black
Black = Racism

Therefore:
Fed = Racism


The article tried to make a connection between "fed" and racism? Not the fact that this person was lynched in a rural region where racism often runs rampant (I live in Kentucky, so I'm not just randomly attacking based on stereotypes)?

Are you sure you read the article right? It makes no sense to me that someone would try to tie the writing of "fed" to racism and ignore the person being hanged part...seems like it would be much more effective and easier to connect random hangings to racism.


I'm sure pretty I read it right. I agree it's a stupid argument, but it was written by a liberal so what do you expect? I tried finding the article again, but it was on one of those sites that changes the stories/headlines constantly, and it's gone now.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
I just love how they say they are investigating if he was the victim of anti-Government sentiment. DUH! He was lynched and had the word "FED" scrawled on him. So... if a guy is lynched and has the word "JEW" scrawled on him, are they confused as to whether or not there was some anti-Semitic sentiment?

It's a fairly straight forward message, by the looks of it.
Thanks for this as that was my absolute first impression too. Guess this is where it is being politicized into something that it never was. My other thought was that this could have been a group of people (at least more than one person) who had disliked this poor individual, and wanted to teach him a lesson, and then made it into something it never was, i.e. racist connotated. Just to grab everyone's attention and perhaps even point the fingers away from the people who did this deed.

Yeah .... I know, maybe I've been watching too many movies, but there is something wrong with this picture. I doubt it has anything to do with his Census job. Whoever did it wanted it to look exactly the way it looked like. Whether that was what it really was is probably under investigation right now. By the FEDS .... Smile

btw: I'm not from the States, but have seen and read enough literature about "lynchings" US style to have come to the same conclusion as Ophois did, even before I read the debate about the meaning of lynching. My mind went straight to KKK style lynchings. I could even get the picture up in my mind instantly. jmi was right, maybe the word "lynching" was a little strong for the heading of this thread, as it did not even appear in the article that was quoted.
Ophois
Well I think ocalhoun has a point, we have to make sure he didn't hang himself under a self-loathing bout of suicidal depression for being a FED. Unlikely, but it should still be investigated. I totally agree with that. I just wish they could find a way to word it to the press that doesn't make them sound like a bunch of bumbling Keystone Cops; "Oy, we gotta make sure he didn't trip and fall into that noose!". That's how it comes off sounding to me, anyway.
jimi256 wrote:
I have no doubt that Solon understands the connotation of the word, and that's why he used it.
Yeah. I used it because I don't see the difference between a group of white guys hanging a black guy, and a group of purple guys hanging a polka dotted guy. It's all lynching to me. According to Merriam-Webster, it's all the same to them as well. Here is the definition that I used in my above post.

Ironically, 'Lynching' was a form of punishment first used on predominantly(if not entirely) white horse thieves(the black man was not yet free) in Virginia. The law, named after Col. Wm. Lynch, came around in 1780 in order to deal with these brazen groups of rustlers, who had become more and more bold. There is an interesting paper here, written by Ida B. Wells, in 1893 on the topic.

And just for the record, blacks were not getting lynched solely by "Southern Democrats in the post-Civil War South". Racial tension, and the violence that comes from it, goes beyond political parties, it always has. Blacks were getting lynched by bigots, be they Democrats or Republicans or more commonly, the ignorant redneck, sister-fu*king hillbillies who didn't give two sh*ts about politics. They just hated blacks out of fear and ignorance, which are not now, and were not then, party-specific traits.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
Well I think ocalhoun has a point, we have to make sure he didn't hang himself under a self-loathing bout of suicidal depression for being a FED.
That sounds a little bit far-fetched though, doesn't it? How would he have been able to write FED on himself? Also he was doing the censor job part-time only.

Ophois wrote:
Ironically, 'Lynching' was a form of punishment first used on predominantly(if not entirely) white horse thieves(the black man was not yet free) in Virginia. The law, named after Col. Wm. Lynch, came around in 1780 in order to deal with these brazen groups of rustlers, who had become more and more bold. There is an interesting paper here, written by Ida B. Wells, in 1893 on the topic.
Was that the same lynching as in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"? In other words lynching was not only for people who happened to be black, but for all kinds of criminals regardless of their colour? Basic ingredients being a mob taking things into their own hands and hanging someone without due process.
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
That sounds a little bit far-fetched though, doesn't it? How would he have been able to write FED on himself? Also he was doing the censor job part-time only.
Yes. I think we can all agree that it's far fetched, but it is a possibility that needs to be examined. Hopefully very quickly.
Quote:
Was that the same lynching as in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"? In other words lynching was not only for people who happened to be black, but for all kinds of criminals regardless of their colour? Basic ingredients being a mob taking things into their own hands and hanging someone without due process.
Exact same kind of lynching as in that amazing classic of a movie. The group of people who "lynching" was meant for were horse thieves. Many thousands of horse thieves were lynched before, during and after the Civil War. The racial lynching of the South(and in the North as well), were just more controversial, due to the fact that most of the victims were guilty of nothing more than being black.

"Lynching" is a crime, and if we only allow the term to be used in a racial context, then we run the risk of being unfair when we judge the crime, when there is no racial context. If it turns out that some good ol' boys hung this guy, as is likely the case, then he was lynched. He was lynched, just like the blacks in the South after the Civil War and the escaped slaves before them, just like the white horse thieves before them.
Sorry if I offended anyones PC sensibilities, but I call things for what they are.
liljp617
I honestly can't see the issue with the use of the word. It's only incorrect in some people's eyes because they have an incorrect view and incorrect assumptions about the meaning of the word.

The word means to punish someone without due process, typically carried out by a mob, and typically done through hanging. Nothing more, nothing less. The word here is not being used in a historical context, there is no reason to read into the word any more than what the definition clearly states.
Ophois
@liljp617
I definitely agree with you, though I know that some people see it in more of a historical/racial sense. Part of this comes from living in the South, and I can't blame anyone for feeling this way. In reality, you do get some awfully strange looks from people if you are in a public place in the Deep South and refer to something like this as a 'lynching', because people tend to see it through a historical/racial lens. I don't judge anyone for seeing it that way. I simply don't see it that way myself.
ocalhoun
As for the word used, it is perfectly applicable. I wish people would stop tacking on racist/politically-incorrect meanings to things.

Another example is the confederate flag... and how certain people call it a 'symbol of slavery'.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
@liljp617
I definitely agree with you, though I know that some people see it in more of a historical/racial sense. Part of this comes from living in the South, and I can't blame anyone for feeling this way. In reality, you do get some awfully strange looks from people if you are in a public place in the Deep South and refer to something like this as a 'lynching', because people tend to see it through a historical/racial lens. I don't judge anyone for seeing it that way. I simply don't see it that way myself.
I see it like that too and I'm not even from the deep South or from the US. Probably a result of lots of movies about lynching and court cases surrounding lynching in the deep South. And those movies were really good ones too.
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
I see it like that too and I'm not even from the deep South or from the US. Probably a result of lots of movies about lynching and court cases surrounding lynching in the deep South. And those movies were really good ones too.
Right. And it's not that I don't sympathize with the notion of racial tension being heavily associated with lynching. Like I said, it was extremely controversial, due to the fact that most of the people at the wrong end of the rope were guilty of nothing more than being dark skinned. But we tend to forget that mob lynchings were around long before that, because the victims were usually guilty of, or at least truly suspected of, the crime of horse thievery. So we have no compassion for those people, and in turn, they don't make it into history books or popular movies. At least not nearly as much.

Back on topic:
Quote:
Police will not say how the word "fed" was scrawled into his chest or whether it was done before or after he was murdered. They did tell his mother Henrie Sparkman that the body should be cremated.
Full article here.

Well, it seems that they have stopped deliberating over the "foul play" issue. I will venture a guess and say that the word "FED" was either carved into him, or he was mutilated in some other way, if the police are suggesting to his own mother that he should be cremated. Truly a sad story. I hope they catch these people and fry them.
ocalhoun
... This could be the work of a secretive separatist group.
That would explain their hatred of the federal government, and their aversion to being counted in a census.
I'd advice any federal case workers investigating this to stay in large groups and be well armed.
Ophois
ocalhoun wrote:
... This could be the work of a secretive separatist group.
That would explain their hatred of the federal government, and their aversion to being counted in a census.
I'd advice any federal case workers investigating this to stay in large groups and be well armed.
While I agree, I can only imagine that groups of well armed Census workers would only serve to embolden people to commit even more acts of violence like this, and even worse acts, when firearms are involved.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
... This could be the work of a secretive separatist group.
That would explain their hatred of the federal government, and their aversion to being counted in a census.
I'd advice any federal case workers investigating this to stay in large groups and be well armed.
Or it could have been plain cold-blooded murder and made to look as something else?
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
Or it could have been plain cold-blooded murder and made to look as something else?
There is certainly a possibility that it was a random act of violence. The thing is, the word "FED" being scrawled onto his body, describes a pretty distinct criminal profile.

Here are more details:
Quote:
''The only thing he had on was a pair of socks,'' Weaver said. ''And they had duct-taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something.''

Quote:
''And they even had duct tape around his neck,'' Weaver said. ''And they had like his identification tag on his neck. They had it duct-taped to the side of his neck, on the right side, almost on his right shoulder.''
Full NY Times article.

I also read another news account that his feet were actually touching the ground, making authorities wonder if he was killed elsewhere, then brought to that spot to either display/humiliate him, or to throw off the investigation, or both. He was naked, except for socks, and his clothes were in his truck about 50 yards away. So, there likely was another vehicle involved. It looks more and more to me like a group of people did this. Was it people trying to keep their meth labs hidden, as another article suggested? I don't think so, because all they accomplished was bringing more attention to the area.

The more details I read about this tragic murder, the more I think it is exactly what it looks like: an act of violence rooted in anti-Government sentiment. A separatist group as ocalhoun posited? Maybe, I wouldn't rule it out at all. It has all the ingredients for it.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
The more details I read about this tragic murder, the more I think it is exactly what it looks like: an act of violence rooted in anti-Government sentiment. A separatist group as ocalhoun posited? Maybe, I wouldn't rule it out at all. It has all the ingredients for it.
Thanks for the New York Times link, that was interesting reading. I get the feeling that they have some suspects in view as they are withholding information. Maybe they do not want the suspects to know what they know as that could jeopardize the investigation. I still think it was a cold-blooded murder made to look like some kind of "lynching" by anti-Government rightists. Hope they catch the criminal/s, would be interesting to learn how it actually happened.
Helios
jmi256 wrote:

handfleisch wrote:
Your full of it.

handfleisch wrote:
Go back to school or something and let the adults discuss this tragic event.

Stick and stones Handfleisch... It's funny though that a washed up poet who doesn't know the difference between "your" and "you're" wants to tell someone else to "go back to school."



May I suggest using PMs for these, err, disagreements?
jmi256, researching somebody's background and using it to insult him or her is strictly non-ethical and we certainly don't want to support these kind of actions. Keep that in mind next time (I was told this is not the first time).

handfleisch, I won't be surprised if jmi256 will say something about you telling him to go back to school or whatever. Again, use PMs for those very personal disagreements.


*EDITED*
deanhills
I found an interesting Website: http://www.mytwocensus.com/tag/bill-sparkman/ with a collection of good reports on the "murder", from the Census employee point of view. They ask the following good questions:
Quote:
10 Questions that MyTwoCensus Hopes To Answer ASAP

10. If Bill Sparkmanís body was found on September 12, why did it take 11 days for this story to come to the mediaís attention?

9. Why was it the Associated Press that broke the story rather than local news sources? (Did the police and FBI fail to report this incident to the press?)

8. Why was Bill Sparkman working alone?

7. If the Harris Corp. Handheld Computers (HHCs) functioned properly, is there a GPS record of his last known wherabouts? (Is it possible to mine data from Bill Sparkmanís handheld computer and the Census Bureauís data network to determine Mr. Sparkmanís duties on the day he was murdered?)

6. Noting that this incident took place in a rural area, would such an incident have occurred if Sprint, the network that the Census Bureau contracted to handle telecommunications, functioned properly in rural areas, allowing Bill Sparkman to call for help when he was in trouble?

5. How did Sparkmanís body make its way to the forest? If his vehicle was nearby at the time of his death, why couldnít he escape?

4. Where were Mr. Sparkmanís supervisors when he didnít complete his tasks on time?

3. Did the Kentucky State Police and FBI fail to properly investigate this incident?

2. Is there a violent movement brewing in America against Census Bureau employees or was this an isolated incident? (Were any threats made against Census Bureau employees prior to this incident? If so, were ALL EMPLOYEES warned of possible dangers?)

1. Who committed this horrific act?

Source: http://www.mytwocensus.com/tag/bill-sparkman/

Ophios I'm beginning to wonder if you were right, as some of the "facts" in the summary of accounts in the Website indicate that it could have been something more than just a simple murder. For example the mother thought there was something more (but when interviewed could not talk about it as everything is under the wraps). Also in another interview in the Website it was said that apparently Sparkman had been warned that there were anti-Census people who would need careful handling. His safety was a concern.
jmi256
Helios wrote:

May I suggest using PMs for these, err, disagreements?
I don't know how you, jmi256, figured out that Handfleisch is a poet, and why you called him "washed up", but researching somebody's background and using it to insult him or her is strictly non-ethical and we certainly don't want to support these kind of actions. Keep that in mind next time (I was told this is not the first time).

handfleisch, I won't be surprised if jmi256 will say something about you telling him to go back to school or whatever. Again, use PMs for that.


I didnít ďresearchĒ anything about handfleisch, but used what he has said in the past to infer heís a poet. I donít remember the exact wording or what thread he mentioned/implied it. The only time I could think that something I did could be seen as ďresearchĒ was one time when handfleisch made a post that seemed particularly well thought-out and seemed out of character to me. I thought it was lifted from another source without attribution, so I threw it in Google and it came up on another forum. I called him out on the non-attribution, and he said that he was the original author of the post in the other forum, so it wasnít plagiarism. But I wasnít specifically researching him to find out his background or anything. I donít even remember what thread it was on, but if you really want me to find it, I will.

But my comment must have struck a nerve, so I apologize to handfleisch if I did something out of bounds. As Iíve said in other posts I do enjoy the back and forth, and disagreeing with some of the posters here. But I do not mean to hurt someone on a personal level.

Also, you may want to PM me, but Iím just curious what you mean by ďI was told this was not the first timeĒ? If you mean responding to an insult with an insult, I have to say Iím guilty as charged (the whole proportional response thing I guess). But if you mean something else, Iíd like to understand what it was so I can steer clear. To be honest itís pretty hard to understand what is acceptable and what isnít since there seems to exist differing standards for different posters. I thought about sending this entire message to you as a PM, but I think we all can benefit from clearer direction.
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
But if you mean something else, Iíd like to understand what it was so I can steer clear. To be honest itís pretty hard to understand what is acceptable and what isnít since there seems to exist differing standards for different posters. I thought about sending this entire message to you as a PM, but I think we all can benefit from clearer direction.

Totally agreed. @Helios, when I first read your posting (and I am not questioning it, just the fact that we have not seen any like these when we should have in many other postings), I thought that there were quite a few threads in the Politics and Religion and Philosophy forums that warranted "red" comments. I could make a very long list for you if you are interested. The Handfleisch type comments have been made from the beginning of time. A recent one that comes to mind is something about someone being a horses arse, and many more. We've come to accept them as par for the course.

But specifically with regard to the "(I was told this is not the first time)" I think more than jmi would like to know what it is. We have a moderator who has been involved in previous heated discussions and I think the concern is that complaints could have been made to other moderators that none of us are aware off. Perhaps that has to be put out in the open as I have been involved in heated discussions with that moderator as well, as well as have others. I have great respect for jmi's writing abilities, as well as his courtesy to other posters. However if it were true that you have been told anything to the contrary without him knowing about it, it may be me as well. In which case I would not have had a chance to defend myself. JMI is right, all of us would benefit from a clearer direction. Including the boundary between Moderator and Poster, when a moderator who is in a heated debate with a poster puts his moderator hat on during the course of that heated discussion.
Ophois
Well, let's look at these questions one by one:

Quote:
10. If Bill Sparkmanís body was found on September 12, why did it take 11 days for this story to come to the mediaís attention?
This could happen for a number of reasons. The first that comes to mind is the fact that he was a federal employee, and the murder "looks" very much like an attack not just on one man, but on the federal government. When the FBI gets involved, they keep things under wraps until they feel it's Ok to make a press release.
Quote:
9. Why was it the Associated Press that broke the story rather than local news sources? (Did the police and FBI fail to report this incident to the press?)
Again, I want to think that the FBI had something to do with gagging the local media. I could be wrong, but this wouldn't be the first time I have seen this happen, when the FBI is involved in the investigation.
Quote:
8. Why was Bill Sparkman working alone?
Not too sure about this one. Though I don't imagine the Census Bureau thought his job was dangerous enough to warrant a teammate.
Quote:
7. If the Harris Corp. Handheld Computers (HHCs) functioned properly, is there a GPS record of his last known wherabouts? (Is it possible to mine data from Bill Sparkmanís handheld computer and the Census Bureauís data network to determine Mr. Sparkmanís duties on the day he was murdered?)
If they have any way of tracking his last movements by GPS, I guarantee the FBI is on top of it. Probably another reason they didn't want any local media "snooping" around and asking these questions, so as not to scare off the culprits.
Quote:
6. Noting that this incident took place in a rural area, would such an incident have occurred if Sprint, the network that the Census Bureau contracted to handle telecommunications, functioned properly in rural areas, allowing Bill Sparkman to call for help when he was in trouble?
That could be easily tested by anyone in the area who has a Sprint phone. If he attempted to make a call for help, there would be a record of it on his phone and in the Sprint database.
Quote:
5. How did Sparkmanís body make its way to the forest? If his vehicle was nearby at the time of his death, why couldnít he escape?
This is what makes me think there is more than one suspect. And quite possibly, they killed him elsewhere and drove him there in his own truck.
Quote:
4. Where were Mr. Sparkmanís supervisors when he didnít complete his tasks on time?
They probably waited a good while before they started to worry. People often finish late, forget to check in, etc. Census taking isn't considered a dangerous job, so they really had no reason to worry right away.
Quote:
3. Did the Kentucky State Police and FBI fail to properly investigate this incident?
Possibly. But I suspect that they are doing everything in their power to properly investigate it.
Quote:
2. Is there a violent movement brewing in America against Census Bureau employees or was this an isolated incident? (Were any threats made against Census Bureau employees prior to this incident? If so, were ALL EMPLOYEES warned of possible dangers?)
If there is a growing threat, I don't think it's against Census workers, specifically. I imagine it would be directed at Federal employees in general, if anything.
Quote:
1. Who committed this horrific act?
Someone with limited knowledge of crime scene investigation techniques. Mr. Sparkman's feet were touching the ground, lending to the idea that he may not have died from being hung in that tree. Which means there was either another vehicle involved in transporting him there(meaning tracks could be evidence), or that they walked out of there(foot tracks can be clues as well). Either way, there is a possibility that someone saw them.
ocalhoun
Ophois wrote:
Quote:
1. Who committed this horrific act?
Someone with limited knowledge of crime scene investigation techniques. Mr. Sparkman's feet were touching the ground, lending to the idea that he may not have died from being hung in that tree. Which means there was either another vehicle involved in transporting him there(meaning tracks could be evidence), or that they walked out of there(foot tracks can be clues as well). Either way, there is a possibility that someone saw them.

Also, once they have suspects, they'll likely have forensic evidence (hairs, fabric threads, et cetera) in the victim's truck to match them with, connecting them to the scene of the crime.
It would also be worthwhile to do some footwork, and follow the census worker's duty route from the last place he was known to be up to the furthest place he could have gotten to.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
1. Who committed this horrific act?
Quote:
Someone with limited knowledge of crime scene investigation techniques. Mr. Sparkman's feet were touching the ground, lending to the idea that he may not have died from being hung in that tree. Which means there was either another vehicle involved in transporting him there(meaning tracks could be evidence), or that they walked out of there(foot tracks can be clues as well). Either way, there is a possibility that someone saw them.
Right. They were also not sophisticated enough to figure out that they should remove all his equipment, including the GPS system. Still a great mystery however. Possibly because, as you say, the FBI must have controlled the investigation from the start and tried to keep the media and everyone else out of it.
Moonspider
An example of how something that seems plainly obvious at first can turn out to be completely untrue, and why one should never jump to conclusions.

The New York Times wrote:
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- A Kentucky census worker found naked, bound with duct tape and hanging from a tree with ''fed'' scrawled on his chest killed himself but staged his death to make it look like a homicide, authorities said Tuesday.

Bill Sparkman, 51, was found Sept. 12 with a rope around his neck near a cemetery in a heavily wooded area of the Daniel Boone National Forest in southeastern Kentucky. Authorities said his wrists were loosely bound, his glasses were taped to his head and he was gagged.

Kentucky State Police Capt. Lisa Rudzinski said an analysis found that ''fed'' was written ''from the bottom up.'' He was touching the ground, and to survive ''all Mr. Sparkman had to do at any time was stand up,'' she said.

''Our investigation, based on evidence and witness testimony, has concluded that Mr. Sparkman died during an intentional, self-inflicted act that was staged to appear as a homicide,'' Rudzinski said.

Authorities said Sparkman alone manipulated the suicide scene. Rudzinski said he ''told a credible witness that he planned to commit suicide and provided details on how and when.''

Authorities wouldn't say who Sparkman told of his plan, but said Sparkman talked about it a week before his suicide and the person did not take him seriously.

Sparkman had recently taken out two accidental life insurance policies totaling $600,000 that would not pay out for suicide, authorities said. If Sparkman had been killed on the job, his family also would have been be eligible for up to $10,000 in death gratuity payments from the government.

Sparkman's son, Josh, previously told The Associated Press that his father had named him as his life insurance beneficiary. Josh Sparkman said earlier this month he found paperwork for the private life insurance policy among his father's personal files but wasn't sure of the amount.

The Census Bureau suspended door-to-door interviews in the rural area after Sparkman's body was found, but a spokesman said normal operations would resume in Clay County next month.

Anti-government sentiment was initially one possibility in the death. Authorities said Sparkman had discussed perceived negative views of the federal government in the county.

A friend of Sparkman's, Gilbert Acciardo, previously told AP that he warned Sparkman to be careful when he did his census work. Acciardo, a retired Kentucky state trooper, said he told Sparkman people in the rural area would perceive him differently because he worked for the federal government.

''The death of our co-worker, William Sparkman, was a tragedy and remains a loss for the Census Bureau family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,'' said census spokesman Stephen Buckner.

Sparkman's mother, Henrie Sparkman of Inverness, Fla., has said her son was an Eagle scout who moved to the area to be a local director for the Boy Scouts of America. He later became a substitute teacher in Laurel County and supplemented that income as a census worker.

Friends and co-workers have said that even while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, Sparkman would show up for work smiling with a toboggan cap to cover his balding head. They said he was punctual and dependable.

Source:http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/11/24/us/AP-US-Census-Worker-Hanged.html?_r=1&scp=6&sq=census&st=cse

Respectfully,
M
deanhills
Usually suicide is a pretty desperate act, and his would have been completely planned and staged and not a simple staging either. Difficult to visualize it. I'm not saying it is impossible, but from the reports I had read when the investigation was first launched, the findings of the FBI are difficult to fit for me. The Census workers asked a number of questions, does not look as though they have been answered completely:
http://www.mytwocensus.com/tag/bill-sparkman/
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Usually suicide is a pretty desperate act, and his would have been completely planned and staged and not a simple staging either.

Yeah, there are easier ways to make a suicide not look like a suicide...

He could drive recklessly, and die in a car crash...
He could go to a bar and drink many shots very quickly, and get alcohol poisoning...
He could get a gun and start shooting at cops (firing blanks, if conscience demands it) until they killed him...
He could just run away and assume a new identity, after leaving blood in his car, making everyone presume he must be dead...

In any of those cases, only the most imaginative investigator would think that it might be deliberate suicide.
Moonspider
deanhills wrote:
Usually suicide is a pretty desperate act, and his would have been completely planned and staged and not a simple staging either. Difficult to visualize it. I'm not saying it is impossible, but from the reports I had read when the investigation was first launched, the findings of the FBI are difficult to fit for me. The Census workers asked a number of questions, does not look as though they have been answered completely:
http://www.mytwocensus.com/tag/bill-sparkman/


Some details from other reports I read:

  1. His glasses were taped to his head so that he could see what he was doing.
  2. He died from hanging. However his feet were touching the ground. So if he wanted to live, all he had to do was stand up.
  3. Handwriting analysis indicated that "FED" was written upside down, from the bottom up.
  4. Although he was bound with duct tape, it was loosely done, allowing him use of his hands.
  5. Sparkman's DNA was the only forensic evidence found at the scene.
  6. Sparkman spoke to witnesses about committing suicide and making it look like a homicide prior to his death.


Respectfully,
M
deanhills
Moonspider wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Usually suicide is a pretty desperate act, and his would have been completely planned and staged and not a simple staging either. Difficult to visualize it. I'm not saying it is impossible, but from the reports I had read when the investigation was first launched, the findings of the FBI are difficult to fit for me. The Census workers asked a number of questions, does not look as though they have been answered completely:
http://www.mytwocensus.com/tag/bill-sparkman/

Some details from other reports I read:
  1. His glasses were taped to his head so that he could see what he was doing.
  2. He died from hanging. However his feet were touching the ground. So if he wanted to live, all he had to do was stand up.
  3. Handwriting analysis indicated that "FED" was written upside down, from the bottom up.
  4. Although he was bound with duct tape, it was loosely done, allowing him use of his hands.
  5. Sparkman's DNA was the only forensic evidence found at the scene.
  6. Sparkman spoke to witnesses about committing suicide and making it look like a homicide prior to his death.
Respectfully,
M
Thanks for the info. That does give a total different picture. It is probably the delay right at the beginning of the investigation that made people suspicious. But the evidence you provided does indicate suicide. I also remember that they found his purse in the truck, untouched. I guess one can conclude that this guy was not very bright in staging a lynching, as well as completely indiscreet.
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