My first thought when I read about the September 12th death of substitute math teacher and part time census worker, Bill Sparkman, was " Don't go to work for the census" Since Sparkman was found hanged near a cemetery in rural Kentucky, with the word " Fed" scrawled on his body, I imagined a bunch of moonshiners or xenophobic small town good ol' boys doing him in just to spite the Federal Government.
His body was found in a remote part of the Daniel Boone National Forest-- moonshine country for sure and a place where for 300 years independent whiskey makers have nurtured a hatred for " revenuers" in particular, and the Federal Government in general. The fact that the FBI has been called in and is still on the case two weeks after the body was discovered speaks volumes. Clearly foul play is suspected and clearly something of national importance is being investigated. The press has already suggested that an innocent Sparkman may have stumbled upon a crystal meth lab or a still by accident and ended up dead for his mistake. The liberal press is hinting that he may have been killed by extreme right wingers ginned up by Rush, Bill, and the Fox News Crowd.I put this last supposition down to left wing paranoia. It's a little too pat for this liberal. I don't like it. I have a feeling that something more personal is going to come out of the woodwork as the investigation continues. I don't know what, but the anti-government angle just doesn't smell right to me.
The Personal Angle
While Sparkman, from what I have read about him, does not sound like the type to commit suicide, he also sounds almost too good to be true. His bio describes him as a single father who worked two jobs and went to school to get his teaching certificate at the same time. He did all this while overcoming Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Very laudable, but I am wondering about a few things. Is he divorced or a widower? Where is the mother of his young son? Does he have a mother? Does the boy have grandparents? Where are they and where were they during all of Sparkman's travails?
What did he do before he became a teacher? Who are his friends? Where did he grow up? Where is his family. He sounds like a wonderful man, but I'd like to follow the chronological thread of his life a bit more closely. Somewhere it says that he volunteered for the boy scouts. Call me crazy, but I am always a bit suspicious of un-married men who have anything to do with the boy scouts. I know. He's a loving dad and lots of fathers do the scouting thing with their sons. Even so, I'd like that bio filled out a bit more and I bet the FBI would too.
The world is full of serial killers and total whack jobs who were good to their mothers, taught Sunday School and were model citizens on paper. So while it may be that he was an innocent victim ambushed by anti-government wing-nuts, it may also be that somebody killed him for more personal reasons. Most murders are committed by people who know their victims, after all.
Murder is always sad and horrible, and most often it is personal so let's wait and see what happens next.