Thursday, September 24, 2009

Don't Go To Work For The Census

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.


LondonGirl said...

Fascinating article - I'd never seen taking a census as such a dangerous occupation!

"Call me crazy, but I am always suspicious of un-married men who have anything to do with the boy scouts"

I think that's unfair - to accuse someone of child molestation because they are a Scout Master! Poor chap (-:

pinkpackrat said...

Well, I'm not accusing, just wondering. However, I re-read what I originally wrote and softened it a bit--didn't mean to sound like I think all scout leaders are pervs, I don't, I just think there are a lot of unanswered questions about this guy's background.

Bonju Patten said...

In the past 2 days I have written extensively on this subject and believe that Mr. Sparkman came upon a family of misfits whom did not wish to be included in our government census and murdered him for getting too close.

Mr.Sparkman was not a pedophile; not everyone that works for the Boys Scouts is that demented but he was not careful and described by friends as too trusting a person.

I believe he died a horribly frightening death and his last moments of life were filled with surreal images of things he could not imagine happening to him; happening.

I also believe that a family of people did this crime to Mr. Sparkman. If you'd like to read my blog on this issue - come to

Thanks for posting your article. I found it very interesting and by giving it that "personal slant" very possible as well.

---Bonju Patten

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I don't see how this isn't unrelated to the recent "call to arms" by the conservative media. Unless FED stands for something else.

Bonju Patten said...

Oh no way! Anonymous please don't buy into that Republican mumbo jumbo they are trying to swill. Conservative media is not THAT powerful that they can convince a whole state that the government is out to get them.

Here's what I think happened to poor Bill. Wrong place wrong time. He stumbled upon something someone or many persons did not want him to see. His death happened very quickly and it was very surreal to him. He did not at first comprehend what was being done to him.

First these people (a family or a group of people killed him), detained him in a swift manner, beat him up, rendered him unconscious. Then they carved the word FED into his chest with a razor blade, took him out to that park, tied a rope around his neck and hung him. He passed out and died. They left him up there for 2 weeks while his body decomposed.

I'd have hated to be the person that found him hanging there. Awful really and in the past I have seen people hung (suicide) and this was NO SUICIDE.

---Bonju Patten

Anonymous said...

If you do a bit of searching you will find that Mr. Sparkman is from Tampa, FL where his mother still resides. He has never been married and adopted his son. He went by the nickname "FeFe" and had that on his license plate until becoming an Eagle Scout as an adult and changing it to Eagle4. The little (under 1,800) town of Manchester, KY has approx. 60 registered sex offenders--there are almost none anywhere else in Clay County. His body was found in Manchester. There is some dispute about if it was actually "fed" that was written on the body. Whatever the outcome, it's a sad story.

Bonju Patten said...

Unfortunately everything I have read about the case, Anon, indicates the word is FED on his chest and not FAG although he was found completely naked except for wearing socks, his Census bureau ID was taped to the side of his head and neck, his eyes, hands and feet were duct-taped and he had been hanging for such a long time that his feet were near the ground. A spooky sight at best. There are witnesses in the form of a family visiting family graves nearby where (pardon the pun) Mr. Chapman was hanging out.

The victim could have been gay but I don't know that he was however I did initially think he had been RAPED. The info has NOT been given out by the police but why else would his body be found naked? I also did not hear about the 60 potential sex offenders living in that area but I did read about people cooking speed and other drugs.

Bonju Patten said...

I STAND CORRECT ANON- You are correct - all that stuff you wrote is true. So maybe the word was carved and not written on his chest with felt tip pen - FAG not FED

I always thought he was gang raped. It is Appliachia he was in (sorry spelling) but I did not realize he was nude when they found him trust up like a chicken. Gay men do that for fun and I find it disgusting that would happen to this dude even if he was gay. If sex is not consentual then it's rape.

Sad case though and it's driving me nuts.

pinkpackrat said...

Bonju and Anon-- thank you both for your interesting comments and for adding to my store of information about this sad incident. Bonju-- thank you too for the link to your blog. I will be reading it with interest. Anon--thank you for the personal information on Sparkman. I'm only sorry that it seems to confirm my initial misgivings.

Another Kentucky Innkeeper said...

I read this whole account, from your article, pinkpackrat, to all the comments above...really a gruesome and unfortunate incident, no matter who this person was.

Even more unfortunate, when I think that it happened in the same state I live in: Kentucky. Only I am quite a ways from Appalachia, thank goodness. I like to think people where I live are a little more civil.

pinkpackrat said...

It is all very sad, Innkeeper. I think we need to wait and see what comes out of the woodwork as the investigation progresses. Thanks for reading and adding your two cents:-)