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Author: Subject: Census Worker Hung From Tree

Zen Peach





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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 08:09 AM
quote:
AP source: Census worker hanged with 'fed' on body
By DEVLIN BARRETT and JEFFREY McMURRAY (AP) – 13 hours ago

WASHINGTON — 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.

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 Bill Sparkman, a 51-year-old part-time Census field worker and teacher. He was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of the Daniel Boone National Forest in rural southeast Kentucky.

The Census has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation. An autopsy report is pending.

Investigators have said little about the case. FBI spokesman David Beyer said the bureau is assisting state police and declined to confirm or discuss any details about the crime scene.

"Our job is to determine if there was foul play involved — and that's part of the investigation — and if there was foul play involved, whether that is related to his employment as a Census worker," said Beyer.

Attacking a federal worker during or because of his federal job is a federal crime.

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

She said investigators have given her few details about her son's death — they told her the body was decomposed — and haven't yet released his body for burial. "I was told it would be better for him to be cremated," she said.

Henrie Sparkman said her son's death is a mystery to her.

"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."

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 found inside it, she said. He worked part-time for the Census, usually conducting interviews once or twice a month.

Sparkman has worked for the Census since 2003, spanning five counties in the surrounding area. Much of his recent work had been in Clay County, officials said.

Door-to-door operations have been suspended in Clay County pending a resolution of the investigation, Scurry-Johnson said.

The Census Bureau has yet to begin door-to-door canvassing for the 2010 head count, but it has thousands of field workers 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.

The Census Bureau is overseen by the Commerce Department.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our co-worker," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with William Sparkman's son, other family and friends."

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

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 modern, ultra-right-wing anti-government authors.

A private group called PEER, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, tracks violence against employees who enforce environmental regulations, but the group's executive director, Jeff Ruch, said it's hard to know about all of the cases because some agencies don't share data on instances of violence against employees.

From 1996 to 2006, according to the group's most recent data, violent incidents against federal Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service workers soared from 55 to 290.

Ruch said that after the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, "we kept getting reports from employees that attacks and intimidation against federal employees had not diminished, and that's why we've been tracking them."

"Even as illustrated in town hall meetings today, there is a distinct hostility in a large segment of the population toward people who work for their government," Ruch said.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jbzG_BlkG2Hfc818EPRRn1bBl P6gD9ATASJ00


 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 08:47 AM
quote:
and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.
Ya think? Yikes!

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 09:03 AM
Ok, so officially now, I admit that the USA is going to hell in a handbasket, but not for the reasons the neocons say it is

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 09:51 AM
WHAT??? Are you kidding me?

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 09:57 AM
What is really ironic is the census is provided for in the Constitution, something the yahoos cite when talking about their beloved guns. It's not like it is some new socialist plot.

What a shame. The guy was an Eagle Scout for god's sake.

 

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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 10:16 AM
Yeah the anti-government sentiment is quote whacky to say the least. We have a good friend, who when he started his career with the FBI, was stationed out in Idaho. He said he would go and drink at the local bar, but would never tell the people in the bar what he did because he legitimately feared for his life. He said that if they knew he worked for the government he would be a dead man.

I don’t get this beef against census workers or the census in general. Last time they did a census they came to my door in NYC, and quite frankly, I have no idea why anyone would be pissed at them. What is the big deal? Do people think government is trying to get information on them?

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 10:17 AM
quote:
That's messed up. All the Census Bureau does is collect data, analyze it and provide statistics, right?


Thats what they want you to think....

 

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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 10:19 AM
Awful story. Yeah, I can see some irony here, though you are pulling alot of things together there in a pretty broad brush Brock.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 10:29 AM
quote:
I don’t get this beef against census workers or the census in general. Last time they did a census they came to my door in NYC, and quite frankly, I have no idea why anyone would be pissed at them. What is the big deal? Do people think government is trying to get information on them?


Because people like Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, et al tell them that census takers are spying on them and are going to report back to Obama who's gonna make 'em turn into Muslims!! lol Fear is a powerful emotion and makes people become paranoid loonies.
The guy was just trying to earn some money in a way which is probably legal, as opposed to the paranoid, crazy hillbilly who took offense when asked a simple question: "How many people live in this house" or whatever, and look what happened. I remember when Eric Rudolph was running loose in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains and people were protecting the bastard...it's a scary mentality and it's only growing now that these loonies have the internet and their digital TV converters.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 10:30 AM
The Census has a lot of impact on society today beyond proportioning representation. Wish that's all they did (they should not need to know my race which then sets off a ton of other stuff). There is a lot more to their work than just collecting and analyzing data. Still, if the case is true and that's why the guy was killed, it is reprehensible.

[Edited on 9/24/2009 by hotlantatim]

 

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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 10:36 AM
Just wondering, because I don't recall ever being visited by a census taker before, but can you decline to be interviewed if approached? And it seems that with all the crazies that shoot first, ask questions later in abundance in our society now, they would stop the door to door method of collecting data. It's just too dangerous, as we've witnessed, for people to risk their lives anymore. Sad, really sad...

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 10:51 AM
Seems like the only time I had any contact with the Census folks, it was through a questionaire that came in the mail. Seems like when Regan was president.

 

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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 10:53 AM
As a wise person said once: We have the technology.....

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 10:53 AM
quote:
As a wise person said once: We have the technology.....


Thanks Al Gore.

 

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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 10:56 AM
"Steve Austin, astronaut; a man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. We can make him better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster."



 

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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 10:58 AM
Hee hee! Thanks, Hawk

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 11:01 AM
As a country we really need to get out of this government bashing mode. Not sure exactly what is being accomplished by the continued negativity and continual bashing of our friends, neighbors and fellow citizens.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 11:02 AM
Fox had a few more lines in their story about this murder.

MANCHESTER, Ky. — When Bill Sparkman told retired trooper Gilbert Acciardo that he was going door-to-door collecting census data in rural Kentucky, the former cop drawing on years of experience warned: "Be careful."

The 51-year-old Sparkman was found hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery and 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.

"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.


Like the days of moonshiners, wonder if its methlabbers that did this or just some of that good old time religious paranoia .



 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 11:07 AM
When I saw the headline, I thought this was going to be in another country, not here.

Not to make light of it, but I wonder why a 51 year old man's mother would mention he was an Eagle Scout.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 11:16 AM
quote:
When I saw the headline, I thought this was going to be in another country, not here.

Not to make light of it, but I wonder why a 51 year old man's mother would mention he was an Eagle Scout.


Just proud of her little boy.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 11:20 AM
The only pot growers out here who shoot people are Mexican cartel members, and nobody likes what they are doing to our forests.

 

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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 11:24 AM
But I honest to God just remember a story that was told around a little town in southeastern Oklahoma where I worked in 1981. There was a big, noisy, native American that everyone called Chief, and the story was that he had some pot growing down by the river, and two guys found it, and they found them hanging in a tree near the crop. I never asked him about it, though.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 11:57 AM
Didn't Michelle Bachmann get some stuff stirred up about the census takers and internment camps, etc?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 11:58 AM
quote:
Didn't Michelle Bachmann get some stuff stirred up about the census takers and internment camps, etc?


Yes, but any attempt to link that to this incident is already being met with great derision.

[Edited on 9/24/2009 by Bhawk]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/24/2009 at 12:22 PM
I'm not surprised....she's a republican and everyone knows they can say anyhting they want without fear of recrimination. I hope everyone one of those stupid fearmongering p.o.s. people who are empowering the crazies get back exactly what they're putting out there.....three fold!!!

 

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