Census worker's death ruled a suicide


Kentucky law enforcement officials today said Bill Sparkman, the Census worker who was found hanged Sept. 12 in a national forest with “fed” scrawled on his chest, actually committed suicide. According to an Associated Press report, authorities said Sparkman staged his death to look like a murder:

Sparkman had recently taken out two life insurance policies 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.

He was not eligible for a separate life insurance policy through the government because his census work was intermittent, Census Bureau spokesman Stephen Buckner has previously said.

The Census Bureau suspended door-to-door interviews in the rural county after Sparkman’s body was found.

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

UPDATE: The Lexington Herald-Leader has more details on the case here.


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