More news has surfaced about the conditions surrounding the death of Bill Sparkman, the Census worker found hanged in rural Kentucky on September 12th. According to a witness who discovered the Sparkman’s body, he was was “naked, gagged and had his hands and feet bound with duct tape.” Jerry Weaver of Fairfield, Ohio also confirmed that an ID card was taped to Sparkman’s shoulder area, a fact authorites have confirmed. In previous reports, authorties confirmed that the word “fed” was written on Sparkman’s chest.
There is no doubt in Weaver’s mind what happened to Bill Sparkman: “He was murdered. There’s no doubt.”
Weaver told the AP in an interview about the state of Sparkman’s body when he and some fellow family members discovered it:
“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.”
“And they even had duct tape around his neck. 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.”
Authorties have release few official details surrounding Sparkman’s death, but these new details seem to confirm the fears of many, that Sparkman may have been targeted because he worked for the federal government. An alternative theory, that Sparkman may have stumbled into an area rife with illegal drug activity had been raised as if it removes suspicion that Sparkman was a victim because of his part-time census work. Indeed, being bound, gagged, and hanged and having the word “fed” written across your chest would seem to confirm that while the original motive may not have been related to his being a Census employee, it certainly played a role in the minds of those who killed him.
As ThinkProgress points out tonight:
“The gruesome lynching of this Census worker seems to bear a disturbing similarity to some of the worst hate crimes committed across this country. Regardless of what the motive for the killing may have been, why would a murderer(s) take such pains to so blatantly convey anger, fear, and vitriol towards a Census employee? Perhaps because some on the right have created an impression that Census employees are terrifying.”