New Details: Hanged Census Worker Found Naked and Gagged

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.”

Read more at:

Photo by Tara Kaprowy / Staff Writer


Judith B.
Past Member 8 years ago

If it was murder, and the motive for murder was a hatred towards the Census Bureau, there shouldn't be census taken anywhere. How does anybody know there isn't a copycat murderer waiting in every state, just waiting to end a census survey taker's life? Maybe the census questions should be reviewed...perhaps there was one that could really offend someone. I know this all sounds stupid but the world is a weird and surprising place.

Beverly G.
John Bilsborough8 years ago

How could you even suggest that. Did you ever think his family could be reading these posts. Thats lower than low

Donna Benjamin
Donna Benjamin8 years ago

this is such a sad occurrence, my prayers are with this man's family and friends
I happen to be on several newgroups that have differing opinions because for some reason there is no political group that agrees with me on every issue.
When I read the headline of this story my mind immediately said someone didn't want him GPSing their front door and they are trying to send a message. Not sure if anyone knows this but the census doesn't begin till 2010. The current administration has decided to have ACORN go and GPS locate within 50ft of every front door in America. Many people feel this is an invasion of public privacy. This could also be why the census worker was alone because he wasn't actually going into people's houses.
I really don't feel that this is any political parties fault. I especially don't feel that it is Rush's or Hannity or whoever's fault and by saying that they somehow encouraged this you are giving their public speaking skills way too much credit. The only one responsible for this occurring is the person who did it. Stop trying to play the blame game because all you are doing is encouraging more division and future violence.

Nightcat Mau
Nightcat Mau8 years ago

This makes me wonder what is wrong in this country. Myself, I'm wondering if he is one victim among many. His being part of the gov't may have nothing to do with it, despite the FED written on him.

It doesn't follow common sense to kill someone to send a message, then hide the body.

That his poor family has to go through this is terrible. The poor man will be dragged through the muck until yet another victim looks like he was "asking for it" or whatever other garbage people can think up.

I just hope the poor man wasn't raped on top of all the other pain and terror he went through. The killer obviously hated him deeply, and only Goddess knows why.

May he rest in peace and his famoly find comfort.

Elizabeth P.
Past Member 8 years ago

Marion, it looks like there are people in many counties, even the most liberal, who don't like the federal government very much. Yet they don't go around hanging census workers. If they wanted to kill a federal employee for being a federal employee, they have a post office or people who work for the post office possibly living in the area and carrying out local deliveries on a daily basis. It appears this man lived in the area, was a scout leader, a part time teacher and a single parent. It is unclear to me just how far into this county he lived, but he did move into that area. The poor man was decomposed when he was found. This is significant because it helps the police establish a timeline. More than likely, he was hung there during the night. I doubt he would be taking census info at that time. Was the crime premeditated or a spur of the moment fit of rage. I still think it's possible he was held prisoner in someone's house and even killed there. He was found hanging, but it doesn't say anywhere if his neck was actually broken. Was he a strong, fit man? Could he have fought off his attacker(s)? He had two other jobs....scout leader and part time teacher. Did the community know his political beliefs whatever they might have been? How long had he been a census taker? This crime is across the board. Something triggered it off, perhaps people who didn't even live there. You'd have to really hate a community to call attention to an act like this right in ur own backyard.

Elizabeth P.
Past Member 8 years ago

This killing looks like your typical backwoods
nutters, but I don't think so. I think you're dealing either with teenage goofballs, or people who are so nuts that a tiny bit of federal authority in the form of an ID Card scared the hell out of them. A detective should trace his route, the area he was canvassing, and the houses he went to. I believe he may have been in someone's house talking to them, perhaps a disabled vet or someone who feels very cheated by the government. Maybe he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He knocked on the wrong door. It's up to the detectives to find the house that Jack built and take it apart and unmask this piddleputz who killed a federal employee and who says it's not connected to the poll on Facebook. I wonder if this man was sexually assaulted? His route, his path must be traced with utmost care if this pathetic goofball is going to get caught.

Judy P.
Judy P8 years ago

These are the demons that exist in society -- The devil is live and well in America -- He leaves no stone unturned in proving how he has his angels at work! They may not get caught while wandering upon this earth seeking whom they may devour but the Lord will have His day with them all! Vile individuals they are! Merciless with no conscious! Cowards too!

Marion Y.
Marion Y8 years ago

"That shows you how important how the whites are verses the blacks. The only place it is even spoken about it is on this site and that is really really sad."

Carol, what rock have you been living under? This is a racist, irresponsible and WRONG statement. Also, this is all over the internet. Grab the java and wake up.

Susan S.
Susan S8 years ago

I don't believe that this man was killed because he was working as a census worker. I believe that he stumbled on to something and was killed without them knowing who he was to begin with. It is a shame that he was just trying to do a job and was killed. Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity don't tell people to go and kill others, that would be a kool-aid drinker. People who are doing things wrong have been killing others for a long time. Meth lab, still, pot field or what, they are out there and anyone that doesn't know that really has his head in the sand. Wake up to what is going on around you.

Elizabeth F.
Elizabeth F8 years ago

That poor, poor man. How evil can you get. I hope they rot in hell for what they did to him. They are MONSTERS - as simple as that. They don't deserve any justice from anyone or any God.

"Oh, never a brute in the forest,
And never a snake in the fen,
Or ravening bird, starvation stirred,
Has hunted its prey like men. 

For hunger, and fear, and passion 

Alone drive beasts to slay, 

But wonderful man, the crown of the plan, 

Tortures, and kills, for play. "

May he rest in peace.