LONDON, Ky. --- Trying to make it look like he was the victim of a brutal anti-governmentmurder, census worker Bill Sparkman actually committed suicide so his family could collect a large insurance payment, Kentucky state police say. In September, Sparkman was found hanging from a tree with the word "Fed" written on his chest.
State police and the FBI claim Sparkman had purchased two life insurance
policies that would not pay out for suicide. Evidence indicates Sparkman hoped the scheme would benefit his son, Josh Sparkman.
Police said today that Sparkman's wrists were bound in front of him,
in a position from which he could easily have wriggled free.
Here's the statement from the Kentucky state police:
The investigation, based upon evidence and witness testimony, has
concluded that Mr. Sparkman died during an intentional, self-inflicted
act that was staged to appear as a homicide. While all the details of
the investigation will not be released at this time, the unusual level
of attention and speculation attributed to Mr. Sparkman's death
necessitates this release of information.
The investigation indicates that Mr. Sparkman died of
asphyxiation/strangulation at the same location where he was discovered
in Clay County, Ky.
Despite the fact that Mr. Sparkman was found hands, feet and mouth
bound with duct tape, rope around his neck and the word "FED" written
on his chest, analysis of the evidence determined Mr. Sparkman's death
was self-inflicted. A thorough examination of evidence from the scene,
to include DNA testing, as well as examination of his vehicle and his
residence resulted in the determination that Mr. Sparkman, alone,
handled the key pieces of evidence with no indications of any other
Witness statements, which are deemed credible, indicate Mr. Sparkman
discussed ending his own life and these discussions matched details
discovered during the course of the investigation. It was learned that
Mr. Sparkman had discussed recent federal investigations and the
perceived negative attitudes toward federal entities by some residents
of Clay County. It was also discovered during the investigation that
Mr. Sparkman had recently secured two life insurance policies for which
payment for suicide was precluded.
All tips and leads, including those from the public, were thoroughly
investigated but were found to be inconsistent with any known facts or
It is the conclusion of the Kentucky State Police, the FBI, the U.S.
Forest Service, the State Medical Examiner's Office, and the Clay
County Coroner's Office that Mr. Sparkman died in an intentional,
self-inflicted act that was staged to appear as a homicide.