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Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:55 PM

The Hanging (The death invesitgation of William Sparkman, census worker in KY)

The body of William Sparkman Jr., a 51-year-old census worker, was found in 2009 in an isolated cemetery in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. He hung naked from a tree, hands bound, the word FED scrawled in black marker across his chest. Sparkman's death briefly made headlines: to some, it seemed to implicate our polarized politics; to others, a region long known for its insularity. And then the case disappeared from the national view. Here is the story of what really happened to Bill Sparkman, a complex man whom few people truly knew.

The road to Hoskins Cemetery snakes deep into the Daniel Boone National Forest, a 700,000-acre swath of rugged wilderness in southeastern Kentucky.

The cemetery isnít easy to find; it lies hidden about 100 yards off Arnetts Fork Road, a narrow, winding stretch of pavement that ends abruptly at a grassy clearing, about a mile farther on. Hunkered down along its final half mile are about 15 weathered ranch houses and ramshackle trailers. Most of the families living along the road have been doing so for generations, eking out a hardscrabble existence driving tow trucks or repairing cars or digging up and selling wild ginseng and other herbal roots. Jagged ridges wall off this tiny community, making it a lot like many other places in Clay Countyóremote, clannish, and foreboding, even to Kentuckians from the next county over.

To reach Arnetts Fork, you must drive two miles into the forest on Big Double Creek Road. In late spring and summer, the thick brush lining the road and a canopy of leaves overhead form a sort of cocoon. Cellphone service is spotty. Outsiders say that if you stumble across any people in these woods, chances are theyíre up to no good. Itís the kind of place you donít go without a gun.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/03/the-hanging/309210/?single_page=true

I remember this story, but had long forgotten about it.


6 replies, 1615 views

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Reply The Hanging (The death invesitgation of William Sparkman, census worker in KY) (Original post)
morningfog Feb 2013 OP
hedda_foil Feb 2013 #1
juxtaposed Feb 2013 #2
hedda_foil Feb 2013 #3
Rhiannon12866 Feb 2013 #4
iamthebandfanman Feb 2013 #5
Zero Division Feb 2013 #6

Response to morningfog (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:28 PM

1. I had almost forgotten about this horrible tragedy.

Rightwing nutjob convinced the census was an evil socialist plot. Can as anyone remember who was spreading this insanity? Savage, maybe?

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:33 PM

2. michele bachmann

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:02 AM

3. I just finished the story. Wierdly, it was a suicide made to look like murder.

Great story.

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:56 AM

4. I remember this, too! Very strange, thanks for posting the rest of the story...

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:17 AM

5. saw right wingers on the comments saying

to the effect 'Oh that darn rachel maddow making up stuff! she never even said it was a suicide and corrected the story!'...
unfortunately for them,
the show did run a small segment correcting it on november 24th of 2009...
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/34148801/ns/msnbc-rachel_maddow_show/t/rachel-maddow-show-tuesday-november/

ope.

sorry right wingers, left wingers actually do care if they are wrong about something..

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:30 AM

6. That was a great read.

Also a good reminder that we need to keep an open mind instead of just making assumptions based on self-made narratives that arise from our biases.

I remember reading about this case here when it first came to light in the media. Thanks for posting this!

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