The horrible death of Bill Sparkman in backwoods Kentucky has brought out the usual collection of vultures, ghouls and opportunists. Even though everyone admits that details remain sketchy and investigating officials are (rightly) keeping some pertinent facts close to the vest, the piling on started almost immediately. We’ve had some of it right here at TMV, but you don’t have to look far to find more… and more… and more who are careful to couch their assertions with “maybes” but still seem ready to declare that this politician or that pundit could be at the root of it. Others from the accused side of the aisle stand equally prepared to fire spitballs back across the wall.

The fact remains that the facts are not known. Was Bill murdered by some politically motivated zealot? Was he killed by paranoid meth cookers or pot growers in a region historically rife with bootleggers? Or did he simply run into a serial killer roaming the back country in search of victims? Again, we don’t know.

What we do know is that an economically struggling cancer survivor left behind two children who will never have their father come home again. We know that a single man, for whatever reason, died a lonely, horrific, gruesome death out in the mountains. No matter what your political preferences, you might want to save the thinly veiled end zone dances and opportunistic attacks until the family can begin pulling itself together and the officials get a bit further in their investigative work.

JAZZ SHAW, Assistant Editor
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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • JeffersonDavis

    The absulute MOST LIKELY scenario is that Mr. Sparkman ran into bootleggers (marijuana or moonshine). I would bet money on it, and most likely win.For those who immediately assume “political martyrdom” is absurd. That kind of speculation is great for either side to pin on the other, when a huge power struggle (healthcare, etc) is happening in DC.This area of Kentucky has been in the “shine” business since the place was settled in the 18th Century. It’s an enclave where people keep to themselves and law enforcement doesn’t dare mess with the bootleggers. They simply do not have the resources.

    Mr. Sparkman was simply in the wrong place. And with US Government tags, you don’t get welcomed there.

    • TheMagicalSkyFather

      Usually when you run into the type of gent’s you are speaking of they do not find the body for at least a few years. They may be trying to throw off the scent with the Fed thing though I have my doubts. If this was a multi-generational shine or grow operation he would have just “disappeared.” That’s the area I am from, those people know what they are doing but it is highly likely that he ran into some teenagers business and maybe they tried to cover it up this way. I have no real clue but shine or a large grow operation I find kind of laughable since they found the body and it was being displayed for effect not hidden to hide the crime which is the norm. Unless we are now becoming like Mexico here.

      • JeffersonDavis

        I agree. But the “like mexico” comment may have some merit.
        If you get a “typical” shine or grow operation, coupled with the general anti-government mentality these days (and a general mistrust of anything Obama-related) could embrazing are more stupid member of an operation.

    • Interrupting Reply Bot 2014

      No way. No respectable moonshiner would go through that amount of savagery. YOU DON’T WANT YOUR STILL TO GET BUSTED UP AND GO TO JAIL- see, that’s how it works. Likewise you don’t want to lose, or draw attention to, the 3 acres of high-grade cannibas you have growing in a field. You spent all year watering it, tending it, dodging the local and state cops for it- the last thing you want to do is draw THAT kind of attention.

      No, this was either a sick psycho-sexual sort of thing, or it was a genuine rebel stirred up by Glenn Beck. Either way, the killers had a message to send. Now, was the message put there to make a point, or to fool US into thinking that the point is the important thing, and as a smokescreen?

      • JeffersonDavis

        You could be right, Kinsey.

        But in all fairness…. Not only could it be a genuine rebel stir-up by Glenn Beck, but also could be a genuine liberal blame-it-on-Beck tactic. That’s happened before. Remember the liberal that vandalized with conservative writings on the wall in an attempt to bring a bit of martyrdom to his cause? That didn’t happen too long ago.

        But I see your point. I’ve met some of the moonshiners a long time ago. Good people, actually. But boy do they hate the government.

        • Interrupting Reply Bot 2014

          Just trying to think like a cop here- but YOU could be right, too. And moonshiners and potgrowers are just like everybody else, right? Some are good, honest people, and some would stab you in the back if you stepped into their shadow. Well, time will tell- have a great day!

  • Okay, if his murder was related to his stumbling upon some illegal activity, then why display him like that? I would think that they would want to draw as little attention to them as possible and discreetly dispose of his body. Stringing him up naked with Fed scrawled across his chest and tagging him like a deer isn’t what I would call discreet. Seems more like an extreme political statement to me.

    And I would hope that when these persons are brought to trial, whatevere their motive, among all the counts they will be brought up on, that terrorism is one of them, because this is exactly what this is. This act was meant to be known and create a sense of fear towards persons connected with the federal government.

  • ElZagna

    Both JeffersonDavis and AshenShard make good points, but while it’s more likely (from a pure statistical point of view) to accidentally run into paranoid drug dealers than political extremists, the crime scene is more consistent with a political statement.

    Considering the amount of duct tape used and the time it had to take to commit this crime, there should be plenty of forensic evidence to work through. I expect arrests to happen soon.

  • elrod

    I agree with Jazz that we should hold off for a moment. I live in Appalachia and I know what goes through many people’s minds when they hear about a gruesome murder in the mountains. I do think that a politically motivated act of terrorism is a real possibility – even more likely than a meth rat. Drug dealers usually don’t deliberately draw attention to their acts.

  • Leonidas

    This is definately a wait and see case.

  • RAH

    I expect the poor man ran into meth criminals and was id as a fed since he was a census taker. Meth labs and those that run them are very dangerous.

  • DLS

    There’s no need to rush to judgment or seize another fake excuse to attack widespread public opposition to the Dems’ overreach in Washington.

    Yes, if anything, the most likely explanation is that he found a dope growing operation or a meth works.

  • LionAslan

    May he rest in peace, regardless of all speculation.

  • kasperhauser

    Suicide….60% chance

    Stumbled on a meth lab…..30% chance

    Personal issue……..7 % chance

    Random crime……> 2.5 % chance

    Motivated soley by anti-government animosity……< 0.5 % chance

    • Interrupting Reply Bot 2014

      hah hah hah- I’ll check back in three weeks and see how your crystal ball is working.

  • Davebo

    “Suicide….60% chance”

    Hilarious. Let me guess, he was unhappy working for the Feds so he scrawled the word on his chest and then hung himself?

    Seriously, you do have the infamous “Courage to believe” that Rush talks about.

  • kasperhauser

    Okay. Based on the news that just came out that his hand were duct taped behind his back, I think I’m going to have to drop that chance of “suicide” down to about 40%…

  • Wannabe_Centrist

    I know there is still work to be done on catching the killer/s but the notion of suicide is very offensive considering that this man seemed to have a very positive attitude despite his cancer. It is disgraceful and I do not understand why TMV would allow such comments to be posted here aside from showing everyone what that persons true colors are.

  • tomjoyce

    Jazz do you see why some of us do not follow the “Plague on both your Houses!” David Broder scenario? kasperhouser wants to believe a man duct-taped his own hands behind his back and hung himself naked because he knows that there have been Right Wing killers at the Holocaust Museum, in Pittsburgh, and in churches. Kasperhouse wants to blame this person for his own death so that IF the news comes out that someone did this for political reasons, he will have already introduced doubts as to this being just another suicide.

    Then he will bring up the discredited case of The Wheelchair Hero of St. Louis and the actual case of the finger-biter to assert the left is violent.

    Unfortunately, it is the Right Wing that is preaching the Doom Warnings. And many Americans are armed and frustrated and angry.

  • tomjoyce

    I endorse wannabe-centrists objection. I know why kasperhouse wants us to think suicide, as I explain above, but why themoderatevoice.com cannot be a refuge from this kind of attack is sad for America.

  • mlhradio

    Fully understandable that in this uber-politicized environment where everything is viewed through a right-wing/left-wing lens, that the explanations and theories as to what happened involve one political party or another. Anti-government sentiment is definitely not the exclusive parlance of the right-wing – there are people on the left (as well as people of no particular party affiliation) that have a hatred of the government, too. I kinda doubt that the person or people that did this were thinking of the effects on national political discourse when they did the dirty deed – more likely nothing more complicated than “I hate anything involving the government, so I’ll scrawl Fed on his chest” and that’s it.

    Of course, it’s all speculation at this point (about the only thing that has been ruled out for sure is that this was not a suicide), and unless the murder(ers) are caught, we may never know for sure.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the anti-American commentators (e.g. those even more venomous and hate-filled than Glenn Be(c)k or Limbaugh or Levin) start suggesting that this was a “plant” by some left-wing group to try and make those on the right look bad. Or maybe they’re already suggesting it, I dunno.

  • Paul Rise

    Ghouls? I think the idea that businesslike meth dealers or marijuana (seriously? is this a Glenn Beck site?) growers tortured Bill Sparkman to death and left him hanging on tree with “FED” written on his body is ridiculous. The real ghouls are the drug war dupes! The ONLY question is whether Bill Sparkman was murdered or a suicide – and the people who found the body are on record as saying it looked like a murder scene. People are waking up to the violence of the far right in this country, as sites like billsparkman.blogspot.com attest. I personally demand justice be done for Bill Sparkman. Leftists and moderates alike need to WAKE UP – the violent right in this country doesn’t care if you are a leftwinger or a moderate – you’re just an enemy to that machine. You’re just another Bill Sparkman to them,

  • Paul Rise

    To add to my earlier comment – a drug dealer might indeed have killed a census worker if they had stumbled on their plot or lab – but they wouldn’t have drawn attention to the murder! The worker would have disappeared in the woods. Can we can this dumb idea that a “drug dealer” killed Sparkman? Ridiculous!

  • neshobanakni

    People trying to assign a political motive to this murder may be way off base. My daughter was a census worker and ran into a number of paranoid people who react badly to “the man” looking into their lives. I believe it likely that one or several of these crazies wanted to make a point that strangers should never come around asking questions in Clay County. As horrible as it seems, I think he was taped and strung up on his toes … eventually he passed out or fell asleep and the knot closed up. He had no way to open it and after the blood was blocked to his brain, he asphyxiated. I don’t know if they ever came back to cut him loose, but I’ll bet they were too stupid to realize how lethal their actions were. They wanted to make an example, and instead they killed a good man.

  • dankleitman

    Many posters point out that murderers under most circumstances do not purposefully call attention to their crimes. This suggests that the most likely possibilities are either
    1. the murderer is a wierdo trying to call attention to his crime for whatever reason, or
    2. the murderer did his mutilation to mislead law enforcement in order to distract attention from himself.

  • In mexico, drug lords leave severed heads by the side of the road, to send a message.
    The locals may have had orders from their associates, who think the same tactics would work in KY. They may have some good reasons for this belief.

    While it will temporarily attract some police attention, “revenoors” would likely get limited co-operation from the locals, and it would certainly discourage individual civilians from venturing there.

    “You better stay away from Copperhead Road”.

    The solution?

    Make it so hot there that the other drug dealers neutralise the problem.
    “the government could no longer remain a passive spectator of the contempt with which the laws were treated.”

    And by that I mean:
    “Use of unnecessary violence in apprehension of the Blues Brothers.. has been authorized.”

    • JeffersonDavis

      That was awesome, Zoe.

    • Paul Rise

      In Mexico the police and/or military are the ones carrying out these crimes. Again – there’s no way someone operating a secret meth lab or marijuana plot would murder a witness and then call attention to the crime. Even if this activity is going on in the area (I don’t see stats, just allegations and assumptions that a place like this would be a hotbed of activity) locals already know to look the other way. And if they felt they had to off someone who saw too much, they would bury the body in a shallow grave up in the woods.

  • pavel52

    Rieshstag Fire

    Are there any SEIU offices in the area? Since they have been the violent ones in the tea parties last month, biting fingers off and beating up black men. Even going so far as to trashing DNC offices in false flag attacks.

  • JeffCarlson

    When right wing pundits point out that they are being smeared by the left they are “equally prepared to fire spitballs back across the wall”. So they are engaging in the same behavior as the left ? That is how you claim to be a moderate voice ?
    They are not trying to use the horrible death of a man for political advantage. It is the left that are being ghouls here, not the right.

  • JeffCarlson

    yeah right drug dealers have brilliant criminal minds … especially meth dealers …

  • wzevon

    We are talking about the South here. The attitudes and mentalities that led to Bill Sparkman’s murder are the same attitudes and mentalities that led to the murder of four for registering black voters in Mississippi. And I have no doubt he was murdered for the same reasons.

    Is it any wonder that those…”people” refuse to accept that Barack Obama is a native-born black American who won the presidency in a legitimate election?