EDITOR’S NOTE: A portion of the original content of this post has been edited to broaden the debate to include mainstream media (MSM) and all blogs (along with associated writers and commenters) that engaged on this topic earlier. Thank you. -TS
Joe already reported on it briefly, (and I also noted this from allahpundit) but I think a bit more detail and an apology are in order. For those of you who missed the earlier coverage, it seems that authorities have ruled census worker Bill Sparkman’s death a suicide. How did they determine this? Click through the last link for the full story, but the lengthy investigation revealed a number of factors, including these, not released by the investigators at the time. (And rightly so.)
Sparkman previously had cancer, which had gone into remission, but he told a friend he was afraid it had returned.
He told a friend he planned to kill himself on the Saturday before he died, and how he would do it. The friend didn’t think he was serious and, sadly, failed to report it.
He had taken out two life insurance policies in May, totaling more than one half million dollars, which would not pay off if he had died of natural causes or suicide, but only in the case of accident or homicide.
His hands which were “taped together” were so loosely bound he could stretch them to shoulder width.
He was “hung” but his knees were inches off the ground and he could have stood up to save his life.
There were no other wounds, offensive or defensive, on his body or drugs in is system to indicate an assault of some sort.
At the time, I wrongly jumped to a conclusion in my column, The Ghouls Surrounding Bill Sparkman. I assumed at that time that the most likely cause of death was murder by some local moonshiners or pot farmers or other mountain folk up to no good. Obviously, I was incorrect, and I apologize. This was obviously an ill and deeply troubled man, dealing with an illness, a lack of a job and family problems, who decided to take this route out of his problems.
Of course, there were some other writers in Blogtopia and MSM who also jumped to their own conclusion about how Sparkman died… theories which have not panned out given the current evidence. I’m sure they will be along shortly with their own apologies to set the record straight.