January 15, 2010

Murder, Schmurder: KY Census Worker Planned Suicide, per AP, Yet Story Calling It Murder Remains Uncorrected

census_bureau_seal

Today, Roger Alford and Bruce Schreiner of the Associated Press, reporting from Frankfort, KY, are giving leftist bloggers, columnists, journalists who assumed or gave the impression of assuming that the death of Census worker Bill Sparkman was some kind of right-wing hit job another chance to come clean with an unconditional “I was wrong, I amy sorry.” The list of those needing to post apologies and corrections includes the AP itself.

You see, not only is it crystal clear that Sparkman (may he rest in peace) indeed killed himself, Alford and Schreiner tell us that he told a friend of his plans:

Jan 15, 6:09 PM EST

Police: Ky. census worker had told of suicide plan

An eastern Kentucky census worker found naked, bound and hanging from a tree had told a friend he intended to kill himself and that he had chosen the time, place and method to do it, police records show.

Those records about the death of Bill Sparkman were released Friday to The Associated Press by the Kentucky State Police.

Sparkman, 51, was found strangled with a rope around his neck near a rural cemetery in September with the word “fed” scrawled on his chest. It triggered a state and federal investigation that ultimately determined he had committed suicide.

The records show that Sparkman’s friend, Lowell Adams, who had worked for Sparkman as a part-time security guard since 2007, told investigators that the federal employee wanted his suicide to look like a murder.

Adams said Sparkman told him that he had even practiced self-asphyxiation and had been able to cause himself to black out before he staged his death.

Sparkman’s body was found Sept. 12 near Hoskins Cemetery in a heavily wooded area of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Investigators said Sparkman’s wrists were bound so loosely that he could have done the taping himself. He was touching the ground almost to his knees. To survive, “all Mr. Sparkman had to do at any time was stand up,” Capt. Lisa Rudzinksi of the Kentucky State Police said.

Adams, who passed a polygraph test on his statements, told authorities Sparkman paid him $7.50 per hour in cash to travel with him in the remote areas when he canvassed door to door for the census.

“In reality Bill spoke with me several times about killing himself and, on the Saturday before his death he told me he was going to kill himself on the next Wednesday,” Adams said in a written statement included in more than 200 pages of investigative records.

The fact that there were many suicide indicators from the very beginning didn’t stop a number of leftist commentators and reporters from prematurely calling Sparkman’s death a murder with an implication of right-wing extremist involvement, including …. a story from the AP that is still positioned comfortably at CBS.com without any indication whatsoever that it is need of correction. The wire service even used the “T-Word” in describing Sparkman’s death:

Terror in Kentucky: Census Worker’s Murder

It was a bizarre and gruesome discovery in a remote section of eastern Kentucky: Bill Sparkman, a 51-year-old teacher and part-time worker for the United States Census, was found two weeks ago hanging from a tree with the word “Fed” scrawled on his chest in felt tip pen.

A man who said he was among those who found the body told tells the Associated Press that Sparkman was naked, bound at the hands and feet with duct tape and gagged – details that have not yet been confirmed by authorities.

Jerry Weaver of Ohio told the Associated Press he was visiting a cemetery in rural Kentucky with family members on Sept. 12 when he, his wife and daughter saw the body.

“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.

“He was murdered,” Weaver said. “There’s no doubt.”

Oops.

AP isn’t alone in still having plentiful egg on its face.

In late November, faux conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan refused to back down or revise a post entitled “No Suicide” that began by claiming that “That’s (i.e., that it wasn’t a suicide — Ed.) the one thing we know for certain now in the case of the Kentucky lynching.” Despite the obviousness of that opening, Sullivan, in a worse than pathetic response to Michelle Malkin’s call for a retraction, cited wiggly words he wrote later in the post to “prove” that he hadn’t really concluded that Sparkman’s death was a murder.

Sullivan wrapped his desultory defense by writing that “Malkin is a journalist in the sense that I am ‘far-left.’” Well Andrew, on this one you are far left and thus far have chosen to stay there, making Michelle one heck of a journalist by your own logic. Exactly what about your “No Suicide” title did we fail to understand? Today’s AP report gives you a second chance to man up; I would suggest that you take it, but you’re at least six years removed from listening to reason.

Maybe Sullivan and other lefties will resist pouncing on the next unclear situation that seems to favor their narrative until more facts are in, but I somehow doubt it.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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