The FBI is investigating whether the death of a U.S. Census worker found hanged from a tree in Kentucky is linked to anti-government sentiment.From the Toronto Star.
When Bill Sparkman told retired trooper Gilbert Acciardo that he was going door-to-door collecting census data in rural Kentucky, the former cop drew on years of experience for a warning: "Be careful."
The 51-year-old Sparkman was found this month hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery with the word "fed" scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.
"Even though he was with the Census Bureau, sometimes people can view someone with any government agency as 'the government.' I just was afraid that he might meet the wrong character along the way up there," said Acciardo, who directs an after-school program at an elementary school where Sparkman was a frequent substitute teacher.
The Census Bureau has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, until the investigation is complete, an official said.
Edited to add: The official story now seems to be that it was a suicide made to look like homicide for insurance purposes. I suppose that's possible, but I also know that investigation of certain kinds of crimes is sketchy in some of those areas. Still, you'd think the FBI (who were involved in the investigation) would take seriously any attack on federal agents, because they could easily be next. Of course, that's no guarantee that the state police will follow any advice the FBI might have offered...