Via the Lexington Herald-Leader:
FRANKFORT — Days before a U.S. Census worker was found dead near a secluded Clay County cemetery, he told another man he planned to kill himself but make it look as if he’d been murdered, according to the state police case file released Friday.
William E. Sparkman Jr. of London told Lowell Adams he had practiced asphyxiating himself by placing a bag over his head and had blacked out at times, Adams told police.
Sparkman said that when he was going “to do it for real,” he planned to put a rope around his neck, tie it to a tree, put blocks on his feet for weight and throw himself down a hill, Adams told police.
“Bill said he wanted to kill himself rather than die from cancer,” Adams said in a written statement to police.
Sparkman, 51, asked Adams to help him because he wasn’t sure he could complete the suicide alone, but Adams refused, according to the file.
Visitors to the cemetery saw Sparkman’s body Sept. 12 and called police.
He was wearing only socks, and his hands were bound with duct tape, though he could have moved them several inches apart. There was a rope around his neck tied to a tree, but his feet were in contact with the ground.
The police file included some new details, though authorities had released most of the information in November when they closed the case.
Police say Sparkman was trying to preserve payments under two $300,000 life-insurance policies that would have paid off if he died accidentally or was murdered, but not if he killed himself.
Sparkman said in a letter he left that his son, Josh, of London, was the beneficiary of one policy and Adams was the beneficiary of the other.
Sparkman had been successfully treated for cancer in 2008 but apparently was worried the cancer had returned.
Adams at first told police he had no details on Sparkman’s death but provided information after being asked to take a lie-detector test at the FBI office in London.
The polygraph examiner concluded Adams told the truth when he said he did not help Sparkman die.
The information from Adams was one key factor in the conclusion by police that Sparkman killed himself, but there were several others.
For instance, Sparkman had no wounds to show he had fought with someone or been assaulted.
There were no signs of a struggle at the scene, either, and police found only Sparkman’s DNA on items there.
Medical examiners concluded that Sparkman wrote the letters “fed” on himself because they were applied from the bottom up — not the way someone facing Sparkman would have done it.
Sparkman’s socks were dirty on the bottom, indicating he walked to the spot where he died on his own.
And Sparkman had a bone fracture in his neck that was healing, which was consistent with Adams’ statement that Sparkman said he had practiced asphyxiating himself.
Investigators found a note Sparkman had left at his home for his son.
“In a best-case scenario (at least for you), the accident policy will provide enough for you to live off the interest. Do not blow the money on anything,” Sparkman wrote to his son. “This was meant to provide for you in case something happened to me.
“Whatever the case, I love you and will always do so.”
This is a sad story all around. A mother lost her son, and a son lost his father. The family doesn’t believe that Sparkman killed himself, and has hired a private investigator of their own to dig through all the details surrounding his death. Whatever the family’s investigator concludes, I hope one day they will find closure to all of this. It sounds like the police and investigators were pretty thorough in this case, though.
In light of this new news – and the initial police news release in which they informed the public of their belief that Sparkman killed himself, I’m still waiting on the massive round of apologies from the left for using this man’s death for shameless political purposes via jumping to conclusions and making snide and denigrating insinuations about “murderous” conservatives as soon as this story broke. I won’t hold my breath. The ends justify the means in their eyes, and all that.