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Authorities rule Census worker's death a suicide

Posted On Wed, November 25, 2009

According to authorities, a Census Bureau worker's apparent murder was actually a suicide, possibly motivated by an attempt to have family members cash in on two life insurance policies.

Bill Sparkman, 51, was found hanging near a cemetery in Kentucky in September. At the time, some thought that the death was a homicide, possibly in connection to anti-government sentiment. Sparkman, a part-time worker for the Census, was found bound and gagged with the word "Fed" written on his body.

However, authorities have determined that Sparkman acted alone in the act. According to a report from the Associated Press, authorities found that the bindings were loose enough for Sparkman to do them himself. Furthermore, a report from ABC News stated that authorities concluded that Sparkman was the only person to have handled important pieces of evidence in connection with his death.

Sparkman had recently taken out two life insurance policies, however, neither of them would pay out for a suicide. According to the Insurance Information Institute, life insurance policies may include a provision that will deny payment if the insured person ends up taking their own life.
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