UPDATE 2:40 p.m.: The official report:
Frankfort, Ky.) -- The Kentucky State Police Post 11 in London, with the assistance of the FBI, the U.S. Forest Service, the State Medical Examiner's Office and the Clay County Coroner's Office, has concluded the investigation into the death of William E. Sparkman, Jr.UPDATE 2:50 p.m.: Michelle Malkin hasn't forgotten, and Dan Riehl says Sparkman may even have faked cancer.
The investigation, based upon evidence and witness testimony, has concluded that Mr. Sparkman died during an intentional, self-inflicted act that was staged to appear as a homicide. While all the details of the investigation will not be released at this time, the unusual level of attention and speculation attributed to Mr. Sparkman's death necessitates this release of information.
The investigation indicates that Mr. Sparkman died of asphyxiation/strangulation at the same location where he was discovered in Clay County, Ky.
Despite the fact that Mr. Sparkman was found hands, feet and mouth bound with duct tape, rope around his neck and the word "FED" written on his chest, analysis of the evidence determined Mr. Sparkman's death was self-inflicted. A thorough examination of evidence from the scene, to include DNA testing, as well as examination of his vehicle and his residence resulted in the determination that Mr. Sparkman, alone, handled the key pieces of evidence with no indications of any other persons involved.
Witness statements, which are deemed credible, indicate Mr. Sparkman discussed ending his own life and these discussions matched details discovered during the course of the investigation. It was learned that Mr. Sparkman had discussed recent federal investigations and the perceived negative attitudes toward federal entities by some residents of Clay County. It was also discovered during the investigation that Mr. Sparkman had recently secured two life insurance policies for which payment for suicide was precluded.
All tips and leads, including those from the public, were thoroughly investigated but were found to be inconsistent with any known facts or evidence.
It is the conclusion of the Kentucky State Police, the FBI, the U.S. Forest Service, the State Medical Examiner's Office, and the Clay County Coroner's Office that Mr. Sparkman died in an intentional, self-inflicted act that was staged to appear as a homicide.
UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: With perfect consistency, Allahpundit (a) arrives three hours late to the story and (b) doesn't link me, even though (c) I filed a 4,000-word article about my Kentucky trip in the Hot Air Green Room.
That report, you'll note, was intended to be Part 1 of a series, but I never finished the second part. Why? Because under no circumstance will Allah ever headline or front-page anything I do in the Green Room. At some point, the perpetual non-linkage sends a message: "Don't even bother trying."
Allah Hates Me. Because I Suck.
PREVIOUSLY (1:05 p.m.): A 2 p.m. press conference has been announced. It is believed that KSP and FBI have concluded that census worker Bill Sparkman's death was suicide. My friend Morgan Bowling of the Manchester (Ky.) Enterprise, who has covered this story from the beginning, sent me the KSP press release.
UPDATE 1:27 p.m.: Associated Press and CBS report the press conference, without mentioning how their own irresponsible reporting effectively libeled Clay County, Ky., as a dangerous hotbed of right-wing violence:
An Associated Press report said the FBI was "investigating whether anti-government sentiment" played a role in Sparkman's death. Law enforcement officials criticized that story, but the liberal blogosphere seized on it as proving that conservatives had fomented a killing rage among the yokels.Well, you biased bastards, I have not forgotten the perfidious role you played here, and you will not escape blame for your journalistic malpractice.
"Send the body to Glenn Beck," Internet pundit Rick Ungar proclaimed Thursday, also indicting Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann (a Republican who had warned that census data could be abused) among right-wingers presumed complicit in Sparkman's murder.
Saturday, the Atlantic Monthly's Andrew Sullivan fretted over "the most worrying possibility," namely that Sparkman's death was "Southern populist terrorism whipped up by the GOP and its Fox and talk radio cohorts."
UPDATE 2 p.m.: Yes, we remember all those headlines at Memeorandum. Yes, Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Ungar we remember all your irresponsible speculation. The people of Clay County, Ky., await your apologies.