Life Insurance Scam Eyed in Hanging

Census worker may have disguised suicide as murder
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Nov 13, 2009 5:07 AM CST
In this undated 2008 photo, Bill Sparkman is seen with 7th grade student, Jessie Roberts during a lesson about sound waves.   (AP Photo/The Times-Tribune)
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(Newser) – A census worker found hanged in September may have staged his death for insurance reasons, police say. Sources tell the AP that Bill Sparkman may have manipulated the scene to make his suicide look like murder so that his son could collect on his insurance policy. "If it's deemed suicide, there's no point in even looking at insurance," says son Josh. "There's no such thing as suicide insurance.

In addition to the private policy found among his things, his family would receive up to $10,000 in death gratuity payments were Sparkman killed on the job, reports the census office. Sparkman says his father seemed upbeat in the days before his death and says that items were apparently stolen from his father's car, pointing to murder. "I just want to know what happened to my dad," he said.