Friday, May 20, 2011 Holy Suicide

Form the Guardian:
South Korean man's crucifixion death was probably suicide, police say

Officers believe taxi driver whose hands and feet were nailed to a cross inflicted ordeal on himself as a suicide

Wednesday 18 May 2011 12.40 BST

A South Korean taxi driver found dead with his body nailed to a cross in an apparent re-creation of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ probably inflicted the ordeal on himself as a suicide, police have said.

The 58-year-old man was wearing only underwear and a crown of thorns, with his hands and feet nailed to the cross, a stab wound on his abdomen and nylon strings tied around his neck when he was found on 1 May – one week after Easter – in an abandoned stone quarry in the country's south.

After days of investigation, police said they believe the man, surnamed Kim, took his own life without assistance.

Kim is believed to have nailed his feet to the cross, tied his neck to it and stabbed himself in the side.

He is then believed to have drilled holes in his hands and slipped them over nails on the cross, Gyeongbuk provincial police agency officers said, describing the death under condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press.

Officials re-enacted some elements of the crucifixion and concluded that an adult male could perform the act on his own, police said.

The man was a devout Christian, and police speculated that his "deep religious faith" may have helped him endure "immense pain".

Police said they found the man's notes planning the crucifixion. Before his death, Kim closed his bank account and cancelled his mobile phone contract in apparent preparation to end his life, police said.

A postmortem examination showed he died of blood loss from the stab wound and suffocation, police said.

Officers said they had no information on when exactly he put himself on the cross or how long he might have been there before dying.

Popular representations of the death of Jesus depict him crucified between the crosses of two thieves, wearing a crown of thorns and a white cloth over his loins, with a wound on his side from a Roman soldier's spear.

It is not uncommon for Filipino passion plays to feature real crucifixions, but this is the first I've heard of it used as a method of suicide. It is likely that death was not the man's goal, but simply that an attempted act of devotion just broke bad on him. On the other hand, I'm getting a real Unknown Armies vibe here.