SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korean taxi driver found dead and nailed to a cross in an apparent re-creation of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ probably carried out the ordeal on his own, police said Wednesday.
The 58-year-old man was wearing only underwear and a crown of thorns when he was found May 1 — one week after Easter — in an abandoned stone quarry in the country’s south. His hands and feet were nailed to the cross, there was a stab wound in his abdomen and nylon strings were tied around his neck.
After days of investigation, police said they believe the man, surnamed Kim, committed suicide without any 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 weren’t authorized to speak to the press.
Officials simulated some elements of the crucifixion and concluded that an adult male could perform the act on his own, the agency 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 apparent suicide, Kim closed his bank account and canceled his mobile phone contract in apparent preparation to end his life, police said.
An autopsy showed the man died of bleeding from the stab wound and suffocation, police said. Officers reached by The Associated Press said they had no information on when exactly the man put himself on the cross and how long he might have been there before dying.
Representations of the death of Jesus Christ depict him crucified on a cross, wearing a crown of thorns, a white loin cloth, and with a wound on his side from a Roman soldier’s spear.