(AFP) – May 3, 2011
SEOUL — A South Korean taxi driver said to have extreme religious views has been found dead on a crucifix after an apparent attempt to emulate the death of Christ, police said Wednesday.
The body of the 58-year-old surnamed Kim was found on Sunday on a wooden cross in an abandoned quarry in the central city of Mungyeong, with nails on the cross protruding through holes in his hands and feet.
Local police said the man, wearing only underpants and a crown of thorns, had a stab wound to his right waist and several whip marks in an apparent reconstruction of Christ's death.
A mirror was placed in front of Kim so he could see himself on the crucifix, while other items such as a hammer, a hand drill and a knife were found nearby.
"We found at the scene pieces of paper describing how to construct a cross and carry out a crucifixion," a police office told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding it was unclear whether or not Kim wrote the memo himself.
A forensic examination was under way to determine the cause of his death. Police said Kim's hands were pierced by a drill and he may have died of excessive blood loss.
Kim was described by neighbours as fascinated by Christianity. Police were trying to establish whether he killed himself either alone or with the help of others around Easter time from April 22-24.
But they said they were not excluding the possibility of murder.
Yonhap news agency cited a former pastor as saying Kim had "fanatical religious views".
South Korea has 8.6 million Protestants, 5.1 million Catholics and around 10 million Buddhists in its population of around 49 million, according to official figures.
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