Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Do-it-yourself Golgotha

I was intrigued by a short news item in this morning's French media. In South Korea, police found the dead body of a 58-year-old taxi-driver, known for his extreme Christian piety. His hands and feet were nailed to a wooden cross. Police determined that the poor fellow had died during the Easter weekend. He was attired in a loincloth, with a crown of thorns on his head. Forensic examinations revealed that, prior to his death, he had been flogged with a whip. On his right-hand side, a deep stab wound had probably precipitated his death. The article states explicitly that "the police are trying to determine whether the man actually crucified himself". But they do not exclude the possibility that other individuals might have played a role in the man's death.

The aspect of the police approach that fascinates me is the idea that it might have been a do-it-yourself crucifixion. That raises an obvious question: How could a man, all alone, nail his own hands and feet to a cross? A possible answer to this enigma is provided by a video ad (amusing, but not particularly brilliant) promoting the use of condoms.

If my hypothesis were correct, and the police were to find a discarded hammer that might have been used to do the nailing, they should realize that there would be no point in examining the tool for fingerprints. Prickprints, maybe…

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