A self-decapitation? A Bronx man who beheaded himself – using a chain around his neck and his own speeding car – is leaving readers taken aback at this extreme and ghastly suicide. Tomas Rivera, 51, pulled his head from his own body Monday in broad daylight, stunning NYC residents and drawing attention to the act of self-decapitation and autosacrifice.
Just after 9:30 a.m. Monday, the Port Jervis man noosed a length of chain around his head, with the other end tied to a street pole. He then gunned his white 2005 Honda CRV down the 500 block of Longfellow Avenue in the Bronx.
The opposing forces beheaded him. His body continued to speed forward in the out-of-control SUV, slamming the vehicle into a parked car and ejecting his headless torso through the windshield. Rivera’s head meanwhile was found near the light pole next to the bloodied chain.
The NY Post reported:
Passers-by who discovered the gruesome scene and called 911 thought the crash was an accidental collision, the sources said, but when authorities investigated, they discovered what had actually happened and found surveillance video that confirmed the ghastly sequence of events.
The unbelievable act was caught on surveillance video, which has not been made public. Police have reviewed the video to confirm the suicide, but no details or statements have been released about this extreme incident, which is calling to question why an individual would choose to end their life in such a theatrical, almost radical manner.
Self-decapitation as a suicide method is rare, almost unknown.
In Aztec and Mayan culture, autosacrifice involving self-decapitation was practiced by priests and kings in order to please their gods. For example, the Aztecs believe that their sun god, Huitzilopochtli, needed constant nourishment in the form of human blood in order to maintain the east to west motion of the sun.
Hindus and Buddhists recognize the tantric deity Chhinnamasta, a self-decapitated goddess who holds her own severed head in one hand and a scimitar in the other. Some forms of worship in Indian Hinduism entail a male disciple sacrificing himself via ritual self-decapitation with the curved scimitar.
In 2003, a 36-year-old UK man spent several weeks constructing a homemade guillotine in his bedroom before using it to remove his head.
In 2011, a similar self-decapitation involving a vehicle occurred in Virginia. After an argument with his wife, a distraught husband tied a cable around his neck and to a tree, and then accelerated his vehicle while police, called to the scene, watched the horrific suicide.