Religion In The News

Man Found Dead on Bed of Bibles

by Elroy Willis -- July 10, 2002

KNOXVILLE (EAP) -- Knoxville police discovered the decomposing body of an elderly man yesterday evening after receiving a call from a neighbor who reported a terrible smell coming from his neighbor's house.

John Eskridge, 75, was found dead in his Knoxville home, lying on top of a pile of over 5300 Bibles. Many of the Bibles were apparently stolen from motels, investigators said, after looking at the inside cover of the Bibles.

"The Bibles were arranged in a big square, like a bed," Ted Martin of the Knoxville police department said.

"Neighbors say that Eskridge was a traveleing salesman, which would explain where he got many of the Bibles from different motels around the country," Martin said.

"We haven't performed an autopsy yet, but it looks like he died of natural causes. He appears to have been dead at least three weeks," said Lyle Adams, county coroner, who says that there's no real need for an autopsy and that it would just waste taxpayer money to perform one. "He's dead and gone, let's just close the case," he said.

Investigators on the scene found another room which contained over 8000 copies of National Enquirer, which were also arranged into a big square.

"It looked liked Mr. Eskridge had slept on top of the National Enquirers too, because there was a blanket and pillow on top of the stack," Martin said. "We don't know what to make of this really, all we can do is speculate."

Investigators have yet to locate any surviving family members or relatives of Eskridge.

"He appears to have been a real loner, and hadn't shaved or clipped his nails in months or maybe even years," Adams said.


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