Trigger warning: self-harm, suicide.
On September 14, 2001, a young man in his twenties checked into the Lake Quinault Inn in a sleepy, nondescript town close to Washington’s Pacific coastline under the name of Lyle Stevik.
However, Stevik returned to the front desk just 60 minutes later — visibly agitated and disturbed. The young man told the receptionist that the trailer park was too noisy and that he wanted to switch rooms.
The receptionist recalled that Stevik avoided eye contact and was acting strangely.
She handed him the key to room five, where he stayed that night and the following night.
On September 17, the Inn's housekeeper knocked on Stevik's door but received no response.
Because Stevik was late to check out, the woman assumed he had already left.
The housekeeper turned the handle and entered the room slowly. She noticed the young man kneeling in an alcove in the room's left-hand corner: his back to the door, arms by his sides, head tilted back, and his eyes open, staring at the ceiling.
At first sight, Stevik appeared to be praying, but something didn't feel quite right.
His wrists were limp, his fingers relaxed, his loose Levi’s jeans hung off his skinny waist.
Fearing for the worst, the housekeeper informed the Inn's owner about her discovery, who promptly rushed to the room.
Upon closer inspection, the man noticed that a leather belt was tightly wrapped around Stevik's throat on one end and attached to the room's metal coat rack on the other.
That’s when they realized the man had taken his own life.
On a nightstand, Stevik left a folded card with the words “FOR THE ROOM” scrawled on the back. Inside were eight crisp $20 bills, covering his bill for the previous two nights, along with a generous tip.
On the nightstand shelf, there lay a Gideon Bible with a bookmark between pages 1050 and 1051, containing John 12:33, which reads, “This he said, signifying what death he should die.”
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