'Black Jesus' who terrorised jungle villages is captured
By Kathy Marks, Asia-Pacific Correspondent
Published: 17 March 2007
He called himself Black Jesus but Steven Tari was a false prophet, according to police in Papua New Guinea, where the Bible school drop-out will face charges of murder and cannibalism after being captured in a jungle village.
Tari, the leader of an obscure cult with 6,000 followers, had been on the run since last June, when he escaped from custody with the help of a Lutheran pastor. Suspected of raping scores of girls and carrying out sacrificial killings, Tari eluded police by staying on the move and hiding in far-flung mountain villages.
It was in one such village, Matepi, in the east of the Pacific nation, that Tari, 32, was finally tracked down this week. According to The Nation newspaper, eight local men crept into a hut where he was taking an afternoon nap, pinned him down and tied him up, using nylon rope. They called police - but only after one man had scaled the highest peak of a nearby mountain and then climbed a tree, in order to get a mobile phone signal.(cont..)