Cretan cancer victim takes care of final exit

For an elderly Cretan cancer victim laid to rest in a mountain village in the western part of the island yesterday, it was the second burial in two days. The first was a more dramatic affair than usual, but with no mourners. According to a report yesterday in a Hania newspaper, the Kyrix, 67-year-old Yiannis Bitzanakis – who had been diagnosed with a rampant form of cancer – went on his own to the village cemetery at Palaia Roumata, some 45 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Hania, opened his family grave and got in. Bitzanakis, a father of two, then pulled the tombstone over him, sealed it with a chemical sealant and shot himself in the head with a pistol. Earlier, Bitzanakis had bidden his fellow villagers farewell, buying rounds of drinks at the village coffee shop. When he failed to turn up at home, he was somehow traced to the cemetery, where the body was found.

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