By Debbie Emery – Radar Reporter
In the week since he was shot dead while eating a homeless man’s face and dubbed a “cannibal zombie,” the world has learned more and more about Rudy Eugene’s life before he got a taste for flesh, including that he was a devout Christian.
Although he no longer went to church regularly, the 31-year-old from Miami, Florida, was proud of his bible study lessons and often sent inspirational text messages to his friends, or made religious status updates on Facebook, such as recently writing a verse from Psalm 59 that read, “Deliver me from my enemies, O my Lord; Defend me from those who rise up against me. For the Lord God is my defense,” reported the Miami Herald.
Many of his postings on the social media site mention “Zoe Life” — a phrase both associated with Haitian life and with born-again Christians, and his final message on May 18, proclaimed: “ZOE LIFE IS ETERNAL!!!!!!!!!”
On May 24, two days before he viciously attacked Ronald Edward Poppo, chewing off much of his face, Eugene attended a Bible-study session at a friend’s North Miami Beach home and even discussed with pal Bobby Chery how they could become better people in the eyes of God, with Rudy vowing to give up marijuana.
While childhood friend Johansen Aurelus, with whom he attended Bethel Baptist Church as teenagers, used to call him “preacher” because he liked sharing Bible verses always kept his Bible handy.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Rudy’s longtime girlfriend claimed that a voodoo curse – not synthetic drugs called bath salts – turned him into a violent, raging zombie before being shot dead by police.
“He loved God. He always read the Bible he would give you knowledge on the Bible,” the live-in lover told the Herald in an interview. “Everywhere he went his Bible went,” she said, adding that the holy book was in his hand when he left her last Saturday before his grisly rampage. “That wasn’t him, that was his body but it wasn’t his spirit. Somebody did this to him,” she vowed.
However, Eugene’s stepfather, Melimon Charles, shunned speculation that any black magic was to blame for the tragedy. “Nobody went to Haiti and did anything to him,” he insisted.
After a normal upbringing during which he was described as a nice, good natured boy, it may have been revelations about his parentage that steered Rudy off the righteous path towards mayhem. According to the Herald, in ninth or tenth grade he discovered that Charles was not his natural father, despite him being married to his mom, Ruth, since he was two years old.
Rudy “was angry because he was looking for his father,” revealed his step dad. “His father passed away and he didn’t know. And I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t even have a picture to show him.”