September 9th, 2008 Headsman
On this date in 1990, deposed Liberian strongman Samuel Kanyon Doe was tortured and summarily executed in Monrovia by the putschists that overthrew him … and gruesomely filmed in the process.
That coup toppled civilian authority in the west African country now permanently prefixed with the adjective “troubled.” “The first of the monsters,” the War Nerd called him: Doe’s murderous rule through the 1980’s set up the succession of current war crimes prisoner Charles Taylor.
Samuel Doe’s turn in the obituaries arrived in particularly grisly fashion, with Taylor rival/semi-ally* Prince Johnson swilling beer as he interrogated — and ordered the ear sliced off — the groveling former head of state before having him executed. (Or if you like, just plain murdered.) The video shot of Doe’s ordeal became an international sensation … so it’s a little surprising that only this paltry excerpt seems to be readily available online:
* And current Liberian Senator! He feels just awful about the whole torturing-the-President-to-death thing.
Also on this date
- 1902: John C. Best
- 1817: James Lane
- 1681: Leticia Wigington, apprentice-flogger
- 1536: Skipper Clement, rebel
- 1861: Not William Scott, the Sleeping Sentinel
- 1437: Jan Rohác z Dubé, Hussite marshal
- 1986: Andrew Sibusiso Zondo and two other ANC cadres
Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Borderline "Executions",Capital Punishment,Cycle of Violence,Death Penalty,Execution,Famous,Heads of State,History,Infamous,Liberia,No Formal Charge,Political Expedience,Politicians,Popular Culture,Power,Soldiers,Summary Executions,Torture