1990: Samuel K. Doe

13 comments 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.

Doe had come to power killing his predecessors — personally murdering, some sources say, President William Tolbert in 1980, then executing his chief aides.

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

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

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