7 Brutally Liquidated Dictators

7. 1. Saddam Hussein

(AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)

In 2003 Western powers led an invasion against a man who by the time managed to have most of his enemies, comrades and relatives killed or exiled. Though Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, it had oil, so its system fell apart. He was finally caught in a hole dug in the ground by Americans, and then a local court sentenced him to death by hanging. He was executed in a military camp on 30 December 2006. 6 stab wounds were found on his body, just in case.

6. 2. Nicolae Ceausescu


The national communist turning Romania into hell, devastating villages realized that that was the end for him in a Congress on 21 December 1989. He fled by helicopter with his wife from the outburst of revolution, but they had to land eventually.
Then the two continued their escape on foot and tried to hide at a research station, but the local workers called the police and finally they arrested the couple. They were taken to the nearby army base. On 24 December 1989 a summary court sentenced them to death. They were shot dead in the yard of a barrack. Before he was killed, the Romanian dictator had shouted: “Long Live the Socialist Republic of Romania, ­independent and free”, and „Death to the Traitors”. Their bodies were buried in a Bucharest cemetery under a pseudonym so that nobody would harm their graves.

5. 3. Benito Mussolini

Benito Mussolini/Hulton Archívum/Getty Images

Italy’s in ruins, dead people, crying babies, American soldiers, partisans and famine everywhere, and the man causing all this is on the run towards Lake Como. On 25 April 1945 Mussolini’s only hope was to flee to Switzerland through the mountains as he couldn’t go to Germany previously. Partisans however took him and his lover Claretta Petacci and executed them on the spot. Then their bodies were taken to Milan where their corpses were hung up on an Esso gas station…upside down, just to make clear the message. Mussolini’s and Petacci’s bodies were then mutilated and violated by the crowd.

4. 4. Muammar Gaddafi


Gaddafi had been smiling confidently in his cool sunglasses leading the gradually impoverishing country Libya for decades before his system was swept away by the Arab Spring…he was also swept away. He retreated to Sirte where he was later caught by the rebels. It was proved by a mobile phone recording that he was hurt and shot dead in the chaotic situation. His body was transported to Misrata where it was put on public display. The few who took part in his burial had to swear on the Koran not to tell anyone where the grave could be found.

3. 5. Maurice Bishop


He could have become Fidel Castro No. 2 but fate gave him only four years to act as a dictator. He ceased power in a coup in 1979 when the prime minister of Grenada Gairy made his speech in the UN, in New York. However Bishop apparently chose the wrong guy to become his deputy prime minister as the latter had his boss arrested and put into prison. In the end, he was rescued by participants of a demonstration in October 1983 but he could flee only to an army headquarters at Fort Rupert. There he was captured again and was executed at once on 19 October 1983 by a four-man Peoples Revolutionary Army firing squad.

2. 6. Szálasi Ferenc


The greatest mass murderer of Hungary, Szálasi Ferenc, fled from the ruined Hungary towards Austria in 1945. Here he was caught with the Hungarian royal crown under his arm by Americans troops. After he was returned to Hungary, Szálasi was taken to the banks of the Danube in the capital city so that he could behold all the ruins and the bridges detonated and fell into the river which he – as Hitler’s ally – left behind. After that he was executed by hanging and buried in an unmarked grave.

1. 7. Ion Antonescu


His “good deeds” led to the death of millions in Romania. The Conducator Antonescu’s reign of terror was represented by mountains of corpses and mass graves alongside the country. After becoming the Prime Minister, he forced the king to step down from the throne and started an unprecedented wave of massacre. His Iron Guard began its three-day-long carnage on 27 January 1941 and killed 127 Jews until the Romanian and German armies defeated and disbanded it. The king however returned, successfully exited WWII and Antonescu was also arrested. Antonescu was prosecuted at the first in a series of People’s Tribunals, on charges of war crimes, crimes against the peace and treason. His 13 other associates were also convicted. They were shot dead on 1 June in the prison of Fort Jilava in the outskirts of Bucharest.