SAMUEL DOE: First World Leader To Be Turtored And Murdered Live On Camera.

SAMUEL DOE: First World Leader To Be Turtored And Murdered Live On Camera.


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Samuel Kanyon Doe was once a a Liberian 

Military Head of State and later a civilian 

president from 1980 to 1990. He was a master 

sergeant in the Armed Forces of Liberia, Doe 

staged a violent coup d'etat in April 1980 that 

left him de facto head of state.

In 1980, Samuel Kanyon Doe, a 28-year-old 

Master Sergeant, assumed power in Liberia in a 

blaze of glory. In a surprise night-time attack on 

the Executive Mansion overlooking the Atlantic 

Ocean. Doe and his accomplices brutally 

murdered President William R. Tolbert Jr.

When Master Sergeant Samuel Doe burst onto 

the political scene, he put an end to the 


between President William R Tolbert and the 

young progressives who were seeking an end to 

the century-old political oligarchy

During the coup, then president William Tolbert, 

and much of the True Whig Party leadership 

were executed. ending 133 years of rule by 

black American settlers and their descendants 

known as Americo- Liberians. Doe then 

established the People's Redemption Council, 

assuming the rank of a General. 

Shortly after the coup, government ministers 

were walked publicly around Monrovia in the 

nude and then summarily executed by a firing 

squad on the beach. Hundreds of government 

workers fled the country, while others were 


Thirteen members of William Tolbert Cabinet 

members were publicly executed ten days after 

the coup.Other public demonstrations were 

made to show his power and humiliate Tolbert's 

people before killing them

Samuel K Doe was a shy soldier, from the 

bottom of the army. He did not know much 

about politics and could hardly read his 

speeches. He brought into his first cabinet the 

progressists and put them in charge of key 

ministerial positions. But the honeymoon did not

last. Very soon all of them were shown the door, 

one after the other. From flirting with “African 

Revolution” as per Libya Gaddafi or Ethiopia 

Mengistu, The whole nation turned out to 

congratulate and embrace the “first son of the 

soil to ascend to the presidency. 

But soon, Doe became the defender of 

capitalism against socialism although he had  

no Idea what either concept stood for. He 

eliminated all dissent around him, killing all his 

companions using fake coup attempts as an 

excuse. In 1985, after the failed Quiwonkpa 

invasion, he proceeded to purge the army, 

turning it into a tribal militia for his sole 

protection. Surrounded by his tribal army, he 

became arrogant. He felt untouchable because 

he had created and lodged an entire battalion in 

the Executive Mansion. When he drained the 

economy, the US sent a technical team to help 

clean the national finances, but he kicked them 

out. He was feeling invincible. The US suddenly 

discovered that it had created a bloodthirsty 

monster. He had a jet with his name on it.

Doe suspended the constitution and headed the 

country's military junta for the next five years.

In 1985, in an attempt to legitmatise his regime, 

he ordered an election and officially became the 

21st President Of Liberia.

The election was marked by controversy as 

there was evidence of election fraud, Doe had 

support from the United States It was a 

strategic alliance due to his anti-Soviet stance 

taken during the years of the Cold War prior to 

the changes in 1989 that led to the dissolution 

of the Soviet Union. 

Samuel Doe, was the first native head of state in

the country's history. He was a member of the 

Krahn ethnic group, a largely rural people. 


the 1980 coup, natives had often held a 

marginal role in society, which was dominated 

by the descendants of the Americo-Liberian 

Pioneers; composed primarily of free-born 

American blacks and freed slaves.The Pioneers 

were the immigrants who had established 

Liberia in the 1820s and led the country 

beginning with independence in 1847.

However, In the late 1980s, as the US 

government adopted more fiscal authority and 

the declining threat of Communis coup with the 

waning of the Cold War, the U.S. became 

disenchanted with the entrenched corruption of 

Doe's government and began cutting off critical 

foreign aid. This, combined with the popular 

anger generated by Doe's favoritism toward 

Krahns, placed him in a very precarious 


Thus the emergence of various opposition 

groups culminating in the end of Doe's eventual 

dictatorial rule.
Charles Taylor, a former ally of Doe, crossed into

Liberia from Ivory Coast on December 24, 1989, 

to wage a guerilla war against Doe. Taylor had 

broken out of a jail in the United States, where 

he was awaiting extradition to Liberia on 

charges of embezzlement. The conflict quickly 

flared into full- full-fledged civil war. By mid-

1990, most of Liberia was controlled by rebel 


Ironically, his previously unwavering support 

from the United States evaporated and, as 

Liberia erupted into civil war, Doe was left 


Doe was captured in Monrovia on September 9, 

1990, by Prince Y. Johnson, leader of INPFL, a 

breakaway faction of Taylor's NPFL. 

General Quinoo, the head of ECOMOG, had 

invited Doe to the ECOMOG headquarters for a 

meeting and assured him of his safety from the 

rebels. On the morning of September 9, 1990, 

Doe arrived at a precarious time during an 

ongoing change in guard duty from the well-

armed and better equipped Nigerian team of 

peacekeepers to the weaker Gambian 

contingent. The Nigerian team had just 

withdrawn from the scene when Doe's convoy 


lightly armed personnel arrived, none of whom 

were anticipating any trouble. 

Doe was escorted to General Quinoo's office 

where he was formally welcomed, while most of

his team of aides and guards waited outside. 

Johnson's rebels surprised everyone by 

suddenly arriving on the scene uninvited and 

heavily armed, overwhelming and disarming the 

entirety of Doe's team while encountering no 


5)They then started shooting Doe's team 

individually and later in groups. Upon hearing 

the gunshots from outside, Doe expressed 

concern to Quinoo, who assured him that all 

was fine. Quinoo later excused himself to check 

on what was happening outside and was 

followed by his aide, Captain Coker of the 

Gambian contingent. Both men took cover upon 

assessing the situation. Johnson's men moved 

indoors, finished off Doe's remaining team, shot 

him in the leg, and took him captive. When the 

dust settled, over 80 of Doe's men lay dead. 

Coker characterized the incident not as a fight, 

but a brutal massacre. 

Remarkably, none of the ECOMOG personnel 

were shot in the carnage. Which left many 

observers of the event spinning theories of 

conspiracy by ECOMOG facilitated by foreign 

powers and the then military head of state of 

Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida (IBB). 

Doe was was taken by the rampaging rebels 

before Johnson They stripped him naked 


for his underpants and made a video recording.

In the video, Doe is sitting on the floor and one 

of his tormentors holds a microphone to his 

face. He begs Johnson for his life:

“Yomi, two people fight, one win. Spare me, 

please.” Johnson sternly tells Doe, “Don’t f**k 

with me!”

As shown in the video, Johnson lords over the 

gruesome scene of a room filled with rebels, 

sitting calmly sitting on a swivel chair 

underneath a picture of Jesus. On one hand, he 

holds a walkie talkie and the other, a Budweiser. 

6)On the other side, Doe sits on the floor 

begging for his life. The camera oscillates 

between the two scenes. At some point, the 

rebels held him back as one of them cuts off 


ears as Johnson directed. As shown in the 

video, prince Johnson ate one of the ears raw. 

He does it almost casually, and when Doe is 

allowed to sit up again, he is earless and 

bleeding onto his naked body. They also cut off 

some of his fingers and toes. 

Doe dies after 12 hours of torture at Johnson’s 


His corpse was exhibited naked in the streets of 

Monrovia, the corpse had its head shaved. 


body was later exhumed and reburied. The 

spectacle of his torture was video-taped and 

seen on news reports around the world. 

Samuel Doe who years back televised the 

execution of Tolbert government executives on 

a beach became the first world leader to be 

tortured on camera before being executed and 

his body desecrated. This retributive justice 

should have brought the nation full circle, but it 

did not. More violence under Taylor would kill 

more Liberians.which led the country into more 

tensed and escalated civil war leading to the 

deaths of millions.

It was a sad decline for Africa’s and a negative 

politicalfirst presentation.
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