The struggle for power is unending. Gamesters have shown an uncanny ability to predict who will pay the ultimate price for getting to the top, or getting in the way.
Bullets - Bombs - Bazooks & Flukes
August 15, 1975 - Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (5) - Binky Brown, N. Basal
When the President of Bangladesh was assassinated during a coup d'état in Dacca, Binky Brown took the lead in the 1975 running of the Game. Also on hand, N. Basal, whose touch for predicting violence would be apparent again.
March 16, 1977 - Kamal Jumblatt (6) - D. Heath
Those who aspire to leadership in public service are advised to select their country carefully. Lebanon has always been very demanding, as Moslem leader Kamal Jumblatt discovered when he was shot and killed in his car by four gunmen who also took out his bodyguard (another demanding profession). A gamester with a keen sense of place, D. Heath was there for the solo six.
April 27, 1978 - Muhammed Daoud (4) - Dr. Doornail
When pro-Soviet leftists swept themselves into the top office in Afghanistan, they swept out the current occupant, who had come to power himself in a 1973 coup. They also made short work of all his ministers and aides in a terrible day for the janitors at Kabul's Presidential Palace. Showing strong early form, rookie Dr. Doornail was there for the four points.
September 6, 1978 - Willy Peter Stoll (8) - J. Basal, N. Basal
A mainstay on West Germany's "Most Wanted" list, Willy Peter Stoll had caused all manner of terrorist mayhem and successfully cut to the chase many times, eluding an increasingly embarrassed police force. He took his last meal in Dusseldorf's red light district, at the Shanghai restaurant. When two policemen approached his table and asked to see his papers, he showed them a gun instead. The arresting officers, hip to his tricks, ventilated him before he could pull the trigger. At an adjacent table, already beginning the squabble over who robbed who of a solo, J. & N. Basal shared the credit.
October 9, 1979 - Noor Taraki (4) - L. Delaney
On October 9th, Hafizullah Amin, the new president of Afghanistan, announced that his predecessor, Noor Taraki, had died from "a severe and prolonged illness," perhaps something he caught during the presidential palace shootout on September 16th. But L. Delaney had apparently thought Noor was looking a little peaked all year, and he was there for the score. Mr. Amin, meanwhile, became the darling of every gamester's warm-up list, but dashed all hopes when he caught a little cold of his own during the December 27th coup led by the Soviet Union. They couldn't wait a week?
October 26, 1979 - Park Chung Hee (4) - B. Dodge, Dupont Fluvius, D. Heath
Kim Jae Kyu, head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, had long been frustrated by Cha Chi Chol, an aide who guarded President Park Chung Hee's ear as well as his body. Over dinner at the KCIA headquarters, Kim reopened lines of communication by shooting President Park and all five of his bodyguards, including the overprotective but ultimately inefficient Cha. Having guessed at the menu, B. Dodge, Dupont Fluvius and D. Heath sent their regrets from home and safely tallied four points each. The following year, on May 24th, Kim Jae Kyu was executed for his part in the assassination; 23 gamesters made this easier call.
October 6, 1981 - Anwar Sadat (4)
Twenty-two gamesters led by Dr. Doornail scored four when Egypt's president, Anwar Sadat, was assassinated by Islamic militants at a military parade. (The shooting was caught on film by Fabrice Mousant, a former housemate and friend of Game legend J. Buffalo.) The following year, six gamesters accepted a last cigarette and eight points on Sadat's assassin, Lt. Khalid Islambouly, condemned to death in 1982 and executed by firing squad on April 15th.
September 15, 1982 - Sadegh Ghotbzadeh (6)
After the Iranian takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Teheran and the imprisonment of all its employees, Foreign Minister Sadegh Ghotbzadeh had the task of explaining to the world why it was such a great idea and how the U.S. was to blame. And he did a pretty good job. But as Iran's government moved farther and farther to the right of Islamic Fundamentalism, apparently Ghotbzadeh, a suit and tie kind of guy, fell out of step. Five gamesters, P. Grise, the Krypt Kickers, The Last Roundup, Pearl E. Gates and Silver Tapps, guessed correctly on which way the wind would blow. Arrested and accused of plotting to overthrow the government, Ghotbzadeh was tried and executed by firing squad.
April 12, 1983 - Salvador Cayetano Carpio (4) - Bonedog
On April 6, 1983, Salvadorian rebel leader Salvador Cayetano Carpio, a.k.a. Commander Marcial, was out of the country seeking arms from Col. Qaddafi in Libya when his henchmen murdered fellow rebel leader Ana Maria with knives and ice picks. Upon returning to his base in Managua, Nicaragua, Cayetano was singled out as the author of the crime and placed under house arrest. Alone in his room, he wrote a letter to the people of Salvador protesting his innocence, then shot himself with powerful new gun given to him by Col. Qaddafi. The shot blew away his chest and gave Bonedog a place in Game history.
August 21, 1983 - Begnigno Aquino (5) - D. Trageser
Out of jail and out of the Philippines, safe and sound, Begnigno Aquino chose to return to his homeland after three years of self-imposed exile. On the plane to Manila, he told reporters, "Assassination is part of public service." Wearing a bulletproof vest, he stepped off the plane and was shot in the head. The authorities identified the attacker as a man in an airline maintenance worker's uniform who was himself shot immediately by the soldiers sent to protect Aquino. A Japanese journalist, however, witnessed the shooting from the plane and said that the soldiers shot Aquino, then dragged the worker from a nearby vehicle and shot him too. President Marcos reacted swiftly in the name of justice by appointing a panel of five judges to investigate. D. Trageser, who tallied Class List two years running, settled for the points.
October 19, 1983 - Maurice Bishop (7) - The Artful Dodger
Leading the New Jewel Movement, Maurice Bishop seized power in Grenada in 1979. However, things did not go well either politically or economically, and on October 12, 1983, Bishop was arrested by his own co-revolutionary Prime Minister Bernard Coard. A massive demonstration prompted his release, but days later he was simply lined up with several of his ministers and gunned down by Coard's henchmen, prompting the invasion of Grenada on Oct. 25th by U.S. forces.
October 31, 1984 - Indira Gandhi (4)
The Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi lived a sheltered life, walking each morning from her home to her office within a New Delhi residential compound, surrounded by bodyguards. But on October 31st, 1984, two of the bodyguards, minority Sikhs, turned on her, raised their revolver and submachine gun, and pumped an estimated 8 to 16 bullets into her frame before being shot themselves by the other bodyguards. Twelve lists carried the selection, including W. Dockum, P. & E. Hepner, T. & J. James, the King of Pain, The Last Roundup, Mortis the Cat and D. Trageser. The assassination made way for Gandhi's son, Rajiv.
October 16, 1987 - Thomas Sankara (7) - Ghostwriter, The National Health
The President of Burkina Faso came to power in an '82 coup, but apparently never read Matthew 26:52, or felt that it didn't apply to him. Alas, he was mistaken. One Friday morning he went for a morning jog with a trusted aide, Blaise Campaore, whose sports bag held an Uzi. In the course of the afternoon, 12 more officials, including Sankara's press secretary, were slain and buried in a mass grave outside Ouagadougou, the capital. It was Burkina Faso's fourth coup in seven years; Campaore declared the day a national holiday.
December 25, 1989 - Nicolae Ceausescu (3) - The Merry Little Breezes, Perry Mason, The Sick Puppies
The proud owner of the world's largest collection of adult films, Nicolae Ceausescu was also the president of Romania and in that capacity wound up on the wrong end of a 21-gun salute as the Eastern Bloc depressurized. He and his wife were arrested by the new regime, put up against a courtyard wall, tried to flee and were cut down in a hail of gunfire as they ran from corner to corner. For three lists, it was a Stocking Stuffer.
December 31, 1993 - Zviad Gamsakhurdia (5)
Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the first democratically elected leader (1991) of the Republic of Georgia, was ousted in a coup in 1992 by former allies who accused him of becoming a dictator. He fled the country and, after an unsuccessful attempt to reclaim power from his bitter enemy, Eduard Shevardnadze, died under mysterious circumstances. His wife Manana claimed he shot himself on New Year's Eve after being surrounded by fighters from the pro-government Mkhedrioni paramilitary group. They, however, denied any involvement, and Georgian officials said he may have been shot in a quarrel with his supporters. It wasn't until March of 1994 that the New York Times reported him dead "in late December" and laid to rest in the garden of his residence. Five points in career credit went to D. Beach, Dr. Doornail, George & Marion Kirby and Roadkill.
February 12, 1994 - Dominic McGlinchey (7) - Uncle Milton
Dominic "Mad Dog" McGlinchey, 39, was the Chief of Staff for the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), a Marxist offshoot of the IRA. As a hit man, Mad Dog claimed involvement in 200 shootings and bombings, as well as 30 assassinations including that of a postmistress. He said he liked to work close, so he could see his victim's face, and that's how he died, shot ten times by three gunmen, former colleagues from the INLA, possibly from the family of a man he had tortured to death in search of an informer. The Times of London noted, "Born into violence, he achieved nothing and died at the hands of his friends." Uncle Milton was there for seven points.
November 4, 1995 - Yitzhak Rabin (3)
Moments after singing a peace song, Israel's Yitzhak Rabin was slain at a rally by a crazed countryman who favored a more aggressive stance on defense. While not a great or stylish hit, it was a chilling reminder, as if we needed one, that leadership has its hazards. There for the hit were Anubis, D. Beach, Blunt Instrument, El Chileno, DDT, W. Dockum, Fade to Black and Plug Pullers.
August 1, 1996 - Gen. Mohamed Farah Aidid (4)
In 1991, Mohamed Farah Aidid joined with fellow Somali warlord Ali Mahdi to overthrow dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, and immediately fell to fighting with Mahdi over who would divide the spoils. In an ongoing civil war that spread misery in every corner, 300,000 died in the first year alone; those alive were victimized by Aidid's "technicals," young troops driving over-armed Jeeps while whacked out on local narcotics. In July of 1996, the richly deserving Aidid finally took a slug in the liver during a skirmish in Medina, a southern suburb of Mogadishu. He died eight days later. Knocking the dust from their khakis, archy and mehitabel, Better Late Than Never, Club Dead, Pushing Up Prozac and Uncle Milton all collected four points.
September 27, 1996 - Najibullah (6) - Dr. Doornail, Sal Monella
As head of the Secret Police and then President of Afghanistan, Najibullah seemed invincible, even surviving a direct hit from a 1,200 pound bomb in 1990. But his fortunes shifted with the Russian departure, and he was forced to take refuge in the UN enclave in Kabul. He read and re-read Zane Gray novels to pass the time, but at least he was still alive. However, he began placing frantic phone calls ("I need security here!") when rebels overran the city and his UN guards departed, with no one to replace them. Dr. Doornail (an old Kabul hand) and Sal Monella had been waiting for this day, and picked up six points when the rebels tracked down Najibullah and hung him by the neck with wire from a concrete traffic tower -- stabbed, shot and strangled -- for all the citizenry to see.
April 22, 1997 - Nestor Cerpa (6)
Peru's Tupac Amaru rebels took over the Japanese Ambassador's house during a cocktail party on December 17, 1996, and took more than a hundred hostages as well. Getting in was a triumph; getting out was a problem. In months of negotiations, leader Nestor Cerpa sought the release of all his jailed comrades, but instead got a fatal showdown when troops stormed the house unexpectedly during an impromptu Tupac Amaru soccer match in the living room. After a bomb opened a massive hole in the living room floor, Cerpa and all his comrades left standing were slain by commandos. Nine gamesters read both the tea leaves and Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori's character correctly. Scoring six were Body Parts, Fade to Black, Freddy's Fallen Heroes, Frozen Stiff, Ghostwriter, Merry Little Breezes, La Petite Morte, Plug Pullers and Worm Feast.
June 10, 1997 - Son Sen (4) - Sir Stiff
One of the earliest and most brutal leaders in Cambodia's Khmer Rouge movement was Son Sen, and so there was a certain poetic justice when Pol Pot ordered Son Sen's execution even as he fled his jungle hideout in a stretcher. Gunmen killed Son Sen, his powerful wife Yun Yat, and nine of their relatives; their bodies were then run over by a truck. Only Sir Stiff was there to collect the points.
December 27, 1997 - Billy Wright (7) - Doom Patrol, Persephone
A forbidding figure with icy blue eyes, tattooed arms, stud earrings and close-cropped blond hair, Billy Wright was the most ruthless figure to emerge from Northern Ireland's pro-British paramilitary groups, which in the 1990s matched the IRA killing for killing. The defiant leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force, he planned the slayings of more than a dozen Catholics. On the day his number came up, one or more imprisoned members of the Irish National Liberation Army shot Wright five times in the back from a nearby roof while he was being escorted by unarmed guards to a visiting area at Northern Ireland's top-security prison, the Maze. Wright, known as "King Rat,'' had survived six previous Republican assassination attempts and shrugged off a death threat from his Protestant former comrades. Doom Patrol and Persephone correctly predicted that the cocky icon's luck was due to run out.
April 9, 1999 - Pres. Ibrahim Baré Mainassara (6) - Uncle Milton
A career soldier, Col. Ibrahmim Baré Mainassara took power in a 1996 coup in which he deposed the first democratically elected president of Niger, staged a fraudulent election and named himself president. A devout Muslim, he banned short skirts and condoms, but that wasn't enough to stabilize his poverty stricken nation. Returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca, Mainassara was greeted at Niamey airport by the head of the Presidential Guard, Major Malam Wanke. As Mainassara crossed the tarmac to board a helicopter, Wanke gave the order to shoot him down. Mainassara was machine-gunned repeatedly, nearly cut in half by gunfire that took four other lives as well as his own. Shortly thereafter, Prime Minister Ibrahim Assane Mayaki took to the airwaves to announce the president's death, describing it only as an ``unfortunate accident.'' Uncle Milton was tuned in for the solo.
November 30, 2000 - Gen. Ansumane Mane (5) - Uncle Milton
A liberating war hero in Guinea Bissau, General Ansumane Mane tried to liberate the country once too often and was forced to flee when the majority of the military didn't go along. Hunted by loyalists, he hid in the forests of Biombo province, paying fishermen to ferry him across the rivers. But when he stiffed the fishermen, they told the loyalists where he was hiding. As the troops closed in, a member of Mane's dwindling band opened fire with an AK-47 and accidentally put four rounds in Mane's neck. Uncle Milton, who has a positive genius for the wild ending, was there for the solo.
January 16, 2001 - Laurent Kabila (4)
In the presidential palace, the bodyguard of Congo strongman Laurent Kabila asked for his seated employer's ear and then put a bullet behind it, followed by two to the paunch, ending Kabila's career in public service. The bodyguard himself took several slugs in the uproar that followed and died with his grievances unaired. Days of confused reporting ensued, but the bottom line was that Kabila would never step up to the mike and sing "My Favorite Things" again. El Chileno, archy and mehitabel, Montressor and Tomb Essence all made the call and scored four.
February 22, 2002 - Jonas Savimbi (4)
Founder and head of UNITA, a rebel group in Angola, Jonas Savimbi had been a thorn in the side of the Portugese colonialists and the government that followed for 30 years, prolonging a civil war that took at least 400,000 lives. But Savimbi was finally brought to bay after a prolonged army offensive, and died in a hail of bullets. Scoring a Daily Double that day was Fade to Black, who was joined in the Savimbi hit by Boneyard Dog, Daisy Pusher and Tomb Essence.
July 6, 2002 - Haji Qadir (6) - Final Curtain
When Haji Abdul Qadir left the Ministry of Public Works in Kabul, his son-in-law was at the wheel of the Jeep and his prayer beads were at hand, but they were no help when two gunman leapt from nearby bushes and fired 30 rounds at point blank range into the Jeep with assault rifles, killing both occupants. Qadir was the Minister of Public Works, the Vice President of Afghanistan, and the Governor of poppy-rich Nangarhar province. And after the dust cleared, he was the latest casualty in the always scary world of Afghan politics. His assailants hopped into a waiting taxi and fled, while 10 armed security guards stood by, wondering what to think. Rookie Final Curtain scored his first hit ever on this noisy departure.
August 16, 2002 - Abu Nidal (4)
It would be hard to find a more cowardly or more effective terrorist than Palestinian Fatah leader Abu Nidal. He'd already faked his own demise once, but when the Iraqi Secret Police came calling at his apartment in Baghdad, his number was finally up for good. He either shot himself once, shot himself three times, or was shot a lot by the men in uniform. As all the news sources had solid track records as egregious liars, we don't know which it was, and we don't care. Using the points to tie for the lead was Yo! Rick! Also scoring four were Death Wish Two, Gratefully Dead, Tomb Essence and Worm Feast.
September 19, 2002 - Gen. Robert Guei (4) - Tomb Essence
Second-time coupster Gen. Robert Guei didn't learn his lesson the first time he plunged the Ivory Coast into chaos, and paid the price for his learning disability during the next uprising, shot dead at an Abidjian checkpoint when his car didn't stop for the gentlemen in charge. It was Tomb Essence's fourth called shooting, but first solo.
July 22, 2003 - The Hussein Brothers (7 x 2) - Tomb Essence
Technically two separate hits, as game history was made as Operation Iraqi Freedom dispatched, in one operation, Qusay and Uday Hussein, sons of Saddam Hussein. While the father may be a popular pick, only Tomb Essence had the sons, and he had both, marking the first time in game history that two hits were scored at the same time.
September 11, 1973 - Salvadore Allende (4) - J. DeGeorge, B. McArdle
The thought that the elected leader of Chile was a Marxist was just too much for some people to handle. Thus, a violent coup swept him from office. He died in the Presidential Palace in Santiago during the fighting; some say he died in a bomb blast, some say by his own hand. Some say the CIA had a spoon in the soup, but all we know for certain is that J. DeGeorge and B. McArdle were on hand to collect four points.
August 27, 1979 - Lord Mountbatten (3) - The National Health, M. Stark
As a lad, Louis Mountbatten won every single boat race in which he took part. Hence it was not surprising that on a sunny holiday in County Sligo, Northern Ireland, he should take his family out fishing on Donegal Bay. However, a faction of the IRA had planted a remote-controlled bomb on the boat, which took the life of Lord Mountbatten, seriously injured his eldest daughter and killed her mother-in-law as well as one of her sons and a schoolboy friend.
March 15, 1981 - Phillip "Chicken Man" Testa (5) - Pearl E. Gates
While not played out on the world stage, the removal of this Mafia leader with finishing nails and TNT bears inclusion. For details, click here.
June 28, 1981 - Ayatollah Muhammad Beheshti (5) - Dr. Doornail, Okree Boys
Ayatollah Muhammad Beheshti was the founder of Iran's Islamic Republican Party and an intellectual leader of the revolution that deposed the Shah in 1979. However, counter-revolutionary forces were still afoot two years later. The Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO), funded by the western powers, was the alleged culprit when 60 pounds of high explosive were planted at the building next door to party headquarters and Beheshti was assassinated. Lurking in a nearby doorway were the rookie Okree Boys accompanied by the omnipresent Dr. Doornail.
September 14, 1982 - Bashir Gemayel (7) - Dr. Doornail, Ghostwriter
When it rains, it pours, and it's always cloudy in Lebanon where leaders in peril form a veritable buffet for gamesters. This time out, it was Bashir Gemayel taken out by 400 pounds of dynamite at his Christian Phalangist party's headquarters just nine days before he was to take office as President. Internationalist Dr. Doornail and Ghostwriter were there for the duet. Dr. Doornail noted, "In addition to disease, violence also acts as a handmaiden to the Game. The older I become, the finer the line seems between the politician and the criminal. In this selection, as in others, capital punishment through an extrajudiciary process proved a link."
March 28, 1983 - Attati Mpakati (5) - The National Health
Attati Mpakati was a political activist in Malawi, the personal preserve of President Kamuzu Banda who really didn't go for political activists. Banda's obedient henchmen sent a letter bomb to Mpakati, who was dead on delivery. The National Health, an old Africa hand, was not surprised.
August 17, 1988 - Zia ul-Haq (4) - El Chileno, Montressor, Silver Tapps
General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq ruled Pakistan with an iron hand from his 1977 coup until he was blown out of the sky under mysterious circumstances 11 years later. Handling baggage just before take-off were El Chileno, Montressor and Silver Tapps.
May 21, 1991 - Rajiv Gandhi (6) - SID, Silver Tapps, Winterkill
Given the Gandhi family's affinity for assassinations and sudden death, it's amazing more people were not on hand for Rajiv's departure in a suicide bombing attack masterminded by Tamil separatist rebels from Sri Lanka. It wasn't even his country, but Gandhi had apparently come down on the wrong side of the Sri Lankan rebels' agenda.
May 2, 1993 - Ranasinghe Premadasa (4) - The National Health
As we have just learned, politics in Sri Lanka can be rough and tumble, and so it went for President Premadasa whose final campaign appearance was capped by a suicide bomber. The National Health, long a sage observer of the electoral process, was there for a solo.
September 14, 2001 - Ahmed Shah Massood (6) - Dr. Doornail
The chief of the forces fighting Afghanistan's Taliban, Ahmed Sha Massood, "The Lion of the Panjshir," agreed to an interview with two journalists, but they turned out to be suicide bombers whose video camera was packed with explosives. Massood was the last great hope of the Taliban's opposition and yet another Afghan pick for the remarkable Dr. Doornail.
January 14, 2002 - Raed al-Karmi (8) - Pontius
In September of 2001, an Israeli helicopter fired rockets into the SUV of Palestinian Tanzim militia leader Raed al-Karmi ("The Promise") who survived the attack by the inspired method of jumping out and running away. He was not so lucky the next time, killed by a bomb set next to the wall of a cemetery close to his house. Pontius, who had invested heavily in flash point futures in 2002, used the eight-point solo to vault into first place.
January 24, 2002 - Elie Hobeika (6) - Dr. Doornail
Elie Hobeika was not paranoid - he lived in a land of many enemies with long memories. A former Christian militia leader, Hobeika was said to have consented to the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children in refugee camps in Muslim west Beruit in 1982. The step was taken (under the eyes of Israeli soldiers) in retaliation for the bomb slaying of Christian leader Bashir Gemayel at Phalange party headquarters the previous day. (The Palestinians were blamed, but it was later learned the Syrians were responsible.)
Twenty years later, Hobieka was still traveling with three body guards. On January 24th, 2002, the four men decided to go to the beach. Climbing into Hobeika's sport utility vehicle, they drove away from his home in Beruit's eastern Hazmeih neighborhood. As they passed a parked Mercedes, it blew up, killing Hobeika, his bodyguards and a bystander. Hobeika's body was thrown almost 200' down the street by the blast, and one bodyguard's remains were found on a second floor balcony. All the men were wearing diving suits.
The picture of patience, Dr. Doornail soloed for six points, 20 years after scoring on Bashir Gemayel. It was his tenth called assassination (4 bombings, 4 shootings, 1 bazooka attack, 1 death by torture), and the Game's second bombing score in two weeks.
Bazooks & Flukes
September 16, 1980 - Anastasio Somoza Debaye (5)
The despotic ruler of Nicaragua survived the 1979 revolution and went into exile in Paraguay, prompting many to drop him from their 1980 lists. But this was a man who had slept with his generals' wives and left a trail of enemies a mile wide. Fifteen gamesters held on, and cashed in when a bazooka attack on the city streets turned Somoza's Mercedes into smoke and scrap. Applauding at curbside were 15 gamesters, including Dr. Doornail, Pearl E. Gates, Ghostwriter, P. & E. Hepner, Mr. Goodvibes, Montressor and SLY.
July 23, 1982 - Acyl Ahmat (7) - Ghostwriter
Ghostwriter has always had a weakness for political assassinations, but this hit came as a bonus. In 1982, he listed every leader in a three-way tussle for control of Chad, a volatile African nation. When the three met and declared peace, all seemed lost. But after the conference, Ahmat was driven to the airport, walked out to his plane, waved to the crowd, and stepped into a whirring prop to be killed instantly.
October 19, 1986 - Samora Machel (5) - Ghostwriter, Montressor
On a visit to Zambia, the Marxist president of Mozambique told the press that his life had been threatened, and briefed his supporters as to how to carry on should he die. He then boarded his airplane, a Tupelov 134 jet with an experienced Soviet crew, and headed for home. But a radio beacon on the same frequency as the Maputo Airport's drew the plane off course and into a hillside in nearby South Africa. Machel and 33 others died. The first South African authorities on the scene were too busy collecting papers and other items to attend to the survivors, who waited several more hours for aid. A mysterious tent had gone up on the hillside the day before the crash, and disappeared the day after. A unilateral South African panel of inquiry determined pilot error to be the cause of the crash, a conclusion never accepted by the government of Mozambique. Skeptical from the get-go, Ghostwriter and Montressor took the points.
September 9, 1990 - Samuel K. Doe (7) - Dr. Doornail, The National Health, Pontius
On April 12, 1980, a Master Sergeant in the Liberian Army led 16 of his men to the presidential palace, stabbed president William Tolbert to death and buried him in a mass grave with his loyalists. The sergeant, Samuel K. Doe, immediately promoted himself to the presidency, and Liberia descended into a chaos of dictatorship, tribalism and violence. By 1990, factions led by Charles Taylor and Prince Yormie Johnson had in turn brought Doe's government down, but Doe remained, entrenched in a bunker in Monrovia, turning down offers of evacuation from the U.S. On September 9th, he inexplicably left his bunker, was seized by Johnson's faction and tortured to death. Cashing in on Samuel K. Doe's inopportune attack of cabin fever were three of the Game's foremost internationalists, Dr. Doornail, The National Health and Pontius.
April 21, 1996 - Dzhokar Dudayev (5)
When Chechen rebel leader Dzhokar Dudayev took an evening cellular phone call from Boris "Trust Me" Yeltsin, he thought he was pretty safe, sitting in a jeep under cover of darkness near the village of Gehki-Chu. Unfortunately, as he was chatting with a Russian mediator, two missiles rode in on the same signal and his line went dead. Gratefully Dead, M. Hamilton, Men of Steel, Montressor, Moss and Nostradahmer made the connection.
June 8 and July 7, 1998 - The Nigerian Two-fer: General Sani Abacha (5) & Chief Moshood Abiola (4)
Nigerian strongman Sani Abacha's sudden five-point departure on June 8th was observed by Dr. Doornail, Montressor and Yo! Rick! who may have been expecting gunplay but took the points anyway when heart failure took away the well-guarded despot. Many thought his passing would bode well for opposition leader and would-be president Moshood Abiola, who Abacha had jailed in 1994 after Abiola unforgivably won a presidential election. Indeed, less than a month later on July 7th, Abiola was allowed to meet with U.S. representatives for the first time since his imprisonment. In their presence, he promptly died of a heart attack. Picking up four points on the other end of this Nigerian two-fer were Ghostwriter and La Petite Morte.
March 19 (Confirmed April 29), 2002 - Omar Ibn al Khattab (7) - Pontius
Chechen warlord Omar Ibn al Khattab was born of Saudi parents in Jordan, but made his fame in Afghanistan and Chechnya battling the Russians. On March 19th, a trusted aide handed him a letter which he opened and began to read before becoming ill and then, within seconds, dying. The Russian Federal Security Service took credit for the poisoned letter, the first in the Game's history. There for the seven-point solo was Pontius.