There was to be no suicide pill, no bullet in the brain, no heroic martyrdom. Instead, it is claimed, there was a humiliating slap on the cheek and Laurent Gbagbo was hauled from his bunker and paraded before the TV cameras.
The fall of the African strongman came after one of the most drawn-out election results in history. Gbagbo was finally prised from his palace in the former Ivory Coast capital four months after the votes were cast against him.
Backed by French tanks, forces loyal to Gbagbo's opponent, Alassane Ouattara, said they stormed his underground bunker at the presidential residence in Abidjan, interrogated Gbagbo then carried him away with his wife, Simone, and his son Michel.