The death came faster than expected given such a long and laboured hold on power. During the revolution, Colonel Gaddafi, albeit delusional, was defiant as he clung to notions of his leadership for life and legitimacy as single heir to Libya. Since his ascension to rule 42 years ago, and especially as he hosted the Arab League at Sirte in 2010, neither the Colonel nor the nation, saw his end looming.
Since Gaddafi's official ousting from power in August, 2011 and Gaddafi's underground retreat, no one anticipated just how soon he would be captured, given the Libyan desert man's nomadic habits and familiarity with the landscape.
The Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, 'Prince of the Faithful', self-styled 'King of Kings' and 'Mad Dog' - as branded by Ronald Regan- is no more. Gaddafi's fifth and loyal son, Mutassem, and trusty military adviser, dead by his side.
Here's a glimpse of the last unceremonious moments, complete with jeering and rough-handling mobs. Captured and killed, in the last instance he is startled and desperately disoriented, and he cuts a tragically hopeless figure, the shadow of the foreboding and fist-waving man we had access to through TV-speech or YouTube video.
Also, a look at his scattered and, finally, it would seem, crushed family empire.
How did he die? Well until the day after the drama of death, rumors abound as to whether he suffered a single shot to the head or various other wound stories flying about in the rumor-media-mill. Given the room for translation and reportage discrepancy, he seems to have been variously shot in the shoulder, both legs and/ or stomach by the National Transitional Council, in conjunction with a NATO security forces early targeted attack, in his hometown Sirte, where he was rudely set upon in his safe-hole underground.
In pictures, a short tale of a bloody demise for the Libyan ousted, now dead, Leader Colonel Gaddafi.
Internationally, his death has been received with mixed feeling, and some are once again are disappointed in the mob-styled death and bloodthirsty celebration of his demise rather than his being brought to just trial, particularly expected under the National Transitional Council's Chariman 'Judge' Jalil. Others argue that a leader who all too frequently and mercilessly killed his people without a chance to stand trial, during 40 plus years in power, hardly deserves a fair hearing. Moreover, giving Gaddafi a trial would be like offering him a podium or stage for his flamboyant theatrics and rantings, which arguably the audience has now tired of 'hearing'.
The UN is already launching an enquiry into his death.
Warning: Some of the images included in this selection may be of a disturbing or traditionally private nature- ed.