(SIRTE, Libya) -- While the last five minutes of Moammar Gadhafi's life were undoubtedly terrifying, the ousted dictator also led a tortured existence in the weeks before those final brutal moments at the hands of Libyan rebels.
According to those familiar with the situation, Gadhafi chose to stay in his hometown of Sirte rather than try to flee to Niger or Algeria.
A local resident said that Gadhafi spent his last three weeks inside a two-story house in a northern part of the city.
Apparently, Gadhafi did not venture outside a room that was lined with metal sheets to keep people and bullets from entering. His meals were made by his personal chef while as many as 200 snipers held position on rooftops surrounding the place where Gadhafi was holed.
Witnesses said that the once-powerful dictator had been humbled by his swift downfall and lived in fear of his life despite public proclamations that he would die rather than surrender.
It all came to an end last Thursday when African mercenaries hired to protect Gadhafi were unable to beat back the onslaught of rebels fighting for the National Transitional Council.
As his protectors were gunned down, the decision was made to flee the outpost in a fleet of cars. But before going a mile outside Sirte, a CIA Predator drone and NATO war plane stopped the escape, forcing Gadhafi and others to spend their last living moments cowering in a twin-hole drainage tunnel before they met their ultimate fate.
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