During Liberia’s 14-year civil war, a ruthless and feared warrior rose to oust their terrible dictator, former President Charles Taylor. It wasn’t at all for the right cause, as this warlord committed unimaginable heinous crimes resulting in 20,000 deaths. He was known by his nom de guerre “General Butt Naked.”

Freely Admitting His Crimes

General Blahyi trained child soldiers in Liberia not to fear death. Photograph: Chris Hondros/Getty Images.

As funny as his alias sounds, Joshua Milton Blahyi’s graphic deeds were nothing to laugh about. He controlled the streets of Monrovia wearing nothing but his sneakers, as he believed that he was invincible, for the babies he sacrificed offered the greatest amount of protection. He was, in fact, never hit by a bullet. The Liberian war lasted from 1989 to 2003, with a death toll of 250,000. Twenty thousand of those were caused by General Butt Naked. His only weapon was his machete and the 20,000 children he recruited as his soldiers, whom he taught that killing was a game. The excerpt of the record of his hearing is as follows:

“‘I recruited children who were nine or 10 years old.’ Is this correct?”


“‘I planted violence into them. I explained to them that killing people was a game.’ Is this correct?”


“‘When I shot and wounded an enemy, I would rip open his back and eat his live heart.’ Is this correct?”

“Let me be more precise…I also laid down the body and had my child soldiers cut the person to pieces so that they wouldn’t have any feelings for people.”