When the end came for Moammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya, it was stunningly sudden. One minute the rebels were in the mountains, the next they were sweeping through the coastal city of Zawiya to the gates of the capital.
Gadhafi's dread fortress of Bab al-Aziziya in Tripoli then came under siege by rebels, to fall in a matter of hours.
Over the next few days, the secrets of the 42-year-old regime spilled into the open.
Whispered stories about bunkers under Bab al-Aziziya proved true, with miles of tunnels navigable by electric golf carts leading to villas and hideouts across the city.
Inmates freed from the regime's notorious prisons told of decades of inside tiny cells, cut off from the world. The squalor they endured contrasted with the luxury in which Gadhafi's children lived, as evidenced by the expensive cars, indoor pools and gaudy decor at the homes rebels trashed and looted.
In the ensuing days, sporadic fighting continued with pockets of Gadhafi loyalists. As they retreated, they left behind mounds of corpses, sometimes set on fire, before vanishing into the countryside.