The discovery of terrorist kingpin Osama Bin Laden hiding in a "mansion" (above) in the military community of Abbottabad, Pakistan is a reminder that some of history's most evil people have refused to stray far from civilization to escape justice. (Despite its lack of TV and Internet access, new findings from bin Laden's compound include creature comforts such as a "fairly extensive" collection of porn, a diary, and lots of soda.) Inspired by a teeny, tiny sidebar in the OBL special issue of Newsweek that came out a couple of weeks ago, we're taking a look at four more of history's least favorite leaders and the places they called home before being deposed. From a hole in the desert to one of the world's largest walk-in closets, these tyrants just didn't know when to quit.
? Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein might have been found in a dusty crawlspace beneath a farmhouse in Takrit, but it—like most everywhere else in Iraq—wasn't far from one of his many elaborate palaces, which were quickly occupied by the advancing American forces. After all, it's not too often a G.I. gets to eat his MREs amid marble walls.
? More recently, the illegitimate president of the Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, had been holed up in the presidential palace, ignoring international pressure to step down following his loss in the presidential election. On April 11, 2011, Gbagbo was apprehended by republican forces who stormed the imposing palace and extricated the reprobate president from his underground hideout. Pretty cushy digs for the leader of a country where the average citizen brings home less than $700 per year.
? Back in the '40s, when the American nemesis was a man by the name of Adolf Hitler, it was the Russians who chased the fascist into this bunker in the heart of Berlin. Eventually, with defeat inevitable, Hitler committed suicide in the warren of bombproofed rooms known as the Fuhrerbunker. Until 2002, in an effort to keep the site from becoming a neo-Nazi shrine, German officials had consistently refused to formally mark the location of the bunker, and the infamous site was ignominiously occupied by a Chinese restaurant and parking lot.
? On the more luxurious end of things, there's the stuffed closet (above) left by Imelda Marcos, wife of corrupt Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos. During Ferdinand's reign, the family collected an estimated $50B in ill-gotten wealth, and Imelda took full advantage, treating herself to a famous designer shoe collection estimated in the thousands of pairs, 1,000 designer handbags, and 508 gowns. The collection became public knowledge when the Marcos clan fled to Hawaii in 1986, but somehow managed to avoid turning into a PR disaster: Imelda returned to the Philippines in 1991 and is currently serving as a duly elected member of congress.
· Architectural Plans for Osama bin Laden's House REVEALED! [Curbed National]
· Osama bin Laden's Pakistani Compound's Most Shocking Revelations [HuffPo]