″The impression from the video is that he might have been killed soon after he was captured.″
Dr. Michael Baden — Director of forensic sciences for the New York State Police
″It clearly looked to me like the body was in what we call mummification, or early stages of mummification, which essentially means drying. Because of the drying certain areas become sunken like the eyes are sunken. If you look at the Higgins pictures, they certainly look that way. … I’m inclined to think he was dead before he was hanged.″
Dr. Werner Spitz — Professor of forensic pathology at Wayne State University
William Richard Higgins (January 15, 1945 – ???) was a colonel in the United States Marine Corps who was captured on February 17 1988 while serving on a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon. He was held hostage, tortured and eventually murdered by his captors. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
On February 17, 1988, Higgins disappeared while serving as chief of the United Nations Military Observer Group in Lebanon.
Higgins was driving alone on the coastal highway between Tyre and Naqoura in southern Lebanon, returning from a meeting with a local leader of the Amal movement, when he was pulled from his vehicle by armed men who it is suspected were affiliated with Hezbollah.
As a reaction to his abduction, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 618, demanding his release.
During his captivity, he was interrogated and tortured. A year and a half after his abduction, images of his body, hanged by the neck, were televised around the world from a videotape released by his captors.
His remains were recovered on December 23, 1991, by Major Jens Nielsen of the Royal Danish Army, who was attached to the United Nations Observation Group in Beirut.
Higgins’ remains were found beside a mosque near a south Beirut hospital. His remains were interred at Quantico National Cemetery, Triangle, Virginia, on December 30, 1991.
Date of Death Unknown — The exact date of Higgins’ murder is uncertain. He was declared dead on July 6, 1990.
Although his captors said they hanged him Monday July 31 1989, medical examiners who saw a videotape of the hanging believe Higgins was dead before he was hanged.
Top News Story July 30, 1989
William R. Higgins — Wikipedia
On This Day — USMC Col. William R. Higgins Is Abducted in Lebanon (February 17 1988)