[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 8 October, 2004, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Timeline: Ken Bigley
British hostage Ken Bigley was beheaded by his captors in Iraq. BBC News Online outlines the main events leading up to his murder.

16 Sept: Mr Bigley is taken hostage with Americans Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong by the Tawhid and Jihad group.

18 Sept: The kidnappers say they will kill the hostages in 48 hours if their demands for the release of women prisoners are not met. The three captives are shown on a video.

20 Sept: Eugene Armstrong is beheaded when the deadline expires.

21 Sept: Jack Hensley is beheaded at the end of another 24-hour deadline. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw speaks to the Bigley family, saying the government is doing all it can. Prime Minister Tony Blair also talks with them.

22 Sept: Mr Bigley appears in a video, pleading for his life. "I need you to help me now Mr Blair, because you are the only person on God's earth who can help me."

23 Sept: His 86-year-old mother, in Liverpool, makes an emotional appeal on television for her son to be released. She collapses shortly afterwards and is treated in hospital. His wife also makes a televised appeal. Mr Blair talks to the family for the second time.

24 Sept: 50,000 leaflets asking for Mr Bigley's release are distributed in Mansour, the district he was taken from. In Liverpool, prayers are said by more than 400 Muslims and 100 Catholics for Mr Bigley's safe release. Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern calls for Mr Bigley's release in a statement released to the Al-Jazeera TV channel.

25 Sept: Reports on an al-Qaeda-linked group website claiming that Mr Bigley had been killed are dismissed by the Foreign Office as coming from a "discredited" source.

26 Sept: Two Muslim UK leaders travel to Iraq to plead for Mr Bigley's release. They meet Iraqi president Ghazi Yawer and senior Muslim scholars, but have no direct contact with the kidnappers.

29 Sept: Mr Bigley appears in a another video, broadcast on Al-Jazeera television. He is shown behind bars, pleading with Tony Blair to help release him.

30 Sept: Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams makes his first appeal on Al-Jazeera for the release of Mr Bigley.

1 Oct: Another 100,000 leaflets are distributed in Baghdad by the Foreign Office, asking for any information about Mr Bigley's whereabouts.

4 Oct: A man approaches the British embassy in Baghdad, presenting himself as a potential intermediary with Mr Bigley's captors. Messages are exchanged between the UK government and the hostage-takers.

5 Oct: Ireland grants Mr Bigley a passport after a request from his family, who hope by stressing his Irish connections the kidnappers would release him.

6 Oct: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi appeals for Mr Bigley's release.

7 Oct: Gerry Adams makes a second plea for release on Arab television. Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi hints that there may be some movement in the Bigley case.

8 Oct: Unconfirmed reports on Abu Dhabi TV say that Ken Bigley was killed on Thursday. His death is later confirmed by his family in Liverpool.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific