An American soldier behind a spate of thrill-killings in Afghanistan has been sentenced to life in prison.
Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs admitted at the Court-martial hearing he had chopped the fingers off victims and kept them as trophies “like keeping the antlers off a deer you shoot”.
The 26-year-old denied murder but the jury decided he was indeed the ringleader of a rogue platoon after three soldiers testified to killing Afghan villagers on Gibbs’ orders and then disguising their deaths for them to appear as in combat.
The court heard members of the 5th Stryker Brigade smoked marijuana, collected illegal arms and mutilated and photographed corpses.
When asked why, one witness said the brigade had been trained for combat in Iraq and became bored with its largely humanitarian role in Afghanistan.