It ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. On a bus to be precise, there were no SWAT team like raids and thankfully no casualties; as one of the world's most wanted war criminals ended his thirteen year run from the law.
And for thirteen years there have been conflicting rumors on Radovan Karadzic's whereabouts. The oft reported rumor was that he disguised himself as a Serbian Orthodox monk, sheltered in monasteries along the Bosnian/Serbian border. It made sense, after all, the Serbian Orthodox Church, as an institution, was one of the key supporters and instruments in the rise of Serbian nationalism in the late 1980s. For the past few years there have been raids, "near misses" and growing rumors over whether or not a deal was made with Karadzic to allow him to escape arrest.
But in the end Karadzic was arrested not in countryside and not disguised as a monk, but in Belgrade and as a New Age doctor.
Reporters, Balkan experts and a host of people much more knowledgeable than I am about Karadzic have stressed his vanity and narcissism. But, few would probably wager a bet that Karadzic would not only hide in plain sight, but revel in his identity as a New Age healer-write articles, attend symposiums, even create his own website. Even his e-mail address (email@example.com) smacks of incredible degree of narcissism and hubris.
The manner of his arrest, low key and almost anti-climatic is fitting. With Karadzic's own sense of grandeur, from declaring his poetry among the best ever written in the history of Serbian poetry, to declaring himself a self-styled "President"; most people would assume that if Karadzic was ever apprehended, it would be a scene out of a blockbuster movie.
In the end, the arrest turned out to be as banal as Karadzic himself.