BAGHDAD, Iraq – A videotape of the beheading of British hostage Kenneth Bigley (search) appeared Sunday on an Islamist Web site, showing the civil engineer pleading that he wanted "to live a simple life" moments before he was decapitated.
The nearly five-minute tape appeared two days after Bigley's family said it had proof that the 62-year-old civil engineer from Liverpool (search) was dead. The body has not been found.
The tape showed Bigley, dressed in an orange prison-style jump suit and seated in front of seven armed, hooded men. Behind them was a banner of the Tawhid and Jihad group, the extremist organization that has claimed responsibility for numerous suicide attacks and beheadings of Westerners.
Bigley made a brief statement, saying "I am not a difficult person. I am a simple man who wants to live a simple life." Addressing British Prime Minister Tony Blair (search), he then said: "More than ever I need your help."
"Here I am again, Mr. Blair," Bigley added. "Very, very close to the end of my life. You do not appear to have done anything at all to help me."
One of the hooded men then spoke, saying the British government "pretended to care about its people" but "they are lying." The speaker said the kidnappers extended the deadline for Bigley's death to allow time for coalition authorities to meet their demand to release all female prisoners held in Iraq.
"Britain is not serious," the speaker said. "So this malicious Britons has nothing except the sword."
Suddenly the speaker drew a knife from his belt, and three of the others grabbed Bigley, who pivoted to his left. The men shoved Bigley to the floor and cut of his head, which the killer then lifted for viewers to see.
Bigley was seized Sept. 16 in his Baghdad home along with two Americans, who were beheaded within days.