Top 10 Most Famous ASSASSINATIONS of All Time!
1. Franz Ferdinand
On June 28, 1914, Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria and thus the heir to the Austrian throne, was visiting the territory of Sarajevo with his wife, Sophie. The pair of them were intercepted by a member of the Black Hand. When the car that they were traveling in turned into an alleyway. Side note, if you’re a royal, don’t travel down a dark alleyway. Miraculously, each of them only took one bullet. But that was all the assassin; 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip needed to take both of their lives. But the real significance of this event was that those murders created a chain reaction that ultimately led to World War I.
2. Abraham Lincoln
This is easily one of the most famous assassinations in American history and possibly the world. On April 14th, 1865 at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C., around 10:13 pm, John Wilkes Booth, a rather famous actor at the time, shot the president at point-blank range in the back of the head. Lincoln was sitting in his state box watching a play. Immediately after the shooting, Booth fought with Major Rathbone. The President’s guest in the box stabbed him once and then lept from the balcony breaking his leg in the fall. Booth stood proudly and exclaimed those famous words: Sic Semper tyrannies Which means, “thus always to tyrants.” That was, of course, right before half running and half hobbling off. Astonishingly, he managed to avoid capture for 12 days with a broken leg. That was before he was shot dead by Sergeant Boston Corbett.
3. Julius Caesar
This is perhaps one of, if not the most, infamous assassination in history. Back in the first century BC, Roman military man and political figure Julius Caesar had just been declared dictator after a civil war in the Roman Republic. However, on March 15th, 44 BC, Caesar arrived at the Senate only to be surrounded by 60 senators. All of which were part of the assassination. Almost every single one of them attended the assassination. And stabbed him over 23 times. Seems like a little bit of overkill, but okay. That’s when he uttered those famous final words. Which people still use today? Et Tu Brute? The phrase meaning, “And you, Brutus?” Referring, of course, to his friend Brutus who also ultimately took part in his death. After his death, the Roman Republic was no more.
4. John Lennon
In addition to being an artist, writer, record producer, and activist John Winston Lennon is a legendary figure who was one of the founding members of the Beatles. A sensation the world over, Lennon did his best to spread a message of peace. However, on the evening of December 8th, 1980, just before 11 pm, the singer and his wife, Yoko Ono, had just arrived at their New York apartment. When Mark David Chapman approached them, fatally shooting Lennon. However the truly shocking part about this, is that this occurred only six hours after the former Beatle gave Chapman an autograph. And the worst part about it is that he did it just so he could be known as the man who killed Lennon. Immediately after shooting Lennon, Chapman put his gun down, sat on the pavement and read Catcher in the Rye until the police arrived and arrested him with no incident.
5. Operation Anthropoid
Reinhard Heydrich was a Nazi leader that was selected by Hitler himself. He became a prime target of a joint assassination plot between British intelligence and Czech rebels. Which, if successful, would be a major hit to Hitler. Two soldiers named Jan Kubis, and Jozef Gabcik were tasked with killing Heydrich in Prague on May 27th, 1942. As the target’s car pulled up to a corner, Gabcik tried to open fire with a machine gun. Only to have it jam at that very moment. Panicked, Kubis then threw a grenade blowing up half the car and injuring himself and the target. However, this bad luck was amplified by the fact that Heydrich survived the initial attack. However, finally, days later Heydrich’s injuries resulted in an infection that ended up taking his life.
6. Martin Luther King
An American activist, humanitarian, and Baptist minister, Martin Luther King, Jr was the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Who stood against racial discrimination using nonviolent, civil disobedience. However, somehow he survived every attack. That was, sadly, until April 4th, 1968 when a man police believed to be James Earl Ray, shot King in the face with a rifle while the activist stood on the balcony of his motel room. The shot was made from across the street at a fair distance. And King was hit in the jaw. The bullet was striking his spinal cord before embedding it in his shoulder. Riots then broke out in over 60 U.S. cities following the shooting. Prompting President Johnson to declare a day of mourning.
7. Grigoris Lambrakis
Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis had made himself a thorn in the side of the right-wing government in the early 1960’s. Protesting the war in Vietnam, and various other government sanctioned actions. His activism had become such a menace to the Greek government, that they wanted him permanently removed. So the government hired two assassins to kill him. How they pulled this off, though, is just the mind twister here. They pulled up in a simple three-wheeled scooter of sorts and attacked Lambrakis during an anti-war speech in full view of the public and several police officers. And clubbed him to death with bats. Suffering severe brain injuries, Lambrakis died in hospital shortly afterward.
8. John F. Kennedy.
Though it was a shorter term than most presidents, John Fitzgerald Kennedy witnessed a lot during his presidency. Including the civil rights movement, the Cuban missile crisis, and the space race. On November 22nd, 1963, just before 12:30 pm, President Kennedy was traveling with his motorcade through the streets of Dallas, when he was shot via rifle three times. He died shortly after in the hospital. While Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for his murder. However, what makes this assassination truly unbelievable, is that while there were hundreds of witnesses to the assassination, it remains one of the biggest mysteries in U.S. history. If you Google it, you will find an incredible number of conspiracy theories that claimed that the shooter was not Oswald due to the magic bullet theory and that the government itself may have been involved in the president’s death. Among several other theories that exist.When you look up government conspiracies, that is a rabbit hole you do not want to go down. Because you will become one of those people that don’t leave their house and wears a tinfoil hat.
9. Operation Ogre
In 1973, four Basque commando separatists decided to take out Spanish Prime Minister, Luis Carrero Blanco in a mission dubbed Operation Ogre. Posing as simple art students and renting a basement apartment, the commandos dug a tunnel under the street Blanco traveled down to get to mass. Then they packed the tunnel with over 80 kilograms of explosives that they’d stolen previously from a government warehouse. On December 20th, 1973 as Blanco’s car pulled up; the crew detonated the bombs. The vehicle was hurled over 20 meters into the air. Going over a five-story building. However, in a truly extraordinary turn of events, every single occupant in that car was killed except Blanco. Though he later did succumb to his injuries, in what would ultimately become possibly the biggest overkill ever.
10. Axe-wielding bear
This assassination is both hard to comprehend, and just plain weird. Jorg Jenatsch was an infamous Swiss murderer and trader. Overall, just an appalling guy. On January 24th, 1639, Jenatsch was at a carnival surrounded by some his friends. All of which wore masks and costumes. Well, as it turned out they weren’t exactly all friends. Because a group approached him led by a man in a full-body, bear costume. Suddenly the bear, who I could only assume would do little bear tricks. Little cute, little bear tricks, suddenly pulled out an axe and chopped the man to death in plain sight. They did this in plain sight with many witnesses and fleed immediately afterward with a handful of co-conspirators. To this day, it still isn’t known why the bear went all cuckoo, but it was probably the first and only bear man to have assassinated someone with an axe.