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A Breakdown of the Famous Assassinations in History

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People have been clubbing each other over the head for thousands of years now, and the only things that change are the murder weapons. However, there tend to be some murders that stand out more and make the most famous assassinations in history.

But even though the weapons are more sophisticated, the motives behind the murders remain the same — power, politics, passion, and money.

With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at some of the most famous assassinations in history, dating as far back as BC. So let’s get straight into it.

1. Julius Caesar in 44 BC.

One of the most infamous Roman military leaders, Julius Caesar was assassinated by Marcus Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. Around 60 or more conspirators were in on the plan, and they ended up stabbing Caesar a whopping 23 times.

Brutus and Caesar had a close relationship, which is what made the assassination even more shocking. Caesar’s last words were Et Tu, Brute? which means Even you, Brute?

2. Abraham Lincoln in 1865

John Wilkes Booth, once a famous actor and Confederate sympathizer, assassinated the 16th President of the United States in 1865. At precisely 10:15 PM, Booth pulled out his .44 caliber single-shot derringer pistol and fired it at the president’s head.

The search for the assassin became one of the biggest manhunts in history. He had 10,000 people, including police and federal troops, looking for him.

3. James Garfield in 1881

A mere 16 years after Booth killed Lincoln, another US president was gunned down and murdered — James A. Garfield. He had only been in office for four months when Charles Guiteau killed him. Allegedly, Guiteau was planning to do that for quite a while.

In fact, Guiteau was practicing with a .44 caliber pistol, just like Booth, except this one had an ivory handle. He chose that gun specifically because he thought that it would look good in a museum.

4. The May Coup in 1903

The May Coup refers to a coup d’état involving the Serbian monarchy, more specifically King Aleksandar Obrenović, and Queen Draga Mašin. On the night of June 10, 1903, members of the Royal Serbian Army stormed the Royal Palace, brutally killing the king, queen, and prime minister.

The May Coup led to the extinction of the royal Obrenović family, and the throne passed to the rival Karađorđević family. The group that took credit for the assassinations is Black Hand, headed up by Col. Dragutin Dimitrijević, Apis.

5. Franz Ferdinand in 1914

It’s thought that a revolutionary movement, Young Bosnia, was behind the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, with the Black Hand’s blessing. Gavrilo Princip killed both the Archduke and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, using an FN 1910 semi-automatic handgun.

It was, by far, one of the most famous assassinations in history, and its events would lead to the beginning of WWI.

6. Mahatma Gandhi in 1948

Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist, murdered Mahatma Gandhi because he felt that Gandhi was too accommodating to Muslims. Using a Beretta M 1934 semi-automatic pistol, he shot three bullets into Gandhi’s chest and abdomen at point-blank range.

The crowd, which was surrounding Gandhi at the time, caught Godse and handed him over to the police. He, along with seven co-conspirators went on trial in May and received a death sentence.

7. John F. Kennedy in 1963

John F. Kennedy’s murder is probably one of the most famous assassinations in history. In fact, there are still photos and videos of the moment Lee Harvey Oswald shot the President. He did so with a 6.5×52mm Italian Carcano M91/38 bolt-action rifle, while the President was in the motorcade.

Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald with a .38 revolver. on the day police were planning to transfer Oswald to a high-security prison.

8. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968

Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and famous activist who became the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. The man behind his murder was a small-time criminal, James Earl Ray, who police caught at the Heathrow Airport.

To kill MLK Jr., Ray used the Remington 750 Gamemaster .30-60, along with a scope and binoculars. Even though he first confessed to the assassination, he later recanted, which lead to countless conspiracy theories.

Famous Assassinations in History

9. John Lennon in 1980

In December 1980, the entire world mourned the death of John Lennon, who was assassinated by a crazed fan. Mark David Chapman, who was borderline psychotic according to psychiatrists, shot the famous musician five times using a Charter Arms .38 caliber revolver.

When police arrived at the scene, they found Chapman calmly standing next to the body, with his revolver and coat on the ground.

10. Tupac Shakur in 1996

Tupac Shakur’s assassination remains a mystery to this day, and no one has solved it yet. The musician was struck by four .40 caliber rounds during a drive-by in Las Vegas, Nevada. Suge Knight, head of Death Row Records, who was with him, was hit in the head due to fragmentation.

Tupac died a few days later in the hospital, while Suge Knight made it out. Both musicians had bodyguards and an entire entourage following them. But no one was able to see the perpetrators or identify them.

11. Notorious B.I.G. in 1997

Notorious B.I.G, who was one of the suspects in Tupac’s assassination would die only six months later. Just like Tupac, someone shot Biggie Smalls four times during a drive-by, and the police never caught his attacker(s).

Again, the rapper had a big entourage, as well as a team of bodyguards with him at all times. However, the shooter stopped his car right next to Notorious B.I.G. and ended the musician’s life with a blue-steel 9×19 mm pistol.

12. Joseph Stalin in 1953?

According to official reports, Joseph Stalin, the infamous dictator of the Soviet Union, died of a brain hemorrhage. However, there have long been conspiracy theories as to what actually happened, and if someone had poisoned and murdered the politician.

The same night he died, he was talking about the upcoming trial, the now infamous Doctor’s Plot. The three most likely suspects in the plot to kill Stalin were three of his closest conspirators. But with so many mysteries surrounding his life and death, it’s highly unlikely that the truth will ever come out.

Bottom Line

That was our rundown of the most famous assassinations in history that shocked the world. It all just goes to show that anyone, no matter what they do, can be a target of an attack.

And with today’s weapons being more intricate, EP agents have a bigger responsibility than ever to stay in the know and keep up with security tactics.

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