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Breaking Down the World’s Most Iconic Assassinations
[Image via Encyclopedia Britannica]

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

  • Assassinated By: Gavrilo Princip
  • Year: 1914
  • Cause of Fatality: Gunshot Wound
  • Motive: Sought To End Austro-Hungarian Rule Over Bosnia and Herzegovina

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Of course, this was a major empire at the time and Franz remaining alive would only lead to this empire continuing. A Serbian society called the Black Hand wanted to put an end to it in 1914. A man named Danilo Ilić sent six assassins via motorcycle to end the Archduke while on his motorcade route in Sarajevo. Two assassins got cold feet and bowed out.

Breaking Down the World’s Most Iconic Assassinations
[Image via Wikipedia Commons]
Another assassin threw a bomb but it bounced off a convertible and blew up the car behind Franz. Knowing he’d be caught, he swallowed a cyanide pill and jumped into the Milijack River. Sadly for him, the pill was out of date and did not end him and the river was not deep so he was beaten by a crowd. One of the other six assassins, Gavrilo Princip, was getting a sandwich when he saw Franz’s car reversing. He took the opportunity to run up and shoot Franz, triggering World War I. Talk about notable assassinations, right? It’s unlikely Princip thought he’d start a World War doing this.

Breaking Down the World’s Most Iconic Assassinations
[Image via Thoughtco]

Commodus

  • Assassinated By: Narcissus
  • Year: 192 AD
  • Cause of Fatality: Strangulation
  • Motive: To End His Rule

There are many reasons people wanted to get rid of Commodus. Most Roman rulers were chosen and adopted by the Emperor. They felt using biological sons or daughters would not be best, but it was hard to question such a wise Emperor like Marcus Aurelius. He was the last great Emperor of Rome, and many thought his son would continue the greatness. Marcus made Commodus co-ruler with him, but Commodus became sole ruler upon his father’s passing.

Breaking Down the World’s Most Iconic Assassinations
[Image via Pinterest]
Soon, Commodus became a tyrant and dictator who saw himself as God-like. By November of 192 AD, he was becoming a problem for everyone, and his wife Marcia felt he had gone mad. She poisoned his food but he upchucked to rid himself of it. Those behind ending Commodus sent his wrestling partner, Narcissus, to end his life. He would do just that by strangling Commodus in his bath. Resulting in one of the most notable assassinations in history.

Breaking Down the World’s Most Iconic Assassinations
[Image via Wikipedia Commons]

Grigori Rasputin

  • Assassinated By: Prince Felix Yusupov, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, and Vladimir Purishkevich
  • Year: 1916
  • Cause of Fatality: Assumed To Be Gunshot Wound To Head
  • Motive: To End His Influence On Russian Emperor and Empress

Grigori Rasputin was a weird dude, who gained power once he met the Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his wife, Empress Alexandra. Their son, Alexei, suffered from hemophilia and Rasputin helped to “heal” him. The major part of his career happened when Nicholas left Russia to fight in World War I, leaving Rasputin and Alexandra alone. It is widely assumed the two had an affair as Rasputin’s power began to increase with the Emperor away.

Breaking Down the World’s Most Iconic Assassinations
[Image via Wikipedia Commons]
Eventually, many felt that Rasputin was overplaying his hand and developing too much power. He might be whispering in the Empress’ ear but that was a critical role. So Russian nobleman plotted to end him. This is what led to one of the most notable assassinations in history. First, the assassins attempted to poison him with cyanide tea and cakes, as well as poisoned wine but none affected him. He was then shot in the chest and left to pass, but once the men came back he rose up and attacked them. Rasputin was then shot in the head and wrapped up in cloth, and thrown into the Malaya Neva River.

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