People become famous for all kind of reasons. Here we look into a list of famous assassins whose only claim to fame is that they killed someone important.
1. Marcus Junius Brutus
Assassin Of - Julius Caesar
He is probably the most famous assassin ever and whose name has now become synonymous with betrayal and backstabbing. He led a group of senators who called themselves liberators, in a plot to kill Julius Caesar, because of his increasingly autocratic behavior. It was carried on Ides of March, which is the 74th day in the Roman calendar, which now corresponds to 15 March, which used to be marked by several religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts. Caesar was stabbed 23 times by his assassins. After this, Brutus fled to Macedonia and tried to recruit an army to protect himself. But Octavian, adopted son of Caesar, came after him for revenge. This resulted in a second civil war, in which Brutus’s army was defeated by Octavian’s. After the defeat, Brutus committed suicide to avoid capture by his enemy. Dante Alighieri wrote in ‘The Divine Comedy‘ that Brutus was in the worst level of Hell, for betraying his friend Caesar.
2. Gavrilo Princip
Assassin Of - Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
He was a member of revolutionary movement called, Young Bosnia, which sought to end the Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So Gavrilo assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife on 28 June, 1914, in Sarajevo. He was 19. He tried to shoot himself afterwards but was stopped by the onlookers.
At his trial he stated that, “I am a Yugoslav nationalist, aiming for the unification of all Yugoslavs, and I do not care what form of state, but it must be freed from Austria.” He was sentenced to twenty years in prison as he was too young to receive the death penalty. The assassination caused Austrian Empire to declare war on Serbia, which ignited the First World War.
3. John Wilkes Booth
Assassin Of - Abraham Lincoln
He was an American stage actor who was a Confederate sympathizer, who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln because he was angry at the recent abolition of slavery in United States, which has made him one of the most famous assassins. Initially, he and his fellow Confederate sympathizers had planned to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward for exchange with Confederate POWs. But they could not execute this plan. After the assassinating the President at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., he fled to Southern Maryland on a horseback. He was tracked 12 days later at a farm in rural Northern Virginia, hiding in a barn. When he refused to surrender and come out of the barn, the authorities set the barn ablaze. This made Booth move about inside the ablaze barn, at whom Sergeant Boston Corbett shot at. He died a few hours later.
4. Nathuram Godse
Assassin Of - Mahatma Gandhi
He was a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which is a Hindu nationalist group, who assassinated Gandhi because he believed Gandhi to have favored the political demands of India’s Muslims during the partition of India and aided in the creation of Pakistan. He fired three bullets into Gandhi’s chest when he was on his way to a prayer meeting in New Delhi. At the trial he was sentenced to death. He was hanged at Ambala Jail on 15 November, 1949.
5. Lee Harvey Oswald
Assassin Of - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
He was a former U.S. Marine who assassinated United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, which put him on this list of famous assassins. The motives are not yet known. He unknowingly has caused a conspiracy theory. Some say he was a lone shark, others say he did it at the behest of Cuban exiles. Anyway before we could know the motive he was shot dead two days after the assassination by Jack Ruby, a Dallas local nightclub owner, on live television in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters.
6. James Earl Ray
Assassin Of - Martin Luther King Jr
He was a American fugitive who is convicted of killing Martin Luther King Jr. He killed Dr. King with a single shot fired from his Remington rifle, while King was standing on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. His family and friends have stated that the motive of the murder was racial hatred. He then fled the site abandoning a package which included a rifle and binocular with Ray’s fingerprint. He fled to London, where he was caught and extradited to USA. He confessed to the crime and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He recanted from his confession three days later, citing he lied to avoid death sentence. The King family still believe his claim of innocence. He died while in prison in 1998 at 70, due to complications related to kidney disease.
7. Mark David Chapman
Assassin Of - John Lennon
He is a American who was a security guard who murdered John Lennon. Mark who was a fan of the Beatles, turned against John after he became a born-again Christian and was angry about Lennon’s remark that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus.” He shot and killed Lennon outside the archway of his Manhattan apartment. Mark was sentenced for 20 years to life in prison. He is still in prison and incarcerated at the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, and is one of the most famous assassins alive.