Prince Felix Yusupuv's perfectly-laid plans to kill Rasputin didn't go as smoothly as he'd hoped. By the time the affair was over in 1916, Rasputin was poisoned, beaten, shot and drowned. Felix was then exiled from St. Petersburg and Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown. The Bolshevik Revolution had officially begun.
With Kate Leonard & Bill Thomas
One death can change the world. Assassinations recounts history’s most dramatic deaths. Through little-known facts, “what-ifs?” and examining the assassin's motives, we explore how one murder can alter the course of history. Assassinations releases a new episode every Monday. Assassinations is a production of Cutler Media and part of the Parcast Network.
Amidst the slow decline of the Russian aristocracy, a drunk, uneducated peasant arrived in St. Petersburg claiming to have mystical powers. His name was Grigori Rasputin and he became one of the Tsar's most trusted advisors. In 1916, a wealthy young aristocrat Prince Felix Yusupuv, saw a chance to redeem his reputation by saving Russia from its massively unpopular wizard-advisor.
At 3:00 P.M. on February 21st, 1965, multiple shooters opened fire at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City. Within half an hour, Malcolm X was pronounced dead and Talmadge Hayer was in police custody. However, in the coming days, investigators were met with more questions than answers.
On March 8th, 1964, Malcolm X officially broke away from the Nation of Islam to start his own organization. His rivalry with his former mentor, NOI leader Elijah Muhammad, quickly escalated from a personal dispute to an ideological battle with international consequences. After nearly a year of conflict, NOI enforcers were dispatched to Malcolm's weekly service at the Audubon Ballroom to silence their defector once and for all.
Orphan. Conman. Felon. Prisoner. Messiah. Malcolm X emerged from a life of crime, reborn under the gospel of the Nation of Islam and its leader, Elijah Muhammad. But as Malcolm came to national attention as the face and voice of "Black Nationalism" in the late 1950s, rifts began to form in the organization, and soon Malcolm would be in danger... not from outside forces, but from men within his own brotherhood.
A devout Muslim, teacher and scholar, he originally set out to help Egypt return to its more culturally focused roots. Instead, the Brotherhood he helped create began using violence to achieve its goals. On February 12th, 1949, Hassan al-Banna saw firsthand the violence he was trying to rein in.
In 1949, Egypt was on the brink. The rapidly growing Muslim Brotherhood had struck out against the government in opposition to the actions of King Farouk I. Farouk, a young and inexperienced King, had barely led the country through World War 2, and was eager to solidify his loose hold on the country. As the violence increased, and both sides prepared for war, one man would pay the price: Hassan al-Banna.
In less than 24 hours, this famous Denver radio host’s murder became headline news across the nation. Radio stations around the country became fearful of copycat crimes and upped their security. This tragic event made the public aware that militant white supremacist groups were active and a dangerous threat in the 1980s.
He was a radio host in Denver that everyone loved to hate, building a career out of insulting everyone, even his own listeners. In 1984, Alan Berg permanently went off the air and was silenced forever because of a militant white supremacist group. The Order killed the provocative radio host because of his Jewish identity and outspoken viewpoints.
In the last years of his reign, this Emperor was known for his frequent and extreme executions. When his mistress discovers her name on his list of people who should be killed, she takes matters into her own hands. This marks the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire.
Known as one of the most egotistical Roman emperors, Commodus famously commissioned statues depicting himself as the mythical hero Hercules. He regularly fought as a gladiator, and claimed to be the son of Jupiter. Ultimately his megalomania would be his downfall, when in 192, a conspiracy formed by his mistress and the praetorian prefect went into action.
Environmentalists are accustomed to large corporations villainizing them. From the 1970s to the early 2000s, Sister Dorothy was no exception, turning the wealthiest landowners in Brazil against her. She was prepared to pay the ultimate sacrifice in order to be a catalyst for change.
Known as the “Angel of the Amazon” she dedicated her life to protecting the poor in the 1970s to early 2000s. In order to lure multinational corporations, Brazil would bribe officials to acquire land, obtain false titles, and evict settlers. Dorothy Mae Stang was a fierce opponent to these unethical practices, and worked tirelessly to protect small-scale farmers during a time of upheaval in Brazil.
As a beacon of progressive hope among the desperate people of Brazil, Marielle Franco made it her life’s mission to help the impoverished and fight police corruption. She was elected councilor in 2017 in a country where political power isn’t always feasible for black, queer politicians. Franco’s supporters believe that her murder was politically motivated, and her killers have yet to be identified.
News of Selena’s death shocked her beloved fanbase. Yolanda Saldivar’s sensational trial claimed that she had meant to kill herself but the gun misfired in Selena’s direction. Gang members planned to kill Saldivar if her bail was ever posted. If Selena’s life hadn’t ended so suddenly, the world of music would be vastly different today.
The Queen of Tejano Music was only 23 when she was shot and killed by her best friend, personal assistant, and President of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar in 1995. The icon was declared dead at The Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Texas after Yolanda shot her in the back. What lead Selena's best friend to assassinate her?
President John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. on November 22nd, 1963. The fallout of his death would change the course of history for America and for the world. What would America be like if John F. Kennedy had survived?
November 22nd, 1963, was supposed to be a special day. President John Kennedy had traveled to Dallas, Texas, to attend to some political matters in preparation for his upcoming re-election campaign. But, by the time the sun set, the President would be dead, and police would have in custody the shooter: Lee Harvey Oswald.
Loner. Drop out. Marine. Defector. Husband. Father. Lee Harvey Oswald was all of these things, but on November 22 1963, he came to only be known as the man who killed President John F. Kennedy.
People who defied society. Bullets that defiled bodies. Deaths that define history. Assassinations recounts the lead-up, the fall-out, and impact of history’s most dramatic deaths. Within each story, we explore the people who picked the target, pulled the trigger, or poured the poison. Assassinations launches November 19th, with a new episode every Monday. Assassinations is a production of Cutler Media and part of the Parcast Network.