Murder, when combined with ideological or political motivation, is termed as an assassination. In other words, assassination is the planned and targeted murder of a high profile and well known individual, for ideological reasons or otherwise. Popularity and fame bring along a lot of enemies with them. Politics is especially a field that results in making of more adversaries than friends. This hostility and antagonism can very often take the form of murders and assassinations also. In this article, we have provided information on the most famous murder cases and assassinations in history.
Famous Murders in History
- Mahatma Gandhi
The Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse on 30th January 1948. A Hindu radical, Godse later surrendered to the police and was hanged on 15th November 1949.
- Indira Gandhi
The former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, her own bodyguards, on 31st October 1984. While Beant Singh was killed by Gandhi’s other bodyguards, Satwant Singh was later arrested and executed.
- Rajiv Gandhi
The former Prime Minister of India and the son of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bomb attack, carried out by LTTE suicide bombers.
- John F Kennedy
The thirty-fifth President of the United States, John F Kennedy was assassinated on 22nd November 1963, allegedly by Lee Harvey Oswald. Lee was later killed Jack Ruby, on 24th November 1963, even before he could be indicted or tried.
- Robert F Kennedy
The younger brother of John F Kennedy and a Senator from New York, Robert F Kennedy was assassinated on 5th June 1968, by Sirhan Sirhan (a Palestinian). Initially sentenced to death in a gas chamber, he was later handed the punishment of life imprisonment.
- Abraham Lincoln
The sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on 14th April 1865, by John Wilkes Booth, a well-known actor. Booth later died in an encounter with soldiers.
- James Garfield
The twentieth President of the United States, James Garfield was assassinated on 2nd July 1881, by Charles J. Guiteau. An American lawyer, Charles was hanged on 30th June 1882, in the District of Columbia.
- Benazir Bhutto
The former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on 27th December 2007. Her assassinator first shot her and then detonated a bomb, when she was leaving from a rally at Liaquat National Bagh. Though Baitullah Mehsud is being alleged as the main mastermind behind the murder, nothing has been proved yet.
- Gen. M. Zia ul Haq
The former president and military ruler of Pakistan, Gen. M. Zia ul Haq was killed in a crash on 17th August 1988. However, there has always been a common suspicion in Pakistan that the crash was a political assassination.
- John Lennon
One of the founders and members of The Beatles, John Lennon was English rock musician, singer and songwriter. He was killed on 8th December 1980, by Mark David Chapman. After shooting Lennon, Chapman was caught and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
- Malcolm X
An American Black Muslim minister and a spokesman for the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X was assassinated on 21st February 1965, by Talmadge Hayer. Later Hayer was convicted, along with two of his associates, for shooting Malcolm.
- Martin Luther King Jr.
One of the leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on 4th April 1968, by James Earl Ray. Ray was convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison. He later died in prison, at the age of 70.