Assassination plots and attempts are common among prominent people. Through the years, we have seen presidents, prime ministers, human rights advocates, religious leaders and world-renowned celebrities almost get killed in cold blood by haters, subordinates or strangers. Most assassination attempts and plots have been politically motivated, carried out by rational killers. However, a good number of them were carried out by attackers with highly questionable mental stability. If these 25 boldest assassination attempts ever tell us anything, is that high profiles come at a price:
When Andrew Jackson became the president of the United States in 1835, an unemployed house painter named Richard Lawrence approached him as he left a funeral service in the Congress and attempted to kill him with several bystanders around. His attempt was brought by his delusion that the U.S. government owed him a lot of money, and that the money that Jackson was “keeping” from him was the key to his dream of being the King Richard III of England. Unfortunately for him, his gun misfired.
As Ronald Reagan was about to leave Hilton after delivering his presidential speech on March 30, 1981, a deranged man named John Hinckley fired six shots from a .22-caliber revolver at him, puncturing his lung. Hinckley was obsessed with actress Jodie Foster and believed that killing the president was the best way to impress her.
At a conference at the villa of Hitler on March 11, 1944, Cavalry Captain Eberhard von Breitenbuch attempted to kill Hitler as he concealed a small Browning pistol. The captain felt that the destruction of Germany was already inexorable and that the German leader had to be stopped. As he entered the conference room to kill Hitler, Field Marshal Ernst Busch stopped him without suspecting anything, saying “Sorry, no adjutants beyond this point.”
After delivering a speech on August 30, 1918 in a Moscow factory, Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin was shot thrice by Social Revolutionary Party member Fanya Kaplan. His shoulder and jaw were hit but he survived the attack despite the serious wounds. The assassination attempt kindled a wave of reprisals by the Bolsheviks against the Social Revolutionaries.
Former Ukraine Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned at a dinner sometime in September 2004, following his announcement of his bid to run against incumbent Viktor Yanukoyych. He was flown to Vienna, Austria for treatment after he was diagnosed with “acute pancratitis.” Following tests, it was concluded that his condition was brought by high concentrations of Dioxin that were mixed in with his food in an attempt to kill him.