These Historical Figures Proved to be Ridiculously Hard to Kill

Details of the death of the “Mad Monk” Grigori Rasputin remain in dispute over a century after his death. Wikimedia

2. Grigori Rasputin survived assassination attempts on multiple occasions

The man known to history as the Mad Monk was an influential member of the Court of Tsar Nicholas II, having convinced the Tsarina Alexandra that he possessed the ability to cure her son Alexei of his hemophilia. Rasputin held controversial views regarding salvation, maintaining that sin was a necessary part of existence which led the sinner to repentance and hence a godly state. His own sins of preference were illicit sex and a propensity towards drunkenness. Those pursuits led to him being the victim of several attempts on his life, including a stabbing attack during which he was severely wounded, with his intestines exposed. The woman who attacked him cited his sexual proclivities as one motive for the attack.

Rasputin survived poisoning with cyanide laced cakes, which he washed down with tea and wine, both also liberally dosed with the poison. He was shot three times, including from point blank range in the forehead. Believing him dead, his assassins threw his bound body into the frigid Malaya Nevka River. When his body was found a month later beneath the ice of the frozen river, its hands were no longer bound, indicating that he had still been alive despite bullet wounds, stab wounds, other physical trauma consistent with having been beaten, and a massive dose of poison. Subsequent investigations by historians resulted in conflicting reports of Rasputin’s death, and the debate over his demise continues, but there is little doubt that it took death some time to overcome him.