Thursday, December 14

Fifteen Notorious Assassins And Their Weapons

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Accused JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald poses with Marxist literature and his Italian-made Carcano rifle (National Archives)

History’s most infamous assassins have used a variety of weapons to carry out their deeds. Here are 15 notorious assassins and their lethal means of execution.

Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963)

  • Date: November 22, 1963
  • Place: Dallas, Texas
  • Victims: President John F. Kennedy, Texas Governor John Connally (survived), Dallas Police officer J.D. Tippit
  • Weapons: 6.5 x 52 mm Italian-made Carcano M91/38 bolt-action military rifle with six-round magazine and 4 x 18 mounted telescopic sight (Kennedy, Connally); Smith & Wesson “Victory” Model .38 Special (Tippit)

John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865)

  • Date: April 14, 1865
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Victims: President Abraham Lincoln, Major Henry Rathbone (survived)
  • Weapons: Single-shot .44 caliber Philadelphia Derringer with 2 1/2-inch barrel (Lincoln); horn-handled hunting knife with 7 1/8-inch blade and accompanying sheath with the words “Liberty” and “America” engraved on blade (Rathbone)

Gavrilo Princip (1894-1918)

  • Date: June 28, 1914
  • Place: Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary
  • Victims: Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and wife Sophie Duchess of Hohenberg, Eric von Merizzi (survived), Count Ludwig Joseph von Boos (survived), approximately 12 others (all survived)
  • Weapons: Model 1910 9mm Browning Short automatic pistol (Ferdinand, Sophie); homemade bombs hurled by co-conspirator Nedljko Cabrinovic (Merizzi, Boos and about a dozen spectators in the crowd hit by shrapnel)

Charles J. Guiteau (1841-1882)

  • Date: July 2, 1881
  • Place: Washington, D.C.
  • Victim: President James A. Garfield
  • Weapon: Webley British Bulldog .442 revolver

Jack Ruby (1911-1967)

  • Date: November 24, 1963
  • Place: Dallas, Texas
  • Victim: Accused JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald
  • Weapon: Colt Cobra .38 snub-nosed revolver

Jack Ruby mug shot. Ruby used a .38 snub-nosed revolver to kill Lee Harvey Oswald at Dallas Police Headquarters on November 24, 1963 (Dallas Police Department)

Sirhan B. Sirhan (1944-)

  • Date: June 5, 1968
  • Place: Los Angeles, California
  • Victims: New York senator Robert F. Kennedy, Paul Schrade of the United Auto Workers union (survived), William Weisel of ABC-TV (survived), Ira Goldstein of Continental News Service (survived), Elizabeth Evans friend of Kennedy aide Pierre Salinger (survived), teenage Kennedy volunteer Irwin Stroll (survived)
  • Weapon: Iver-Johnson Cadet .22 revolver

Leon Czolgosz (1873-1901)

  • Date: September 6, 1901
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Victim: President William McKinley
  • Weapon: Iver-Johnson .22 revolver

Mark David Chapman (1955-)

  • Date: December 8, 1980
  • Place: New York City
  • Victim: Ex-Beatle John Lennon
  • Weapon: Charter Arms Special short-barrel five-shot .38 revolver

James Earl Ray (1928-1998)

  • Date: April 4, 1968
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Victim: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Weapon: Remington Gamemaster 760 .30-06 rifle with mounted Redfield 2 x 7 scope

Byron De La Beckwith (1920-2001)

  • Date: June 12, 1963
  • Jackson, Mississippi
  • Victim: Civil rights leader Medgar W. Evers
  • Weapon: Enfield 1917 .303 rifle

Nathuram Godse (1910-1949)

  • Date: January 30, 1948
  • Place: New Delhi, India
  • Victim: Mohandas Gandhi
  • Weapon: Beretta semi-automatic .38 pistol

Yigal Amir (1970-)

  • Date: November 4, 1995
  • Place: Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Victim: Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin
  • Weapon: Beretta 84F .380 ACP semi-automatic pistol

Habib Shartouni (1958-)

  • Date: September 14, 1982
  • Place: Beirut, Lebanon
  • Victims: Lebanese president-elect Bachir Gemayel and 26 others
  • Weapon: 40-50 kilograms of high explosives with remote detonator

Thomas McMahon (1948-)

  • Date: August 27, 1979
  • Place: Sligo Bay, Ireland
  • Victims: Lord Louis Mountbatten, Nicholas Knatchbull, Paul Maxwell, Baroness Brabourne, Timothy Knatchbull (survived), John Knatchbull/Lord Brabourne (survived), Patricia Knatchbull (survived)
  • Weapon: 23 kilogram bomb with radio-controlled detonator

John Patler (1938-)

  • Date: August 25, 1967
  • Place: Arlington, Virginia
  • Victim: American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell
  • Weapon: Mauser semi-automatic pistol
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