How did the presidents die?
The son of the head of the anti-drug organization, Jeff Billings, is kidnapped and then unexpectedly returned to his parents. The boy is infected with a deadly virus, at the first contact he infects his father. And in a few days a meeting of the heads of anti-drug committees should take place, where Mr. Billings is able to decapitate a number of organizations around the world with just a few handshakes ... This is the plot of the film “Carrier-2”. "Popular Mechanics" tried to understand the technologies of real political killing
In the process of preparing the material, we studied more than three hundred different assassinations and murders committed for political reasons - and were disappointed. The lion's share of high-profile crimes of this kind (approximately 70%) was committed by one or two killers using elementary firearms at close range. Robert Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, Olof Palme, Abraham Lincoln, Yitzhak Rabin, Harvey Milk - they all died at the hands of fanatics or mercenaries who managed to get close enough to shoot without missing a conventional pistol. After the success of the enterprise, the killers most often simply surrendered to the police.Some were executed, some were killed by the people's avengers, some lived a long and happy life. But essentially it does not change.
The second most commonplace method is to throw a grenade or bomb. I immediately recall the attempt on the Russian Emperor Alexander II or on the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The task is simple: get closer - and you're done. There are also "combined" murder. For example, the armored car of ex-Nicaraguan president Anastasio Somoza Debeile was first shot from a grenade launcher when he stopped at a red light, and then finished off the survivors from automatic rifles.
Many murders (especially in Asia) are committed by suicide bombers - so, on December 27, 2007, armed bombers broke into the environment zone of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto and blew themselves up with her, at the same time taking with them another 25 people from the crowd and guards. But all this is the Middle Ages, and we live in the XXI century. Therefore, we turn to high-tech.
Perhaps the most technologically advanced and to some extent fantastic is the assassination of Alfred Herrhausen, Chairman of the Board of Deutsche Bank, on November 30, 1989 in the town of Bad Homburg, not far from the Frankfurt-on-Main metropolitan area.In Bad Homburg, Herrhausen lived and traveled daily to work on an armored Mercedes-Benz car with two escort vehicles — in front and behind. The killers had a difficult task: to place a bomb in the way of the car so that it exploded exactly when driving a Mercedes, opposite a strictly defined point of the car body. Even if the explosion occurred at the driver’s seat level, Herrhausen would not have been hurt.
An ordinary bicycle was placed on the route of the motorcade, on the trunk of which the bicycle backpack was reinforced with 20 kg of explosives. In order for the bomb to explode on time, it was equipped with an IR radiation sensor, an emitter was installed in the roadside bushes, which was turned on after the first car traveled, and when the second car crossed the beam with the front bumper, the bomb worked. To hit the passenger, protected by the back door of a Mercedes, a delay of several milliseconds was introduced.
But there was another problem. The Mercedes was not moving close to the edge of the road, between it and the bike was about three-quarters of a lane, and the car’s armor was serious enough to protect the passenger from the near explosion of an improvised explosive device.Therefore, in designing the bomb, the killers used the so-called shock core principle. This is one of the cumulative effects when the explosive has a blunt-shaped conical or spherical recess covered with a metal lining (as the simplest option is a flat plate covering the explosive charge). In this case, the detonation starts from the axis of the explosive, when exposed to a detonation wave, the facing inside out turns out. All the metal cladding in this case forms a projectile of smaller diameter than the original "caliber", but flying at high speed - up to 2-2.5 km / s. This is the shock core, which is used in some high-tech ammunition to break through armor. The strike core does not lose armor-piercing properties even at large distances (in the case of correctly calculated ammunition, it is about a thousand charge diameters). In this case, the charge was not optimized, but to hit the target was required at a much shorter distance. Facing can be made of various metals; in the case of Herrhausen, a flat (or nearly flat) copper plate weighing about 3 kg, located between the charge and the road, was used.
The explosion was a success: the copper shock core formed by the explosion pierced the security door around the banker's legs and mutilated the lower half of his body, Herrhausen died some time after losing blood. Neither the perpetrators nor the perpetrators of the crime were caught. Sophisticated sensors and an excellent knowledge of the laws of ballistics make us think that professionals of sufficiently high class worked - perhaps even representatives of the special services. German left-wing activist Wolfgang Grams (he was suspected in a number of political assassinations) also caused the greatest suspicion, but he shot himself four years later while resisting during his arrest.
Sniper on the roof
There is a legend that most politicians die from a sniper's bullet. This is a misconception caused primarily by American movies and the loud assassination of US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Very few politicians died from the bullets of snipers; Among the most prominent are the black civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1968), Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (1981) and former mayor of Belgrade Zoran Djindjic (2003). As a vivid example, it is worth considering, after all, the Kennedy assassination, as absolutely perfectly executed and not uncovered to this day.
On November 22, 1963, Dallas, the president’s open car as part of a motorcade, drives along Elm Street. Three consecutive shots are fired. The first and second bullets hit the president. By the way, Elm Street translates as “Elm Street”, so to some extent Kennedy’s killing was a nightmare. The official version of the murder is very simple: he was committed by lone sniper Harvey Lee Oswald, behind whom were the remaining unknown customers. At 12:30 pm, Oswald fired three shots from the window of a local book depository. The first bullet hit Kennedy in the back, went through and wounded the Texas Governor John Connally sitting in front of him. The second hit was exactly in the head of the president. The third shot did not reach the goal - but he was no longer needed. Half an hour later, Kennedy died in the hospital.
And then amazing things started to happen. Oswald was tracked down quickly, he put up serious resistance and in the process of arrest killed a policeman. They took him a little later, but he denied the blame for the Kennedy murder - just like the resistance at the first arrest attempt! And two days later, the owner of a local nightclub Jack Ruby shot him point-blank, as the latter showed, as revenge for the president.Over the death of the suspect the case was closed. But the official scheme of the trajectory of the flight of the first bullet caused many doubts. For example, Connally claimed that he was injured by the second, not the first shot! So there were four shots? Documentary knowledge of several amateurs filming a tuple on video, but only the record made by Abraham Zapruder gained popularity. It clearly shows how the bullets hit the president, how his body shakes. From the recording of Zapruder and the investigative experiment, it was obvious that they were shooting from two points. One is a book depository, and Oswald could have been the first killer. But the second is a grassy hill nearby ... I must say that the charge for killing Kennedy in 1966 was brought against banker Clay Show (Kennedy’s death was beneficial to him directly, and he was present in Dallas). Supposedly it was Shaw who organized the whole thing. But the prosecution fell apart due to lack of evidence.
We will not go into conspiracy theories. The carbine "Carcano" M91 / 38, which was used by Oswald, could easily hit the target from a distance of about 70 m. Most often, snipers, however, used more professional rifles.But at short distances, especially in the city, it is not necessary to take into account the amendment to the wind (and that day there was no wind at all), and Oswald had enough training not to miss.
By the way, no less strange circumstances accompanied the death of Martin Luther King. The wine of James Earl Ray, who allegedly shot at the preacher from the furnished rooms opposite the balcony, where he spoke, was never definitively proven. Conclusion: the main technical difficulty in carrying out a murder from a long distance is not a shot, but a disguise of a murderer. The ideal option is the substitution of a scapegoat.
World history of poisoning
A rare but high-tech form of political assassination is poisoning. No, this is not about Caesar Borgia, who killed his enemies with the help of a poisoned ring, shaking hands with them, but about our time.
The most famous murder with the help of poison was the “prick by an umbrella”, which killed a Bulgarian writer and journalist George Markov, a dissident who lived in London. On September 7, 1978, Markov left work and stumbled over someone's umbrella on the way to the car. He felt a shot; the man with the umbrella apologized, the incident was settled. But by the evening Markov became ill, and three days later, on September 11, he died.
When the body was opened under the skin, approximately at the injection site, an implanted ricin capsule was found. Ricin is a protein toxin, the lethal dose for humans is about 0.3 mg / kg. With the help of an injection by an umbrella, the microcapsule was introduced into Markov’s body and delivered the poison directly to the blood. With timely detection of a journalist could be saved. Perhaps a more exotic murder in the XX century is difficult to find.
Another well-known case is the death in London of Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB officer in Russia. He died on November 23, 2006 as a result of poisoning with a rather rare substance - polonium-210, which is not easy to get, and it is simply impossible to ingest. 210Ro is synthesized artificially, irradiating bismuth-209 with neutrons, and is used to create compact radioisotope energy sources, which are used as power plants of some spacecraft tools).
Polonium-210 is radioactive (half-life of about 138 days). It is an alpha emitter, and is so active that it causes radiation damage even when it comes into contact with the skin, not to mention the case that it gets inside the body.The lethal dose of polonium for humans when ingested through the digestive tract is estimated at several micrograms.
But back to Litvinenko. On November 1, 2006, he had already received English citizenship by that time, held a series of business meetings, and in the evening was supposed to go to the CSKA-Arsenal football match. But Litvinenko did not get to the match because he felt bad and was hospitalized. Every day his condition worsened. Until November 20, there was a version of thallium poisoning, but then there was also a version of poisoning with some kind of radioactive substance. The substance itself - polonium-210 - was identified only on November 23, on the day of Litvinenko’s death, having found his traces in the analyzes.
How polonium got into the body of a dissident is unknown. Most likely, someone who Litvinenko communicated with during November 1, 2006, or a few days before, added it to the meal. The greatest suspicions fall on the Italian human rights activist Mario Scaramella, with whom Litvinenko met about 14 o'clock in the sushi bar. But no evidence can be found. We can only say one thing: only very powerful person can get polonium-210.
Finishing the topic of poisoning, let us remember the murder of the Russian businessman Ivan Kivelidi in 1995. An unknown poisoner put a poisonous substance on the phone of a personal phone of a businessman, as a result of which the secretary of the latter also died. As a result, the investigators came to research institutes where a substance was synthesized (a rare neurotoxin, whose composition was not disclosed), and Vladimir Khutsishvili, Kivelidi's business partner, was convicted of the murder.
A number of original political attempts were associated with flights on private jets. For example, on August 17, 1988, a plane crashed near the city of Lahore (Pakistan), carrying the current President of Pakistan, Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq. In order to investigate the circumstances of the disaster, the Pakistani special services attracted specialists from the United States. During the study of the wreckage of the aircraft, it turned out that his fall was not an accident. On board, they found remnants of an explosive (pentaritritol tetranitrate) and fragments of a container for the transport of gases. Two theories immediately arose: according to the first, an explosive device triggered on board at a certain moment, and according to the second, a container with gas was broken in the pilot's cabin, due to which the plane lost control and collapsed.
No technical problems were found in the aircraft, especially since the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, which belonged to Zia-ul-Haq, was considered a very reliable machine. In principle, such “air-killing” is similar to a bomb planted under a car (for example, the famous Chechen separatist Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev perished). But you must admit: to cause a plane crash is much more romantic and reliable.
Another well-known case of death in the air was the assassination of Mozambique’s President Zamora Machela in the fall of 1986. The Machel plane (the Soviet Tu-134 with the Soviet crew) was heading home from Zambia, where the president made a business visit. Landing was scheduled at the airport of the city of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. But some unknowns (most likely, representatives of South African intelligence services) installed a false radio beacon on the route of the aircraft, which operated on the same frequency as the Maputo lighthouse. As a result, the plane took the wrong course and crashed into the mountain. However, all this may be insinuations - the pilots could easily make a mistake.
There was a case in the history of Africa when two hares were killed with one shot. The President of Burundi, Cyprien Ntariamir and the President of Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana, flew in the same plane, which was shot down by unidentified separatists near Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.However, this is a dark story.
Different different methods
Briefly, you can list a few more original and more or less technologically advanced methods of political murder.
For example, the famous Chechen politician and separatist Dzhokhar Dudayev was deliberately killed in 1996 by a homing warhead launched from a Su-25 aircraft. His whereabouts were determined by bearing a telephone conversation with State Duma deputy Konstantin Borov. In 2001, under the guise of television crews, suicide bombers infiltrated Afghanistan’s Minister of Defense Akhmat Shah Masood by hiding explosives in video camera models Former State Duma deputy Andrei Ayzerdzis was shot in 1994 with a pump-action shotgun.
In any case, crime is a crime, no matter what equipment is used - infrared sensors, poison injectors, or just an ice ax (recalling Trotsky). Therefore, we will hope that in the future, technologies will stand up to guard the law and significantly reduce the number of political assassinations, and not contribute to their perpetration.
The maximum degree of technical equipment for the murder reaches, if it is organized by special services. On January 1, 2009, a self-guided missile fired from an unmanned aircraft destroyed Osama Al-Kimi, a field commander, of Kenyan origin, who organized the attack at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad. Unmanned aerial vehicles for such operations (Predator or Reaper) are launched from a US base in Balochistan and are operated by an operator working on the other side of the world at a naval base near Las Vegas. How do drones find a target? Mainly with the help of spies from the locals. For not very big money, representatives of the local population are ready to put a special chip made in the form of a cigarette or lighter into the house (and sometimes in the pocket) of the victim - the warhead is oriented towards it. In 2009, the Taliban posted a scandalous video on the Internet, in which 19-year-old Habib ur Rehman, who worked as a servant in the house of one of the leaders of the terrorist web of Pakistan, admitted that he was paid £ 166 for delivering the target chip. At the end of the movie Rehman killed. So even the American high-tech still can not do without human intervention.
Lack of knowledge
In the past, it often happened that it was the lack of technology, the lack of knowledge of physical and natural laws that allowed a crime to be successfully implemented. Let us recall Pushkin: today, the bullet from which he died would have been recovered in two accounts, but at that time they simply could not do such operations.
The most famous political assassination supported by the weak development of medicine was the death of US President James Abram Garfield in 1881. Four months after his election, on July 2, at the Washington station he was wounded from a revolver in the back. The wound was not deep; the vital organs were not hit by a bullet. But the doctors neglected the treatment, looked for a bullet in the false channel, widened the hole and brought the infection there. Infection, inflammation began, and on September 19, more than two months after the assassination, Garfield died of a heart attack: the heart could not stand the general weakening of the body due to short-term illness. However, a heart attack was a salvation for Garfield: gangrene had already begun, and death could be much more painful. It is worth noting that the judicial protection of the killer Garfield Charles Gito was built on the premise that the president did not die from a bullet, but from poor-quality treatment. True, the killer did not escape the gallows.
About the darkness
A strange political assassination was the death in 1878 of a Russian politician, Adjutant General and Chief of the Gendarmerie Nikolai Mezentsov. On August 4, a certain young man approached the general on Mikhailovskaya Square in St. Petersburg and inflicted a painful poke on his side, after which he disappeared. Mezentsov examined the place of impact and found only a bruise. He quietly went home to call a doctor and find out if he needed any treatment. But when he came home, Mezentsov was suddenly worse. The visiting doctor examined the bruise and found a puncture in it - that is, the general was shoved into the abdominal cavity with a thin stylet, and the wound was bleeding inward, not outward. It was not possible to save Mezentsov - in the evening of the same day he died. The murderer, the revolutionary populist Sergei Stepnyak-Kravchinsky, after the assassination attempt, fled to Switzerland, where he published a pamphlet confessing his crime.
Quite often, the assassins choose exotic ways to put their black ideas to life. High technologies are rarely used, but it is very interesting to consider such killings as curiosities. For example,Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lind in 2003 - in the 21st century! - stabbed with a regular knife in a supermarket in the very center of Stockholm! The murderer was only insane, but the fact that he was able to get to such a high-ranking person at a distance of a blow and strike this blow is striking. No less archaic looks like the death of a Ukrainian political figure Yevgeny Kushnarev. In January 2007, the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Legal Policy was killed by an accidental (!) Shot during a hunt.
How did the presidents die?
How did the presidents die?
How did the presidents die?
How did the presidents die?
How did the presidents die?