Russian religioso Rasputin, Grigory Yefimovich (c. 1892-1916), proved a tough nut to kill. “At the party Rasputin drank glass after glass of poisoned wine and several cakes and chocolates spiked with murderous doses of potassium cyanide. The plotters watched expectantly for Rasputin to keel over dead, but he did not. Instead, Rasputin danced and sang and called on the Prince to play the guitar. According to one later medical theory, Rasputin suffered alcoholic gastritis, with his stomach failing to secrete the hydrochloric acid necessary to get the cyanide compound to work.
“Yusupov excused himself to go upstairs, allegedly to get his wife. The Prince returned with a pistol and shot Rasputin… According to some, Rasputin fell to the floor, but as the Prince knelt to examine him, the mystic’s eyes popped open and he seized the Prince by the throat. Yusupov tore himself free and ran to the courtyard with Rasputin in pursuit on all fours. As Rasputin rose to his feet, the Grand Duke shot him in the chest. Another conspirator shot him in the head. Many of the officers used their sabers on Rasputin, and the Prince seized an iron bar and struck the fallen victim several times with savage fury. Finally, the victim lay still, although it was said one eye remained open and staring. The conspirators trussed up the body and heaved it into the Moika Canal.
“Forty-eight hours later the body turned up in the ice of the Neva River. One arm had come free of the bindings, and Rasputin’s lungs were filled with water. Rasputin had still been alive when dumped in the canal and had finally died by drowning.”
Publisher: Facts on File
Hardback: 228 pages