World’s deadliest assassins! These are the ten most dangerous hitmen that ever lived. Just like the movies, the assassination attempts were carried out by the most cold-blooded killers and murderers in history.
10: John Wilkes Booth
April 14th, 1865: actor John Wilkes Booth earns his real place and fame in history by assassinating the President of the United States. The Confederate sympathizer and his comrades conspired to kill President Abraham Lincoln along with Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward. They aimed to cripple the Union government by taking out three of its primary leaders; thus allowing the Confederates to continue the Civil War and keep slavery in America. Using a single-shot .44 caliber Derringer, Booth shot Lincoln in the back of his head at the Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Booth escaped on horseback with a broken leg he sustained during the chaos. The paralyzed and bloodied president was transported across the street for emergency medical attention despite doctors’ certainty that he might not make it through the night. Abraham Lincoln died early the next morning. John Wilkes Booth was sought after by one of the largest manhunts in history; with nearly 10,000 police, detectives, and federal troops involved in his capture. He was eventually found at a Virginia farmhouse on April 26th. When he refused to come out, Union soldiers set the building on fire to force the fugitives out. Booth was shot in the neck and killed in the process while his co-conspirers were apprehended and hung for the assassination of President Lincoln.
9: Marcus Junius Brutus
The assassination of Julius Caesar has earned legendary status in histories and literature all around the world. The power-hungry commander was promoted to Rome’s Dictator for his great military victories. But his attitude and thirst for supremacy created enemies among friends, politicians, and other military leaders. Among the threatened members of the Roman Senate was Marcus Junius Brutus, a powerful military and political figure belonging to one of the oldest families in the Roman Republic. His involvement protected the conspirers from public condemnation and it was he whom Shakespeare bestowed credit for the assassination. In the Senate House on March 15th, 44 BC, Marcus Brutus and other conspirators surrounded Caesar in “procedural meetings.” The signal to start the attack was for a member to pull on his toga, at which point, the men took turns stabbing Caesar to death. Caesar’s famous last words have gone down in history as “Et tu, Brute?” which translates to “You too, Brutus?” This was a literary emphasis on the betrayal that transpired as his former friend, Brutus, slashed at his hand and thigh with a knife.
8: Felix Yusupov
One of the strangest assassinations is credited to Russia’s prince, Felix Yusupov, in 1916. Grigori Rasputin, a mystic uncomfortably involved in the family affairs of Russian royals, was invited to the Yusupov palace. He wa asked to help heal the Tsar’s wife. Price Yusupov and the Grand Duke offered poisoned wine for him to drink while he waited to see his patient. Rasputin’s body did not respond as violently as expected and he showed very little symptoms. Now impatient, Yusupov fired a revolver at Rasputin’s back in a second attempt to end his life. But the gun wound did not stop him as he attempted to crawl away bleeding. At this point, Yusupov began to beat the mystic with a club. The Prince and his co-conspirers wrapped him up and dumped the victim into the icy Niva Ricer. A few days later, the body was retrieved from the water and revealed that Rasputin actually died of hypothermia. In the 1920s in Paris, the exiled Prince wrote a book about the strange assassination and described his role in it. Rasputin became a legend for having survived the series of murder attempts. Additionally, it is notable that just a few years before his death, he was saved by intensive surgery after being stabbed to the point of spilling out entrails.
7: Charlotte Corday
During the French Revolution, Charlotte Corday—a Royalist sympathizer and the daughter of a Girondist aristocrat—became one of the most infamous female assassins in history. She plotted to kill Jean-Paul Marat, a key figure in the Revolution who opposed Girondists, of the faction of moderate republicans advocating a constitutional government and continental war. Marat suffered from a skin disease, which he frequently relieved by sitting in a cold bath. Therefore, he often conducted business form his tub. During one such occasion, Marat granted an audience to Corday, who claimed to have information about a Girondist uprising. During the meeting, she withdrew a dinner knife hidden in her bodice and stabbed Marat in the heart. For the inevitable consequences of the murder, Charlotte Corday remained in the bathroom and was arrested. Jean-Paul Marat was martyred while Corday was later guillotined days after the assassination.
6: Chester Wheeler Campbell
Chester Wheeler Campbell was a highly valued hired killer who worked for both the Italian Mafia and the urban drug lords of 1970s Detroit. He was exceedingly smart, charming, resourceful, and equipped. Campbell had a large arsenal of weapons and surveillance technology at his disposal. He was a skilled manipulator and, ironically, had his most significant relationship with a Funeral Home Director. His actual kill count is unknown, but police records credit him with at least ten unsolved murders and having intimate knowledge over every cop, crook, judge, and prosecutor in the Detroit area.
5: Harry “Happy” Maione
Harry Maione was one of the many Brooklyn-based hitmen in the 1930s and a member of Murder, Inc., the choice enforcement gang of the National Crime Syndicate. He acted as the Italian Liaison to the Jewish syndicate members within Murder, Inc., which received the gang’s murder contracts. For his work, he earned one of the largest paychecks and loyal patronage from his employers. Ironically, he earned the nickname “Happy” for the eternal scowl on his face. Despite group involvement, Maione has been known to have personally murdered at least twelve individuals since 1931. In 1937, he was tasked to take out any potential witnesses that could help the New York District Attorney convict their Murder, Inc.’s director and syndicate board member, Louis “Lepke” Buchalter. One such potential witness was a loan shark named George Rudnick. Rudnick eventually became the victim of Maione and two of his fellow gangsters on March 11th. A few years after the hit, a member turned informant for the State of New York was able to implicate Maione for Rudnick’s death. After believing they had already killed Rudnick, Maione and his two accomplices proceeded to stuff him into the back of their vehicle’s trunk, only to realize that he was still alive. The autopsy revealed that Rudnick was stabbed 63 times with an ice pick then finished off when Maione hacked into his skull with a meat cleaver. Maione was convicted for first degree murder and sent to the electric chair in February, 1947.
4: Jimmy Moody
One of the most notable and feared hitmen in English history is Jimmy Moody. He was the top hired gun in the 1960s and worked as an enforcer for the Richardson gang, a violent syndicate based in Britain that earned the nickname of “the Torture Gang.” In the 1970s, Moody and some of his famous gangsters associates formed the Chainsaw Gang, which became one of the most successful armed syndicates of the era. He landed himself in prison and escaped with Gerry Tuite, member of the Irish Republican Army (or IRA). Jimmy Moody decided to join the IEA and dedicated his assassinating abilities for the Provos. He was greatly feared in Northern Ireland for his deadly successes, to which the government responded with a manhunt. Although Jimmy Moody’s kill count has not yet been confirmed, it is rather evident in the longevity of his criminal career along with his many powerful enemies on both sides of justice. When Jimmy Moody could no longer operate discretely in Ireland, he returned to East London and was killed in March, 1997 by an unknown assailant.
3: Simo Häyhä
Simo Häyhä was a Finnish sniper who operated during the Winter War of 1939 against the Soviet Union’s Red Army. He killed more enemies than any other soldier in any other major war, despite having only a standard iron-sighted, bolt-action rifle. This White Army sniper has been credited to an outstanding 505 confirmed deaths in less than 100 days; for an average of just over five sniper kills per day. In temperatures as cold as -2ß° Celsius, Häyhä defended his perch dressed in all white camouflage. The Soviet government ordered counter snipers and artillery strikes in hopes of getting rid of this formidable soldier. In 1940, Häyhä was shot in his jaw and severely injured, but survived with some facial deformity. His abundant service to Finland and the White Army earned him the promotion to second lieutenant. Simo Häyhä died in 2002 at the age of 96 years old.
2: Maria Jimenez “La Tosca”
A modern day assassin, 26-year-old Maria Jimenez was arrested with Los Zetas gang members and confessed to over twenty killings. She was usefully violent for Los Zetas and earned the nickname “La Tosca” meaning “Though One.” For a monthly payment of the peso equivalent to $1,700, the widow would kill rival gang members and police officers that interfered with the illegal activity of Los Zetas, one of the most ruthless and powerful drug cartels in Mexico. She is now facing charges for being directly involved in the murder of Detective Antonia Montiel. Three weeks prior to her arrest, Los Zetas members set up a gruesome scene of carved bodies hanging over a popular overpass, which many believe were the result of her killings.
1: Hassan-i Sabbah
Hassan-i Sabbah was born in Persia during the 11th century in modern day northern Iran and grew to be known as the Grandmaster of the Hashashin, a secret Order of Assassins. The word “assassin” is said to have stemmed from Hassan and his deadly fraternity of hitmen. As their overseer, Sabbah was a devout religious scholar, mathematician, strategist, and leader who claimed the mountain fortress Alamut for his teachings. The lethal cult of hitmen studied martial arts, poison, espionage, sword fighting, and various languages. With his religious convictions and powerful manipulations (including administering drugs like LSD for hallucinations), he led an elite group of loyal assassins. The Hashashin hitmen were fearfully respected throughout the Middle East and didn’t fade until Grandmaster Hassan-i Sabbah died in June, 1124 AD while the impregnable Alamut fortress remained protected within the deep recesses of the Persian mountains.