A lot of people are familiar with Grigori Rasputin, a mystic from Russia who became friends with Tsar Nicholas II and his family in 1905. He was known as a strange and mysterious man with a bad reputation, who discredited the Russian royal family.
Some believed Rasputin was a prophet, while others thought he was merely a drunk swindler. Rasputin’s influence on the imperial family started to grow, and he was assassinated at the end of 1916. His body, which had many gunshot wounds, a missing eye, and was terribly mutilated, was found in the frozen river Neva on the 1st of January.
According to most history books, he was murdered by Felix Yusupov, and four other men and Yusupov confessed to the murder. But, his confession was contradictory and didn’t match the autopsy or the facts. To this day, something still doesn’t seem right about the strange murder of Rasputin, and no one really knows what happened. Here are 5 creepiest facts about Rasputin’s bizarre death.
In 1916, Rasputin angered the public and was receiving a lot of death threats daily, however, before his gruesome murder, on the 29th of December, he received a bizarre message. The mystic was shocked when the strange voice on the other line threatened him with death.
This threat stood out from the other ones, as it left Rasputin deeply disturbed. No one has ever confessed to making the death threat, but the man who confessed to the murder, Yusupov, did not make the call.
However, on the same day, Yusupov did invite Rasputin to his home in the evening. Maria, Rasputin’s daughter, noticed that her father behaved very strangely after the death threat. Later, Rasputin said goodbye to his daughter, left to Yusupov’s home, and his dead body was found two days later.
4Hard to Kill
According to the official story, when Rasputin arrived at Yusupov’s home, his killer offered him some poisoned wine and cakes. The poison was cyanide, and even though Yusupov and the other conspirators thought he would die on the spot, Rasputin kept eating and drinking and seemed as if the poison didn’t affect him at all.
Yusupov said the cyanide could have murdered a grown elephant, however, something doesn’t quite add up. The autopsy showed no signs of poison, and it is believed that the conspirators lied about it. However, a forensic scientist recently claimed Rasputin was definitely poisoned with cyanide, but that whoever did the autopsy did not notice the signs of poison.
The official story by Yusupov is that, after the poison failed to kill Rasputin, he shot him close to his heart. Rasputin’s body dropped to the floor, and he stopped moving. The conspirators quickly went to his house, wearing his clothes, in order to make it seem like he arrived home.
When they returned to take care of the body, Rasputin jumped up, with foam coming from his mouth. The conspirators shot him multiple times, and he died after being shot in the head. The conspirators then threw him in the river, however, his body was still moving, according to Yusupov, who said that Rasputin was the “reincarnation of Satan.”
3Contradictions in the Autopsy
Almost everything we know about Rasputin’s death comes from Yusupov’s confession, however, the story doesn’t match the autopsy at all. The doctor who performed the autopsy, Kosorotov, wrote that Rasputin was never shot near the heart, but that there were multiple wounds in his kidney, liver, and stomach.
Yusupov claimed that one of the conspirators shot Rasputin in the head from behind, however, the report claims the bullet was in the front. The contradictory statements make it seem as if Yusupov didn’t know anything about the murder and some believe he exaggerated the story to make it appear like Rasputin was a big threat.
However, the autopsy is also unclear about some details: according to the conspirators, Rasputin was moving as they tied him up and threw him into the river. Later, when his body was found under the ice, his hands were unbound, meaning that he could have freed himself in the water.
Maria, his daughter, believes he died by drowning. There are different copies of the original autopsy by Kosorotov out there, some which say water was found in his lungs, while other copies say air was found. It is quite possible that the original autopsy was rewritten and that the truth was changed in order to hide something.
2Yusupov and the Secret Agent
Many believe it’s quite peculiar that Yusupov took credit for Rasputin’s death when his story doesn’t match up with the autopsy. Together with the other conspirators, Yusupov tried hard to cover up the murder.
At first, Yusupov told the police he wasn’t guilty and changed his confession later. Some believe he simply wanted to make a profit: he published a memoir and explained in detail how he murdered Rasputin.
Another strange thing is that the autopsy concluded there were a lot of bullet holes in Rasputin’s body, made by three guns. The bullets from the third gun (in Rasputin’s head) were suspicious because neither Yusupov or Purishkevich, the other conspirator who shot Rasputin, carried that gun.
However, Yusupov had a friend from Britain who carried the same gun. Many believe that the British man, Oswald Rayner, was the third man who was present at the murder and that he was the one who shot Rasputin in the head and finished him off.
It is believed that Rayner was a British spy who was sent to murder Rasputin because Rasputin wanted Russia and Germany to make peace during WWI, which could have lead to Germany winning the war.
1The Holy Devil
It’s also quite possible that Yusupov made the entire story up because he felt guilty, so he made Rasputin seem like a supernatural being which couldn’t die. However, after his death, something even stranger happened that could prove there was something unnatural about Rasputin.
When his body was discovered, it was later thrown on some logs and set on fire. The soldiers responsible and a lot of people from the local village watched the burning when his dead body suddenly rose up in the flames.
There were many witnesses to this event, and the strange event could be explained with science. Some experts claim that it’s possible that the flame caused Rasputin’s muscles to shrink and make it seem as if he was moving.
Rasputin died under mysterious circumstances, and we might never know the whole truth, however, another gruesome fact is that he actually predicted his own death by telling the Tsarina that he would not be alive by January 1.