An Underhand Affair: 5 Of History’s Most Deadly Assassins
Assassins have been a part of history ever since we have had organized societies. Due to unpopular leaders, civil uprisings or local feuds, the hired killers have always had a place in culture, living in the shadows, on the edge of communities. Over time, there have been some figures that have made the headlines more than others, racking up a whole lot of underhand damage in their time. These assassins are perhaps the most deadly to have ever existed and over the course of history, were responsible for some of history’s most notorious events.
- The Vishkanyas
Despite their deadly profession, the Vishkanyas came about to prevent the spread of widespread violence in India. As conflicts between kings became commonplace throughout ancient India, life for locals became increasingly unsettled. To get rid of a particularly unruly leader, the Vishkanyas were reported to gradually dose a girl with poison until she developed immunity against it. Then, she would be sent into an enemy camp, dosing the king’s food and drink with the same poison, eating and drinking along with him to allay suspicion. The tactics worked incredibly well and were administered throughout the period, doing away with countless figures.
Foreseeing their end, the Nazis went about creating their own secret army to be dispatched into allied camps. After the fall of the Nazi reign, Werwolf assassins were left behind in territories taken over by the Allied forces at the end of WWII. While some of their silent killing tactics paid off, however, the Werwolves failed to take off in the way they had hoped, crippled by problems in communication and power.
- Sarasota Assassination Society
Founded as a political movement in the United States, the Sarasota Assassination Society was renowned for its murders and death plots. The group formed as a result of bitterness between the north and the south in 1884. Due to flourishing opportunity in the south, many northerners upped sticks and moved, much to the locals’ distaste. The group set about ridding the southern society of all newcomers who were overlooked by the law, restoring order back to the region. While the numbers of people killed during the period has never been confirmed, the society sparked fears far and wide, gaining media attention for their work.
- The Black Hand
Formed in Serbia in 1911, the Black Hand consisted initially of 10 men who came together in the aim of using violence and terrorism to create a unified country. Starting with the attempted assassination of Emperor Franz Josef, the group turned against other important political figures, although they failed to carry the plots through. As membership in the group grew, the Black Hand turned against itself, using violence to rid itself of certain members.
- Murder, Inc.
Responsible for the assassination of between 400 and 1,000 people between the years of 1930 and 1940, Murder, Inc. was one of the most notorious assassination groups of all time. The group communicated through payphones, spreading the name of future hits through untraceable calls. Most targets were taken out on the East coast with the use of an ice pick, spreading a great deal of terror in the region. While the group focused on other criminals, it still hit the headlines, gaining notoriety for its efficacy.