Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The man Who Would Not Die

Rasputin By Mark Behm


By Mortimer Black

History is full of figures that transfix our imagination and inspire a host of emotions, and yet there has never been a more unusual individual then Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin. Rasputin is unusual not so much for his life, although his story is a fascinating one, but more so for the legendary way in which he allegedly died.

Born on January 22, 1869 in a small village in brutal Siberia, Rasputin became a well known healer and mystic. He was believed to have acquired supernatural powers at a young age and his charismatic yet curious nature brought him notoriety.

In the early 1900s Rasputin was sought out by the Russian royal family to heal their ailing son. The mystic was said to have helped the boy in 1905, who doctors had said would surly die, and as a result he became a close friend of the Tsar and his family.

Rasputin became an extremely controversial figure in all areas of Russian life. The aristocrats were fascinated by him, yet not openly, and the public became quickly suspicious of his influence over the ruling family, particularly during the volatile beginnings of World War I. As propaganda and rumors spread about the mystic’s involvement with secret religious sects and his power over the tsar, two attempts to assassinate Rasputin were made.

Led by Prince Felix Yusupov, who had demonized Rasputin in his own publications, a group of men lured the mystic down into the cellar of Yusupovs’ Moika Palace and gave him red wine and cake. It was reported that these items included enough poison to kill five men.

Actual Photograph of Rasputin

Concerned that the man was not dying quickly enough to conceal his body, Yusupov shot Rasputin in the back. The group left the mystic to die, yet Yusupov returned yet again to check on the body. It is said that Rasputin leapt up and grabbed the prince, whispering into his ear, “you bad boy,” and then attempted to strangle him . Upon hearing the struggle the others returned and allegedly shot Rasputin three more times in the back. He fell to the ground, and yet as the men approached him they found that he was not only still alive, but attempting to get up. It is said that the men then began beating and mutilating him, even going as far as castrating him before wrapping his body up in a carpet.

Before the night was over the group took the rolled carpet to the Neva River and tossed it into its icy waters. As it sank into the frozen depths, Rasputin managed to brake free from his bonds and claw his way out into the water. His body was found three days later, the autopsy report establishing his actual cause of death as drowning.

To add to the mystery and supernatural element surrounding the Russian mystic, a group of workers from Saint Petersburg uncovered his buried remains years later. They took his body to the nearby woods and burned it. As his body burned the workers reported that Rasputin sat up for a horrifying moment.

Although the mystery lingers surrounding this unusual man, there is strong evidence suggesting that much of his murderer’s story has been fabricated. Despite this and his openness about the crime, Yusupov was never charged with Rasputin’s murder. As for the mystics postmortem motions, this is believed to be caused by improper care of his body. When the fire heated his remains, the tendons in his legs shrank and caused them to bend. This would have forced his body into an upright position, giving him the appearance of being “reanimated”.

Category: OddFiles
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