The Youth of Assassins

Over the weekend Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot by Jared Lee Loughner, an assassination attempt that left Giffords in critical condition and 6 others dead.  When political assassination attempts happen, many notice the similarities between different political assassins in our history.  One you often hear is how assassins go by “three names”, as in first, middle, last. has a great story explaining the “three name” phenomenon and why there isn’t that much too it.

Something I find much more distinctive is the youth of assassins and attempted assassins. Here’s a list:

All of these assassins or would be assassins were under the age of 40.  James Earl Ray (Martin Luther King‘s assassin) was 40 on the nose but I didn’t list him because of recent dispute over his guilt.  There were a few presidential assassination attempts by men over 40 but they were mostly guys like Samuel Byck (still only 44) who never really came close.  The only close call by an assassin over 40 was the 45 year old Sara Jane Moore who attempted to shoot Gerald Ford.  Strangely the only women on the list both tried to kill Gerald Ford.

Jared Lee Loughner is just 22.  Assassination is a young man’s game, with often the youngest being the most successful.  Strangely, of all those intended victims, Martin Luther King Jr. was the only one under the age of 40, making him the only person on my list assassinated by an “elder”.


About ronfreeman42

I'm trustworthy.
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One Response to The Youth of Assassins

  1. No Gavrilo Princip?

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