Grigori Rasputin was a well known Russian mystic with the ability to foresee the future and heal the sickly. Rasputin had a vast knowledge and understanding of the bible and was regarded as a starets, or an elder, a title typically reserved for monk-confessors. In the early 1900’s Rasputin had earned the reputation of being a saintly, mystic, visionary, healer and prophet having impressed many public figures with his biblical knowledge and understanding.
In 1907 Rasputin was invited into the Romanov estate by Tsar Nicholas II in hopes that he could heal their ailing son Tsarevich Alexi, who suffered from hemophilia (hmmm, interesting!). Rasputin, who had successfully healed Alexi, would remain with the family for several years, serving as their psychic adviser he would influence their political reign until sometime in around 1915.
Though Rasputin was haled as a great and saintly man by many, there were those that saw him as a charlatan or an evil man that was possessed by demons. After several assassination attempts by various parties who feared the control that Rasputin had over the Tsarina, a group of nobles led by Prince Felix Yusupov, Dmitri Pavlovich, the grand duke and Vladimire Purishkevich, a right wing politician, devised a new plot for his assassination.
According to the legend, Rasputin was not affected, although there was enough poison to kill ten men. Maria Rasputin’s account says that if her father ate poison, it was not in the cakes or wine, because after the attack by Guseva, he had hyperacidity, and avoided anything with sugar. She expressed doubt that he was poisoned at all.
Determined to finish the job, Yusupov worried that Rasputin would live until morning, so that the conspirators wouldn’t have time to conceal his body. He ran upstairs to consult with the others, then came back down and shot Rasputin through the back with a revolver. Rasputin fell. When Yusupov went to check on the body, Rasputin opened his eyes, grabbed Felix by the throat, strangling him, and then threw him across the room and took off. As he made his bid for freedom, the rest of the conspirators arrived and fired at him. After being hit three times in the back, he fell. As they neared his body, they found he was trying to get up so they clubbed him into submission. Then after wrapping his body in a sheet, threw him into the icy Neva River. (Other accounts says he was not dead when he fall into the Neva but he received two silver bullets in the chest and was eventually defeated because of the running water flaw of the vampire.)
Three days later the body of Rasputin — poisoned, shot four times, and badly beaten — was recovered from the river and autopsied. The cause of death was drowning. His arms were apparently found in an upright position, as if he had tried to claw his way out from under the ice. In the autopsy, it was found that he was poisoned, and that the poison alone should have killed him.
Subsequently, the Empress Alexandra buried Rasputin’s body in the grounds of Tsarskoe Selo. After the February Revolution, a group of workers from Petrograd uncovered Rasputin’s body, carried it into a nearby wood and burned it.
Weeks before he was assassinated in December 1916, according to his secretary Simonovich, Rasputin wrote the following:
I write and leave behind me this letter at St. Petersburg. I feel that I shall leave life before January 1. I wish to make known to the Russian people, to Papa, to the Russian Mother and to the Children, to the land of Russia, what they must understand. If I am killed by common assassins, and especially by my brothers the Russian peasants, you, Tsar of Russia, will have nothing to fear for your children, they will reign for hundreds of years in Russia. But if I am murdered by boyars, nobles, and if they shed my blood, their hands will remain soiled with my blood, for twenty-five years they will not wash their hands from my blood. They will leave Russia. Brothers will kill brothers, and they will kill each other and hate each other, and for twenty-five years there will be no nobles in the country. Tsar of the land of Russia, if you hear the sound of the bell which will tell you that Grigori has been killed, you must know this: if it was your relations who have wrought my death, then no one in the family, that is to say, none of your children or relations, will remain alive for more than two years. They will be killed by the Russian people. I go, and I feel in me the divine command to tell the Russian Tsar how he must live if I have disappeared. You must reflect and act prudently. Think of your safety and tell your relations that I have paid for them with my blood. I shall be killed. I am no longer among the living. Pray, pray, be strong, think of your blessed family. -Grigori
So what became of Alexi? It was said that after the revolution of 1917, he and his family were exiled to Siberia where subsequently their assassination was ordered by the order of the Bolshevik Government, though rumors of his survival remained until 2007 when the charred remains of what archeologists claim to be Alexi and his other surviving sibling Anastasia were found near Yekaterinburg.