10 Most Notorious American Assassins Who Killed Influential Leaders & Celebs

The assassination of an influential world leader has such a profound and shocking impact on the country’s citizens that their “flashbulb memory” gets triggered. Here are some infamous American assassins who became successful in carrying out deadly assassinations.

6 years ago
10 Most Notorious American Assassins Who Killed Influential Leaders & Celebs

The assassination of a president, prime minister, or any influential world leader turns out to be a shocking event for the whole nation and other parts. Sometimes it has such a profound impact on a country’s citizens that it triggers a thing called “flashbulb memory”. A lot of them tend to recall what they were doing and where they had been when they learned about their leader’s murder.

Despite the high-security services and personal bodyguards provided by a nation’s government, some assassins or a group of assassins still execute their deadly plans. So here are 10 notorious assassins who murdered some of America’s most influential leaders and celebrities.

1. John Wilkes Booth

Source = Wikimedia

John Wilkes Booth was a well-known actor and assassin of American President Abraham Lincoln. A Confederate sympathizer, he killed Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC. Vehemently against slavery abolition in the US, Booth along with other conspirators initially planned to kidnap Lincoln but later planned his murder in a bid to help the Confederacy's cause.

Of all the conspirators, only Booth successfully carried out his part of the plot. The President died the next morning after being shot once in the back of the head.

2. Leon Czolgosz

Source = Wikimedia

Leon Czolgosz was an anarchist and former steelworker who is responsible for the assassination of the then US President William McKinley. It was on September 6, 1901, when McKinley was shot on the grounds of the Pan American Exposition at the Temple of Music in Buffalo, New York. While shaking hands with the public, Czolgosz shot him twice in the abdomen. Eight days later on 14 September, McKinley died due to gangrene caused by the gunshot wounds. (12.1)

3. Mark David Chapman

Source = Nydailynews

Mark David Chapman is an American prison inmate who executed the second-degree murder of John Lennon outside his apartment building in Manhattan in NYC on 8 December 1980. Out of five shots that Chapman made at Lennon, he was hit thrice in the back and once on his left shoulder. Currently, Chapman is serving lifetime imprisonment at Wende Correctional Facility.

4. Yolanda Saldivar

Source = Ladylike

Yolanda Saldivar is an American woman who shot dead the famous Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez on  March 31, 1995, at the Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi, Texas. After Selena’s family learned that Saldivar was embezzling money from boutiques and fan clubs, she was dismissed. 

When Selena went to meet Saldivar at the motel, Saldivar refused to hand over the financial papers and took a .38 Taurus Model 85 revolver out of her purse and pointed it at the singer. When Selena tried to escape, Saldivar shot her in the back. Critically wounded Selena ran and eventually collapsed. Selena died in a hospital due to blood loss.

5. John Patler

Source = Dailybreeze

John Patler is a former neo-Nazi who was found to be guilty of murdering American Nazi party leader George Lincoln Rockwell on 25 August 1967. Patler shot Rockwell to death with a 7.63mm Broomhandle Mauser pistol while getting into a car parked at an Arlington, Virginia, shopping center.

6. Byron De La Beckwith

Source = Biography

Byron De La Beckwith Sr. was an American white supremacist and Ku Klux Klans member who assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Wiley Evers on 12 June 1963. Convicted in 1994, he was sentenced to life imprisonment and died in prison at the age of 80.

7. Charles J. Guiteau

Source = Wikimedia

Charles J. Guiteau was an American writer and lawyer who was found to be the convict of US President James A Garfield’s assassination. Offended by the rejection of several job applications, Guiteau shot President at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 1881. Two months later on 19 September, the President died due to infections related to the injury. (12.2)

8. Bertha Franklin

Source = Wikimedia

Bertha Franklin was Hacienda Motel’s manager who shot and assassinated an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur on 11 December 1964 in Los Angeles, California, United States.

9. Carl Weiss

Source = Ranker

Carl Weiss was an American physician who was convicted of assassinating US Senator Huey Pierce Long Jr. at the Louisiana State Capitol on 8 September 1935. After meeting of the passing of bill “House Bill Number One”, son-in-law of Long’s long-time opponent judge Benjamin Henry Pavy took out a gun and shot Long in the abdomen. Two days later, Long died.

10. Sirhan Sirhan

Source = Wikimedia

Sirhan Sirhan was a former stable boy who assassinated American politician, lawyer, and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy on June 5, 1968, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Kennedy died the next day while he was hospitalized. (12.3)


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