Perhaps no one is more mysterious and mythic than Grigori Rasputin.
Born in an obscure Siberian peasant village in 1869, religious conversion and a career as a traveling saint and healer took Rasputin to the Russian royal court, where he became their closest confidant, chief adviser and one of the most powerful men in the empire.
But there was something fascinating and repulsive about a man as mysterious as Rasputin, even in his lifetime. As a result, the domestic and foreign media used him as a weapon to push their own agenda, leading to his becoming Russia’s most hated man and his assassination in 1916. Fictions have become so commonplace that they are still believed a century later.
Another common misconception of his death, although a little lesser-known, is that Rasputin was still not dead when his body was disposed of.
Yusupov and his co-conspirators drove to the Little Nevka River, weighed his body down, and tossed him over the railing into a hole in the ice. When his body was found just a little way downstream, however, false rumors quickly spread that water was found in his lungs, proving that he must have still been breathing when he was tossed in the water, making his cause of death drowning.
Again, this was simply another feather in the bow of the Rasputin myth, a further way of highlighting that the mystic man was a force of evil with supernatural powers of almost invincibility. In reality, the autopsy report said nothing of the sort. He died of a gunshot wound at point-blank range to the forehead. No one is surviving that.