10 Infamous American Assassins Who Are Still Alive

10 Infamous American Assassins Who Are Still Alive

Assassination is so ingrained in American
culture that it’s practically a national pastime. Every single president since Lyndon Johnson
has been the target of an assassination attempt; with plenty more before LBJ also finding themselves
on the wrong end of a bullet. That’s before you take into account the
lower-ranking politicians attacked, the civil rights figures, the sportsmen, the artists… All we’re saying is that, if assassination
was an Olympic sport, team USA would be beating everyone but Russia. The one upside is that American assassinations
usually end with the assassin themselves dying. Think of Lee Harvey Oswald, gunned down by
Jack Ruby. Or John Wilkes Booth, shot to pieces by Federal
troops. But “usually” isn’t the same as always. Just occasionally, an American assassination
ends with the attempted killer surviving. And surviving. And surviving. The following 10 have survived for so long
now that you’ll probably be surprised to learn they’re not dead from old age. 10. Sirhan Sirhan The 1960s were a terrible decade to have the
surname Kennedy. After JFK was gunned down in Dallas in 1963,
Democrat hopes were pinned on his brother Bobby. Fast forward five years from John’s death,
and Bobby Kennedy was also gunned down, only moments after becoming the Democrat party’s
pick to run for president. His assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, was a Palestinian
native born in Jerusalem. As the life bled out of yet another Kennedy,
he was heard to shout “I did it for my country!” Sirhan’s guilt was pretty well established. Even the conspiracy theorists think he fired
at RFK (they disagree on whether there was a second shooter). Although Sirhan later claimed he couldn’t
remember a thing of the killing, prosecutors treated it as an open and shut case. On April 23, 1969, the Palestinian assassin
was given the death penalty. So what’s he doing on our list? For that, you can thank the state of California. California outlawed the death penalty in 1972,
before Shiran got his chance to dance the hangman’s jig. When it was reinstated a year later, all those
who had previously been sentenced to death – including Shiran and one Charles Manson
–were now on life imprisonment. Nearly 50 years after he was incarcerated,
Shiran is still hoping to be released. 9. John Hinckley, Jr. On March 31, 1981, President Ronald Reagan
stepped out the Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, and into a hail of bullets. In a matter of seconds, John Hinckley Jr.
squeezed off six shots, wounding two officers and putting a bullet through the Press Secretary’s
brain. The President himself was badly wounded; a
slightly different angle and Reagan would now be known as the fifth White House incumbent
to be gunned down. So what happened to the man who nearly killed
four people? Where is Hinckley now? Err… at home, in Virginia, living with his
mother. After the shooting, Hinckley was found not-guilty
by reason of insanity and committed to an asylum. This angered a lot of people, both because
Hinckley had just committed what is usually a serious crime, and because he was a spoiled
rich kid who had never yet had to deal with the consequences of his actions. Things didn’t improve much in hospital. Hinckley was discovered exchanging letters
with Ted Bundy and trying to contact Charles Manson. Hinckley was eventually released in 2016. At time of writing, he was still confined
to a fifty mile radius around his mother’s home and was receiving psychiatric treatment. 8. Squeaky Fromme If the name “Squeaky” Fromme sounds like
a kids’ cartoon character, the actual personality of its owner couldn’t be any different. Born Lynette, Squeaky was a member of the
Manson Family. Although she wasn’t involved in the killing
of Sharon Tate, the young dancer was obsessed by the cult leader. When Manson was moved between jails after
his conviction, she moved town to follow him. She had other, equally shady connections. Not long after Manson was imprisoned, Squeaky
was arrested for the brutal murder of a couple. Again, she avoided jail while, again, her
associates – this time members of the Aryan Brotherhood – were imprisoned for the crimes. But even her connections with California’s
weirdest cult and a buncha neo-Nazis has nothing on the time she tried to kill a US President. The year was 1975. It was a warm fall day in Sacramento. As Gerald Ford passed through a crowd, Squeaky
suddenly emerged from between two people, pulled out a loaded gun and pointed it right
at the president’s chest. The gun jammed. “It didn’t go off!” was Squeaky’s
defense when arrested, and it sure as heck didn’t fly. She was jailed for attempted assassination
and only released in 2009. She currently resides in NYC. Interestingly, she wasn’t the only young
woman to try and kill Ford… 7. Sara Jane Moore Sara Jane Moore looks like the world’s least
offensive grandma. Here, follow this link and watch her talking
to CNN. Ain’t she just adorable? Can’t you just imagine her baking you cookies
when you were ten, raising money to fund her church’s new roof, and spending her weekends
tending to her lawn? Well, never has the truism “don’t judge
a book by its cover” ever been truer. Only 17 days after Squeaky’s lame attempt
to off Ford, Sara Jane Moore smilingly raised a gun in San Francisco and fired at the President’s
head. Her lone bullet missed his skull by inches. Perhaps weirdest of all about Moore is how
boring her life was before that moment. While Squeaky was the kind of girl whose life
choices were always gonna boil down to assassinate a president or drink the Kool-Aid, Moore was
unbelievably average. She’d been married. She worked as a bookkeeper. She enjoyed amateur acting. In her CNN interview, she says the only trouble
she’d previously had with the law was for jaywalking. The only sign she was an up-and-coming fruitcake
was her association with the Symbionese Liberation Army, the leftwing radical cell that kidnapped
Patty Hearst. Even crazier than Moore’s boring life? She’s now something of a minor celebrity,
appearing on news programs to discuss the time she almost killed a president. 6. Thomas Hagan You don’t know the name Thomas Hagan, but
you’ve certainly heard of his victim. Hagan was the guy who killed Malcolm X, shooting
the civil rights leader dead while he addressed the Organization of Afro-American Unity in
1965. At least, he was the only guy who admitted
to the killing. Up to three others were involved, possibly
with the backing of Malcolm X’s old organization Nation of Islam, who he’d recently fallen
out with. Interestingly, while two others went to jail
alongside Hagan, no one seems to know for sure if they were even at the scene of the
crime. For Hagan’s part, he has repeatedly said
he wishes he hadn’t shot X, once stating: “I don’t think it should ever have happened.” At the time he clearly felt differently. Hagan justified the shooting by saying Malcolm
X had slandered Nation of Islam’s leader, and that his leaving had threatened to destroy
the organization. The crowd who watched him shoot X evidently
didn’t care. They beat Hagan half to death before police
intervened. Today, Hagan is a family man with a full time
job, living outside prison on parole. Prior to that, he was on release Monday to
Friday, only serving weekends in jail. 5. Arthur Bremer You probably know George Wallace for his “segregation
now, segregation forever” speech. But the Alabama governor was nearly so much
more. In 1972, he was favorite to win Maryland in
the Democratic primaries to run for president. He’d already won Michigan, stretching his
support outside the Deep South. He might have even become the first Democratic
nominee from the party’s Dixiecrat wing. “Might” being the operative word, there. We’ll never know, because on the day before
the Maryland primary, Arthur Bremer stepped out a crowd and shot Wallace in the abdomen. Strikingly, Bremer didn’t try to kill Wallace
for some grand civil rights cause. He shot the governor because his plan to kill
Nixon had fallen through when he saw how well-guarded the president was, and decided to set his
sights a little lower. In videos of the event, he can be seen in
the crowd with an eerie grin on his face, his eyes obscured by sunglasses, looking for
all the world like Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. Wallace survived the assassination attempt,
which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Bremer was jailed, despite claiming to be
schizophrenic, and kept inside for 35 years. Released in 2007, he is now said to have a
steady job. Conditions of his parole, however, mean he
still can’t go anywhere near elected officials. 4. Francisco Martin Duran Francisco Martin Duran’s attempt to kill
Bill Clinton has to be one of the most ham-fisted assassinations in history. Duran hid an assault rifle in his trench coat,
took it up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and waited till he saw the President emerge from
the White House. He immediately began firing across the lawn,
cracking a window and… ummm, that’s it. Duran’s firing was super-erratic, and lasted
only a couple of seconds before bystanders managed to wrestle him to the ground. It later emerged that the man Duran thought
was Clinton hadn’t been the President at all, who was inside watching TV. Not a single person was hurt during the attempt. Duran later tried to claim he’d been fighting
aliens, briefly turning his bungled assassination attempt into a nationwide source of amusement. As excuses went, it was even weaker than Squeaky’s
insistence that failing to accurately load a gun means you can’t have been trying to
kill someone. Duran was convicted in 1995 after 60 witnesses
were found who agreed he might not have mentioned aliens before, but sure as heck had mentioned
killing Clinton. 3. Kenneth McGriff McGriff is the odd one out on this list, as
he’s the only person we don’t know for absolute sure killed their target. A drug trafficker and gang member, McGriff
was the kingpin of New York’s Supreme Team – a fancy name for a gang of hoodlums who
killed people over crack debts. He’s currently in prison for hiring people
to kill his enemies, but law enforcement thinks he was also behind one of the most-notorious
music assassinations of the 21st Century: the killing of Run DMC member Jam Master Jay. Jay was killed in 2002 in Queens, NYC, while
sat inside a recording studio. Two gunmen entered and shot him through the
head. The murder remains officially unsolved, but
McGriff is suspected of it. He’s also suspected of a possibly-related
plot to kill 50 Cent, who Jay had mentored in the late 1990s, before the younger rapper
was rediscovered by Eminem. In 2005, federal agents even released an affidavit
they’d written in 2003, fingering McGriff for the two assassination attempts. In short, McGriff is one bad dude, and quite
likely the shooter behind one of the most notorious hip hop killings not featuring Biggie
or Tupac. However, as we say, this has never been definitively
proven. 2. Claudine Longet Winter sports fans of a certain age will remember
Spider Sibach. A skier from California, he competed in the
1968 Winter Olympics for team USA, before going on to smash the cup circuit. But most of you are gonna remember him from
how he died. In 1976, Spider was shot dead at his home
in Aspen, Colorado. To this day, no-one knows if it was an accident…
or a deliberate assassination. What everyone agrees on was that Claudine
Longet was the one who shot him. A singer and actor once married to Andy Williams,
Longet had interesting pedigree where shootings were concerned. She was close friends with Bobby Kennedy,
and was there the night Sirhan Sirhan gunned the poor guy down. At first, things seemed almost as clear cut
with her own killing. She was found standing over Sibach’s body
with the murder weapon in her hands. Incredibly, she tried to claim she’d been
showing her victim the gun when it “accidentally” went off. The case was a media sensation. It soon came to revolve around whether Longet
had been seeing Sibach at the time, or whether they’d broken up after a brief fling and
she’d returned to kill him. Thanks to police bungling the evidence, the
judge had to go with the latter, and Longet was never convicted of murder. She still lives in the Aspen area, a twisted
little detail we really don’t want to think too much about. 1. Mark David Chapman After two entries clouded with uncertainty,
it’s grimly reassuring to report there are no such ambiguities with our last killer. Mark David Chapman is the guy who shot John
Lennon dead for being famous. Not for being a symbol of some ideas Chapman
disagreed with. Lennon was simply the most famous man Chapman
could think of. And so this overweight loser decided to kill
him to make himself equally famous. The worst part? It kinda worked. On December 8, 1980, Chapman walked up to
Lennon’s Manhattan building. He saw the singer leaving and got him to autograph
a copy of his latest album. As a result, we still have a photo of John
Lennon and Mark Chapman standing together like a pair of friendly acquaintances. After Lennon left, Chapman then hung around
for a few more hours, before finally shooting the ex-Beatle as he returned to the building
just before midnight. Famously, Chapman didn’t flee, instead standing
around reading The Catcher in the Rye. Today, the portly assassin is in his sixties
and still resides in jail. It’s gotten to the point where denying Chapman
parole has almost become a sport, with regularly played fixtures and an easy to guess outcome. It seems unlikely he will ever be released.

100 thoughts on “10 Infamous American Assassins Who Are Still Alive

  1. There's a LOT of solid evidence, including photographic, that the patriot John Wilkes Booth lived into his old age before committing suicide.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis!

  2. It's funny how the Assassins that actually killed a WHITE person are still in prison but the one that actually killed a BLACK person is out living his life

  3. Try one on the wonderful royal family succession issues of England. Also try putting President before a Presidents name. It’s a respect thing but then I’m guessing your a democrat lol.

  4. Yes, because killing a murderer is inhumane, California? Lefties. SIrhan should have been hanged decades ago.

  5. Simon: I often have trouble with foreign(to me)accents.
    Even though you speak quickly, your diction/enunciation is impeccable.
    Thank You.

  6. Squeaky's .45 did not jam, in fact it was not even LOADED, it was only LOCKED. The mag had 4 rounds in it but the chamber was EMPTY.

  7. The government killed Malcolm X🔫! They gave those dumb niggaz 💩 fraudulent guns 🔫 in order to frame these dummies🙉!

  8. Malcom x was killed
    By The cia. Also Malcom x was a beautiful Soul. He was just a product of what he seen as a kid and he became enlightened. He was far from the things I’ve seen in these comments.

  9. America is cursed? Give me your lowest of the low and we'll make a shitehole??? Did not see that coming eh?? Sigh… Malice of forethought…

  10. This limey, from the UK, with their m8narchy steeped in a thousand years of blood and murder, is talking about America and her freedoms with its few inherent flaws? Please.

  11. Dont they now think one of the security guards accidentally killed Robert Kennedy while trying to hit Sirhan?

  12. I wanted MORE than a soundbyte about the killer of Malcolm X. Afterall, it was the thumbnail of the video.
    Sigh. . . thanks, TopTenz.


  14. I thoroughly enjoy Bio Graphics. Informative, interesting and personable host, Simon
    Best line thus far; in re squeaky fromme:
    Destined to drink the cool aid or to kill a president.
    If one were to "get existential" with that line in context… Think about it.

  15. An author named Pease (I think) has written the definitive book on RFK's assassination, if you don't want to believe this Moby look a likes bs.

  16. How about the guy that attempted to kill the owner of Hustler after his sentencing the owner commented about being left alone in the room with him and a pair of needle nose plyers mostly because the injury left him disfigured

  17. I can understand Hinkley exchanging letters with other reviled killers: It has to be lonely being a well-known pariah. I imagine even the other prisoners want little to do with these folks.

  18. Didn't most of these people fail in trying to kill someone? So they are not assassins, also what's the difference between assassin and just plain old killer?

  19. Here in USA a man is presumed innocent till proven guilty , Oswald never made it to trial ergo was innocent , who made you judge and jury , your just an Idiot who brags what he does Not know!

  20. Over dramatize much? Reagan didn't walk into a "hail of bullets." Also, through history, other countries have assassinated their leaders much more than the USA has. How many English monarchs have been overthrown via murder?

  21. That is just not fair and justifiable. To keep Chapman in prison indefinetely just because he killed a famous person (John Lennon) If it had been an ordinary member of the public then he would be out by now!!!!

  22. I am actually kinda insulted by the National pass time comment. Yeah few screwed up people did something baseball and football are American pass times.
    Also the man that shot a t the white house didn't have an assault rifle, unless it was full auto. Why don't you actually look up what it means before you say something like that.

  23. Osvald didn't kill Kennedy and that's the exact reason WHY he was shot dead. A dead man can't tell anything and can't defend himself against accusations.

  24. The guy who shot Malcolm X deserves to be beaten half to death for the rest of his life.

    I wish he had never gotten involved with Islam.

  25. Leave McGriff to die in prison. And celebrate the man who shot Malcolm X. Malcolm X was slightly deranged.

  26. The brainfood show??? Think thats tye podcast right?? I searched brainfood podcast and only got a 22second 'test' but the brainfood show seems to have a lot of episodes incpuding how do porkupines mate?? Amyway,ill check it.thanks

  27. It's usually some lone nut that wants to get recognized, & the media obliges, that's why America keeps having these school shootings. The media says " Why is it happening", well it's you arses in the media that make it a competition.

  28. Where are the assassins of today.? Busy helping hollywood writers do their job i guess.. theres a certain press secretary and president who really need the limelight that assasination brings to the title . I could never wish death upon anybody but trumps face shot right off and sarah huckabees mouth blown off would have me celebrating like disco dancer on cocaine for weeks.

  29. Random people become would be assassins don’t have any recollection of the event or days prior MK Ultra was proven to be real and you still trust your government?!

  30. That’s right, dude who shot one of the most important civil rights leaders ever only served weekends in jail…that’s not shady as hell….

  31. Yeah we invented Assassination, and Slavery, and WAR, how about the clap we invented Syphilis. And don't forget you British BUTT we caused the fall of Rome.

  32. You couldn't reach any deeper for the 10th? I'll help you out here. Killing rappers is in no way an assassination, it is a murder (think Chicago or Juarez). In fact, it is closer to a public service.
    You're always bad mouthing America about anything gun or violence related.
    Hell, you people are not even allowed knives and people still die by the blade.
    You'll be down to just rocks soon.
    Remember: When rocks are outlawed, only outlaws will have rocks.

  33. Malcolm X was NOT a civil rights leader he was a revolutionary. This is a common mistake you white people make because you don't really care to learn about BLACK PEOPLE

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