Political assassinations have forever changed the course of world history. This collection of acclaimed documentaries looks at twenty of the best known assassinations and provides little know facts and insight to help better understand the geo-political situations that led to their untimely deaths. Witness interviews, re-enactments and, in many cases, voices from the grave, help bring to light the reasons why these outspoken leaders risked their lives in the face of such extreme opposition.
Robert F. Kennedy, The End Of An American Dream
It was June 1968 and senator Bobby Kennedy was running for President. The people adored him, but the political establishment and big business saw him as a threat. Sirhan Sirhan was convicted for Kennedy's murder and remains in prison today. But subsequent investigations cast doubt that he acted alone.
Roberto Calvi, The Murder Of God's Banker
Roberto Calvi was the Vatican front man in a secret operation to transfer money to Poland supporting the Solidarity Trade Union in its anti-communist uprising. But suddenly a tax inspection revealed a huge hole in Calvi's accounts. Before he told his side of the story he was found hanging beneath the arches of Blackfriars Bridge in London. Was it a suicide or cover up?
Lord Louis Mountbatten, Bloody Monday
Discover how Lord Louis Mountbatten, celebrated navel hero, last Viceroy of India, supporter of Mahatma Ghandi, cousin to the Queen of England, became part of what is now know as Bloody Monday when his motor boat was blown to pieces by an IRA bomb.
Dag Hammarskjold, Night Flight To Death
During the Cold War, the power blocks of the East and West vied to control the vast mineral resources of the former Belgian colony, The Congo. The Swedish Secretary General of the United Nations sent in UN troops as a mediating, independent force. But the UN's western delegates were infuriated by Hammarskjold's initiative and on his way to a ceasefire conference, his plane crashed in the African bush in mysterious circumstances.
Martin Luther King, Murder in Memphis
In April, 1968, Rev. Martin Luther King was at the height of his public popularity. But J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the FBI, had an obsessional hatred of King and was determined to silence him. On April 4th, King was assassinated with one perfect shot. Clearly James Earl Ray fired that shot but was he just the fall-guy? Despite disturbing evidence, the case has never been reopened.
Aldo Moro, Death in Rome
The President of the leading Italian Christian Democratic Party, Aldo Moro, was working on an historic compromise that would allow communists in a coalition government. On May 9, 1978, police discovered his body in the trunk of a car with eleven shots to the heart. Today many believe that the killing was really the work of an unholy alliance of conspirators- the Italian Secret Service, right wing politicians and the CIA- who had tricked the terrorist group Red Brigades into doing their dirty work.
Patrice Lumumba, Assassination Colonial Style
Patrice Lumumba, the first Prime Minister of the newly independent Congo, was a hero to his fellow Africans but a communist threat to the West. Within months of becoming Prime Minister in 1960, Lumumba was ousted in a military coup and killed shortly thereafter. No one has ever been indicted.
Anwar al Sadat, Death Of A Pharaoh
Anwar al Sadat's historic peace efforts with Israel cost him his life. The President of Egypt's settlement was halted in dramatic style during a military parade on the morning of October 6, 1981.
Olof Palme, Murder in Stockholm
Sweden's Prime Minister, Olof Palme, was as uncompromising with the White House as he was with the Kremlin. His startling viewpoints earned him many enemies. On February 28, 1986 he was shot dead in the heart of Stockholm. To this day the assassination remains unexplained.
Mahatma Gandhi, A Death For Peace
Mahatma Gandhi is considered the father of the partition of the Indian Empire into India and Pakistan. Over 50 years later it is critical to analyze Gandhi's struggles in context with the simmering tensions that headline world events today.
Jorge Gaitan, The End Of A Columbian Dream
On April 9, 1948, Jorge Gaitan, the popular opposition leader to the Columbian oligarchy, was shot dead. In two days, 5,000 rioters died in the ruins of the city. No serious investigation into Gaitan's assassination was conducted until now.
Pim Fortuyn, Death Of A Populist
Pim Fortuyn was a political outsider and reformist poised to be the next Prime Minister of Holland when on May 6, 2002 he was gunned down in the street. Was the killing the act of a lone assassin or the concerted effort of the Establishment to protect their grip on power?
Thomas Sankara, Fratricide in Burkina, Africa
Thomas Sankara rose to lead Burkina Faso through a bloody Marxist revolution and just a few years later on October 15, 1987 the tables were turned. But was Sankara's death the result of an internal power struggle or French colonial powers protecting business interests?
Felix Moumie, Death in Geneva
In the mid 20th century, Cameroon held particular strategic importance in France's effort to retain power over Western and Central African colonies. The famous Cameroon freedom fighter, Felix Moumie, posed too big a threat so his life and efforts were brought to an end on November 3rd, 1960 in Geneva. The Swiss authorities moved to hide the identity of the assassin. 50 years later the evidence is brought to life.
Salvador Allende, Coup d'Etat in Santiago
Democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende barricaded himself in the presidential palace on September 11, 1973 during the military coup d'etat. Rather than surrender, Allende chose to commit suicide. Those present explain events in the final hours and the reign of terror that followed for 17 years under dictator General Pinochet.
Benazir Bhutto, Duel In Pakistan
Since its independence in 1947, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been torn between civil rule and military dictatorship. We'll see that Benazir Bhutto's life is a reflection of Pakistan's turbulent history as she is elected the first female ruler of an Islamic country, ousted in a coup d'etat and finally assassinated in her attempt to once again lead her country.
Rafic Hariri, Car Bombing in Beirut
From his humble beginnings in a peasant Lebanese family, Rafic Hariri rose to become a multi billionaire and Prime Minister of Lebanon. On February 14th, 2005 a massive car bomb cut short his storied life. An ongoing UN investigation has yet to reveal the conspiracy but Hariri's killing lead to massive political change.
Sergio Vieira de Mello, Black Tuesday In Baghdad
On August 19th, 2003, a bomb destroyed one side of the headquarters of the UN peace mission in Baghdad. The head of the mission, UN Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello, and many of his team died or were injured. An analysis of the context of this surprise attack sheds light on the events at hand and upon the role the UN can play in today's world politics.
Malcolm X, Murder In New York
Malcolm Little rose from a broken home and life in reformatories and prison to become a leader of African Americans and later to represent oppressed people, irrespective of race and religion. He preached contradictory messages of peace and violent activism. His killers were defenders of the Nation of Islam but we may never know who commissioned his assassination on February 21st, 1965.
Matthew Goniwe, The Cradock Murders (The Demise of Apartheid)
Matthew Goniwe, a popular teacher from the small town of Cradock, was a leading opponent of South Africa's separatist Apartheid policies. His contributions led to the first "liberated zone." Goniwe's brutal murder by security forces signaled the beginning of the end of the racist ruling regime and helped pave the way for the election of Nelson Mandela as South Africa's first democratic president in 1994. This film allows viewers to perceive the oppression of Apartheid and how it broke the lives of many