Politicians have always had to deal with bad blood with other political parties and disgruntled members of the public. Although they are often small spats that are quickly over with little repercussions, there are instances in which the trouble is more serious. From rogue assassins to inside jobs within the government, there have been a whole host of conspiracies surrounding the passing of some political figures and whether grudges, disputes or plots caused their deaths.
Here are a few strange political deaths that have been highly speculated upon ever since.
Diana, Princess of Wales
The loss of Diana, Princess of Wales caught headlines around the world, but her cause of death didn’t seem to add up for many people. There have been multiple conspiracies about the car accident that killed the adored 36-year-old, many of which state that it was far from an accident. In fact, Diana herself is said to have written a letter to her butler stating her belief that the establishment was planning her death, going as far as specifically mentioning a planned car ‘accident’. From direct involvement from the Royal Family to the paparazzi deliberately causing a car crash, there’s no end to theories about the beloved royal. It’s perhaps no surprise that her death sparked such interest too, given that it was such a huge cultural moment. Her public funeral was one of the most watched television moments in history and cost £7.7 million in today’s money — far from the average funeral plan of £3,232 according to Beyond. The bigger the moment, the greater the chance of a conspiracy theory.
President John F. Kennedy
One of the most disputed political incidents is the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Although the shooting was caught on tape, there are multiple conspiracies regarding how many bullets were used, how many people were involved and if the right man was sent down for the crime. It is officially stated that ‘JFK’ died from two bullet wounds while riding in a presidential motorcade and that the shots were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald. However, some people claim there are multiple inconsistencies and faults with the official story. In fact, 61 per cent of Americans don’t believe the official story and think there was more than one shooter involved according to Gallup. Theorists have pointed the finger at multiple different organisations for JFK’s assassination, including the Mafia and the CIA.
Some conspiracy theories aren’t as out there as others, such as those surrounding Louisiana senator Huey Long. The former governor had big ambitions and was ultimately aiming for the White House before a shooting incident cut his life short. The official story is that a young doctor called Carl Weiss shot the senator at close range before he was shot dead himself by Mr Long’s bodyguards. That may seem straightforward, but rumours have persisted to suggest that while Dr. Weiss did definitely physically attack Mr. Long, he may not have shot him. It’s believe that it may have been a misfire from the bodyguards during the altercation that actually killed the senator — and that the guards decided to cover it up by blaming Weiss.
Although he wasn’t a huge political figure, the 2016 murder of Seth Rich sparked multiple political conspiracy theories. The 27-year-old was employed by the Democratic National Committee before he was shot twice in the back. The apparent lack of motive meant several right-wing conspiracy theories were spawned. The most common here was the false claim that Seth had been involved in hacking private DNC emails in 2016 and that his death was a form of revenge. Many theories have largely been debunked and Seth’s parents have spoken to the BBC about the lack of fact-checking that news outlets did before running the conspiracies as legitimate stories. This rumour still goes strong in some circles despite 12 Russian military intelligence agents being indicted for hacking the emails and networks of Democratic Party officials. Maybe sometimes people just prefer to believe a more outlandish explanation?