When a political or religious personality suddenly dies, conspiracy theories seem to spring up like mushrooms. We know that not every passing of a person with ties to the world of politics has to do with encoded messages and shadowy government figures. However, the unsolved deaths on this list are murky enough to make us doubt even the most obvious cases.
It’s fully plausible that the cases on this list have a pretty simple explanation, but after diving deeper into each of them, we’re not so sure about that. The only thing that we’re sure about, though, is that you’ll be equally intrigued as we are after you learn more about these mysterious political deaths.
Some of these unsolved cases are so old that the perpetrators have either died or are important and powerful enough that they can’t be touched. However, there are other death cases that are still open, and little hope is held for resolution.
Some of the biggest mysterious cases we’ve rounded up in this article were possibly committed by the US government, and that’s one of the things that intrigued us (and most likely will intrigue you as well).
We have to admit there are many conspiracies surrounding these death cases, and they tend to go deep. Therefore, put your detective hat on and get ready to find out more about some of the most famous political deaths!
1. John F. Kennedy
Probably the most debated and famous political death of all time, John F. Kennedy was gunned down during an official visit to Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. Six decades after the event, there are still many conspiracy theories surrounding the murder of the 35th US president.
Perhaps the most interesting part about this whole Kennedy thing is that there are still many secrets we don’t know about. In fact, the US government admitted it wouldn’t reveal some of the details related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. More specifically, over 14,000 classified documents somehow linked to the murder remain locked away.
Apart from the fact that many Americans experienced his death as a deeply personal loss, the national tragedy highlighted the need for a clear way to determine presidential succession. That’s how Congress passed the 25th Amendment, which provides procedures for replacing the chief of state in the event of removal, death, resignation, or incapacitation.
2. Jack Ruby
Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner, became famous for publicly gunning down Lee Harvey Oswald, who was being charged with the assassination of Kennedy at the time.
Ruby was convicted and found guilty, then sentenced to death. He appealed the decision and was to be granted a new trial. However, while waiting for a new court date, Ruby died of lung cancer despite never smoking.
Now, that’s the official cause of death. Obviously, there are several conspiracy theories going around. According to the most popular one, the CIA injected Ruby with cancer cells. What do you think about this theory?
3. Pope John Paul I
Pope John Paul I died from a heart attack only a month after his election. He was pope for just 33 days. As you may guess, his death fueled various conspiracy theories. According to the official statement, his personal secretary found his body. That was what the Vatican stated at the time, at least.
Despite the church dismissing a bevy of inconsistencies surrounding the handling of Pope John Paul I’s death, such as who found the corpse and why, there was no official autopsy. That was one detail that intrigued people, leaving them with the feeling that the Vatican was hiding something.
In other words, the dispelling of information has only triggered speculation of foul play.
4. John Roselli
John Roselli was a high-ranking Chicago Outfit member and the Mafia’s representative in Las Vegas, having previously been involved in the Hollywood industry. His previous experience also included involvement in a plot to terminate Fidel Castro (upon CIA request).
In 1976, his decomposing dead body was found in very bizarre circumstances: in a 55-gallon drum floating near Miami, Florida. While the official statement says Roselli was murdered because he kept an unfair share of Las Vegas profits as well as because of his alleged role in the death of Kennedy, many believe it was his involvement with the CIA that directly led to his demise.
5. Jimmy Hoffa
Jimmy Hoffa was a man with multiple mafia ties and the leader of the Teamsters Union. In 1971, he was released from federal prison after serving less than 5 years of a 13-year sentence.
Four years later, the Union gave him $1.7 million in pension funds, and, shortly after this, Hoffa disappeared from the parking area of the Machus Red Fox Restaurant. What’s even more strange is that his corpse or remains haven’t yet been found.
Several theories have emerged since he was reported missing. According to one of them, Hoffa was abducted by either federal agents or federal marshals, driven to a nearby airport, and dropped out of an aircraft (perhaps into one of the Great Lakes surrounding Michigan). What we know for sure is that there’s a lot of mystery surrounding his death.
6. Clarence 13X
Clarence Smith, also known as Clarence 13X and Allah, was the founder of the Five Percent Nation, a religious group that broke off from the Nation of Islam. His movement was based on an NOI teaching according to which only 5% of the world’s population thoroughly knew and promoted the truth about God.
One way that he differentiated his group from his previous faith was by shunning strict behavioral guidelines and dress codes; he allowed, however, the consumption of alcohol and sometimes the use of illegal drugs.
In 1969, Clarence 13X was shot down by unknown attackers believed to be linked to an extortion crew. Followers of Clarence think that the police used the extortion group as a scapegoat to do their dirty work.
7. Martin Luther King Jr.
Initially, Martin Luther King Jr. was a pastor. He later became the most well-known leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Gandhi’s non-violence technique is what inspired him, and he followed the same in his protests.
Shortly after giving his “Beyond Vietnam” speech in New York, some of his fellows turned against him. Among those was President Lyndon Johnson, as Dr. King had described America as “the greatest purveyor of violence today.”
While Dr. King was leaning over his balcony in his room at the Lorraine Motel, a bullet fatally pierced his jaw. To this day, the identity, motive, and location of the shooter remain ambiguous. Authorities arrested James Earl Ray, who was sentenced to 99 years in prison without a trial.
He had submitted a request for an Alford plea, which is a guilty plea where the accused claims innocence. What’s bizarre is that the judge considering his petition was found dead.
In 1993, Loyd Jowers admitted he played a part in a conspiracy to assassinate Dr. King. According to him, the Mafia and the US government conspired together to kill Dr. King. He also states that he was fired by Lieutenant Earl Clark.
There’s still no unanimous verdict related to Dr. King’s death.
If you want to learn more about his life, here‘s his autobiography.
8. Leon Jordan
Leon Jordan was a soldier, a detective, a civil rights leader, a politician, an educator, and a pilot from Kansas City, Missouri. He intensely advocated political awareness among the black community and ran a massive voter registration drive. He also served three terms in the Missouri House of Representatives.
He would have served his fourth if he hadn’t died in 1970. While campaigning for the election, Jordan was murdered by a gunshot. Authorities charged three different potential criminals, one of whom was believed to be linked with a group called the “Black Mafia.”
However, charges were eventually dropped, and the case was left unsolved until 2011, when new information came to light. According to it, there was enough evidence to show that the three men initially charged were the culprits. Many people still have doubts to this day.
You may also want to read 7 US States With the Strictest Gun Laws This Year.