In 1916, the "mad monk" and mystic Rasputin was assassinated in Petrograd (Leningrad) by noblemen who resented his Svengali-like influence over the family of czar Nicholas II and feared that his licentious manner and ignorance would undermine the monarchy. Rasputin, however, was no easy target. His assassins first fed him cakes and wine laced with enough cyanide to kill several horses. Rasputin ate and drank heartily -- and, incredibly, showed no ill effects. At last Prince Felix Yussupov shot him in the chest and clubbed him on the head with a lead-filled walking stick. As an added precaution, Yussupov had his body thrown into the Neva River. He was happy he did; when the body was later recovered, the autopsy revealed that Rasputin had drowned.