Get ready for a controversial statement. Depending on where you stand in the world, politicians take on a variety of forms. For instance, if you believe everything your government tells you, you probably see politicians as good, honest leaders who strive to make your life a better place. On the other hand, those in real positions of power in the world: the large business owners and bankers, more often than not see government officials and political figures as cronies or even pawns who can be swayed in order to acquire more money. Obviously there are varying levels of each extreme. Some see government and political leaders as a necessary evil, while others see idealistic politicians as beacons of hope. The perceptions of government and politics can go on and on, and these are just a few examples.
An extreme anarchist with a belief in violence as a means to achieve an end may well see a political figure as a target and act upon such an impulse. Similarly a rich anarchist, also known as a libertarian, may hire someone to carry out such an act. Similarly, those who hold public office often develop rivalries or mutual hatred of each other and end up offing one another. It is no surprise that men and women with power sometimes pay consequences for wielding such. There is no shortage of examples in the history textbooks from Lincoln to Kennedy, of famous politicians who have been murdered. Here are the ten most recent American political figures who have been killed in office. For the purposes of our list we have figures from state and federal politics and only those who have been appointed or elected to their positions. Thus, included in the list are mayors, district attorneys, judges and so on.
Politics can be a dangerous game, here are the ten most recent individuals for whom the game did not end well, starting with a judge in 1988.
10 1988: Richard Daronco, New York District Court Judge
9 1989: Robert Smith Vance, Court of Appeals Judge
8 1998: Tommy Burks, State Senator in Tennessee
7 2000: Derwin Brown, Sheriff-Elect of Dekalb County, Georgia
6 2003: James E. Davis, New York City Councilman
5 2008: Mike Swoboda, Mayor of Kirkwood, Missouri
4 2008: Bill Gwatney, Chairman of Arkansas Democratic Party
3 2010: John Thornton, Mayor of Washington Park, Illinois
2 2011: John Roll, Judge in the District of Arizona
1 2013: Mark Hasse and Michael McLelland: District Attorney and Assistant DA for Kaufman County, Texas
These two gentlemen are listed together as the most recent American political figures to be murdered because they were killed (allegedly) by the same people, for the same reason, within roughly two months of each other. The first murder, of Mark Hasse, occurred on January 31st, 2013. He was shot repeatedly while walking from his office to his car. On March 30th, 2013, Michael McLelland and his wife Cynthia were shot and killed in their home. Eric and Kim Williams were arrested for the three murders and are currently awaiting trial, after a preliminary hearing. Williams was a former attorney who was put behind bars by Hasse and McLelland for burglary and theft. Hasse was 57, while McLelland and his wife were 63 and 65 respectively.
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