7 Historical Figures Who Were Absurdly Hard To Kill

Death comes for every man, but that doesn't mean you have to make it easy for the bastard. These are the men who, despite whatever terrible things they may have done in life, earned a place in our hearts with their amazingly badass deaths.

#7. Edward Teach a.k.a. Blackbeard

Why He Had to Go

Blackbeard or Edward Teach was a famous English pirate and a massive asshole by all accounts. He had between fourteen and sixteen wives, most of them about a biscuit older than Dakota Fanning. One wife in particular would be routinely forced to run a train with the crew while Blackbeard watched and "buffed his peg leg" so to speak. He burnt hemp beneath his ... um, black beard, to make it look like he was breathing fire, which worked to intimidate his enemies but likely alienated his crew since such a stunt would make an 18th century pirate smell like a snowman made of dogshit.

He'd also occasionally murder his first mate, just to keep everyone on their toes.

"I can't even remember why I was mad at you."

How He Went Down

Blackbeard eventually retired to North Carolina to spend his senior years rolling around in gold coins. But the Governor of Virginia put out a hit on Blackbeard, sending two ships after him, commanded by Robert Maynard.

Rather than running from the two enormous ships sent to kill him, Blackbeard boarded Maynard's ship. Well, first he bombed the deck with an assload of primitive grenades like Jim Brown in The Dirty Dozen. That's when things got all sorts of stabby. Blackbeard nearly severed the fingers on one of Maynard's hands with his sword, and Maynard broke his fucking sword stabbing Blackbeard back.

At the end of the fight, Blackbeard had been stabbed twenty times and suffered at least five gunshot wounds, before bleeding to death while trying to reload his pistol to keep the party going. Maynard then cut Blackbeard's head off and hung it from the bow of his sloop, partly for effect but mostly because he needed the head to collect his reward. He was paid 100 pounds for his trouble, the modern equivalent of about $18,000 or a 2006 Buick Rainier.

Go ahead. You've earned it.

#6. Pablo Escobar

Why He Had to Go

Escobar was the head of the Medellin Drug Cartel, a Colombian drug empire that moved 80 percent of the world's cocaine (the remaining 20 percent was trafficking its way through Dennis Hopper). In 1989, Forbes magazine famously named Pablo Escobar the seventh richest man in the world with an estimated worth of $25 billion. He was immediately rocketed to prominence in the world of rap lyrics and airbrushed t-shirts.

Not pictured: historical context.

Escobar was personally responsible for over 4,000 deaths, which is roughly 100 times more people than you will ever meet. He ordered the assassination of a Colombian presidential candidate who supported an extradition treaty with the United States. Then he blew up a commercial airliner to kill a man that wound up not even being on the plane, and leveled several city blocks in the bombing of a government building in Bogota.

He routinely murdered judges and politicians, and had a standing public bounty on police officers. He ordered two to three car bombings a day, enough that we're surprised people didn't just start walking to work.

How He Went Down

A special task force consisting of U.S. Delta Force operators, SEAL Team 6 and the Colombian police was formed with the explicit purpose of taking Pablo down. They were known as the Search Bloc, and they were in no way fucking around.

We are in no way fucking around.

They joined a posse of vigilantes known as Los Pepes, made up of the friends and family of the people that Pablo had murdered. They tracked Escobar to a barrio and a bullet festival ensued.

The shootout led to the rooftops of Medellin, with Escobar jumping from building to building, absorbing gunshot wounds to the legs and torso. Finally fed up with the hail of gunfire, he shot himself in the head to avoid capture.

However, the authorities claim that the fatal shot was from one of the several thousand they fired at him, a story which is supported by the painting below depicting Escobar as a King Kong-sized Jack Black being attacked by rubber space capsules.

There was also a book written about Escobar called Killing Pablo. Chances are if the title of a book about you refers to how you were kicked off the planet, you probably stepped on a few too many toes.

The only thing missing from this picture is Richard Dreyfuss measuring his bite radius.

#5. Ned Kelly

Why He Had to Go

Ned Kelly was an infamous Australian outlaw in the late 19th century, responsible for two major bank robberies and the murder of three policemen. He's an icon in Australian history, alongside such heroes as Paul Hogan and the dude who brews Fosters.

It should be noted he shot the three policemen while trying to escape an attempted murder charge. So it was like punching your wife in the face to get her to stop lying about being punched in the face.

How He Went Down

Ned Kelly and his gang took over seventy hostages at the Glenrowan Inn after learning a train full of policemen were on their way to arrest them. Despite an attempt to derail the train, the police managed to corner Kelly and his men in the inn. The outlaws, taking the next logical step, donned homemade suits of motherfucking battle armor.

Kelly marched straight outside and started firing at the police while the rest of his gang remained behind. Bullets pinged off Kelly's armor, but his legs and groin were comparatively unprotected (a huge oversight, in our opinion).

Body armor as designed by Cracked Staff.

Kelly took enough shots below the belt that he eventually went down. But while the rest of his gang was killed during the shootout, Kelly survived and was arrested. Two weeks later they put him on trial and ordered his execution.

When the judge handed down the death sentence, Kelly responded, "I will see you there when I go." The judge died a few weeks later, proving that on top of everything else, Kelly was a dark wizard.

#4. Leon Trotsky

Why He Had to Go

In 1917, Trotsky was Lenin's right hand man when the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia. He created and commanded the Red Army and was a member of the Politburo, which oversaw all other branches of Soviet government and made all policy decisions. He also wore glasses and had a wicked goatee, so you know he read books and shit.

Quiet, I'm reading this shit.

After Lenin died, Trotsky was expelled from the Communist party and kicked out of Russia. In return, Trotsky attempted to enter the United States to testify before Congress that Stalin was a major douchebag. Upon hearing this, Stalin decided his next move would be to expel Trotsky from life.

How He Went Down

Trotsky was denied entry into the U.S. and eventually found his way to a home in Mexico City. It was there that he was attacked by Ramon Mercader, an assassin working for Stalin.

While Trotsky was home reading some shit, Mercader buried an ice axe into the back of his skull.

This just pissed Trotsky off.

He stood up from his desk, axe in head, and spit on Mercader. Then he went after the assassin, wrestling with him. Trotsky's bodyguards heard the commotion (where the fuck were they a few minutes ago?) and came running in to subdue the assassin and get Trotsky to the hospital.

"I gotta say, you seem- Oh. Okay, I see the problem."

Trotsky made it to the hospital and underwent surgery before finally dying a day later from complications related to being brained with a goddamn ice axe. We're hoping he lived long enough to fire those bodyguards.

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