England · Newspaper clippings

Man assassinated by poisoned umbrella

September 7, 1978
London, England
Georgi Ivanov Markov (Георги Иванов Марков) is struck in the leg with a poisoned pellet, leading to his death four days later

Markov had defected from his home, the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, and became an outspoken critic of the country’s regime. On September 7, as he walked across Waterloo Bridge in London, he felt a sharp jab to his leg, similar to an insect sting. Looking behind him, Markov saw a man picking an umbrella from the ground. The man apologized and hurried into a taxi.

Markov quickly developed a rash on the area he had felt the sting, came down with a fever, and was admitted to the hospital where he died four days later. Before his death, he informed doctors he believed he had been poisoned which was confirmed during his autopsy. A small titanium pellet with highly toxic ricin was found in his leg. The pellet had been coated with a sugary substance designed to melt at body temperature, protecting the poison during impact and releasing it while in the victim’s body.

KGB defectors have verified the organization’s connection to the assassination and in 2005 The Times reported Francesco Gullino, codename “Piccadilly,” is the prime suspect in the “Umbrella Murder.” At this time, no one has been arrested for Markov’s murder.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s