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Conspicuously Public Assassination

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The Shot Heard Round the World

"Ronnie Kray, one of the two Kray Twins who basically run organized crime in London, commits the murder he'll finally be sent away for when he walks into the Blind Beggar pub and shoots George Cornell in the head... Kray would manage to get away with this for three years by virtue of the fact that nobody was actually stupid enough to testify against a man who walked into pubs and shot people dead, this being a sort of tautological behavior."

So there's the Evil Overlord sitting on his throne when a figure in black suddenly appears looking like Death himself. He strikes a fatal blow and the crowd is so shocked that no one makes much effort to stop the assassin. As was noted by the eponymous assassin of Day of the Jackal, assassination is relatively easy; getting away is the hard part. However, this is the opposite, a Refuge in Audacity on the assassin's part, which no one minds because it is just that cool or they're simply dumbstruck.

Aiding this is if the victim so unpopular that Bodyguard Betrayal occurs. The people supposed to provide security either stand by and let it happen or help out. This would definitely make the escape easier.

If the target employs Swiss-Cheese Security, they deserve it.

There is some Truth in Television here, as oftentimes the assassin is intended to be caught or killed. This is called a "lost" assassination and is popular among terrorist groups, the insane, and groups manipulating the insane for plausible deniability.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Used in the final episode of Code Geass, in which Suzaku dressed as Zero kills Emperor Lelouch. In this case, it makes a lot of sense why everything occurs so neatly, as Lelouch planned his death to ensure a better world, and deliberately made himself the most stereotypical, over the top Evil Overlord he could be, just so he could unite the world in their hatred of him.
  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, an assassin knows about the Jackal quote, so he simply decides not to worry about escaping. He smuggles a rifle into the country as a decoy, and his actual plan is to infiltrate the crowd and run up to his target with a combat knife and flower bouquet full of explosives. Fortunately, the heroes are badass enough to figure it out Just in Time and stop him.
  • Some of the hits the ladies make in Noir are like this. One example was at a party; Kirika hurls a fork across the room into the neck (and apparently the spine) of a military target. They do use stealth in the sense of "nobody suspects the flower girls". Another hit involved taking out the target while they were still in police custody, but Chloe got to them first. The most dangerous hits tended to be the ones where they tried to be sneaky because this allowed for the would-be ambushees to ambush them.
    • At one point Mireille gets the drop on one of the leading members of Les Soldats simply by waltzing into his office and shooting the guards. In this case, it's implied that this was partially intentional on his part, since he wanted her to find him, and it probably wouldn't have been that easy otherwise.
    • Spiritual Successor Madlax gets away with assassinating General McNichol, the head of the Gazth-Sonika military, during a speech by sniping him from farther away than his security thought possible (apparently they'd never heard of Carlos Hathcock). Justified because McNichol himself ordered the hit and wanted it made public to tell Enfant that he won’t fight the war for them anymore. Limelda, the elite Cold Sniper assisting with the security arrangements, immediately figures out how she managed to do it, but she isn't able to stop Madlax before she gets away.
  • In Sword Art Online, Death Gun employs this tactic in-game synced to the real-life murder of his target. When Death Gun shoots the target in-game, his accomplice in real life injects the target with succhyoline, causing the victim to go into cardiac arrest.

    Comic Books 
  • In Fables, Boy Blue assassinates The Adversary in front of hundreds of witnesses. The fact that memory altering charms exist and that the Adversary is a giant, easily fixed puppet make this a slightly less than successful murder, and the Empire takes the Kill All The Witnesses approach to be safe.
  • The Killer: The Killer is hired to assassinate a corrupt high-ranking French politician after he becomes a competitor to a Colombian drug kingpin for the same market. The kingpin specifically wants the assassination to be as public as possible to send a clear message, so the Killer opts to blow up his car along with his armed escorts.
  • Frank Castle aka The Punisher has a personal preference for lots upon lots upon lots of gunfire, explosions and the occasional savage beating. Even at his most subtle, his luck usually only lasts long enough for him to get within striking distance, and then all hell breaks loose.
  • Averted in Preacher: Starr's right-hand man suggests killing Allfather D'Aronique, claiming that other Allfathers did the same. Starr points out that the previous Allfathers "quietly had each other garroted" instead of sudden public attacks, and that they'll be shot down by the guards if they try it. When Starr does make his move, he does so at a point where there will be no witnesses (save one he later throws into a propeller).
  • X-23's test run and first assassination was of presidential candidate Greg Johnson just before a rally, with hundreds of people gathered to support him. The attack was carried out in an entire room full of dozens of staffers, press, security, and Johnson's family, in which she slaughtered everybody present, with an exit strategy of masquerading as the lone survivor trapped beneath a pile of corpses (even fooling Captain America when he responded). Although she effectively left no witnesses, security outside the room heard the shots being fired, and news cameras inside caught much of the assault on tape). As a result, it was nonetheless a very public assassination which not only proved X's viability but also served as chillingly effective advertising to potential clients.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, an Ankh-Morpork Assassin, visiting the Roundworld note , learns about what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She reflects that taking out an entire city all at once is a definite case of With Extreme Prejudice, and speculates that the client must have really wanted to make their annoyance known, on the big scale.
  • Our Family, An Ascension: In Chapter 15, a sniper influenced by Lakshmi's anti-Eliksni propaganda tries to assassinate Misraaks, the Kell of House Light, as he's giving a public speech pleading for unity between the people of the Last City and the Eliksni. Thanks to the last-minute intervention of a recently-revived Eido, the would-be assassin misses his shot and only succeeds in lightly grazing his target's neck before he's pushed out the window of a high-rise and falls to his death.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alita: Battle Angel: Vector bribes a group of crooked hunter-warriors to pose as players in the Motorball beginner match Alita is playing in and assassinate her. Once the match begins, the hunters don’t even bother with any pretenses of actually playing and just blatantly try to kill Alita right on the track, in full view of the audience. Since Motorball is a borderline Blood Sport with No OSHA Compliance to the extreme, the audience and announcers neither notice or care that anything is out of the ordinary. In fact, Alita brutally fighting off the assassins ends up making her a star player that’s beloved by the audience.
  • In American Gangster, Frank Lucas while having breakfast with his brothers, notices rival drug lord Tango through the window and leaves the diner to execute him in broad daylight when he doesn't pay him a fifth of the profits he earned from selling the former's heroin, partly as display of his power and partly to set an example to everyone else not to cross him. After the deed is done, he returns back to the diner as if nothing happened.
  • Assassination Games: Brazil kills his first target at the beginning of the film by slashing his throat in front of an entire wedding party, and then escaping during the confusion.
  • Assassins. The two rival assassins are given a contract to kill a reclusive billionaire attending the funeral of his brother. Stallone's character is among the mourners, his arm in a fake sling concealing his silenced .22 pistol, only for the mark to be shot by Banderas' character, dressed as a groundskeeper, with a shot from a silenced .22 rifle. He then calmly walks away with his gardening equipment and is only stopped by Stallone firing on him, unnoticed by the mark's bodyguards and the panicked crowd. Banderas later reveals that as his target was a recluse with tight security, he killed the brother to lure him into the open.
  • Best Seller (1987). A hitman approaches a writer and offers to sell his story about working for a Corrupt Corporate Executive. The writer having turned down a bribe not to publish, his daughter is kidnapped. The writer goes to meet the businessman in his Big Fancy House in broad daylight with children playing on the lawn, both parties unaware that the hitman is walking through the house, killing all the bodyguards with a silenced pistol.
  • Bodyguards and Assassins: The attempted assassination of Sun Yat Sen in the final act wasn't so much an assassination as it was a pitched battle fought through the streets of Hong Kong for several hours. The only reason the entire city wasn't witness to the fight was that everyone not directly participating had the sense to clear the streets the moment arrows started flying in bushel loads.
  • Captain America (1990): The assassin proudly announces his allegiance before shooting Dr Vaselli from point-blank range in the middle of a crowd of military personnel.
    Remarkable work, Dr Vaselli. Congratulations HEIL HITLER! (blam)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier:
    • It features a not-so-subtle attempt on Nick Fury's life as a bunch of corrupt police officers (actually HYDRA agents) descend on Nick in his armored SUV, fill it with assault rifle fire, and attempting to bash in the door with a hydraulic ram, then chaotically chase him down through the streets of Washington DC before he runs into the Winter Soldier, who slaps a sticky mine to the bottom of his vehicle and detonates it, flipping it onto its roof. Nick manages to escape his SUV by cutting the roof and descending into the sewers below with a handheld plasma cutter. Later Nick is successfully targeted in Steve Rogers's apartment by the Winter Soldier sniping him through the wall, subverting the earlier attempt.
    • Later on, the Winter Soldier and more HYDRA troops attempt to kill Steve, Natasha, and Sam on a busy freeway in broad daylight with assault rifles, grenades, and a minigun, since they've captured and started questioning Agent Sitwell, who is working for HYDRA. In this case, since HYDRA is effectively in control of S.H.I.E.L.D., they're not worried about the battle pulling in the authorities, since, y'know, they are the authorities who'd respond to this, and the only reason they back down is that an independent news helicopter shows up. Instead, the S.H.I.E.L.D. traitors who capture Steve, Sam, and Natasha try to find a quiet spot to kill them and bury the bodies out of sight, but Nick Fury has other plans.
  • Narrowly averted in the climactic scene of The Emperor and the Assassin. The eponymous assassin (who used to be the number one hitman in Yan, but now appreciates life and is a Death Seeker) chases the eponymous emperor Qin up and down his throne room, dagger in hand, in front of hundreds of courtiers. Not one of them lifts a finger to help him, only running from them both. Emperor Qin finally fights off and kills the assassin all by himself after minutes of this, (making it an Overly-Long Gag) and then turns to his courtiers, supposedly his loyal supporters, and says "None of you did anything." It was one of the most brutally effective Despair Event Horizons ever filmed, as he realizes that he is now the sole ruler of all China, but everyone hates and fears him, and no one cares for him at all.
  • Gangs of New York:
    • Amsterdam Vallon attempts one of these on Bill the Butcher. Some of his exposition monologue earlier in the film even hangs a lampshade on it, saying "When you kill a king, you don't use a knife in the dark... you do it where the whole court can watch him die." It doesn't go so well...
    • Bill himself kills Monk (a newly elected politician) in broad daylight in front of a crowd of his constituents.
  • The Godfather: Michael Corleone wants to assassinate Virgil Sollozzo, the man behind an attempt on Vito's life, as well as Captain McCluskey, a corrupt police captain in Sollozzo's pocket who acts as his bodyguard. A gun is planted by Corleone members in the restaurant bathroom before the meeting. At a staged moment, Michael gets up from his parley with the targets, goes to the bathroom to get the gun, and, when a train goes by on the elevated line outside, he shoots Sollozzo once in the head, and McCluskey twice (in the neck, then in the head), then drops the gun on the floor and calmly walks out the front door. Because everyone saw his face, he has to go into hiding in Italy for a few years until the heat dies down.
  • This is what saves the day for the FBI in The Jackal, similarly to the book it was based on (The Day of the Jackal — see the Literature section below). Declan realizes that they are protecting the wrong target because he knows that the called-for MO is something "public and brutal", which won't be achieved by assassinating the director of the FBI with all the precautions they're taking. Combined with the "can't protect his women" line, he realizes that the real target is the First Lady, who is to speak at the opening of the children's wing of a hospital that day.
  • James Bond
    • The Man with the Golden Gun. After stealing the Solex Agitator from Scaramanga, Andrea Anders arranges to hand it over to Bond at a Thai boxing match, no doubt thinking her boyfriend would be reluctant to kill her in front of a thousand witnesses. Bond sits down next to Anders and starts talking to her, only to see a neat bullethole over her heart. Scaramanga then casually sits down next to him, saying it was "a difficult shot, but most gratifying." He's not kidding about the difficulty, given that he'd have to inflict spinal damage as well, as she Died Standing Up with her eyes open.
    • The Living Daylights. Bond helps General Pushkin fake his death by "shooting" him during a concert, in full view of everybody including the Russian authorities, in the process saving him from a real assassination attempt being carried out by Koskov's hitman Necros.
  • In Machete, Machete is hired to assassinate McLaughlin during a public rally. However, the attempted assassination is part of a False Flag Operation to gain public support for McLaughlin's secure border campaign.
  • In Power of the Press, Rankin has Trent shoot John Cleveland Carter while Carter is giving a speech to a press society dinner.
  • The President's Analyst opens with a US spy knifing an Albanian double agent and dumping the body into a garment cart on a busy sidewalk on New York's 7th Avenue — note this is filmed on location and nobody gives it a second glance!
  • Alluded to in Red Eye, where, seated at a "red eye" airplane flight, Jackson Rippner casually drops a Sarcastic Confession about his employment being at "managing" operations such as "government overthrows, flashy assassinations". (The actual plot of the movie concerns the details of "firing a bazooka at the exterior of a hotel" and arranging things just so it's likely to work.)
  • Road to Perdition. Michael Sullivan Sr. is after Conner Rooney, who murdered Sullivan's wife Annie and son Peter. Thing is, Rooney is under the protection of the Chicago syndicate. He steals money from some of the syndicate's bank and agrees to return it if they give up Conner. They do so after Sullivan reluctantly kills his mentor, Conner's father John Rooney so that the Chicago syndicate has no reason to continue protecting Conner. We then see Sullivan entering a Chicago hotel, walking past mob guards on all floors who make no attempt to stop him, entering a room where he casually shoots dead his target, then walking out again.
  • Seven (1979), one of the federal agents is assassinated while sitting in the front row of a tiki show. By the dancer on stage who hurls a flaming spear into his chest.
  • Although the general setup is a The Manchurian Candidate-style sniping, Colonel West's attempt in Star Trek VI counts due to using a phaser with a bright blue beam. Possibly justified because he is disguised as a Klingon in order to incite war, and therefore must be seen for the plan to work.
  • Subverted in The Terminator. The T-800 Model 101 decimates a local police station and in the sequel Judgment Day, the LAPD gets some pictures of the T-800 and immediately recognize that this is the same suspect that destroyed the police station in The Terminator.
    "That was a different T-101."
    "What, do you come off an assembly line?"
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mystique tries to assassinate Trask for revenge at the Paris Peace Conference, and when that fails, at the Sentinel demonstration at the White House. It's a very bad idea as such public violent action spurs hostile countermeasures like the Sentinel programme, as Xavier points out.

  • In the ninth Alex Rider book, Scorpia Rising, the Nebulous Evil Organisation Scorpia plan to assassinate the American Secretary of State, then frame Alex (and, by proxy, the British government) for her death. They plan to assassinate her midway through a speech, specifically timing the moment of the assassination to coincide with her beginning an anti-British part of her speech, modifying the gun being used so the sound of the shot is incredibly loud, thereby creating mass panic during which the assassin can make their getaway, kill Alex and plant his body on the scene.
  • The Brotherhood of the Rose by David Morrell. Saul is tasked by his surrogate father, CIA spymaster Elliot, with blowing up a Big Fancy House where a conference is being held. He wonders why they haven't been told to discreetly kill them off via road accidents or poisonings in different parts of the country, so only the members of victim's own circle would realise what was happening. Nevertheless he obeys orders not knowing one of the victims is a friend of the US President, so the assassination would attract attention anyway and and he's being set up to take the fall as a Rogue Agent.
  • In The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsythe, the Jackal plans to assassinate Charles DeGaulle at a public event — notably the award ceremony on Liberation Day, the one occasion he can be certain the President of France will turn up, no matter what threats have been made against his life.
  • Discworld:
    • In the book Night Watch, which is a sort of prequel, Lord Vetinari, then a student assassin kills one of the previous Patricians at a party. There is an explicit comparison with Death (à la "The Masque of the Red Death") as effort had been made to spook the Patrician beforehand, so when Vetinari appears, the Patrician dies of a heart attack before he strikes the fatal blow. The feat was also made possible with help from his aunt, who had skillfully arranged the partygoers so that nobody would intervene.
    • Indeed, the Guild of Assassins has a finely gradiated set of premium services, used to convey the definite idea that the client is extremely pissed off with the inhumee. With prejudice might involve a carefully chosen method of inhumation, which can be protracted and painful, humiliating, or both at once. With extreme prejudice has the above, but with the added refinement that the Assassin undertaking the contract does so not only publicly, but also takes out the inhumee's friends, family members, or in extreme cases the whole street.
  • Steven Brust's Dragaera novels:
    • Mario Greymist's assassination of The Emperor in Five Hundred Years After. That character definitely has a link with death: grey is the in-universe color of death. (It is also associated with the Greymist Valley, which is located just above Deathgate Falls.) Justified in that Mario was allied with the prospective claimant to the throne and would have been rewarded if all went according to plan.
    • Jhereg assassinations are conspicuous in general, since most of the victims are Jhereg and fellow members of the Organization, and the Empire isn't especially concerned so long as no bystanders get hurt. It's quite common for Jhereg to get knifed while at a restaurant or walking down the street. In-universe this gets justified as being the most practical approach: trying for indirect kills like poisoning or "accidents" risks leaving an alert target who might be able to trace back to you, and trying to sneak past security means multiple chances to get caught and into fights which can't end with the target dead. Professional assassins generally work with no backup, prioritize their own survival over quick success, and are willing to wait (in some cases, years) for the moment when a quick and direct approach will work.
  • The Executioner. One-Man Army Mack Bolan often starts his 'blitz' on a local Mafia family this way. He turns up at several mob joints, calmly states the name of his target, whom he then kills along with their bodyguards in an impressive display of shooting. This quickly gets the Mafia 'mobbed up' in a 'hardsite' where Bolan can destroy them with overwhelming firepower without worrying about innocents getting in the way.
  • The Fall of the Kings has this as its climax. Nicholas Galing attempts to kill Theron, who's looking like a case of Rightful King Returns, in front of a huge crowd at a public debate. Theron's lover Basil jumps in front of the knife to protect him and is killed instead.
  • In The Guns of the South, the Rivington men don't even bother trying to be subtle when they attempt to assassinate Confederate President Robert E. Lee — several of them just show up to his inauguration and start firing Uzis left and right, mowing down countless people including Lee's wife Mary. Presumably the intent was sheer terrorism, trying to intimidate the "backwards" people of the 1860s with pure force of arms; however, not only do they fail to kill Lee, but they end up ensuring that the South does away with slavery (the very thing they didn't want to happen) because not even the most rock-ribbed slavery proponent is willing to be associated with the men who slaughtered so many innocent people.
  • Honor Harrington: Done at multiple levels in Crown of Slaves. During the coronation at the end of the book, Lieutenant Governor Cassetti is killed in front of thousands of people and dozens of notables from the various political groups around Torch. Averted at one level, because Scrags are instantly found with the murder weapon, but played absolutely straight at another level because Thandi Palane planted the evidence of their guilt and had her guards kill them so they couldn't be questioned, such that she was standing in full view of everyone while she executed him.
  • In Imager Portfolio, this is a semi-common trope, happening to several notable figures.
  • In The Lost Fleet and it's spinoffs, there are numerous attempts (and a few successful ones). They range from trying to force whole ships to blow up in the middle of an allied fleet in order to kill people (one of these attempts is successful, another is not) to would-be firing squads shooting at their target, only to be ambushed by a genre-savvy target.
  • In Richard Condon's The Manchurian Candidate, the assassination of the presidential nominee was planned not only to occur on live television during the convention but at a specific point in the nominee's acceptance speech so his chosen Vice-Presidential candidate, whose wife was behind the entire thing, could specifically be seen holding the dying nominee in his arms and have the photograph spread all over the world.
  • In Masked Dog by Raymond Obstfeld, a convicted criminal is used to test an experimental drug which eliminates fear and gives him the ability to retain vast amounts of information. After using his skills to escape, he decides to become a master assassin, announcing that he will prove his skills by killing a foreign dignitary. The good guys are expecting sniper rifles, bombs, etc. — instead he pulls up alongside the dignitary's car, shouting and carrying on like a road rage hoodlum. The security team, torn between watching this idiot and trying to keep an eye out for the "real" threat, get caught in a Car Fu accident which the killer arranged by memorizing the traffic light patterns.
  • Another "The Masque of the Red Death" homage occurs in the WW2 potboiler Operation Stalag by Charles Whiting. The Destroyers infiltrate a Nazi Masquerade Ball, with their commander dressed as Death. Though they have one particular target (a female Torture Technician), they also intend to kill as many Nazi officers as possible to send a message on what happens when you torture British POW's.
  • In Elmore Leonard's Pronto, mob hitman Tommy Bucks lampshades the fact that he can walk into a crowded restaurant, shoot his target in the head and then walk out without any witnesses being able to fully identify him. It is implied that he killed people like this in the past but the one time he tries to do so in the book he is instead met by US Marshal Raylan Givens. Raylan plays out his own version of this trope since he is perfectly willing to gun down Tommy in a public place even if Tommy does not draw his gun first. Tommy murdered a man right in front of Raylan and was not charged with the crime so Raylan is determined to prove to Tommy that ultimately one cannot get away with committing a murder in front of a US Marshal.
  • In Tom Clancy's Ryanverse, this happens in the last two novels before the introduction of The Campus: In Executive Orders, a long-trusted and very loyal bodyguard of a never-named Saddam Hussein expy kills the Iraqi leader right in the middle of a public speech, to make it clear that he's dead and severely destabilize the country so that Iran can take it over. Later in the book, Secret Service agent Aref Raman tries the same thing, but settles for a killing in the Oval Office instead. In The Bear and the Dragon, the book opens with a very public murder of a pimp, using an RPG right in front of the Kremlin. The real target was Golovko, the Russian president's most trusted and capable adviser, who just happened to be in the same model and color car as the pimp.
  • In The Shadow Speaker, the Rightful Queen Returns and beheads the protagonist's father, who had taken over rule of her village in Niger, in the middle of a meeting.
  • In Harry Harrison's Stars And Stripes Alternate History trilogy, Abraham Lincoln misses the fateful play due to the illness of his son (note: this is not the point of divergence, that happens earlier). Later, Lincoln is coming out of a building in another city, and an assassin, hiding in the crowd, fires at him with a pistol but misses. After the assassin is shot, someone recognizes him as a mediocre actor named John Wilkes Booth. Guess he's only a good shot at point-blank range.
  • Damar's killing of Supreme Legate Dukat in Star Trek Mirror: Rise Like Lions: walking out on the balcony Dukat is holding a speech to the public from and shooting him in the back of his head. Granted, getting to the balcony would probably have been hard if Damar, as Dukat's de-facto second-in-command and closest thing to a friend, wasn't supposed to hang out in the Legate's office while Dukat held his speeches. Exactly how this allowed Damar to take over the Cardassian Union is a bit unclear, since that's not how you're supposed to handle things in the Union. It gives people ideas they shouldn't have.
  • Star Wars Legends: Several of the components of Operation Minefield in the X-Wing Series novel Solo Command follow this mold. Taking the cake is probably the planned dual assassination of General Han Solo and Commander Wedge Antilles, during full military maneuvers, by pilots ostensibly under Antilles's command ("attempted" because both are foiled by fellow pilots). Both operatives were Brainwashed and Crazy, making their survival actually a liability to Zsinj's plan and, more importantly, they didn't need to kill anyone to succeed — the public nature of the assassinations and other, simultaneous acts of terror is intended to drive up fear of specific alien minorities that Zsinj can use to divide the New Republic. In fact, it's likely an Invoked Trope. And even if it wasn't, it's justified, as the emphasis is more on "Crazy" than "Brainwashed". And at least one was veritably fighting from the inside.
  • The Way Of Kings (first book of The Stormlight Archive): Szeth is ordered to leave behind witnesses to the assassinations of various governments and monarchs, advancing his master's goal of general chaos.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This was Raven's plan to save Finn on The 100: have Clarke just walk up to Lexa, stab her, and take Finn back to Camp Jaha in the chaos. Clarke decides this is a stupid plan.
  • Averted in the first series of Blackadder, in the episode "Born to be King". When Edmund declares that he will stab McAngus in the great hall and in the bladder, Percy quips that if he does it in front of everyone, people will suspect he's the killer. Edmund thinks better of it, and comes up with a more cunning plan.
  • The Blacklist: The Freelancer's MO is to create mass casualty events designed to look like accidents, all to cover how he's taking out one specific person each time.
  • Boardwalk Empire sees Nucky Thompson get subjected to an assassination attempt once per season. The assassin is always actually under orders of a bigger fish that wants to take control of Nucky's Atlantic City criminal empire and wants people to see his rival's demise. Every other assassination in the show happens in a more private setting and is successful more often than not.
    • In the first season, two of the D'Alessio brothers try to gun him down while he's walking with Margaret on a crowded boardwalk during a summer night. Eddie Kessler, who's shadowing them, spots the shooter's gun and twists his arm as he's pulling the trigger, causing the bullet to instead hit a nearby woman, and the blood splatter from the wound ruins Margaret's dress as the woman falls onto her.
    • In the second season, a stooge hired by Jimmy Darmody attempts to shoot Nucky in an even more crowded nightclub while heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey is giving a speech as part of an advertising campaign. The assassin manages to shoot Nucky in the right hand but is shot dead by Clifford Lathorp before he can plant the fatal blow.
    • In season 3, Babette's on the boardwalk is blown up by Tonino Sandrelli on Gyp Rosetti's orders. Nucky, Luciano, and Rothstein are out of the blast radius, but Nucky's new mistress Billie Kent is killed.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • After corrupt detective Christian Blake gives up information to Matt Murdock, Wilson Fisk calls for him to be killed. Blake is subsequently shot by an ESU sniper on live TV while he and his partner Carl Hoffman are overseeing cops outside an abandoned building where Matt has holed up with Vladimir Ranskahov. The sniper also kills two random patrol officers to make Blake's shooting look random. But as if by a miracle, Blake survives, forcing Fisk to threaten Hoffman into poisoning Blake before he can speak out against his employer.
    • Frank Castle tends to mostly keep to the shadows, but he makes a fairly blatant showing when he shoots up Metro-General Hospital with a shotgun trying to chase after Grotto and Karen.
    • In season 3, Fisk has Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter carry assassination missions for him in a Daredevil suit, making sure to be publicly seen so that he can tarnish Matt's reputation.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The colonial Marshal has one carried out on the Administrator from Earth sent to give the subjects their independence in "The Mutants".
    • The Master does this to the President of Gallifrey in "The Deadly Assassin", having first lured the Doctor into a position where he can take the fall for the assassination.
    • "The Sound of Drums": The Master sets up the President of the US to be assassinated on live TV by the Toclafane. This is one of the few events that isn't retgoned by the destruction of the Paradox Machine.
  • Earth: Final Conflict:
    • In the pilot, the Taelon representative Da'an is giving a public speech in Ohio, praising the cooperation between humans and Taelons, as well as the end to world hunger thanks to Taelon technology. A cop named William Boone assigned as part of the security detail spots a Laser Sight from a sniper rifle and yells for Da'an to get down. The billionaire Jonathan Doors jumps in front of Da'an and is seemingly killed by the shot. It's difficult to believe that someone like Da'an wouldn't be protected better than that. While the whole thing was revealed to be a set up by Doors to fake his death in order to secretly run La Résistance, it's difficult to believe that a sniper would be able to get into a building within shooting range of such a high profile dignitary. On the other hand, a later episode reveals that Taelons are immune to bullets, so maybe Da'an insisted that human authorities don't bother with tight security.
    • In the first season 2 episode, Qu'on, the leader of the Taelon Synod, is assassinated by a Jaridian Replicant at William Boone's funeral. This results in Zo'or being named the new leader instead of the more benevolent Da'an.
  • On Grimm two Blutbad criminals are killed publicly in a police station in front of TV cameras. The criminals flouted a centuries-old compact binding all Wesen and their actions threatened to expose the existence of Wesen to the human public. The assassination was a message from the Wesen Council that such actions would not be tolerated. At the end of the episode, the Wesen Council official mentions that such displays are necessary about once a generation in order to reinforce the rules. In a later episode, a mayoral candidate is shot at a public gathering by a sniper employed by the Black Claw. This is all a ploy to replace him with Sean Renard, whom they control by holding his daughter hostage. The bad guys even orchestrate the killing of the assassin by Renard in order to put him in a good light for the public.
  • JAG: The female assassin in “Washington Holiday” tries to do this twice, first in Brussels and later in DC.
  • Luke Cage (2016): As part of his plan to get the NYPD to buy his Judas bullets and turn public opinion against Luke Cage, Willis "Diamondback" Stryker kills a random police officer by walking up to him and punching him in the chest with a special glove that hurls the cop through the air and caves his chest in, and then saunters away shouting "I'M LUKE CAGE!" so that every witness to the crime knows exactly who (supposedly) did it.
  • In The Man in the High Castle the Crown Prince of Japan is shot as he delivers a public speech. The assassin intended to be caught and serve as a Pretext for War between Japan and the Reich.
  • Mission: Impossible: In "Reprisal", a rogue IMF agent is attempting to frame Jim Phelps for murder. He disguises himself as Jim and garottes a woman in a crowded hotel lobby. He slips away from the shocked crowd long enough to strip off the Latex Perfection mask and, when Jim arrives at the hotel to try to stop him, he is immediately pursued by the police.
  • Monk:
    • In the pilot, Ian Sykes, disguised as a painter, open fire on a campaign rally with a Weatherby Fibermark rifle, supposedly trying to kill mayoral candidate Warren St. Claire. St. Claire survives, but his bodyguard Jason Ronstadt is fatally shot. Then it turns out Ronstadt was Sykes's target, not St. Claire at all, and Sykes's employer (the candidate's campaign manager, who had originally hired Sykes to kill a volunteer who had found evidence that Lloyd was embezzling money, and had originally solicited Ronstadt to commit that murder) wanted Ronstadt killed in public because it would look like an attempt on St. Claire's life, giving the guy extra publicity and an upswing in votes.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus", disgruntled trapeze artist Natasha Lovara shoots and kills her ex-husband Sergei at a crowded outdoor café. She does it here because everyone currently assumes she's confined to a wheelchair after she broke her foot in an accidental fall, and she needs witnesses to see the shooter perform feats that no woman with a broken right foot could possibly do.
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," one thing that leads Monk to suspect Stottlemeyer's girlfriend killed her business partner is the fact that the killer explicitly waited to shoot him until there were witnesses around to see it happen, and she needed witnesses because she has an alibi for the exact minute of death.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Mind's Eye", Geordi LaForge is captured by the Romulans and brainwashed to assassinate a Klingon governor, which would surely start a war between the Klingons and The Federation. Fortunately, Picard, Worf, and Data stop the assassination and expose the plot.
  • In Supernatural, the leviathans impersonating Sam and Dean do this, except they're committing random, indiscriminate murders. They kill in public, tell people their names and look directly into surveillance cameras.
  • The neo-Nazis who shoot at the president's entourage in The West Wing are easily shot by the Secret Service through the window of the office building they're in. Later we find out that they had no ID on them, implying they expected to die.
  • In the Wiseguy episode "New Blood", Harry Shanstra explains the three types of mob assassins to Vinnie: long, short, and prima facie. After hearing the definitions for the first two types, Vinnie guesses that "prima facie" means walking up to the target and sticking a gun in his face. It doesn't, and Harry tells him that anyone who would do that is an idiot. (In this context, "prima facie" means planting a bomb in the target's immediate vicinity.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the official setting for the science fiction game Traveller, Arch-Duke Dulinor attempted to claim the Imperial Throne by shooting Emperor Strephon while the monarch sat on his throne. It didn't work out too well for him in the end.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Eversor temple assassins exist to kill their target (and everyone within the same square mile as the target) in most public and brutal way possible. It is said to be the most effective against Orks and Khornate followers since both of them ultimately respect brute force.
    • The elite Lictor called Deathleaper invokes this. Lictors are usually sneaky assassins, but this one figured out that just killing the Cardinal leading the planet's defense would increase their resistance. So it pulled off numerous brutal Conspicuously Public Assassinations... on the Cardinal's bodyguards, driving the poor man insane, and making the planet's conquest by the hive fleet much easier.

    Video Games 
  • A viable tactic in Among Us. Having all the players clustered together can make it difficult for the crew to tell who pulled off the kill.
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • In Assassin's Creed, a failed attempt at one of these at the beginning of the game gets Altaïr busted down to novice for being an overconfident and arrogant idiot. The second tenant of the titular Creed states "hide in plain sight/ always act with discretion". When he successfully performs one later in the game, Malik scolds him for not being capable of killing quietly. In regards to gameplay, performing one of these is bound to get Altaïr swarmed by guards. Regardless, it's implied that many assassinations are like this, owing to the fact that this group is based on The Hashshashin.
      • In the Assassin's Creed II, the protagonist finds notes from the first game's protagonist, after he killed the traitorous hashashins' leader and took over, saying that they need to abandon flashy public assassinations (as well as their reluctance to use poison and other moral rules) in order to survive.
      • Interestingly, the trailer for the first game also shows one of these, as Altaïr leaps at his target (presumably a Templar) during a public execution (after the hanging, actually, showing he never intended to save anyone) and is then forced to run away from the angry guards, who finally corner him at the doors to a church. Luckily for Altaïr, a group of monks are just then coming out, and he's able to escape by blending in with them.
    • About three-fourths of the assassinations in II are still perfect examples of this trope. The first, before Ezio has learned the idea of restraint and stealth at all, is even carried out in broad daylight, at a social event of sorts. Ezio has the time to stab his target's corpse repeatedly and scream his own name to the heavens (with all the gusto of a man on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge) while onlookers gasp/scream and the guards began to catch on. Tellingly, he is called out on this, among other things in the game that showed lack of respect.
      • One mission has you preventing an assassination. In this case, the Pazzi flunkies of the Templars are attempting to assassinate members of the House of Medici. They partly succeed, but Ezio manages to save Lorenzo de' Medici, who becomes his staunch ally. This assassination is also as public as they come and on holy ground during Easter Mass, no less. Then again, Templars are atheists. That attempted assassination, and the coup attempt that followed (Minus Ezio's role, naturally), actually happened in Real Life.
    • In the trailers for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Ezio brings a bunch of his fellows with him, attempting a very public and violent assassination at the Vatican against Cesare Borgia, that game's Big Bad. Lampshaded by the Literal Trailer for the game, which keeps making note that the target is still fine despite all the time spent killing guards and acting "awesome".
    • Assassin's Creed: Unity gives a Lampshade Hanging to this particular practice. According to Pierre Bellec, this was called the "Levantine Approach" prior to Altaïr taking charge of the Brotherhood, i.e., during and before the first game.
    • In the live-action Assassin's Creed: Lineage (prequel to the second game), Giovanni Auditore heads to Milan to try to prevent the Templar assassination of the Duke of Milan in church during the Feast of St. Stephen. He fails. The Duke is killed, and all his assassins are dispatched by the angry guards, ignoring Giovanni's pleas to leave some alive for questioning.
    • Assassin's Creed Origins has the historical assassination of Julius Caesar. Supplemental materials reveal that the outcome was the same as in real life: Having just murdered a man in broad daylight, all the assassins involved were hunted down and executed by Marcus Anthony (except Amunet). The Hidden Ones DLC has Bayek go to assassinate a man in broad daylight, which he explains the same as Bellec did; it sends a message that no-one is beyond their reach. And just like with Caesar, this draws everyone's attention to them, and the local bureau is burned to the ground. Bayek only gets away by luck.
    • Assassin's Creed: Odyssey: Gameplay allows the Eagle Bearer to attack and kill state leaders in broad daylight. Doing so with anyone still alive (like, say, their bodyguards) nearby bumps the wanted meter up. The Legacy of the First Blade DLC shows the assassination of Xerxes I was one of these. Darius' Assassin-like organization bum-rush the guy in broad daylight, and they all get slaughtered... allowing Darius to stab Xerxes mid-gloat.
  • Many of the Dark Brotherhood quests in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim expects you to do this (one of your Brothers actually recommends this as a tactic), particularly if you want the bonus. Executing the Emperor's cousin during her wedding is best done while she's addressing the crowd, and can be done in a number of ways that will ensure you're seen, including stabbing, fireballs, sniping her from across the yard, or dropping a stone gargoyle on her.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII Edea kills President Deling during her New Era Speech, while the entire city cheers at her wildly. Visiting the city later will reveal that she mind-controlled everyone during the act, though it isn't told why the heroes weren't affected.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, the mayor of Liberty City, Roger C. Hole, is assassinated by Toni during his morning jog under Salvatore's orders for trying to have him arrested and being a puppet by the Forellis.
  • In Grand Theft Auto V, one of the early missions involves assassinating Lifeinvader founder/CEO Jay Norris, a parody of Facebook founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg. To assassinate Jay, Lester Crest has Michael de Santa infiltrate the Lifeinvader office to plant an explosive device within a prototype smartphone. When Jay unveils the smartphone during a keynote address on live television, Michael, watching the keynote from home, calls the phone to arm the bomb, and when Jay answers, the smartphone explodes along with half of his face, forcing Lifeinvader officials to cut the feed ASAP.
  • Gyakuten Kenji 2 (Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth 2), features as its first case, the attempted assassination of the President of the Republic of Zheng Fa during the middle of a public speech he is giving. The assassin at first was thought to have been a member of the crowd who rose a pistol and tried shooting the president dead in front of everyone else. Subverted in that the real shooter was actually the president's guard who was on stage at the time and hid his hand with the gun in it, while he fired the shots. Then subverted further in that the entire assassination was faked by the president himself, with his guards helping.
  • In the Hitman games, you can play it two ways. Go in there guns blazing and kill everyone you see just for shits and gigs or carefully infiltrate and strike at your target unnoticed; Mass Murderer and Silent Assassin, respectively. But despite the often very encouraged ability for Agent 47 to Make It Look Like an Accident, Silent Assassin is the highest rank, as everyone involved, including the media in Hitman: Blood Money, quickly deduce that the target is murdered no matter what.
    • The mission "The Murder of Crows" in Blood Money is about averting this. Commonly acceptable method including wiping out the courier that sets up the deal, posing as the courier, and start assassinating the perpetrator there immediately.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: Although not having to do with assassination except storyline-wise, it's possible on lower difficulties for the player to go in guns blazing on the way to their next objective, so long as the character is tactically sensible; on Solid Normal and higher difficulties, the damage taken tends to make combat (or at least use of unsuppressed weapons) out of boss fights a bad idea.

  • Unsounded: Lady Rilursa is very publicly attacked and assassinated by (hired) Two-Toes during her diplomatic visit to Sharteshane. This is because her death was framed as a Two-Toe uprising, and was meant to trigger unrest between humans and Two-Toes in Cresce.

    Western Animation 
  • Joker from The Batman cranks this as far as it can go. One episode has him attempting to assassinate the mayor at a chili cookoff by spiking a pot of chili with hot peppers, then driving up in a purple firetruck (wearing a purple firefighting suit) and attempting to douse him with Joker Gas from the fire hose.
    The Joker: Five-Alarm Ha-Ha-Jalapeño fire mouth! I'll put it out!
  • Futurama's "A Pharaoh to Remember". Bender (the new pharaoh) orders the slaves to build a giant statue of himself that eventually reaches up into space. Despite the slaves building it to Bender's will and him overseeing it directly, once it is complete:
    Head: Does it please you, My Lord?
    Bender: Hmmm... it's a good start. Ehh, yeah, it's definitely big alright. I just wonder.. if it's too big...
    Priest: But Sire, we made it to your exact specifications!
    Bender: Too exact if you ask me! Tear it down and try again, but this time, don't embarrass yourselves.
    [the designers tie Bender up like a mummy in full view of everyone]
    Priest: Ladies and gentlemen, the Pharaoh suddenly died.
    [the slaves cheer]

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television: The word "Assassin" actually comes from "Assasiun", who were something of an N.G.O. Superpower in medieval Iran and Levant. For centuries, they assassinated their leader rivals as an alternative to starting wars, which they considered to be expensive and devastating to the commoners. The assassinations were mostly carried out by the lowest rank among them, the "Fadaii"s (meaning "the sacrificials"), who allegedly would be given hash (hence The Hashshashin) and be brought to secluded areas with women and milk and honey literally flowing into pools, and told that Heaven awaited them when they were killed. A Fadaii would create a cover identity for himself and learn the target's language to get as close as possible, then kill the target at any cost. A Fadaii's mission was his only purpose in life, with no concern for their own survival. They would often kill their targets at public places where they would get killed by guards themselves.
    • Saladin besieged their chief Syrian stronghold of Masyaf during his reconquest of Outremer in 1176. He later lifted the siege after an assassin Rashid ad-Din Sinan snuck into Saladin's tent in the heart of his camp and left a poisoned cake and a note on Saladin's chest as he slept saying "You are in our grip" and then snuck back out of the camp unharmed.
    • This event is present in the Assassin's Creed novel The Secret Crusade, except the name of the Assassin is Umar Ibn-La'Ahad, Altaïr's father. He ended up having to kill a Saracen nobleman during his escape, for which Saladin demanded Umar's head in exchange for peace. Thus, Altaïr was left without a father.
  • In Roman-occupied Judea, a group known as the Sicarii ("knife men") would assassinate their targets (Romans or Roman sympathizers) in public places and slip away by pretending to be one of the panicking crowd.
  • King Henri IV of France was stabbed to death in 1610 by a Catholic fanatic (Henri was a moderate who had converted from Protestantism to Catholicism out of convenience) while his carriage was stuck in traffic during the Queen's coronation ceremony.
  • Simon Sudbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor of England at the time of the Peasant's Revolt (1381), was so unpopular that the guards at the Tower of London allowed the rebels to walk in and seize him. He was dragged to Tower Hill and beheaded.
  • U.S. Presidents for $400, Alex:
    • President Andrew Jackson's would-be assassin ambushed ol' Hickory while he was walking with his entourage in DC. Unfortunately for him, both of his prepared pistols misfired. What followed was an attempt by Jackson to beat the man into a paste with his cane. He had to be physically restrained to keep him from killing the man. One can only assume that Jackson was not amused by the assassin's audacity.
    • Used to great effect by John Wilkes Booth when he assassinated Abraham Lincoln at a crowded theater. There were soldiers present in the audience, with sidearms. Booth managed to shoot Lincoln, jump down from the President's box onto the stage, break his leg while landing, give a Bond One-Liner, run offstage, leave the theater, get his horse, and gallop away. Nobody stopped him. From later witness interviews, reactions when it happened varied from "wait, is there a gunshot in this play? I don't think there is" to "oh, it's John Wilkes Booth, popular actor, I know that guy. Why's he jumping on stage in a play he's not in?" The act was so brazen that by the time anyone wrapped their head around what had just happened, Booth was long gone.
    • James Garfield was shot in a train station. There weren't a ton of people around, but the assassin, Charles Guiteau, was a nutjob who reportedly yelled, "I did it and I want to be arrested!" afterwards, which is always helpful.
    • Next was William McKinley, who was shot while glad-handing the crowd at the Pan-American Exposition. One of his bodyguards admitted at the trial that he may not have seen the assassin, Polish-American anarchist Leon Czogolsz, because he was distracted by the Scary Black Man standing behind him. (The crowd, including the Scary Black Man in question, did subdue Czogolsz, and McKinley, who knew he was dying, asked the bodyguards to stop them.) The assassination of McKinley was what prompted the Secret Service to add protection for Presidents to their duties (although it wasn't until 2003 that the Secret Service was transferred from the Treasury Department to the Department of Homeland Securitynote ).
    • In the category of "attempted assassinations," Theodore Roosevelt was shot as he was about to make a speech — which he went on to give. (See Pocket Protector.) The speech — the vast bulk of which is just ordinary campaigning — is now often just called the "I Have Just Been Shot" speech (or the "Bull Moose" speech, as TR attributed his survival to being as strong as a moose).
    • TR's namesake and relative Franklin D. Roosevelt was himself the target of an attempted assassination while President-Elect while in Florida in February 1933 (at the time, the President was inaugurated in March; it moved to January 20th about ten years later); Italian bricklayer and radical socialist Giuseppe Zangara shot FDR in the middle of a crowd hearing him speak from the back of a car (it was a semi-unplanned speech). Or should we say, shot at FDR, because the President-Elect was completely unharmed; the would-be assassin was so short that he had to stand on a chair to get a clear view, and even then a doctor's wife knocked into his arm, deflecting the first shot, and then pulled him down, keeping subsequent shots from going anywhere. However, some shots hit five other people. One was a local woman, who died shortly thereafter; the other eventuallynote  killed Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak (who happened to be traveling with Roosevelt). The latter death fueled theories that Cermak had been the actual target and Zangara had been hired by The Mafia to kill a noted enemy of theirs since Cermak had run an anti-organized crime campaign promising stepped up enforcement against the Chicago Outfit. It didn't matter who actually died and who was supposed to die though; the death of Cermak was enough to send Zangara to the electric chair.
    • John F. Kennedy was sort of shot in the middle of a parade. And Lee Harvey Oswald was sort of shot on national television.
      • Bobby Kennedy was gunned down by Sirhan Sirhan while walking through a crowd during his campaign. Sirhan claims to have been brainwashed by the CIA.
    • Narrowly averted with Gerald Ford, twice. In both instances, a Secret Service agent spotted the weapon while walking on the advanced route of Ford's walking route. The second one occurred within three weeks of the former and was much closer to actually hitting Ford (the assassin had purchased the gun just that morning and was unfamiliar with aiming it. The bullet strayed only six inches from Ford). Notable in that both incidents are the only time in history where a U.S. President was targeted for assassination by a woman.
    • Like McKinley, Ronald Reagan was shot by an apparent admirer among the crowd he was greeting. Again, the crowd and Secret Service attacked Hinckley (reacting very quickly in this case).
    • George W. Bush had an attempted assassin lob a grenade onto the stage he was speaking from in Poland. The grenade was a dud, sparing both the President and the Polish dignitary he was with, though confusing everyone as to which of the two men was the intended target. In another incident, an Iraqi man attempted to throw his shoes at Bush (a very offensive insult in Arabic culture) while in the middle of a press conference, only for Bush to reveal he was secretly a ninja. Secret Service, acting in the heat of the moment, tackled and arrested the man anyway. Unlike many other matters in the real-life section, the public was generally amused at this, again, mostly for Bush's dodging of the shoes and the general culturally specific nature of the insult.
    • Seeing as how the above-mentioned list is the bulk of the Presidential Assassinations, it goes without saying that the Secret Service takes this matter very seriously. This goes to celebrities who do so in art (considering the nature of the Reagan attempt, wacky fan taking the celebrity serious is a historical possibilitynote ) and things such as Twitter. In fact, a former Secret Service agent remarked that the "higher than normal" number of threats to Donald Trump was more likely due to the rise of Twitter and an overall trend of Republican presidents being targeted in general was a more likely factor than anything specific to Trump.
    • As a general rule, most Americans abhor this threat, regardless of their own feelings about the current president, and feel that it hurts the country more than helps it. One theory is that, given the confused nature of the coverage following the Kennedy and Reagan assassinations as to who was currently in charge and the fact that both came at very active times during the Cold War made people initially fear an outside action and look down upon the fellow American who would bring about that panic. During the immediate hours following the 9/11 attacks, the whereabouts of the President and who was in charge were enough of a concern to keep the public mindset very much turned against those who would joke about this trope with regards to the current President (Black Comedy about past assassinations get little protest from Americans as are action movies with a plot that relies on this with a fictional President. But don't expect to make a joke about current President and not get public demands from even the most critical politician to the Secret Service calling for them to investigate you).
  • Kawakami Gensai (the basis for Himura Kenshin) assassinated Sakuma Shōzan in broad daylight.
  • Ali Agca tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in the dense crowd that usually accompanies ceremonies in the Vatican.
  • There really was a conspicuously public assassination attempt on Qinshihuangdi; Qin law prevented anyone in the court from carrying weapons in the throne room, and the emperor was, at first, in too much of a panic to draw his own sword or to call for the armed guards waiting outside. According to some sources, there wasn't enough ROOM to draw his sword...and a courtier had to motion for him to draw vertically.
  • The first two attempts for the conspicuously public assassination attempt on Archduke Franz Ferdinand failed, but the Archduke's driver got lost heading to the hospital so he could talk to the wounded, in an astounding coincidence passing by the place where one of the assassins, Gavrilo Princip, was eating lunch. Princip shot the Archduke and his wife there and World War I ensued less than two months later.
  • Zigzagged with the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire: some assassinations were carried out discreetly, others... not so much and some in-between. For specific examples, The Other Wiki is chock full of them, but a sample are those of Gaius Julius Caesar and Tiberius Gracchus; the first was a halfway example (done in the Senate, and a significant portion of the conspirators were senators, though the public didn't know what happened until immediately after), with the second being a full-on public example done on the fly (the Senate was not fond of Gracchus' Populari reform attempts, and went outside en masse during a meeting of the Tribunal to openly beat him and his immediate supporters to death with anything they could get their hands on, led by his older cousin who claimed he was going to try and become a new King of Rome).
  • Otto Letelier, prominent Chilean dissident, was car-bombed in broad daylight by DINA in 1976 as part of Operation Condor. In the middle of Washington D.C.
  • Reinhard Heydrich, one of the most evil functionaries of Nazi Germany, was assassinated in broad daylight in Prague by two British-trained Czech agents in 1942. After throwing the bomb into Heydrich's car, they got away and were only apprehended weeks later after being betrayed. Justified as Heydrich was reckless to go around in an open vehicle in a city where the population hated his guts.
  • On a much lower end of the scale, there was the case of Ken McElroy, notorious criminal that terrorized the town of Skidmore, Mississipi for decades and somehow dodged justice every time. The man was subject to a Vigilante Execution in front of sixty people, yet to this day, no one has said a word on who was responsible. Keeping in mind the townspeople hated him so much no one even bothered to call an ambulance and just let him bleed to death in his car, subtlety wasn't necessary.
  • Empress Elisabeth of Austria was stabbed by Luigi Lucheni in broad daylight using a file in Geneva, 1898. Elisabeth didn't initially realize what was wrong; she only thought she was the victim of an attempted pickpocketing, as Lucheni had bumped into her. Her tightly-laced corset kept the wound closed, and she was able to board her ship before collapsing, giving Lucheni time to flee and throw the file away. However, Lucheni did plan to get caught, as he had specifically come to Geneva in search of royalty to kill in order to Make an Example of Them and demonstrate his anti-royal anarchist views ("propaganda of the deed" in the anarchist parlance of the day). He had hoped to be executed and made a martyr; he was sentenced to life imprisonment instead, and hanged himself in his cell. (These incidents were fictionalized in Elisabeth as well, though the Takarazuka Revue production simply had him stab her with a knife that had appeared throughout the show.)
  • Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, the union official and mob enforcer who eventually confessed to killing his boss and friend Jimmy Hoffa (President of the Teamsters Union), outlined in his semi-autobiography I Heard You Paint Houses that it was actually very easy to kill someone in a public place. First, he said, just walk up to the target in somewhere like a restaurant, shoot their bodyguard (somewhere non-fatal, since you have nothing against the bodyguard), then empty a gun or two into the victim. Using something loud is important, since the sound of gunfire will cause bystanders to take cover rather than trying to be a hero and identify the shooter. In any case, he added, bystanders are always smart enough to know what went down and give a ridiculously bad description of the hitman when asked by the police.
  • Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated during a public speaking event by a disgruntled citizen. The case becomes stranger because Abe was shot, a rarity in Japan where guns are extremely tightly regulated. This was possible because the assassin built his own shotgun, and manufactured his own shotgun shells to boot. Despite being shot at a political rally, the assassin actually held a personal grudge against Abe as he blamed Abe for allowing the influence of the Unification Church to spread in Japan, and the assassin's family had been financially exploited by them.