The 10 Craziest Failed Assassination Attempts

10. Louis XV

Attacker: Robert-François Damiens
Date: January 1757

As far as assassination attempts go, Louis XV’s attacker, Robert-François Damiens’ was a pretty weak effort. The story goes that on a cold, snowy night in January 1757, Damiens approached the then-king, passing by his guards (YOU HAD ONE JOB!), and stabbed him in the side with a small penknife.

Clearly, Damiens didn’t think this plan over, because he used a very tiny blade and, on a cold night, the King of France who can afford anything he wants was likely to be wearing a lot of layers so that his delicate skin didn’t get frostbite. No blade is going to do serious damage through all that.

Louis XV was clearly a gigantic drama queen, because after he was stabbed, he believed he was going to die and immediately apologized to his wife, the queen, for cheating on her with more mistresses than Tiger Woods could ever dream of. Ultimately, he was OK, thanks to the many layers he had on; the blade didn’t even pass more than half an inch into him, a fact that Voltaire would later make fun of. So, Louis XV went on, and family dinners were probably super awkward after that. Damiens, on the other hand, was executed two months later.

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