Author Topic: Did Anastasia Die Outside?  (Read 15894 times)

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Offline Lady Macduff

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Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« on: July 18, 2013, 03:01:17 PM »
I've been reading all the accounts I can find of the murders. The most recent I checked out was The Resurrection of the Romanovs. At the end, in the account of the murders King and Wilson assert that Anastasia was alive when she was taken out into the courtyard, and that she sat up, screamed, etc. This would imply that she died outside. But in FOTR, also by King and Wilson, they say that Anastasia died in the basement when she was shot in the head. The novella I'm writing ends with Anastasia's description of the murders, since she was the one that stayed alive the longest. I know it's a nitpick but I just wanted some input from everyone.
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Offline Ortipo

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 05:08:18 PM »
I was always under the impression that Anastasia was bludgeoned to death in the basement.
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Offline Lady Macduff

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 05:44:21 PM »
Not to be graphic, but this is the paragraph that's leading me to think she might have died outside.


“The silence of death: it lay across the terrible jumble of bodies and blood-spattered walls. But Anastasia was still alive, and Marie, too, for as their bodies were carried to a Fiat truck that stood waiting in the courtyard, first one, then the other, suddenly sat up, coughing blood, moaning, screaming. They were outside now, and the men couldn’t shoot them; the bayonets came out, slashing through the air, but the knives struck the hidden jewels. And so someone grabbed a rifle, turned it around, and hammered away at the barely conscious faces, driving the wooden stock down again and again and again. Battered into silence, choking on splintered bone and shattered teeth, drowning in her own blood - this was how Anastasia died.”
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Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 06:02:59 PM »
  Almost all accounts , and there are several from participants or guards at the scene, state that Anastasia was finally killed outside of Ipatiev House, as she , her body , was being loaded onto the waiting  Fiat truck.
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Offline Lady Macduff

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 06:06:37 PM »
I know it's a small detail, but it changes the story so much.
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Offline TheMauveRoom

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2013, 12:02:01 AM »
It's a small detail but it really does make a difference. If Maria and Anastasia were alive when they were carried outside, and were then bludgeoned to death outside it makes their deaths all the more horrible. They must have been so afraid and confused in those last moments.

Most accounts do say that Anastasia and Maria were killed in the basement, however a lot of the sources we have were written prior to the end of the Cold War when information about the Romanovs and especially their deaths was not as readily available. The Resurrection of the Romanovs is very recent, so King and Wilson probably had access to more information than they did for FOTR. I'd probably go with the more recent account if it were me.



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Offline edubs31

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2013, 08:49:32 AM »
Quote
It's a small detail but it really does make a difference. If Maria and Anastasia were alive when they were carried outside, and were then bludgeoned to death outside it makes their deaths all the more horrible. They must have been so afraid and confused in those last moments.

It's indeed terrible to think about, but I'm not certain how cognizant one is while dying in such brutal way. Trying to avoid some of the gory details it seems to me that both of the sisters didn't necessary need a "finishing off" in order to be killed that night. In other words, had the guards left them alone and thrown their bodies into a pit it's likely they wouldn't have survived much longer anyway. I mention this only to bring up the fact that, while I'm not an expert on this, I have read that a person's natural basic instincts take over and the body fights to survive. Your mind isn't wandering at this point. It's not doing much of anything. All of the energies of the heart and brain are fighting to simply keep the body alive. Emotions are essentially out the window.

I've also read in some of the various accounts of the scene that Anastasia's "scream" may actually have been an audible "death rattle" that may have been exaggerated by the guards, and is common with those having sustained injuries to the lungs and/or severe brain trauma. I believe Franz Ferdinand released a death rattle during his dying moments next to wife Sophie in Sarajevo in 1914.

Lastly, didn't Peter Ermakov, the most brutal of the guards, make a "clean sweep" of the basement before they carried out the bodies? I think in FOTR (check me on my source there) he's mentioned to have gone into the room hacking away at bodies and thoroughly enjoying himself while extinguishing those last traces of life in the eleven victims. Seems a little odd that he wouldn't have shot/bludgeoned Anastasia or Marie sufficiently to the point where any type of last screams of pain and cries for help would have been made impossible, no?


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Offline Greg_King

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2013, 10:25:37 PM »
Nevertheless Ermakov was drunk; he also claimed to have seen all of the girls shot in the head, and we know at least one was not.  In any case, there are multiple witnesses to the fact that Anastasia and Marie were alive and actually screamed/sat up once outside, and that they were then killed by beatings with rifle butts as the men did not want to open fire outside.  So yes, they certainly died outside.  They may obviously have been well on their way by that time to dying, but were still able to attempt to sit up and scream per the accounts.

Offline edubs31

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2013, 10:47:14 PM »
Well that was the source I was looking for, thanks Greg :-)

This of course sort of feeds into the old "gang that couldn't shoot straight" argument of the incompetent guards. They couldn't even kill and bury eleven helpless victims. The alcohol certainly seems to have played a part, but it's almost as if these thugs went out of their way to make the process of killing and disposing of the bodies of their eleven victims as complicated and difficult as possible...and sadly with the consequence of more suffering for those in the basement.

It was probably in your book that I read this bit of information but if memory serves me correctly they tried to avoiding shooting victims in the head because of the amount of blood a head wound typically produces. They finally resorted to head shots only after their attempts to take them out with wounds to the torso failed (the hidden jewels, etc), yes?  Otherwise why wouldn't the head be the first thing you shoot at, at least once you've injured a victim and taken out several others in the first round of firing?

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Offline Greg_King

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2013, 06:53:05 AM »
Well that was the source I was looking for, thanks Greg :-)

It was probably in your book that I read this bit of information but if memory serves me correctly they tried to avoiding shooting victims in the head because of the amount of blood a head wound typically produces. They finally resorted to head shots only after their attempts to take them out with wounds to the torso failed (the hidden jewels, etc), yes?  Otherwise why wouldn't the head be the first thing you shoot at, at least once you've injured a victim and taken out several others in the first round of firing?


I don't think we said anything about them being told to avoid shooting the victims in the head (though I could be wrong), but I recall Yurovsky telling his men to aim for the heart, which is as you say why so many of them (protected by the jewels) survived the initial volley.

Offline edubs31

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2013, 09:56:30 AM »
Well that was the source I was looking for, thanks Greg :-)

It was probably in your book that I read this bit of information but if memory serves me correctly they tried to avoiding shooting victims in the head because of the amount of blood a head wound typically produces. They finally resorted to head shots only after their attempts to take them out with wounds to the torso failed (the hidden jewels, etc), yes?  Otherwise why wouldn't the head be the first thing you shoot at, at least once you've injured a victim and taken out several others in the first round of firing?


I don't think we said anything about them being told to avoid shooting the victims in the head (though I could be wrong), but I recall Yurovsky telling his men to aim for the heart, which is as you say why so many of them (protected by the jewels) survived the initial volley.

Probably not then. Perhaps it was part of a discussion thread on the topic of the death scene, or perhaps on your book specifically, that I'm remembering.

Any guesses as to why they wouldn't have finished off each of the victims with a shot to the head? They did some, why not all? I mean seriously, why waste your time stabbing and shooting at somewhat in the mid-section when any idiot knows you can end a struggle quickly with one solid head shot?

I guess they didn't think it possible that Marie/Anastasia could actually have still been living once taken out of the basement, but it could have them saved them some trouble...with the added upside of less suffering for their victims of course. Sadly no one died well in the basement of the Ipatiev House that night. But some were taken more quickly and peacefully than others.
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Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2013, 03:49:06 PM »
Maria's skull was the only one that didn't show any bullet injuries; Anastasia's did. That tells us Maria was likely the one hit in the head with the rifle butt. Yurovsky said Ermakov shot Anastasia in the head.

Quote
Any guesses as to why they wouldn't have finished off each of the victims with a shot to the head? They did some, why not all? I mean seriously, why waste your time stabbing and shooting at somewhat in the mid-section when any idiot knows you can end a struggle quickly with one solid head shot?

It's said the executioners were drunk, which would explain that. But then again, Ermakov was the only one Yurovsky said was noticeably drunk.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2013, 03:51:24 PM by clockworkgirl21 »

Offline TimM

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2013, 05:06:47 PM »
Ermakov, I hate that guy!  The man was a cold blooded killer through and through.  I hope he's enjoying roasting in Hell.

None of those guys were professional marksmen, they were all just hired thugs off the streets willing to kill for money.    They were not executioners, they were cold blooded murderers.
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Offline TheMauveRoom

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2013, 09:12:16 PM »
In addition to the inebriation of many of the guards, there was a lot of confusion that night. The bullets ricocheting off of the girls was definitely a surprise to the assassins, and the smoke and gore left at the end probably made them less efficient at determining whether or not everyone was actually dead. They probably assumed that a girl who had been shot in the head was definitely dead and may not have even felt for a pulse. If they did feel for pulses, the girls were in such bad condition that it was probably very faint, and they might not have noticed it.

Yurovsky doesn't say exactly how they checked for signs of life. All he says in his 1922 account is "It had taken maybe ten minutes to kill them, and after checking again to see that all were dead I ordered the men to start moving them."
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Offline Lady Macduff

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Re: Did Anastasia Die Outside?
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2013, 09:16:49 PM »
It's good to see you here, MauveRoom.

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