Let’s Backtrack: Georgi Markov was assassinated on September 7, 1978


Georgi Markov died on September 11, 1978, but he was assassinated on September 7 in London when a KGB operative stabbed him in the leg with an umbrella.  The tip contained a hollow pellet containing Ricin.  Markov’s assassination was one of the most high profile murders of the Cold War, and the case where the name Ricin appeared in the news.

The prime suspect is Francesco Gullino, a Danish national of Italian origin.  Though police have questioned him, he has never been arrested and remains free, last seen in Austria.  No one from Bulgaria or the USSR was ever held accountable for the crime.  Here is a documentary about the case:

In 2000, Markov was honoured posthumously with Bulgaria’s Order of Stara Planina for his “significant contribution to the Bulgarian literature, drama and non-fiction and for his exceptional civic position and confrontation to the Communist regime.”


In 1979, the Scottish band Fingerprintz released the song “Wet Job”, about the assassination of Georgi Markov.  “Wet work” is espionage parlance for assassination.

He got out of bed and had his breakfast
He kissed his wife goodbye
As he was waiting for a bus
He got it on the sly

I got out of bed and had my breakfast
What is all this fuss?
In the rush hour rush.

Wet job. It’s a scoop
Foreign body’s in a suit
Wet job. It’s a hit
And it wasn’t them all with a syndicate
Foreign Office in the shit

‘Just a job’ the coroner said
A dirty needle in the back of the leg
Hot shot hit its spot
Sneaky little micro dot

Wet job. Catch your death
Foreign body’s in a grave
Wet job. It’s a sin.
Foreign office dirty linen

He got out of bed and had his breakfast
He kissed his wife goodbye
As he was waiting for a bus
He got it on the sly
Wet job

Wet job. It’s a scoop
Foreign body’s in a suit
Wet job. It’s a hit
And it wasn’t them all with a syndicate
Foreign Office in the shit

 

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