The illiterate Siberian, Rasputin, won entry to the court of Czar Nicholas II in 1907 as a holy man who could cure the crown prince of hemophilia. Rasputin accrued so much power that he weakened the throne. Nor did he give up easily. On Dec 31, 1916, foes fed him poison, then shot him - repeatedly. He was still alive when the dumped him in the Neva River to drown.