& Arts TV
BBC Timewatch documentary, Who Killed Rasputin? - BBC
TWO, Friday 1 October, 9.00pm - proves that Rasputin
was murdered by British Secret Service operatives.
The programme-makers re-opened the investigation into
his death and found conclusive evidence to suggest that Rasputin was
murdered in St Petersburg in 1916 in a plot hatched by rogue members
of the British Secret Service with a fatal shot fired at close
range by Secret Agent Oswald Rayner.
The documentary is based on extraordinary new evidence
uncovered by intelligence historian, and programme consultant, Andrew
In addition, BBC Timewatch brought in Richard Cullen,
former Metropolitan Police Commander, and a trainer of police cadets
in forensic detective work in Russia, to re open the case.
Re-examining the original autopsy reports, Richard Cullen
found that the original explanation for Rasputin's death did not tally
with the forensic evidence.
In particular, he questions one of the key autopsy photographs
which shows a gunshot wound situated in the centre of Rasputin's forehead,
which bears the hallmarks of a professional assassination.
The accepted version of Rasputin's death states that
he was poisoned, then shot, and finally drowned in the River Nevka by
five disaffected aristocrats, led by Prince Felix Yusupov.
The conspirators were said to be concerned about Rasputin's
influence on Tsar Nicholas II, and his wife Tsarina Alexandra.
Over the years historians have questioned Yusupov's
version of events but failed to come up with credible alternative theories.
In Yusupov's memoirs, Cullen noted the presence of a
character called Oswald Rayner - said to be a friend of Yusupov's from
Oxford University, who appears suddenly in the book at the time of the
The Timewatch team discovered that Oswald Rayner was
in fact an active British Secret Intelligence Service operative who
was working alongside senior SIS officer, John Scale.
Scale's daughter provided Cullen with key evidence of
the murder plot and Andrew Cook, consultant to the programme, uncovered
an official memo on British Intelligence Mission notepaper to Captain
John Scale, which led Cullen directly to the assassin.
"I am amazed by the outcome of the investigation,"
states Cook, "when we initially began researching the story I had
no idea that the forensic evidence would substantiate the historical
documentation so conclusively."
Richard Cullen says of the investigation: "I was
stunned that the trail of Rasputin's murder led so conclusively to the
British Secret Service.
"In all John Scale's official documentation Rasputin
is referred to as 'Dark Forces' and it is my belief that Rasputin was
a seen a real threat to the British.
"Had he persuaded the Tsar to pull out of the First
World War, the Allies would have been overwhelmed on the Western Front
by German troops no longer needed to fight the Russians in the East."