A Disturbing Compilation of the Slimiest People in History
A Disturbing Compilation of the Slimiest People in History

A Disturbing Compilation of the Slimiest People in History

Khalid Elhassan - April 26, 2022

A Disturbing Compilation of the Slimiest People in History
The execution of Atahualpa. Ensinar Historia

3. Betrayal Piled Atop Betrayal

Atahualpa was captured by Francisco Pizarro, and the Incan ruler desperately sought to buy his life and freedom. In exchange for his release, he offered to fill a room measuring 22 by 17 feet, up to a height of eight feet with gold, and twice with silver. However, after the payments were made, Pizarro once again deceived Atahualpa, and in yet another slimy move, he reneged on the deal. Instead, he put the Incan emperor through a staged trial that convicted him of rebellion, idolatry, and murdering his brother, Huascar.

Atahualpa was sentenced to death by burning, but was spared that fate by agreeing to get baptized as a Catholic. He was executed by strangulation instead. Treachery paid off for Pizarro, who amassed considerable wealth and power after his slimy move against Atahualpa, until some measure of karmic justice caught up with him in 1541. On June 26th of that year, heavily armed supporters of a rival stormed Pizarro’s palace. In the ensuing struggle, Pizarro was stabbed in the throat. Falling to the ground, he made a cross with his own blood while gurgling cries for help from Jesus to no avail, and bled to death.

A Disturbing Compilation of the Slimiest People in History
A young Michael Malloy, left, and his killers. I09

2. Michael Malloy and His Slimy Friends

In June 1932, Tony Marino, the proprietor of a rundown speakeasy in the Bronx, was in desperate need of money. So he and four acquaintances hatched a plan to murder somebody and collect the life insurance. Working with a corrupt insurance agent, they would take out life insurance policies on one of the habitual drunks who frequented Marino’s establishment. They would then get him to drink himself to death, and collect it when he perished. They chose Michael Malloy (1873 – 1933), a homeless Irish immigrant. Malloy was an alcoholic and a longtime client of Marino’s, where he drank on credit until he passed out. He paid when he could, whenever he found temporary employment, and let the tab run for months whenever he drifted out of employment and was broke.

Malloy seemed the perfect mark for a slimy scheme. Life insurance policies were taken of the Irishman, then Marino extended him unlimited credit at the speakeasy. However, Michael Malloy turned out to be extremely difficult to kill – a toughness that earned him the nicknames “Iron Mike” and “Mike the Durable”. The assumption was that Malloy would drink himself to death, but every day, the old Irishman drank all his waking hours without any noticeable decline in his health. So to speed things up, Marino and his accomplices added antifreeze to their mark’s booze. Old Malloy simply drank it until he passed out, then asked for more when he came to.

A Disturbing Compilation of the Slimiest People in History
Contemporary newspaper article about Mike the Durable. Smithsonian Magazine

1. The Legend of “Mike the Durable”

Tony Marino and his coconspirators replaced the antifreeze in Michael Malloy’s booze with turpentine. Malloy was unfazed. They switched to horse liniment – basically, liquid Bengay. Malloy gulped it down and asked for more. They added rat poison to the mix. Malloy’s constitution did not notice. Oysters soaked in wood alcohol did not do the trick, nor did a spoiled sardines sandwich sprinkled with metal shavings. Finally, convinced that nothing he drank or ate would kill him, Marino and his coconspirators decided to freeze Malloy to death. One cold winter night, when the temperature dipped to minus 14 Fahrenheit, they waited for Malloy to pass out. When he did, they carried him to a park, dumped him in the snow, and poured five gallons of water on his chest to make sure he froze solid. Malloy showed up the next day for his booze on credit.

So Marino and his confederates ran him over with a taxi owned by one of the plotters. All that did was put Malloy in a hospital for three weeks with some broken bones. He reappeared at the speakeasy soon as he was discharged. So on February 22nd, 1933, they stuck a gas hose in Malloy’s mouth after he passed out and turned on the jets. That finally did the trick. The plotters collected on the insurance, but rumors of “Mike the Durable” began making the rounds. When the insurers heard the tales, they contacted the police. Malloy’s body was exhumed and reexamined, and the truth came out. Michael Malloy’s slimy “friends” were tried and convicted in 1934. One got a prison sentence, while the rest, including Tony Marino, got the electric chair.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

All That is Interesting – Better Know a Pope: Benedict IX

Binyon, Timothy John – Pushkin: A Biography (2007)

Brett-James, Anthony – Europe Against Napoleon: The Leipzig Campaign of 1813 (1970)

Chandler, David G. – The Campaigns of Napoleon (1966)

Dahl, Hans Frederik – Quisling: A Study in Treachery (1999)

Doyle, David W. – Inside Espionage: A Memoir of True Men and Traitors (2000)

Encyclopedia Britannica – Montezuma II

Encyclopedia Britannica – Julius III

Encyclopedia Britannica – Pierre Laval

Gizmodo – The Legend of Mike ‘The Durable’ Malloy, History’s Most Stubborn Murder Victim

Gregorovius, Ferdinand – History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages (2015)

Hayes, Paul M. – Quisling: The Career and Political Ideas of Vidkun Quisling (1971)

Hemming, John – The Conquest of the Incas (1970)

History Collection – Scandals the US Founding Fathers Tried to Keep Secret

Levy, Buddy – Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs (2008)

Maas, Peter – Killer Spy: The Inside Story of the FBI’s Pursuit and Capture of Aldrich Ames (1995)

Marrus, Michael R., and Paxton, Robert O. – Vichy France and the Jews (1981)

O’Malley, John W. – A History of the Popes From Peter to the Present (2009)

Orkneyjar – Earl Sigurd the Mighty, the First Earl of Orkney

Prescott, William H. – The History of the Conquest of Peru (1874)

Ranker – The Real Life Bonnie Prince Charlie Was Far More Vile and Disgusting Than ‘Outlander’ Portrays Him

Royle, Trevor – Culloden: Scotland’s Last Battle and the Forging of the British Empire (2016)

Russia Beyond – Dying for Pride: 5 Facts About Pushkin’s Tragic Duel

Smithsonian Magazine, February 7th, 2012 – The Man Who Wouldn’t Die

Suetonius – The Lives of the Twelve Caesars: Life of Tiberius

Tacitus – The Annals, Books 1 – 6

Turnbull, Stephen – The Samurai: A Military History (1977)

World & I – Russia’s Greatest Poet/ Scoundrel