COMMUNISTS: Death in the Afternoon

On a summer afternoon in 1940, a gaunt young man entered the suburban Mexico City villa of Leon Trotsky, and asked for criticism of a manuscript. Trotsky invited him into his study, where the young man smashed an Alpine pickax down on Trotsky's skull. The dying man's screams brought two bodyguards on the run; they knocked the assassin down, kicked him nearly unconscious. Cried Trotsky: "Don't kill him. This man has a story to tell."

Last week the assassin went free, his story still untold. During his trial he insisted that his name was Jacques Mornard, and claimed to...

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