The Mystery of Anastasia...
On July 16, 1918, the last Tsar of Russia and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution. While news and police reports said that the entire family had been killed, rumors persisted that the youngest daughter and son, Anastasia and Alexei, had been saved. In the years following the aftermath of this bloody event, several women came forward claiming to be Anastasia.
Only one took her case to court. Her name was Anna Anderson, and there is extensive evidence to support her claim to having been Anastasia. In 1991, the families remains were unearthed from the mass grave. The bones of a daughter and a son were missing...
Complicating the matter was the fact that if anyone proved to be the real Anastasia, remaining relatives would suddenly be displaced, disinherited of the remains of the Romanov fortune. They would also have to face the wrath of a woman who saw her family killed while relatives stood by. In other words, there was no motive to find the truth if it was findable, and there was a great motive to discredit even a very real survivor.
An article was published in the New Yorker in which the claim was made that the DNA tests showed conclusively that Anna Anderson was really a polish worker woman. This is patent nonsense, easily dispelled by any small amount of research into the subject. But as with so much of Real History, people count on you not to do your homework. It is disappointing to see how many have swallowed this identification without reading about the case.
Lastly, DNA typing is a science that depends entirely on an absolutely clean chain of possession, and exacting scientific analysis. The DNA is contaminatable at every stage of the typing process. The FBI lab, considered one of the finest in the world until recent exposures proved otherwise, has a notoriously poor record of DNA typing. The tests were done on six strands of hair. How can we be certain the correct hair was tested?
After the DNA testing, this paragraph opened a Reuters news story:
A team of American and Russian scientists said Monday that genetic studies confirm remains dug from a mass grave in 1991 were those of Czar Nicholas Romanov, shot by Bolshevik revolutionaries in 1918. But they say the fate of his daughter Anastasia -- long rumored to have survived the family execution that obliterated Russia's Romanov dynasty -- remains a mystery.
The clues to her fate may lie in relics, including a severed finger and vials of congealed fat, said to be held by Russian church authorities, according to the report in the April edition of the scientific journal Nature Genetics.
Reuters is not in the habit of publishing conspiracy theories. The latest opinion of historians is that the real Anastasia and Alexei were "burned beyond recognition". But it makes no sense that the rest of the family would be left unburned while the youngest two suffered such an indignity. This one may forever remain a mystery.