Weapon used in 1940 assassination to go on display next year – but why did Ramón Mercader, armed with a gun and a dagger, resort to the ice pick?

On the evening of 20 August 1940, a man known as Frank Jacson called at a large house in the suburbs of Mexico City, and asked to see the ‘Old Man’ – as everyone called its celebrated resident, Leon Trotsky.

Related: Red Famine by Anne Applebaum review – did Stalin deliberately let Ukraine starve?

I remember looking through the open door and seeing my grandfather lying on the floor with his head bathed in blood

Related: Trotsky’s murder remembered by grandson, 72 years on

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