Thursday, December 10, 2015

In Search Of.... Anastasia?

The weekly documentary show In Search Of... featured Leonard Nimoy, who traveled the world hunting down mysteries and paranormal phenomena. One story covered by the show was the mystery of Anastasia.

Anastasia was the daughter of the last Russian Tsar who was believed executed along with the rest of her family. A legend, however, held that Anastasia had escaped and survived under a fictitious name. Many young ladies insinuated that they were, in actuality, Anastasia. One such woman was Anna Anderson, a Polish woman born as Franziska Schanzkowska. In 1978, In Search Of... highlighted her bizarre story, showing her as she was then- a possibly senile, stubborn old woman who insisted she wasn't Anastasia. (Though it was obvious she wished us to believe she was.) Nimoy expresses just the right amount of doubt and possibly belief. With the ability to test DNA non-existent in 1978, the answer as to her true identity was left to the audience.

The advent of DNA testing solved this mystery once and for all. Using tissue left behind after her body was cremated, Franziska was finally proven as the fraud she was.  DNA would also answer the tale of Anastasia's sad fate. When the remains of her family were unearthed, her true destiny was revealed- she was murdered alongside the rest of her family.