Death Row Fiction
by Confessed Serial Killer Danny Rolling
Modern Hebrew: Siqariyim
by Sondra London (2022)
The Sicarii were among the first known "cloak & dagger" assassination units in the world, centuries before the Islamic Hashishin and Japanese ninja. Today in Latin America, the word sicario is still used for a hitman.
When Roman troops occupied Jerusalem in the first century AD, the Jewish Zealots resisted them. But unlike the Zealots, the Sicarii did not attack the conquerors directly; instead, they targeted the Jewish elite who collaborated with them.
Typically, a Sicarius would mix with the crowds in public places and stab his targeted victim to death in broad daylight. Screaming along with the terrorized bystanders, he would melt back into the crowd in the mayhem.
The Sicarii took their name from the daggers they hid in their cloaks called sicae. The sica was originally depicted as a short curved sword, but many variations have been found throughout the Middle East.
This ancient sica is sixteen inches overall, with a ten-inch curved double-edged steel blade and a carved horn handle. It was auctioned off by Barnebys on June 13, 2019, in its leather-covered wooden sheath.
On the famous Trajan's Column in Rome, the Dacian king Decebalus is shown being defeated by the Romans, as he put the sica to his own throat in a tragic suicide. Knowing that all was lost, he chose to deny his victors the triumph of taking him prisoner or killing him.
Latin historian Cassius Dio described the scene: "Decebalus, when his capital and all his territory had been occupied and he was himself in danger of being captured, committed suicide; and his head was brought to Rome. In this way, Dacia became subject to the Romans, and Trajan founded cities there."
Josephus the Jewish historian wrote about the Sicarii, and Paul the Apostle name-checked them in the Book of Acts, which is where Danny Rolling most likely heard of them.
AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK & KINDLE
SICARIUS BY DANNY ROLLING
SEE ALSO THE AUTHOR'S LIFE STORY
THE MAKING OF A SERIAL KILLER 2D ED