A Loving Family
We’re all familiar with the photos we take on an aeroplane, on our way to a family vacation. All smiles, excitement builds as we while away the time from take-off to landing. But as this doting father took a snap of his wife and his four year old daughter, he couldn’t have known it was going to be one of the last things he ever did. The whole family were killed in a 33,000 feet plummet, as the MH17 plane was shot down over the Ukraine before they ever reached their destination.
Staring at the Face of Death
Salesman Travis Alexander was murdered by his previous girlfriend Jodi Arias in 2008. He was a salesman, and lived a normal life. This chilling photo was thought to be taken just moments before his death, at 5.29pm. He was found later on, in the same bathroom on the floor after being killed by both stabbing and gunshot. The look in his eyes tells the whole story of his fear and betrayal in that very moment.
Who could forget the devastating tsunami which struck South-east Asia in December 2004. As many as two hundred and thirty thousand people were killed, and amongst them was 31 year old Deborah Garlick, who was on vacation in Thailand. When her parents retrieved her belongings, something not every family was lucky enough to be able to do, they found this undeveloped photo amongst her snaps of the trip. She is clearly happily sunbathing, with no clue of what is about to come.
At first glance this looks like your everyday happy selfie, taken by two friends without a care in the world. And you would be right. Collette Moreno was being given a lift to her own bachelorette party in Missouri by her friend Ashley Theobald, and decided to take a quick selfie of the excitement going on in the car en route. Unfortunately, taking selfies while driving, even if you aren’t behind the wheel can be dangerous, and Collette, the bride to be, was killed just moments later in a head on collision.
Gary and his mother were onboard flight MH17, with Malaysa Airlines, on their way to a well-earned vacation. Gary snapped this quick selfie with his mom, both clearly excited to be away from regular life and heading on a break. How could they have known that they would never get off that plane? All 296 passegers and crew members were killed in the crash when a missile brought down the flight before it could reach its destination.
The story of Jared Michael could be a whole different kind of tale. The teen decided to take a selfie as close as he could to the path of an oncoming train. Like so many others on our list, this could have been the last thing he ever managed to do. Luckily for him, the train driver managed to use his boot to kick the boy out of the way at the last second, saving his life. Selfies aren’t worth dying for folks! We bet Jared learned an important lesson that day.
This is one of those photos which the taker probably couldn’t believe they were taking while they pressed the button. On September 25th of 1978, first thing in the morning at 9.am, flight 182 of Pacific Southwest Airlines took a fiery descent to the ground, killing all 137 passengers on board. But that wasn’t all the carnage involved. Not only were 22 houses destroyed by the crash, but seven civilians on the ground lost their lives too. This photo shows those last moments before impact.
Imagine being in the room when a person takes their own life. Unthinkable. But that’sexactly what happened here to the journalists and media employees who showed up to the press news conference called by Budd Dwyer, who was the Treasurer of Pennsylvania throughout the 1980’s. It was January 22nd in 1987, and live on television, Budd took out his Magnum revolver and shot himself in the head. This photo shows the panic in his eyes.
There was a time when Columbine was just the name of a school, but that all changed on that fateful day in 1999, when two mentally ill senior students took guns and shot everyone in their path. This photo is taken by the CCTV footage of the cafeteria, and shows David Sanders, a teacher at the school warning the students around him to stay out of sight, possibly saving many lives in the process. As he left the cafeteria and entered the hallway, he was gunned down to his death.
You’ll forgive the quality of the photo when you realise just what you’re looking at here. This photo was taken accidently in 1970, by an amateur photographer. His snap caught the freefall of Keith Sapsford, who had somehow hidden away in the wheel well of a flight leaving Sydney towards Japan. He dropped during take off, and hit the ground after a fall of about 200 feet, dying instantly. The photographer was only meant to be testing his camera lens.
Here’s a bit of free advice for you, if you encounter a bear in the woods, don’t stop to take photos for your vacation album. Run. Darsh Patel met this grizzly when he was out hiking, and decided to take a few photos of his find. Within minutes of the photo being taken, he was mauled to death by the beast. His phone was recovered later, complete with something frightening, the teeth marks from the creature who killed him.
U.S Figure Skating Team
There’s few things more exciting than competing as a team for a common goal, and the U.S figure skating team, on their way to the World Figure Skating Championships in Prague in 1961 must have felt their fair share of excitement. Here they stand, posing in front of the plane which was taking them to the competition. They could never have imagined that the flight would never get there, as their Boeing 707 was destined to crash on the way from New York to Belgium. The whole team died in the crash.
Whether he was brave or foolish, many were touched by the story of Pavel Kashin, the daredevil who astounded his fans with his stunts and tricks. In this photo, he is attempting a backflip which takes place right next to a 16-storey fall, and actually- he managed the flip. As onlookers watched, he lost his balance immediately after he successfully landed, and plummeted to his death. His parents issued a statement hoping that his death will stop others from attempting this kind of performance.
Probably the most famous tragedy in this collection, the Titanic was seen as a ship which was so totally unsinkable, that they didn’t even have enough lifeboats and life vests for the passengers on board on its own maiden voyage. This photo was the very last photo taken before the ship hit the famous iceberg and began to sink, in an event which would live through history and cost 1500 people their lives.
A celebrity entry on our list, Paul Walker was best known for the movie franchise The Fast and the Furious. This photo shows him enjoying a related hobby, fast cars. He is about to get into the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, the car which he would die in. The car was in a collision just minutes later, and Paul did not survive the fiery crash. His daughter Meadow actually filed a suit against Porsche for the death, which is still ongoing.
You would never believe looking at this photo that it was going to be the woman on the left who would be dead just a few minutes later, rather than the bleeding man she is helping. This photo is the hours during the horrors of 9/11, and Moira Smith was one of the first Policewomen to report the attacks, as well as the only female NYPD officer to be killed by them. Just moments later, she rushed to the south tower to save lives, and the building collapsed on top of her.
We’ve all had the experience of standing on a train platform during a crowded period, and worrying about being pushed and shoved towards the train tracks. But this photo shows everyone’s worst nightmares come true. Ki-Suk Han was pushed in front of a train in the New York City subway, and was unable to get himself back onto the platform in time. The 58 year old father and husband died immediately when the train made impact.
The world watched in horror when James Bulger was abducted in 1993 in the UK, taken from his parents while they were together in a shopping center, as this surveillance footage shows. While we all wished for a happy ending, it was not to be, and the truth came out that James was kidnapped, tortured and then murdered. Worst of all, it was two ten year old boys who committed these horrible crimes. This photo shows the beginning of the worst day of the family’s lives.
The looks on these astronauts faces says it all. They were delighted and excited to be part of this Space Shuttle program, and confident that if the shuttle had taken off and landed nine times before safely, the tenth would be no different. Unfortunately, just 73 seconds into its tenth mission, it broke apart, and all seven of the people pictured were killed, which included one civilian teacher. This was the second time that a shuttle had disintegrated in flight, the first being Columbia in 2003.
The Ebola Virus
Ebola is a word which strikes fear into everyone, whether you are in the medical field or not. But this photo shows Mayinga N’Seka, who was a nurse who worked with Ebola patients during the first outbreak of the virus in 1976. How sad and ironic that she worked to keep people safe from the dreadful illness, and ended up being one of the 280 people who succumbed to its claws. This photo was taken just days before she died.
Just one month away from her 18th birthday, and Xenia Ignatyeva decided she wanted to take more than your average selfie. She climbed onto a railway bridge, and posed for this photo as well as others, probably hoping to share it on social media for some likes and comments. The bridge was 30 feet high, and the fall alone may well have killed her, but she was also shocked by 1,500 volts as she grabbed live wires during the fall.
Another reminder that air travel was really a lot less safe in the good old days, this photo shows William Becker, who took part in a demonstration for a brand new aircraft. He was the mayor of St Louis for just two years from 1941 to 1943. The moment the plane left the ground, the right wing broke, and all ten passengers on board were killed. Pictured here before take off, the group look happy and even a little bored.
The McQuilken brothers
Some events seem like photo worthy moments, but actually should be taken more as a warning sign. Remember the man who got a positive pregnancy test, which turned out to be an indicator of cancer? This is similar. Brothers Michael and Sean took this photo when out camping in California’s Sequoia National Park. Not long after, they weren’t smiling quite as much when they were both struck by lightning. Luckily, they both survived to tell the tale.
The Station Fire
Reunion shows are all the rage, and 80’s bands are back on tour with their fans a little more grown up but just as exciting to go wild with them. The band Great White was no exception, and were holding a show in 2003 at a club called The Station. When the venue caught fire, 100 people were killed, and the tour manager and club owners were held accountable for the deaths. Does this photo show a band member noticing the flames?
If you want to raise money for a worthy cause, you have to get attention by pushing the limits. Robert Overacker was hoping to raise awareness and money for the homeless, and so, in 1995, he set out to do an incredible feat, Jet Ski over Niagara Falls. We will never know if he might have managed this, as his rocket propelled parachute never opened, and he fell to his death. This photo is taken right beforehand.
You might be forgiven for thinking that Christopher Wallace, better known as Biggie Smalls, was going to be involved as the shooter in a gunfight after looking at this photo of him with fellow rapper Puff Daddy in Los Angeles the night he died. But just hours later, Biggie would take his last breaths after he was shot four times during a drive by shooting. The case remains officially unsolved, despite enormous media attention and many witnesses.
Formula One is seen as a dangerous sport by many, and it’s the risk and the thrill which gets a lot of people behind the wheel, not to mention the fame and fortune involved. Ayrton Senna was seen as one of the best drivers in Formula One of all time, and this photo shows him looking cool and calm right before the race which killed him. The crash took place in Italy in 1994, and the Brazilian auto racer was famous for saying “Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.”
A picture is worth a thousand words. That was certainly the case for the murder trial of Reynaldo Dagsa, who actually took this photo of his killer accidently while his family posed for a new year’s shot. He was assassinated seconds later on New Year’s Day 2011, and this very photo was used to help convict the man who did it. Dagsa was just 35 years old when he was murdered, and this photo shows the wife, daughter, and mother he left behind.
The Truck Stop Killer
This chilling photo was taken by Robert Ben Rhoades, better known as the Truck Stop Killer. He is believed to have murdered and raped more than 50 women, although most have never been found. This shows his last victim, 14 year old Regina Kay Walters, who was held and tortured for many months before her death. Rhoades is now serving two life sentences without parole in prison in Illinois. And thankfully will never see the light of day again.
Death by Selfie
Yet another death which could have been avoided, Oscar Otero Aguilar chose to take a selfie while holding a gun to his head. Who knows why the tragedy happened, but the gun went off, and he was killed instantly. He and his friends had been drinking, and they were all drunk at the time, but even under the influence, this seems like an obviously unwise move. Earlier than evening, 21 year old Aguilar took this photo of himself, little did he know it would be the last.
Halloween is the spookiest of nights, but for one British student, it became a real horror story. Meredith Kercher is shown here enjoying a fancy dress party with her friends, but later that same night she was found dead in a scene which had been made to look like a horror movie. 24 year old Rudy Guede was proven to have sexually assaulted and murdered her, and many people agree that her roommate Amanda Knox was also involved in the heinous crime.
Joy Division had its own cult following during the 80’s, and Ian Curtis was the singer and songwriter for the band. Some of their songs included Love Will Tear Us Apart and Atmosphere. Ian clearly was wrestling with his own demons throughout his life, and the photo of him here with his daughter Natalie was taken just days before he ended his own life by suicide. He was just 23, and at the top of his career, a chilling reminder that anyone can be afraid to ask for help.
Sometimes terrible things can happen because people aren’t careful enough. But other times, no matter how much preparation or care we take, fate intervenes on our behalf. Ramon Gonzales was better known to his fans as Jadiel, and posted this pic to Instagram on the day that he died. He is wearing a helmet and a face protector, but he still died in the motorcycle crash which happened just hours later. He was only 27 years old. A real tragedy.
The reason why people enjoy watching daredevil stunts is the fear that something might go wrong. But as we clench our fists and hold our breath, we all secretly hope there is a safety net prepared for the worst case scenario. Circus legend Karl Wallenda often worked without a net, to increase the showmanship perhaps, and at age 73 he took a walk on the wire, 121 feet above the ground. The whole accident was captured on film as he fell to his death.
Whitney Houston had one of the most beautiful voices to ever have made music. She was a hugely successful pop star who famously covered Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You and saw her version stay at the top of the charts in several countries for several weeks in a row. Sadly, she had a substance abuse problem and this image was of her last performance before she died of a drug overdose. She had a daughter too who similarly passed away with drug abuse problems.
Steve Irwin was a much loved TV personality with an obvious passion for dangerous animals that live on earth. He often was seen filming near crocodiles or other deadly species in the Outback. Sadly, he passed away when a Stingray stung him over 100 times – from which he had little chance of recovery. He had a daughter who succeeded him and manages his zoo to this day in his memory. Click next for more tragic photos.
This image shows the aftermath of the vicious killing of Nicole Brown and her boyfriend. It was a tragic incident that then garnered huge press interest when her ex-husband, OJ Simpson, was accused of her murder. He was later found not guilty despite the huge amount of evidence against him. Many conspiracy theories abound to this day regarding the nature of the case and why Simpson was not incarcerated for a crime that many think was clearly carried out by him.
John Lennon’s music, which he made both as a solo artist and with The Beatles touched the hearts of millions of fans and continues to do so to this day. This was the last image taken of him. It was snapped just five hours before his untimely death when he was shot dead at his apartment in Manhattan in 1980. The gunman was a Mark David Chapman who shot Lennon no less than four times. Lennon was announced dead upon arrival at Roosevelt Hospital. Read on for more tragic stories.
Eva And Hans Rausing
This image of a happy couple is tragic in how much it hid the truth and the sad end that was to become of Eva Rausing. Her husband, Hans Rausing was heir to the Tetra Pak fortune. They both had a severe drug addiction that was so bad that not only did Eva overdose, her husband hid the body by wrapping it in a bin bag and piling clothes on top of it. When she was discovered, he was found guilty of preventing the burial of a dead body.
Xavier Mertz was one of the original explorers on the Australasian Antarctic Expedition in the early 1900s. He had a glacier named after him as he sadly passed away whilst out on a mission. He and two fellow explorers were heading back to base camp when one fell through a snow shelf, taking with him a sled and a huge proportion of their rations. Whilst Mertz and Mawson, his remaining explorer initially survived, Mertz later passed away from a disease contracted from eating some of their remaining dogs’ livers.
Princess Diana sadly passed away in a car crash in 1997 at just 36. This was one of her last engagements that she was photographed at. She won the hearts of millions with her tireless charity work where she brought awareness to many causes. In particular, she helped put an end to prejudices and stigma against those suffering from HIV and Aids as well as drawing attention to the damage that land mines continue to cause to this day. Click next to read more heartbreaking stories.
Chapecoense Football Team
This is the Chapecoense football team. In late 2016, when its first team and remaining squad were travelling to take part in the Copa Sudamericana finals, their plane crashed, sadly killing most people on board. There were 77 people flying in total, some being journalists. Only 6 survived the flight. It is reported that the airplane suffered from a leak and so ran out of fuel. The airline has since had its license suspended as it was revealed that the pilot missed a refueling stop.
Lisa LeftEye Lopes
One of the singers in girl group TLC, Lisa LeftEye Lopes was a talented performer and producer who earned herself four Grammys in her short life. She tragically died in a car accident at the young age of thirty. This image is a still from the videotape that was being filmed whilst she was driving on the very journey that killed her. She swerved to miss an oncoming lorry and lost control of the vehicle. She died at the scene, though her two fellow passengers luckily survived.
Anne Frank was the real life author behind the famous book ‘The Diary of A Young Girl’. It is a real life record of Anne Frank’s time hiding in an attic in Amsterdam during the Second World War. Not only is how she spent two years of her life incredibly sad, her short life met a tragic end when she died just short of the end of the Second World War and the corresponding persecution of Jews by the Nazis. She was just 15 years old when she passed away.
James Dean was, perhaps, the original Hollywood pin up. With his good looks and effervescent on screen charm, he was movie making gold dust. He sadly died shortly after this photo was taken of him and what has now become known as a cursed car. He crashed this Porsche Spyder and suffered from fatal injuries that not even the best medical care could have saved him from. The car was later involved in other crashes before it disappeared in the 60s.
Michael Schumacher was one of the best and most talented Formula One drivers that has ever taken part in a Grand Prix. At the very end of 2013, whilst on holiday with his family in France, he incurred severe head injuries as part of a skiing accident. He remains in a coma to this day with very little being known about his continued condition. It is thought that his medical care costs six figure sums each week at his home in Switzerland. Click next for yet more tragic stories.
Top Gun is one of the most popular films that has ever been made. A little known fact about it though is that it is dedicated to a gentleman called Art Scholl. He was a pilot and a stunt man who sadly died whilst filming scenes for the movie. He was caught in an inverted flat in his plane which then subsequently dived into the Pacific Ocean where he died almost immediately. His wife, Judy Scholl, survived him. Read on for more stories with tragic endings.
George Mallory and Sandy Irvine
This image, though almost alien to us now, depicts two explorers that were about to tackle Mt Everest for the first time. They were a George Mallory and a Sandy Irvine. Though they were lucky enough to have the very best equipment that money could buy at the time, they were not to be successful on their voyage. They did not manage to make it to the top of the tallest mountain on earth and were sadly never to be seen again.
In 2011, a Japanese tourist, who can be seen in this photo in the background, was very sadly killed when she was swept away over Niagara Falls. She was just 20 years old. She was in Canada studying at the time and was a popular student amongst her peers. She had been leaning over the railings having her photo taken. When she attempted to come back over the barrier, her foot slipped, and she fell to her untimely death. It took five police and fire departments to find her body.
Air France Flight 4590
This is the last photographs taken before the Gonesse tragedy in 2000. The concord took off from Paris and was supposed to make it to New York City, but this did not happen. As it ran over some debris during takeoff, the plane experienced a punctured tire which blew up the fuel tank. All 109 passengers on the plane died as the plane burst into flames and plunged to the ground. In addition to this four people on the ground also died.
2012 Carterton Hot Air Balloon Disaster
It is probably on most people’s list to go hot air ballooning at least once in their life. Well when it came to these 11 people it would have been the first and last time. After a 45 minute flight, the balloon was preparing for landing when it hit power lines and the balloon crashed to the ground. It was said that two people even attempted to jump from the balloon, however no people survived the accident.
Reynaldo Dagsa Accidentally Photographed His Killer
Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Reynaldo Dagsa, a Filipino politician was out and about with his family and was just about to take a photo of both his wife, mother-in-law daughter when he actually captured his last moments on camera. He took a photo of a gang member that would end his life. He died at the scene. Shocked? If you felt chills up and down your spine with this story stick around because we have more coming.
This iconic photo of then US President JFK and his wife Jackie O was taken in on November 22, 1963 in Camelot America. He had only been in office for about 1,000 days before he got shot by Lee Harvey Oswald. Lee denied it, “I did not kill President Kennedy or Officer Tippit. If you want me to cop out to hitting or pleading guilty to hitting a cop in the mouth when I was arrested, yeah, I plead guilty to that. But I do deny shooting both the President and Tippit.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here you can see the legendary and revolutionary Martin Luther King, Jr. on the same balcony where he lost his life. The picture was taken on April 3rd in 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The very next day would be the same fateful day where he would stand on this exact balcony only to get shot by James Earl Ray. His death would affect the nation and would even get a national US holiday which is celebrated in January.
TransAsia Airways Flight 235
Just a few years ago, back in 2015 an engine malfunction caused a plane crash in Taiwan. In fact later it was said that pilots were to blame for the plane crashing into the Keelung River before hundreds of witnesses. The domestic flight lost 42 of the 58 people on board. According to a transcript that was later released one of the pilots said, “Wow, pulled back the wrong side throttle,” just 9 seconds before impact. That is certainly not something you’d want to hear when on board.
The Test Run That Went South
Rewind to 1943 to a military glider test run in St. Louis and one of the biggest tragedies to hit the place. Ten people including Mayor William D. Becker lost their lives that day in front of spectators as the left wing collapsed and the plane crashed to the ground. “The most tragic event in St. Louis history. Of course, happening right on Lambert Field in the midst of a group of spectators was probably one of the most traumatic events that the city had seen.”
Tina Watson’s Last Dive
You know that before you marry the person you want to spend the rest of your life with you really should tell each other everything in all honesty. David and Tina set off on their honeymoon to Australia and there they did a spot of diving. Tina’s husband David lied about his diving experience and as the tide became too much for her to handle, instead of helping Tina, David swam to the surface. You can see her lying on the ocean floor, possibly in her last moments of life.
Dale Earnhardt’s Last Ride
During the famous Daytona 500 race in 2001 Dale Earnhardt lost his life after taking part in a three car accident before finally crashing into a retaining wall. His death caused a huge media frenzy and safety regulations to be reconsidered. Dale was the fourth person that year to die in a NASCAR incident, but since his death no competitor has died during the competition. Shocked? We are right there with you, but you might want to stay where you are because we have more where that came from.
The one line we will never forget to have come out of Patrick Swayze’s mouth was “Nobody puts Baby in the corner,” but that’s just us. This acting legend passed away in September of 2009 and this is the last photo that was taken of him before it happened. In 2008 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and it was that same disease that took his life. Although never receiving an Oscar for his role, audiences worldwide have a distinct admiration for both the film and Swayze’s character in it.
Henry Worsey’s Last Selfie
The story of British explorer Col. Henry Worsey is both one of great sadness and achievement. This is the last selfie that he took in his tent before losing his life in 20156. He was attempting to complete the first solo unaided crossing of the Antarctic and it was in the last moments when things went wrong. Walking an impossible 913 miles Worsey had only 30 to go in order to reach finishing point when he sent a radio call out for help. He didn’t make it.
What a twist of fate this was. Back in 1983 there was an attempt on the life of South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan by three North Korean bombers. This whole tragedy happened at a memorial event (of all places) and 21 people got killed in the process. Their target, President Doo-hwan survived the attack because he was stuck in traffic and ran late to the event. We bet he was thanking his lucky stars for poor traffic that day.
The red car in this picture was equipped with a bomb by the Real Irish Republican Army. When it exploded it managed to end the lives of 31 people in its vicinity. The whole incident caused outrage both locally with the Irish people as well as internationally. The man and his son that are in this photo survived the bombing attack, but the photographer who took the photo did not. Astonished? You might want to keep reading because there are more like this to come.
Elisa Lam and the Water Tank Mystery
The young lady that you see in this camera footage is a college student by the name of Elisa Lam. She disappeared back in 2013 and after some time her body was eventually found at the top of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles in a water tank. You can see here that she was hiding from someone and talking to herself, but the strange thing is that this last footage of her still cannot explain as to how she ended up in the water tank.
The Flying Priest
A Brazilian priest called Adelir Antonio de Carli died at the age of 42 after he went missing. He was trying to break the world record for cluster ballooning and equipped with a harness and 600 balloons he spent more than 19 hours in the air. This sounds like a scene from the movie Up, but we assure you this is real life. A few months after he disappeared parts of his body washed ashore. In previous training sessions he even ended up in Argentina.
A Final Embrace
What would you do if you knew you had just moments left to live? A freak accident left two engineers, aged only 19 and 21 on the top of a 67 metre high wind turbine in Holland, which had just caught fire. The pair were trapped, and knew that death was close by. They clung to one another in an embrace, giving each other that last moment of human contact, and resulting in this heart-breaking photo. What a haunting final moment.