10 Tragedies Caught in Haunting Images
Warning: Some of the images shown in this list might make you uncomfortable.
Photographs are our way of capturing a moment in time, to preserve that segment of our lives possibly forever, or deaths in this case. Most of these moments are worth a thousand of words, but the pictures you are about to see are worth far more. Here are 10 tragedies caught in haunting images.
1. Omagh Bombing
What looks like a picture of an ordinary day on August 15, 1998 is actually one of the last picture taken before a car bombing in Omagh, Northern Ireland took the lives of 29 people and injuring more than 200. The camera containing this photograph was found in the rubble of the bombing, showing what looks like a peaceful day. It gained popularity because it is one of the most emotional pictures that was published after the Omagh Bombing.
The bombing, carried out by the Real Irish Republican Army (Real IRA), took place during a conflict in Northern Ireland that is called “the Troubles”. It was the highest death toll caused by an incident during this period. This photograph clearly shows the happiness, peacefulness of the place, not knowing the horror of what is to come. Its like a moment frozen in time for the people in the photo, who are not aware of the future tragedy.
2. Regina Kay Walters’ Death
Robert Ben Rhoades is a notorious serial killer who had 3 victims, though he claims to have killed more, and Regina Kay Walters is one of them. Regina was a 14-year old girl from Texas, and was toyed with by Rhaodes by cutting her hair and dressing her up, all while taking pictures of her looking helpless, like the one showed above. This picture is Walters during her final moments, after being dressed and altered by her abductor. The look of desperation in her face as she is tortured is a hard thing to look at, an hideous example of human torture.
Robert Ben Rhoades then took two more lives before being captured in September 1992. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and is still currently in prison today in Texas.
3. The Assassination of Reynaldo Dagsa
It doesn’t matter who shot first in this picture captured by Reynaldo Dagsa, a 35-year old Filipino politician, during New Year’s Day of 2011. This photograph gained worldwide popularity because the picture was taken just seconds away from his death, and with Dagsa capturing the hitman and the lookout who are responsible for his murder. A ironic photograph as the politician is celebrating a new year with his family while also capturing the end of his life.
As seen in the picture, Dagsa is taking a photograph of his family while the shooter is preparing to shot the politician. This photograph is used by the wife of Dagsa as an evidence, thus resulted to the immediate arrest of the assassinators. It was believed that there is more to the story than originally believed.
4. Beas River Tragedy
24 engineering students from Hyderabad, India lost their lives on a college trip on June 8, 2014 due to the water suddenly released from the Larji Hydroelectric Power Project on the Beas River. The picture above shows the moment before the said tragedy. What could have just been a memorable moment from a college trip taken by a student turned into a sorrowful look at the final moments of students who lost their lives.
The students in the photo are from VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology (VNRVJIET) who were in the middle of an educational tour in Himachal Pradesh. They are traveling from Shimla to Manali, and took a break to take some pictures on the Beas River. The floodgates of the river were opened without warning while they took some pictures and the strong torrent of water washed away the group of students. The incident was caused by negligence on the part of the Hydroelectric Plant.
5. Ki-Suk Han’s Death
The picture shows the final moment of Ki-Suk Han, a father and husband just 58 years of age, as he was pushed in front of an arriving train by a homeless man, Naeem Davis, whom Han had argued with. Witnesses says that Han was drunk and initiated the argument with the homeless man. Han left his house drunk because of an argument with his wife. This picture shall forever be a look at the instantaneous nature of death.
Naeem Davis blames his actions on various reasons like the voices in his head, drugs, and a lost “nice” pair of boots, and also claims that Han would not leave him alone. He says that he only acted because he is being harassed by Han. He was charged with second-degree murder even though he originally pleading “not guilty” after involving himself in the investigation.
6. Budd Dwyer’s Public Suicide
This picture, taken on January 22, 1987, shows the final moments of Robert Budd Dwyer. Dwyer was a politician who served as a Republican member of the Pennsylvania State Senate for more than a decade and then later serve as Treasurer of Pennsylvania until the moment captured in the picture.
He was convicted of having accepted a bribe, he announced his resignation on a press conference he called. The press conference was broadcasted live to televisions accross Pennsylvania. After he was found guilty, he was about to face about 55 years in prison and a large fine of $300,000, which Dwyer sees as an unjust punishment since the ex-attorney William T. Smith admitted to lying under oath when he accused Dwyer of bribery.
He first started reading a speech that he made, then he abruptly ended it and handed out some envelopes to his employees. The final envelope contained a gun which he brings out, and said “Please leave the room if this will offend you.” His friends and fellow cabinet members in the room pleaded to him not to continue what he was about to do, he spoke and stuttered, then quickly pulled the trigger, dying in office, before the people in the room could stop him. The video of Dwyer’s suicide is uploaded in YouTube, if for some odd reasons you want to watch it.
7. Travis Alexander’s Death
This picture of Travis Alexander, a 30-year old man, was distributed in news channel after his murder by his ex-girlfriend, which is why you have probably have seen it. He was found dead by his friends in 2008 in his house in Mesa, in Arizona. He was found with 27 stab wounds and a gunshot wound on his head on the floor of the shower. His girlfriend, Jodi Arias, initially denied that she killed Alexander and claimed that he might be murdered by a burglar. She later changed this statement and said that she killed Alexander and that she acted on self-defense.
Jodi Arias is currently in jail waiting for her sentencing trial, which will take place in the 8th of September, 2014. Jodi Arias has artworks which can be seen on her site. This chilling picture of Alexander moments before his death shall remain as haunting as they were years ago.
8. CCTV Images of James Bulger with Captors
The 2-year old James Bulger in the photo, the child accompanied by an older child, was murdered by the same people who are accompanying him in the photo. Jon Venables and Robert Thompsons, who are both 10-year old then, took the child in the Strand Shopping Center.
This infamous image of Bulger being taken away by the young murderers was broadcasted in news channels for months, and shall remain a horrifying look at the child moments before his death. His abductors lured Bulger away from his mother to a railway embankment 4 kilometers away from the Strand Shopping Centre. Several people as them if they were lost or are in need of assistance along the way to the embankment, so far as being told to take Bugler, who was mistaken to be their little brother, home because he would not stop crying.
Bugler was found dead for two days tied to a railway line in Walton and his injuries were covered by media. This resulted into an outrage at the leniency of the decision made by the court regarding the case. The murderers where put into a young offenders’ institution for eight years before being release with new identities and given security by the government.
9. John Lennon’s Murderer caught on a Photograph
On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed at the entrance of The Dakota, where Lennon lived, in New York. Hours before the murder, this picture was taken with a fan waiting for Lennon’s autograph. The fan in the photo was found to be none other than John Lennon’s murderer, Mark David Chapman. He was the last person photographed with John Lennon.
On that day, the world mourned over the lost of a great musician. Distraught fans of the star joined together and held mass funerals in the name of the legend. People have loved Lennon because he aimed to inspire a music friendship between people. The day he died is just a month after he released his anticipated comeback album and first solo in five years, Double Fantasy, which ultimately became his last album.
The delusional Chapman said that he killed Lennon because of his fame. He said that if Lennon was less famous than the other people in his list, he would have not been killed. He ended the life of a legend for his fame.
10. Two Brothers’ Lightning Incident
In 1975, a strange phenomenon happened in California where hair were raised by unknown reasons. Two brothers, Michael McQuilken and Sean McQuilken who were 18 and 12 years old, along with their sister, posed for a photograph on top of Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park, along with several other people, during this strange phenomenon. Moments after this haunting picture was taken, both boys were struck by lightning, seriously injuring them. Contrary to what is commonly believed, they did not die and are currently alive.
The picture has been used countless times as a public announcement for people to bring attention to lightning safety. This picture of two happy and carefree brothers is a reminder of an imminent life threatening danger that kills about 2,000 people per year all over the world. For this reason it still is as shocking as ever.