A picture is said to be worth a thousand words. In certain cases, the story told by a picture is not immediately obvious. Some shots appear ordinary at first sight, but as you learn the backstory, the entire narrative changes. 

Trigger Warning: Some of these images and/or stories are extremely graphic and trauma-inducing. Reader discretion is advised. 

I was browsing through Reddit and stumbled upon 12 seemingly normal photos with the strangest backstories. Brace yourself and have a look. 

1. Proof that some of the darkest human beings can seem harmless. 

“This photo. John Edwards Robinson (yellow sweater) is holding baby Tiffany, whose mother he murdered the day before. He gave baby Tiffany to his brother, saying she was adopted. His brother, along with Tiffany, didn’t find out the truth for 15 years.” 


2. According to sources, he was the first person to record the explosion before he was before being killed by the pyroclastic blast. 

“There is a photo of an American volcanologist sitting down while studying volcanic activity at Mount St. Helens.13 hours after the photograph was taken, on May 18, 1980, the volcano erupted and killed 57 people including the volcanologist.”


3. This image is the single most heartbreaking image ever. 

“Jewish children holding hands as they unknowingly walk to their deaths in the gas chambers at Auschwitz”


4. This one really got me. One moment, it was all so perfect and the next, it all fell apart. 

“A man who swam to his girlfriend in their underwater hotel room while on vacation in Tanzania, and proposed to her with a note and a ring. He died before he could resurface from the water.”

– tojoso


5. Apparently, the owners of the nightclub got off free. 

“This photo was taken at a nightclub before it caught on fire by fireworks leaving 100 people dead.” 


6. This is just outrightly dark. 

“This Physicist, Harold Agnew, is holding the nuclear core of the Fat Man atomic bomb which was dropped on Nagasaki.”


7. Sickened to my core. 

“This is a photo of Tyler Hadley holding a cup in a party at his house. Just before this party he had murdered his mother and father and hid their bodies in the master bedroom.”


8. The woman was Evelyn  Francis McHale, and she was a book keeper. 

“Not really a normal looking photo, but this woman always looks much calmer than the backstory. She jumped from the Empire State Building and landed on a car, but the resulting photograph looks like she is resting with her ankles crossed.”


9. How can someone hate another human just for being of a different faith? 

“Its a picture of Joseph Goebbels taken just after he just found out the photographer was Jewish. I can feel the hate in his eyes.”

– FM-101


10. The notoriety of this couple is bone-chilling, to say the least. 

“The Moors Murders. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley would bury the children they murdered on the British Moors, and then would take pictures of Hindley posing over the gravesites.”

daily mail

11. He was known to be a regular performer at children’s hospitals as ‘Pogo’, or ‘Patches’ the clown.  

“Photo of John Wayne Gacy, one of the most notorious serial killers ever, dressed for his job as a clown at children’s parties.”


12. The three of them even waved at the train’s crew moments before taking a selfie with the fast-approaching train in the background. 

“The final picture of the Webster sisters and their friends. Taking a selfie, they all look so carefree and then you see the bright light behind them and just want to yell at them to get out of the way of the train.”


Never found a more captivating thread on Internet.