Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Every picture has a story to tell – and some of them offer tales that might be quite unsettling to handle. It is weird how some photographs capture a moment so perfectly that it helps both the camps – the ones captured and the ones viewing it. Yet again, at times the innocence of the picture gets hijacked and stolen after we are exposed to the stories they carry with them. It stays with you only to linger in your memory long after you’ve looked away.
Gear up, for we bring to you a gallery of these 12 photographs with disturbing back stories.
You won’t look at them the same way you looked at it before knowing their backstories, ever again.
1. Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland
The red car beside the father and the child exploded shortly after this photograph was taken. 29 people including the photographer died but the father and the child survived. Talk about luck here!
2. Tyler Hadley – Killed his parents
This 17-year-old boy, Tyler Hadley, looks like he must be chilling in a party, right? But could you guess this photo was taken just sometime after Tyler murdered his parents, cleaned the house and called his friends over to celebrate? Their bodies were hidden in the bedroom when this photograph was taken.
3. John Lennon and Mark David Chapman – Victim and killer in the same photo
This famous photograph captures John Lennon giving an autograph to Mark David Chapman, the man who would murder Lennon just six hours later.
4. Reynaldo Dagsa – Caught his assassin on camera
Filipino politician Reynaldo Dagsa’s family was out celebrating New Year’s Eve. The killer is remarkably captured in this photograph, right before he assassinated Dagsa, who clicked this photo.
5. Jamie Bulger murder
A chilling CCTV footage shows 2-year-old Jamie Bulger, who was abducted by 10-year-old Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. They would later murder him in a railway station.
6. Regina Walters – Last photo before execution
Regina was forced by Robert Ben Rhoades to wear the black dress and heels to pose for the photograph, just before he murdered her in a farmhouse.
7. Michael and Sean McQuilken – Struck by Lightning
This photo shows two brothers with their hair standing on the ends, because of an electrically charged atmosphere. Shortly after this, both of them were struck by lightning. Luckily, they survived but another man who was struck, died.
8. Columbine High, 1999 – Darkest group photo
This is a high school photograph of Columbine High School. The two boys in the top left, who are posing holding up gun fingers, went on to kill 12 of their classmates, a teacher and injured 24 people right after this photo was snapped. Oh, and they also killed themselves.
9. 19th century family – gives a new meaning to ‘still photo’
In the early 19th century, because of low shutter speed, people had to remain still for photographs. The mother and father have a natural blurriness that is caused by movement, but the daughter is perfectly still. It’s because she is dead. It was totally normal back in those days to take a last photograph with their deceased ones.
10. Heaven’s gate suicide
Looks like people are sleeping, right? They are all dead. They were members of the Heaven’s gate, who believed that Earth was about to be wiped out and that suicide was necessary to escape and reach an alien spaceship that was traveling behind the Hale-Bopp comet.
Well, stupidity 1, rationality 0.
11. Travis Alexander – Killed by his lover
This photo, found on a damaged camera, was taken by his girlfriend, Jodi Arias. A sweet couple thing to take pictures, what else could it be? But this photograph was captured just minutes before she stabbed and shot him to death.
12. Tina Watson – Dead woman diving underwater
The photo was taken by Gary Stemper, of his wife in the foreground. The other two photos are of a rescue diver and a lifeless body in a full skuba gear. The body belongs to Tina Watson, who went skuba diving with her husband, Gabe.
A judicial inquiry suggested that Gabe had turned off his wife’s air regulator and drowned her. He was set free due to lack of evidence.