18 Shocking Pictures Taken Before Tragedy Struck

Morbid curiosity is just human nature. Moments after these 18 pictures were taken, the people in them died tragically.
Jodi Arias Took This Final Photo Of Travis Before Killing Him
But this photo of Travis Alexander, who was murdered in 2008 by his ex-girlfriend Jodi Arias, was taken in the shower on the day of his death. The haunted look in his eyes gives away his awareness of his fate.

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Malaysian Flight Selfie
Vacation selfies abound today and it’s easy to dismiss the countless pictures that pop up on your Facebook feed.

It’s what makes this selfie all the more heartbreaking given that the 15-year-old victim and his mother died with all of the other passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 after a missile attack.

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Shocking Balloon Ride
It may seem like a clear day in the bucolic countryside, just perfect for going on a balloon ride and enjoying the view.

In January 2012, this balloon struck a power line in Caterton, New Zealand and unfortunately killed 10 passengers and a pilot. It was the largest air-related fatality in New Zealand since 1963.

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Test Flight Leaves 10 Dead
Long before mass-market commercial flight was a thing, flying was a novelty reserved for the wealthy and people in high positions like politicians and celebrities.

William Becker, the mayor of St. Louis, joined a demonstration for a new aircraft. A wing broke right after take-off and killed all 10 of the men on board who just wanted to have an adventure.

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Final Footage Of Young Kidnapping Victim
It can be hard to tell what grainy surveillance camera footage is and this image can easily resemble a family outing with two brothers walking together.

But the small boy, James Bulger, is actually the victim of abduction and eventually murder by two 10-year-old boys in rural England.

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James Dean’s Final Ride
James Dean is as timeless of a 1950s icon as juke boxes and drive-ins. The 1950s were a golden age for car buffs, many who still long for a Porsche 550 Spyder just like Dean’s.

This candid photo at a gas station is the last-known picture of Dean before this very car had a fatal collision.

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Pennsylvania Politician’s Final Photo
Budd Dwyer, a Pennsylvania politician who served as the state’s treasurer, called for a news conference in the late 80s. Much to everyone’s shock, Dwyer pulled out a .357 revolver and committed suicide on air.

He was supposed to be convicted for bribery related to errors in state employee compensation. The man was found out to be innocent, no less.

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The First Known Cases Of Ebola
ost people think of the late 1990s and very recent years if someone mentions the Ebola virus. However, Ebola was first identified in Zaire in 1976.

The nurse tending to her patient, Mayinga N’Seka, died a few days after this picture was taken as a result of exposure to the virus.

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Ukranian Missle Strikes Plane Seconds After Selfie
An innocent vacation photo found after a plane crash always makes hindsight seem even harsher. A father took a photo of his wife and daughter who were aboard an MH17 plane that crashed in Ukraine.

The catastrophic crash killed all passengers and crew who were onboard.

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Backflip Of Doom
This photo of Pavel Kashin doesn’t look that much different from any Photoshopped ad you’d see in a magazine showing some death-defying stunt.

Unfortunately, Kashin didn’t defy death after he tried to do a backflip on the roof of a 16-story building. This picture of the Russian thrill-seeker captured the last moments of his life.

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John Lennon Seconds Before His Fatal Shooting
What looks like an innocuous snapshot of a famous musician signing autographs for fans was actually a precursor to the death of a legend. John Lennon was outside his Manhattan apartment when Mark David Chapman asked for his autograph, assassinating him shortly after this picture was taken.

A closer examination reveals Chapman’s disturbed expression.

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The Final Photo Of The US Figure Skating Team
What seems like an optimistic vintage photograph sadly preceded the loss of the entire US figure skating team before they could make it to the world championship in Prague.

The aircraft in the photo traveling from New York to Belgium in 1961 crashed, killing a total of 73 passengers. A tragic end to many promising skating careers.

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Heroes Of 9/11
New Yorkers and the world over never forgot the bravery of the city’s first responders in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Moira Smith, an NYPD officer, pulled this gravely wounded man from the wreckage shortly after the attack.

She then rushed into the South Tower to help get more victims out before it collapsed. She sacrificed her life in the process.

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200 FT Plummet To Terra-firma
No one knew what Keith Sapsford’s motivation was when he hid inside the wheel-well of an airplane leaving Sydney, Australia.

It’s insane that the teen was not killed during take-off from moving parts or air pressure, but a photographer testing out a new lens caught Sapsford’s demise on film where he fell 200 feet to his death.

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Subway Scare
Even the most hardened New Yorker has this back in the mind fear of falling or being pushed onto subway tracks. Sadly, Ki-Suk Han embodied this nightmare.

A startled bystander shot this image after he was pushed in front of an oncoming Q train. He did not survive.

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King Of The World!
Many people tend to think of the 1997 blockbuster of the same name when they hear “Titanic”. The ill-fated ocean liner was indeed master craftsmanship of its day but not without design flaws, and doesn’t seem so huge in this last photo taken of it before its maiden (and final) voyage.

The sinking of the Titanic was the most devastating maritime disaster during a peaceful time.

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RIP Paul Walker
Beloved actor Paul Walker died in a car crash with his financial adviser and racing buddy Roger Rodas. Rodas, a pro-am racer, owned the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT in the photo which caught fire after the two of them into a concrete lamppost upon going about 100 mph in a 45 mph zone in Santa Clarita, California.

This hit racing fans really hard.

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The Day Before Everything Changed
September 11 is a day that lives in infamy for most Americans who remember it. This picture was taken the day before the towers fell and the storm clouds seem ominous. The towers stand out clearly from the choppy waters of the Hudson and howling winds as a stark reminder of what America will endure in the future.
It’s hard to tell if this man is showing tears or sweat at first glance.

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