We are living in a time where tragedy happens way too frequently. Horrifically enough, it’s become the new normal. Just a few short weeks ago, a violent clash between white supremacists and anti-protesters took the life of a young woman in Charlottesville, Virginia. As the tension in our country reaches a fever pitch, we look back on all the heinous and devastating events that have gone down in our country as well as the countries of our allies. From Florida to Manchester, England – no one is safe from tragedy and anything heinous can spring up at any time. We’ve put together some truly disturbing aftermath images from 15 of the most tragic things to occur within the past 75-years. Sadly enough, this is only the tip of a very bloody iceberg.
15. The Pulse Night Club Massacre: Last Text Message
On June 12, 2016, a 29-year old security guard walked into Pulse, a gay nightclub located in Orlando, Florida and, without any remorse written on his blank face, killed 49 people and wounded 58. The fact that he himself was shot and killed by police doesn’t give the grieving families any remorse. The aftermath of the tragic shooting was just as atrocious as stories of police officers needing to take medical leave after hearing the cell phones ringing in the pockets of the dead as they walked the crime scene leaked out to the public. The picture above is of Mina Justice, the mother of Eddie, a victim who was shot and killed as he hid in the bathroom of the club. “Mommy I love you. In the club they shooting,” the first message said. No parent should have to outlive their child, it’s not the way of nature.
14. Sandy Hook Shooting: The Gun
On December 14, 2012, a 20-year old man named Adam Lanza walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary school and killed 20 innocent children (all of whom were between the ages of six and seven years old) along with taking the lives of six adults who worked at the school. It was one of the most devastatingly horrible attacks in this country’s history, mainly because it involved such small children who had nothing to do with Lanza’s mental issues. The gunman ended up shooting himself in the head after the attack. The crime scene afterward was something that nightmares stem from, including the above picture of one of Lanza’s many guns he had packed, along with blood stains on the carpet inside the classroom where the mass shooting ended. The entire shooting lasted only five minutes.
13. Sandy Hook Shooting: The Bullet Hole
The Sandy Hook massacre is one of the largest components in the entire “gun control” debate since Lanza was able to obtain his mother’s Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle, which he used to take the lives of all the students and teachers, along with the Glock 20SF (seen in the first photo), which he used to take his own life with. He also carried a 9 mm Sig Sauer P226, but he didn’t use that during the attack. Even though the shooting lasted a short time, the stories that the surviving children tell are bone chilling. Lanza took the lives of the children in two first grade classroom as they attempted to hide, take cover, or plea for their lives. The fragments of the bullets were embedded in the wall, like the photo of the bullet hole in the picture above which ripped through a children’s book poster.
12. September 11, 2001: The Only Escape
Our entire world changed on the morning of September 11, 2001, when Al-Qaeda coordinated a series of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil that killed 2,996 people and injured over 6,000 others. Two commercial planes bound for California were hijacked and were both used to take down the World Trade Center towers in New York City. The first plane hit the North Tower, with the second plane crashing into the South Tower shortly afterward. It took an hour and 42 minutes for both towers to collapse, taking out other surrounding buildings in the process. As we all know, the people in the buildings had no way out and most were trapped near the wreckage before the collapse (at the highest point of the towers). While most hung out the windows in a desperate attempt to get help, some simply gave up and chose to end their lives on their own terms by throwing themselves out of the windows.
11. The Polly Klaas Murder: Richard Allen Davis In Court
During a child’s slumber party on October 1, 1993 in Petaluma California, 12-year old Polly Hannah Klaas was kidnapped at knife point by a monster named Richard Allen Davis. Davis had broken into the Klaas house, tied up two of Klaas’ friends, and took Klaas herself at knifepoint. Polly’s body was found two months later in a shallow grave off of Highway 101 near Coverdale, California, thanks to Davis admitting that he strangled the 12-year old to death and hid her body from investigators. Davis was convicted of first-degree murder in 1996, but not before he made sure he taunted the family during the proceedings. During his formal sentencing, Davis turned to the courtroom cameras and extended his middle fingers, sparking public outrage. He then told the family that with Polly’s dying breath, she accused her father of assaulting her. He was sentenced to death.
10. Hurricane Katrina: Water Rising
Hurricane Katrina ripped through the south during August 2005 and destroyed nearly everything in her path, killing 1,245 people, who were victims of the hurricane and of the flooding afterward. The category 5 hurricane caused brutal damage from Florida to Texas, but the most of the destruction came down upon New Orleans where there was barely any surge protection that held up against the hurricane as 53 levees were breached. Over 80 percent of the city became flooded, stranding and killing people. Most people in the city were evacuated to the Superdome, home of the NFL team the New Orleans’ Saints, even though the building sustained some pretty heavy damage. The above photo is of some people who were pleading for the overhead helicopters to rescue them as the water in the city continued to rise.
9. Oklahoma City Bombing: Fireman and Child
On April 19, 1995, a bomb ripped through the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, and injuring more than 680 others. Domestic terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, two men who met during basic training for the Army, were found guilty of the attack. McVeigh and Nichols apparently were obsessed with survivalism and had it in for the government after its botched handling of the Waco siege in 1993. They ended up choosing the OKC federal building as a target and built the bomb that would end up killing so many people, including children. The above photo was taken as firefighters, police, and volunteers worked tirelessly to pull out victims of the bombing, one of which was a baby. This particular photo was devastating and while it displayed the braveness of the ones who saved so many lives that day, it illustrates the heinous murder of so many innocent lives.
8. The Charleston Church Shooting: Gunman
On the evening of June 17, 2015, a white supremacist by the name of Dylann Roof walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which is located in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, and open fired on the church goers, killing nine people (including a state senator and pastor), and injured three others. Roof, a hardcore racist, had published a manifesto shortly before the massacre, spouting off racial hatred and praising white supremacy. The shooting took place at around 9:05 pm as a small group of people were attending a Bible study held by Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, the church’s senior pastor. Roof walked in, armed with a Glock 41 .45-caliber handgun hidden in a fanny pack, and actually attended the study and sat with Pinckney while discussing Scripture before he stood up and open fired on the group as they had begun to pray. The chilling photo above was taken by security footage as Roof left the church, gun still in hand, after the shooting.
7. Columbine High School Shooting: The Chairs
On April 20, 1999, at around 11:20 am, seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School with duffle bags containing bombs and placed the bags inside the school cafeteria, and then exited the school in order to stand outside and wait to shoot kids who were attempting to escape the explosions. However, the bombs failed to explode, so the two students stationed themselves above the cafeteria and threw a pipe bomb in order to create chaos as students were eating their lunch, and then started open firing on students. That day, the duo took the lives of 12 students and one teacher while injuring 21 others. The picture above was taken in the cafeteria of the school, right after the biggest attack took place in the library, which was close by. Harris and Klebold took out 10 students seeking shelter in the library with guns and explosives before moving to the cafeteria and manually detonating one of the duffle bags of explosives with a Molotov cocktail, which literally blew up part of the cafeteria and melted the chairs.
6. The Aurora Theater Shooting: Trial Photo
During a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, a gunman set off tear gas grenades and open fired on the audience, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others. The shooter, James Eagan Holmes, was arrested minutes later but would later plead not guilty by reason of insanity. The victims ranged in age, but the youngest one was six-years old and was shot a total of four times. It did appear that Holmes was in a daze in his mug shot, but it wasn’t enough to find him insane during the time of the shooting, even though his lawyer pleaded that his client was mentally ill. The above photo was used as evidence during the trial as prosecutors restaged the scene to show how many bullets were sprayed into the audience. Holmes was found guilty of 24 counts of first-degree murder, 140 counts of attempted first-degree murder, and a single count of possessing illegal explosives.
5. The Manchester Concert Attack: Bodies
All they wanted to do was spend an evening cheering on Ariana Grande as she held a concert at the Manchester Arena on the night of May 22, 2017, but instead, victims of a terrorist attack were forced to run for their lives as a homemade bomb detonated at one of the exits in the arena as the concert was letting out. 23 adults and children were killed, including the terrorist who orchestrated the bombing, a 22-year old British Muslim named Salman Ramadan Abedi. More than 250 were injured. The attack happened after Grande had wrapped up her concert and the young concert goers were exiting the building and as waiting parents were standing near by, waiting to pick up their children. The device was packed with nuts and bolts, acting as shrapnel, so when the explosion occurred, the shrapnel took out as many people as possible. The photo above is near the exit where the bomb was placed as police and medics scrambled to help the victims.
4. Boston Marathon Bombing: Dazed Man
Near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, two homemade bombs detonated on the afternoon of April 15, 2013, killing three people and injuring an entire slew of participants of the marathon and onlookers. The bombers, brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, then led police on a massive manhunt that lasted for a couple days. During the manhunt, the Tsarnaev brothers also killed an MIT policeman and had a shootout with police, which resulted in the death of another officer a year after he was injured. Tamerlan was shot during the shootout, and his brother ended up running him over as he made his escape from the scene in a stolen car. Police found Dzhokhar hiding in a boat in the backyard of a Watertown resident and was shot and arrested. The photo above is of one of the victims of the bombing as he limped away from the attack, his clothes tattered and his face in a certain sort of intense daze.
3. The Jessica Dubroff Tragedy: The Plane
Little Jessica Dubroff was a seven-year-old girl who dreamed of becoming the youngest person to fly across the United States in a light utility aircraft. Dubroff wasn’t exactly a pilot (as the media had dubbed her to be) since the minimum age to obtain your student pilot certificate is 16-years old, but she had begun to take flying lessons on her sixth birthday. Even though she wasn’t seasoned enough, she decided to make the coast-to-coast flight at the age of seven at the suggestion of her father and her flight instructor, both of whom accompanied her on that fatal flight in April 1996. The media frenzied around the young child, excited to cover her journey across the country and quickly made her a national hero before she even got off the ground. The trio departed from Half Moon Bay, California and arrived in Cheyenne in preparation for their second day of flying and took off on the second leg of their journey in rainy weather. They crashed shortly after take off, killing all three on board. The above picture is of the crash site and the covered plane, which was in a nearby residential neighborhood.
2. JFK Assassination: Jackie’s Blood Stained Suit
In November of 1963, President John F. Kennedy was making his way through the city of Dallas during the afternoon hours of the 23rd after a speaking engagement in Fort Worth. As he smiled and waved at the people lining the streets of Dallas from inside the exposed motorcade, he was shot in the head by Lee Harvey Oswald, who was stationed on the sixth floor of the nearby book depository. Wife Jackie Kennedy, who was sitting next to the president, moved quickly to hold his head before crawling to the back of the convertible in order to gather up pieces of her husband’s skull and parts of his brain. Even though Kennedy was rushed to Parkland hospital, he succumbed to his injuries. Jackie chose to wear the blood-stained pink suit during the emergency swearing in of Vice President Lyndon Johnson on Air Force One because she “wanted them to see what they did,” referencing her husband’s blood all over her suit. The photo above is her still wearing the suit as she was walked to the car with Robert Kennedy after de-boarding the plane in DC.
1. RFK Assassination: The Busboy
Only five years after his brother’s assassination, John F. Kennedy’s little brother Robert was gunned down after winning the 1968 California presidential primaries on June 5. He later perished the next day. RFK was shot by 24-year old Sirhan Sirhan while exiting through the Ambassador Hotel kitchen after wrapping up his speech in Los Angeles. While the shooting was only recorded on audio tape, the aftermath of the chilling event was actually caught on film, which included this image of a young Ambassador busboy leaning in to hold Kennedy as he lay dying in the kitchen as people rushed to take down Sirhan. The image almost makes the young boy appear angel-like in his pose and he did everything in his power to soothe the dying Senator, who appears to be almost peaceful as he lays there.
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