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24 Shocking Photos With Really Sinister Backstories


The old saying is: a picture can say a thousand words. These following disturbing crime pictures look innocent enough – but when you read their sinister backstories you will be shocked to find out what really happened…

24. Diving Into A Murder Scene

In 2013, diver Gary Stemper took a photo of his wife as they were enjoying an underwater excursion. After the photos were developed it was discovered that the body in the background was that of murdered Tina Watson.

26-year-old Tina from Helena, Alabama, died while scuba diving on her honeymoon in Queensland with her new husband Gabriel “Gabe” Watson. He was initially charged with his wife’s murder after the court believed he killed her to cash in on the life insurance policy.

23. Ted Bundy’s Customised Killing Car 



Serial killer, kidnapper, rapist, and necrophile Ted Bundy killed many young women and girls during the 1970s. Before he was executed, after spending a decade of denying his crimes, he confessed to 30 homicides which he committed between 1974 and 1978. His actual victim count remains unknown.

Bundy would trap women with his handsome looks and natural charisma – they would feel safe with him. He often impersonated an authority figure before overpowering them and taking them to a secluded location. He customized his own car so he could hide their bodies on the floor without people noticing.

22. Wall Street Trader Swallows Cyanide

In July 2012, ruined Wall Street millionaire, 53-year-old Michael Marin, collapsed and died in court after hearing his sentencing. He had been sentenced sixteen-years after the court heard he purposely burned down his $3.5 million Arizona home so he could claim the insurance money.

In the picture above, he can be seen slipping a cyanide pill into his mouth and after the quick-acting toxin went to work he died minutes later on the courtroom floor.

21. Mass Suicide at Jonestown

The Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, in northwestern Guyana, was also known as Jonestown after it was formed by leader Jim Jones. On November 18th, 1978, a total of 909 Americans died from cyanide poisoning, in what cult leader Jones had called a “revolutionary suicide” on tapes recorded prior to the event.

This was the largest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act before September 11, 2001. Still to this day, the Jonestown massacre has been the subject of many conspiracy theories.

20. The DeFeo Family Photo

On the night of November 13th, 1974, Ronald “Butch” DeFeo Jr. shot his parents, two brothers and two sisters with a .35 caliber rifle, all whilst they slept in their own beds at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, Long Island. Above is the DeFeo children (back row, left to right): John, Allison, Marc. (Front row): Dawn, Ronald, Jr. Their parents Ronald and Louise are not pictured.

After the killings, DeFeo Jr.’s defense attorney tried to gain an insanity plea and helped DeFeo testify that he heard voices telling him to murder his family. Little did they know that this fabrication of the truth would result in one of the most well-known horror stories ever told – The Amityville Horror.

19. Tyler Hadley’s Selfie

17-year-old Tyler Hadley took this selfie with a friend at his own house party in 2011. Around 60 of his friends gathered at his house to play beer pong, smoke cigars and drink alcohol. What they all didn’t know was that Tyler had killed his parents, Mary Jo and Blake Hadley, three hours earlier and their bodies were upstairs in the bedroom.

He told a friend when he was drunk, “my parents are dead upstairs” and when he checked – he found out this was not a joke.

18. Elisa Lam Hiding In A Lift

The body of 21-year-old Canadian student Elisa Lam was found in a water tank on the roof of the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles on February 19th, 2013. Maintenance staff found the body when they began investigating complaints from the guests about the funny tasting water.

Her disappearance became even more unsettling when a video released to the public shows Elisa hiding in the hotel’s lift. She runs into the lift, talking and gesturing to something that isn’t there in the hallway outside, and also appears to hide within the lift. Her death still presents many questions that can not be answered. 

17. The Definition of Fear

In 2014, when Melora Rivera woke early in the morning at her Venice, California, home to the sounds of an intruder kicking her front door open, her first instinct was to jump out of her bedroom window and hide on the roof of the house. Riveria told CNN news, “Once I saw him in the house, I knew that we both couldn’t be there.”

Her neighbors managed to capture the moment on their phones, with the intruder sneaking up to her hiding place, as she frantically uses the phone to call the police urging them to hurry.

16. Before Their Deaths On Valentine’s Day

In 1971, 19-year-old Jesse McBane of Pittsboro and his girlfriend, 20-year-old Patricia Mann, took this photo before they attended Valentine’s Dance at Watts Hospital in Durham. The pair were never seen again.

During a search for her the following day, McBane’s locked car was found parked at Hillandale Golf Course known as “lovers lane.”  Then on February 25th, a man found in the woods nearby what he thought was a mannequin’s leg, when he looked closer he saw the young couple lying dead next to each other. They had both been tied to a tree, their upper bodies slumped over, side-by-side together. Investigators discovered they had been tortured to death. The case went cold and still remains unsolved.

15. Moments Before The Omagh Bombing

The Omagh bombing took place on August 15th, 1998, in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The Real Irish Republican Army, a Provisional Irish Republican Army splinter group, carried out the attack that killed 31 people and injured 220 others. Around 2pm, a red Vauxhall Cavalier was driven onto Market Street and two male occupants walked away. It contained 140kg (300 pounds) of fertiliser-based explosive attached to a semtex trigger.

The above disturbing photograph was found by investigators in a camera buried in the rubble. The picture was taken minutes before the bomb exploded, clearly showing the red car with its deadly explosive hidden inside.

14. The Last Photo of Travis Alexander

On June 4th, 2008, Travis Alexander was killed by his ex-girlfriend, Jodi Arias, whilst he was in the shower at his home in Mesa, Arizona. Jodi took this photograph of Travis and then stabbed him 29 times.

His jugular vein, common carotid artery, and trachea had been slashed and he also had defensive wounds on his hands. He was found with a gunshot wound to the head but may have been dead when she shot him. Jodie was convicted of first-degree murder on May 8th, 2013 was sentenced to life in state prison.

13. James Bulger Captured On CCTV

On February 12th, 1993, in Kirkby, England, 2-year-old James Bulger was killed by two 10-year-old boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. At around 3.40pm, Denise Bulger realized that her son had disappeared whilst she was distracted inside a butcher’s shop. CCTV showed that Thompson and Venables had taken the toddler by the hand and lead him out of the shopping center.

They walked with him to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal where they tortured him by kicking his body, throwing bricks and stones, covering him in blue paint and then dropped a 22-pound (10.0kg) iron bar on his head causing ten skull fractures.

12. The Last Photo of Tupac Shakur

On September 7th, 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur was in Las Vegas watching the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon fight. Tupac was captured on CCTV at the MGM Grand hotel engaged in a violent scuffle, alongside his entourage, with a member of the Los Angeles-based Bloods street gang.

This was the last photo taken of Tupac alive. He was a passenger in a car driven by Death Row Records head Marian “Suge” Knight when a white Cadillac pulled up alongside them at a stoplight on Flamingo Road and opened fire. Four shots hit Shakur and on September 13th, 1996 he died of his wounds.

11. The Spy In The Bag

Gareth Williams worked as a code-breaker for the MI6 until he was found dead in suspicious circumstances at a Security Service safe house flat in Pimlico, London, on August 23rd, 2010. Police claimed that Williams’s death was “probably an accident.” Which is quite interesting as his body was found stuffed in a The North Face bag. The bag had been padlocked from the outside and placed in the bath. 

His family believes crucial DNA had been interfered with and all evidence wiped from the scene as part of a cover-up. No fingerprints or traces of William’s DNA were found on the bath, the bag or the bag’s padlock. The key to the padlock was inside the bag, underneath his body. And this was considered an “accident”?

10. The Polaroid of Tara Calico and Michael Henley

On September 20th, 1988, 19-year-old Tara Calico left her home at about 9.30am and was never seen again. No one witnessed her abduction, although some noticed a light-colored pickup truck following her.

Then on June 15th, 1989, a Polaroid photo of an unidentified young woman and a boy, was found in the parking lot at Port St. Joe, Florida. Relatives Tara and of missing local boy Michael Henley, who had disappeared in April 1988, were “convinced” it was them. The woman who found the photo said she found it by a van driven by a man with a mustache in his 30s. He was never caught or identified.

9. “The Most Beautiful Suicide” 



There is not much known about the life of 23-year-old Evelyn McHale or her final hours. She jumped from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building landing on a car below. Many refer to this photo as “the most beautiful suicide.”

8. Inside Jeffrey Dahmer’s Fridge



Jeffrey Dahmer, known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, murdered and dismembered seventeen men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He would strip the bodies of the flesh and store these parts in his fridge at home so he could consume them later. The public was so outraged, he stood trial behind a sheet of bullet-proof glass.

On November 28th, 1994, Dahmer was beaten to death in prison by a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution.

7. Timothy Allen Dick’s Mugshot

Timothy Allen Dick was arrested on October 2nd, 1978, at Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport for possession of over 650 grams (1.43 lb) of cocaine. He was due to be sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges, but he provided the names of other dealers in exchange for a sentence of three to seven years. After serving two years and four months in Federal Correctional Institution, Sandstone in Sandstone, Minnesota, he was freed on June 12th, 1981.

He then changed his name to Tim Allen, began taking acting lessons and ten years later starred on Home Improvement as America’s favorite – Tim Taylor.

6. Myra Hindley Posing Over The Grave Of Her Victim

Between July 1963 and October 1965, the Moors murders were carried out by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in Greater Manchester, England. The victims were five children aged between 10 and 17—Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans.

They dug all the graves on Saddleworth Moor, above is Myra Hindley posing for a photo over one of the hidden graves. Known as “the evilest woman in Britain” she would often return with Brady to take these sinister trophy pictures.

5. John Wayne Gacy as “Pogo the Clown” 



Above, John Wayne Gacy can be seen posing for pictures as “Pogo the Clown” – a character he created who would attend local fundraising events and children’s parties. Gacy went on to become known as the “Killer Clown” after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting and murdering at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978 in Cook County, Illinois. He would even hide the bodies within the crawl space of his own home.

He spent 14 years on death row before he was executed by lethal injection on May 10th, 1994.

4. John Lennon Gives An Autograph To Mark Chapman

On December 8th, 1980, John Lennon left his apartment in New York City and signed an autograph for a fan, Mark Chapman – the man who would shoot him to death hours later. According to Chapman, he had the gun in his pocket when this photo was taken, but he backed out.

At around 10:50 pm, Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono returned, and Chapman shot Lennon in the back four times. Lennon was taken to the emergency room of nearby Roosevelt Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:00 pm.

3. Regina Kay Walters Before Her Death

American serial killer Robert Ben Rhoades drove an 18-wheeler truck which became his own personal torture chamber. It is believed that between 1989 to 1990, he tortured and killed more than 50 women, although he only ever confirmed three victims.

Above is a photo of his last known victim, Regina Kay Walters, which he took moments before he killed her in an abandoned barn in Illinois.

2. Columbine Shooters Class Photo



18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold were the two American high school seniors who committed the Columbine High School massacre. The pair killed 13 people and injured 24 others on April 20th, 1999, before committing suicide in the school library.

Most disturbing of all are their high school class photo where they can both be seen clearly making a shooting target of the photographer.

1. Reynaldo Dagsa Captures His Own Death On Camera

Filipino politician Reynado Dagsa captured his own death on camera seconds before it happened. On New Year’s Day 2011, he stopped to take a family photo and managed to capture the faces of both his killer and a lookout for the killer. Dagsa was rushed to Martinez Hospital but later pronounced dead from the .45-caliber gunshot wound to the head.

The photo was then shown to the police and they were able to make an arrest based on this unbelievable evidence.

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