A Reddit user asked ‘What is a seemingly normal photo that has a disturbing backstory?’ and here are 30 of the responses.
1. This Photo May Not Look Like Much At First
Now, have a look at the guy in the background, top left. Have a look what’s in the background, top right.
That’s the Tank Man from the Tiananmen Square massacre. Thought to be student Wang Weilin, this photo was snapped minutes before the famous one was taken.
Nobody knows what happened to Weilin. He may have been executed, he may still be in prison, he may have fled to another country.
2. Camp Staff Taking A Day Off
These photos of Auschwitz staff enjoying pleasant days off always stick with me. They look like camp counselors, but their job is killing people in horrible ways, and they enjoyed it. Most probably took lives not shortly before or after the photos were taken.
3. Jewish Children Holding Hands As They Unknowingly Walk To Their Deaths In The Gas Chambers At Auschwitz
4. This Is A Pic Of The 1970’s-Era Gameshow, The Dating Game
The circled man is serial killer Rodney Alcala. By the time of that appearance on the show, he had raped several women and murdered at least one.
He won the game, but the woman never went on the date with him. You can imagine how relieved she is.
5. This Photo Always Gets To Me Somehow
Just a couple of astronauts posing in zero gravity happy to have such an incredible opportunity, like astronauts often do. Meanwhile they have no idea that their space shuttle is irreparably damaged, and in fact will be dead in a few days during reentry (which was considered “safe” until then).
It’s the crew for Columbia for those who don’t know, whose tiles were damaged during the launch of the shuttle into space by foam. No one knew how bad the damage was until it disintegrated.
6. Father And Daughter In Omagh, Northern Ireland
This happy photo of the father and daughter was taken moments before the Omagh car bombing in 1998.
The bomb placed by a group known as the Real IRA was in this red car and killed 29 people, including the photographer who took this photo. Both the father and daughter survived.
7. This Photo Creeps Me Out
John Lennon signed an autograph for his killer, Mark Chapman, just a few hours before the murder and then asked him “Is that all?”. Chapman even had a gun on him at the time.
8. The Hartley Violin
This is the Hartley Violin, owned by Wallace Hartley, the bandmaster and lead violinist on the Titanic. It was the one he carried with him and played on the night the ship sank. Survivors reported seeing Hartley and his band on the deck of the ship during the sinking, playing to calm passengers as they boarded the insufficient lifeboats. Hartley and every member of the band died in the sinking. We have his violin because at some unknown point before his death, Hartley tucked the violin back into its monogrammed case for safekeeping. That’s how it was found, floating in the debris field, by one of the ships sent to recover bodies from the wreck. They were able to identify it as Hartley’s because of an engraved brass plate, and it was returned to his fiancé, who kept it until her death. Her family authenticated it and sold it for $1.6M to an organization that collects Titanic artifacts.”
9. Genie Standing For A Photo
Genie was a ‘feral’ child. She was tied to a chair in a room her whole childhood and punished when she made noise.
She was found, rescued, and they tried to teach her to speak, and she actually managed to learn to communicate a bit. By all we know now, she was curious, intelligent, and eager to learn. Her brain had just literally missed the window to learn language.
As far as we know, she’s been in an assisted living facility somewhere.
10. American Physicist Harold Agnew
This is physicist Harold Agnew holding the nuclear core of the Fat Man atomic bomb, which was dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.
The bomb ended up killing about 80,000 people, many of whom died from the long-term effects the bomb caused, like radiation illness and leukemia.