These Haunting Photos Were Taken Moments Before Tragedy Struck


Life is fragile. One second you’re going about the daily grind and a few seconds later you may no longer be alive. In some rare occasions, a photographer is able to capture a final photograph right before tragedy strikes. It doesn’t matter if the photo captures the last moments of a famous person, a group of people, or a single individual, they are almost always haunting in their own right.

Here are some of the most haunting and famous photos taken right before tragedy struck!

The Last Minutes Of John Lennon’s Life


John Lennon was happily signing photos for fans outside of his New York City Apartment in this final photo. Minutes later, Lennon was dead. The Beatles singer and songwriter was murdered in cold blood by Mark David Chapman just ten 10 minutes after this photo was taken. Look in the background of the picture and you’ll notice that Chapman was patiently waiting for the singer’s fans to leave before he shot him to death.


An Act Of Good Turns Into Tragedy


Robert Overacker knew his jet ski stunt over Niagara Falls was dangerous. However, he also wanted to raise awareness about the homeless problem in the area. The 39-year-old stuntman successfully jumped over the falls but his parachute failed to open. Surprisingly he didn’t die on impact, although doctors weren’t able to save his life at Greater Niagara General Hospital. He passed away one hour after this final photo from his life was taken.

The Flight Of The Concorde

Concorde Flight 4590 had barely lifted off the ground when its left-hand engine caught on fire. Seconds later, the supersonic jet crashed into a nearby hotel. The crash killed 9 crew members and 100 passengers. Four people on the ground were also killed as a result of the tragic accident. This was the only crash of the iconic supersonic jet which flew for 27 years. There has not been another supersonic commercial jet in service since the last Concorde was retired.

When Nature Attacks…

Darsh Patel was hiking in West Milford with a group of friends when he captured this photograph of an approaching bear. The photo was captured on his phone which was picked up at the scene of his death. Seconds after he took the picture the bear charged and killed him. The phone was punctured by the bear’s teeth but this photo was able to be downloaded and shared with the world. It’s a grim reminder that when a bear has you in its sights there really isn’t a safe distance.

The Last Photo Of A Comedic Genius

Robin Williams was the type of talent that only comes around once in a generation — if we’re lucky. His humor, kindness, and ability to transform into so many different characters made him one of the greatest film actors of all time. Unfortunately, he also suffered from a lifetime of depression and discovered he was suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. This photo was taken in 2014 with a Dairy Queen employee —  several days later he would hang himself.


A National Loss…

Sabena Flight 548 crashed on its way from New York City to Brussels in 1961. Among those who passed away were the entire U.S. figure skating team. The men and women on that team were last pictured boarding their flight to the World Figure Skating Championship. 73 people lost their lives during the horrific crash. It is a sad reminder that even though flying is considered very safe by most standards, airplane accidents typically cause massive casualties.


A Rare Glimpse Of A Tragic Plane Crash… From Inside.

When we look at the final photos from most flights, we share pictures of fire and smoke. In a rare glimpse into the moments before a crash, someone at Japan Airlines Flight 123 took this photo just seconds before it crashed. The plane plummeted to the ground just 32 minutes after takeoff. 509 people were killed and four passengers miraculously survived. Researchers discovered that an explosive decompression on board was caused by a faulty repair that had been performed seven years earlier.


The Final Seconds Of A Failed Mission

On January 28, 1986, the entire astronaut crew of Space Shuttle Challenger lost their lives. The crew was just 73 seconds into their flight when a booster engine broke apart from its rocket. The launch was being televised nationally which left millions of Americans horrified at the scene they were watching unfold in front of them. These days we don’t see many nationally televised launches that involve live crew members on their way into space.


A Hero And A Tragedy That Rocked A Nation

Columbine high school teacher William “Dave” Sanders sacrificed his own life to save his students. On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered Columbine high school in Jefferson County and attacked students and teachers with guns and pipe bombs. Sanders ran into the school’s cafeteria and warned students that active shooters were on the premises. Seconds later his own life was taken too early. He is credited with saving the lives of hundreds of students thanks to his incredibly heroic actions.