22 Chilling Photos Taken Moments Before Tragedy Struck


It's a good idea to keep your camera handy, because you never know when history is going to be made.

These 22 photographers were in the right place at the right time, and captured images that proved to be really lucky.

1. Reynaldo Dagsa shoots his killer

Daily Mail

Dagsa was a Filipino politician, and he snapped this photo while celebrating with his family on New Year's Eve, 2011. The men in the picture are criminals who assassinated Dagsa moments later, but they were caught thanks to the man's incredible timing.

2. No way out

Gineers Now

Two men trapped on a windmill 260 feet above-ground embrace in 2013. Neither made it off the structure alive.

3. The Sultana


Paroled prisoners pack the deck of this paddle-wheeler ship in the final photo before it was destroyed in 1865. The explosion of three of the ship's boilers killed more than 1,200 people.

The Sultana explosion is still America's deadliest maritime disaster.

4. Robert Overacker's big jump


Stuntman Robert Overacker's jump over Niagara Falls in 1995 was only meant to raise awareness for homelessness. When his parachute failed to deploy, he fell over 160 feet to his death.

5. Japan Airlines flight 123


A passenger snapped this photo moments after the massive Boeing 747 suffered an explosive decompression. The plane soon crashed into a mountain, killing 505 passengers and 15 crew members. The 1984 accident is still the deadliest single-plane crash ever.

6. Five feet from destruction


A pair of Spanish tourists pose in Omagh, Ireland in 1998. The red car beside them contains a bomb which exploded minutes later, killing 29 people.

Ironically, the man and the young girl in the picture both survived, while the cameraman was killed.

7. Too close for comfort


After noticing a black bear had been following him, hiker Darsh Patel and his four friends stopped to take pictures of the animal. They let the animal come within 15 feet of them before running away, and Patel wound up snapping a photo of his killer.

8. Air France 4590


This photo captures the dramatic moment when a Concorde airplane took off for the final time in 2000. A piece of debris had punctured the plane's fuel tank, and it crashed into a hotel shortly afterwards, killing 100 passengers, nine crew members, and four of the hotel's customers.

9. Before the wave

Phillip Ide

This photo was recovered from British tourist Deborah Garlick's camera months after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. The final shot on Garlick's camera roll shows her lounging on Maya Bay beach, Thailand, likely only moments before the killer wave struck.

10. Last glimpse of MLK

ABC 13

We'll be honest: this photo was snapped a day before Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in Lorraine, Tennessee. But it's still eerie to see him standing in the same place he would be shot and killed less than 24 hours later.

11. The team waves goodbye

In this photo, the 1961 U.S. Olympic figure skating team smile for the cameras before boarding a plane for Brussels. When it crashed, all 18 members on board were killed.

12. The Kennedy assassination


President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy smile at the crowd in 1963, just minutes before the president was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

13. MH17

Daily Mail

Passenger Gary Slok shared this selfie of him and his mother, Petra, shortly after Malaysian Airlines flight 17 took off from Amsterdam. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board died when the plane was shot down by rebels over Eastern Ukraine.

14. Beautiful, but deadly

The Hindu

A man named Maqsood was trying to get a closer look at the Delhi zoo's white tiger when he fell into the enclosure. Moments after this photo was taken he was mauled by the animal.

15. The doomed ship


Sally Odell's relatives were first class passengers on the Titanic, which famously struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage. As they were rescued from the sinking ship, they snapped what is believed to be the final photo of the Titanic above-water.

16. John Lennon meets his killer

Lennon (left) signs an autograph for Chapman (right).NYDN

When the singer returned home to his New York apartment late on the night of December 8, 1990, his killer was waiting outside for him.

Incredibly, Mark David Chapman asked Lennon to sign an autograph for him before shooting the musician. This picture captures the bizarre moment.

17. Paul Walker's last ride


In this chilling photo, the actor known for his role in the Fast and the Furious franchise steps into the Porsche Carrera GT that would kill him just minutes later. Walker's friend was behind the wheel when the car spun out of control, hit a tree, and burst into flames.

18. The Station nightclub fire


The band Great White's pyrotechnics made a insulation panel catch fire during a show in 2003. In the rush to escape the burning building, 100 people were killed. You can see one of the musicians noticing the fire in the left side of the photo.

19. The St. Louis glider


What you're seeing is the cabin of the Waco CG-4 glider on its maiden voyage, with 10 special guests including St. Louis mayor William D. Becker on board. Minutes later, the glider's wing snapped off, sending all 10 men crashing to their deaths.

20. #3's last race


A smiling Dale Earnhardt shakes a security guard's hand just before the 2001 Daytona 500. On the final lap of the race, the famous NASCAR driver crashed into a wall, and he died instantly.

21. Regina Key Walters


This is the last known photo of 14-year-old runaway Regina Key Walters, who was hitchhiking with her boyfriend when they were both picked up by Robert Ben Rhoades - also known as the Truck Stop Killer.

Rhoades snapped photos of a number of his victims just before their deaths.

22. James Dean fuels up his death car


Movie star James Dean is seen at a gas station with his Porsche 550 Spyder, nicknamed the Little Bastard. Just after this photo was taken, Dean died in a car crash. Since his death, the Spyder has acquired a sinister reputation as a "cursed" car hellbent on killing its owners.

These photos are chilling, but you have to admit they're pretty incredible.