The last known photos of celebs serve as a reminder that life can end without warning. Prepare for a recap of the most shocking, mysterious and tragic deaths of the last decades.
17 haunting shots will make you swear the photographer acted on behalf of the Grim Reaper.
1. Space Shuttle Challenger
Houston, we got a problem! What could be more disturbing than to see joyful folks heading for their death?
Seven astronauts lost their lives when Space Shuttle Challenger blew up 73 seconds after take-off, in what was one of the biggest tragedies of the last century.
You might not know them by their names, but the brave men and women that perished on January 28th, 1986 entered the history books as heroes.
It’s hard to say how shocking it was for them when the red lights turned on. We will only mention the fact that some members of the crew survived the initial blast and died because they crashed on the ocean’s surface.
However, the photo shows the bright side of outer space travel. Before life ended abruptly, astronauts enjoy good moments in the spotlight.
The next photo is heartbreaking, even for those that are not fans of the genre.
2. Leonard Nimoy
Fans of Star Trek will be devastated to see the last known photo of their beloved Spock.
You can’t call yourself a Trekkie if you are not able to recognize Leonard Nimoy. Indeed, the sad old man in the wheelchair is none other than the talented actor that entertained generations of sci-fi junkies.
Leonard died at the age of 83, after battling a condition that most physician blame on heavy smoking – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The death of the Romulan was the low point of 2014, a year much gentler with aging celebs than 2016.
Coming to terms with the death of Nimoy was not easy. However, remembering some of Spock’s most famous words might help – “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
He looked back at the camera for one last time before becoming a legend.
3. Tupac Shakur
The last photo ever taken of Tupac is more than it seems.
When 29-year-old Leonard Jefferson took a picture of Tupac leaving a boxing gala, his life was about to change. The last frame showing the rapper alive went viral back in 1996 and scored him a career as a filmmaker.
For fans all over the world, the emblematic photo turned into an icon. 2Pac became a martyr of the many gang feuds that dominated the world of rap during the 1990s.
You don’t end up a legend unless you die in your twenties. If you believe in reincarnation, 2Pac is probably enjoying the hundreds of millions his tragic death draw to his name.
There is nothing more disturbing than seeing one of the evilest personalities coming to terms with the great redeemer. His eyes will stare right in your soul.
The last photo of Lenin is more disturbing than all others combined.
By the time the unknown photographer snapped this gem for the history books, Lenin already went through three strokes and was severely incapacitated. The artisan of the Communist Revolution in Russia died in 1924 at the age of 53, after having enjoyed power for only a short period.
Although official biographies blame Lenin for being a workaholic, there is an alternate theory coming to suggest that the great man had its sins and paid for them. Lenin contracted syphilis from a Parisian prostitute and died from complications.
Most people die surrounded by friends, family, or colleagues. The next man died alone in the wild and became famous contrary to his wishes.
5. Chris McCandless
Chris McCandless was a youngster that could not resist the call of the wild.
Chris ventured into the endless forests of Alaska just to die of food poisoning. The last photo of him shows a weak and frail man with a sinister look on his face. Days after it was taken, McCandless became increasingly thinner and eventually died.
Chris McCandless was a rebel without a case that got a shot at fame just because author Jon Krakauer decided to make a big deal out of his case. Soon enough, hippies around the country started backpacking in search of their very own magic bus.
If you are not familiar with the story, take a look at the movie the story Chris McCandless inspired. “Into the Wild” will tell you what led to that haunting final photo.
Everyone knows what happened to our next celeb. He played with fire too many times!
6. Steve Irwin
Steve Irwin died at the hand of one of the animals he loved so much.
That’s not correct from a strict point of view because stingrays don’t have hands. Instead, the cornered animal used its barb to deliver repeated strikes at Steve’s heart.
The last photo of Steve Irwin (if you don’t count the video footage) shows him on a boat near Batt Reef, Queensland. Irwin was part of the production crew for “Ocean’s Deadliest” when the documentary turned vividly real.
The beloved Australian died at the age of 44, leaving many fans in absolute agony. What were their reasons? Most of them were convinced it would be a crocodile to deliver the last blow.
Something is shocking about the next pic. It caught both the celeb about to die and its killer.
7. John Lennon
No last photo is worse than one which shows both the killer and the victim.
John Lennon can be seen signing an autograph for Mark David Chapman, the same man that will gun him down hours later. What is even more shocking is that the executioner had no plans of fleeing the scene. He waited for the police to come reading a few page from “The Cather in the Rye.”
Few people know that Lennon was close to being deported from the United States. His support for the anti-war movement opposing the campaign in Vietnam led to FBI surveillance.
Although Lennon’s death shocked the public, many fans will tell you he had it coming. Since he began hanging out with Yoko Ono, the most emblematic of the Beatles changed for the worse.
Getting killed by the same thing that made you famous is one of the life’s many ironies. The final photo you are about to see will make you think twice about speeding.
8. Paul Walker
Paul Walker’s final photo shows him while in the passenger seat of his red Porsche.
Minutes later, the car crashed into a concrete lamppost. You could say that Walker was the fast and the furious, but that would be a terrible pun played upon fans of the series.
The truth is that the man driving the car for Walker took a turn at more than 160 km/h. That kind of things might work on a Hollywood set when a professional stuntman is behind the wheel.
What they don’t tell you when you buy that brand new Porsche at the auto dealer is that you need to drive such a car on a constant basis to keep in its best shape. The nine-year-old tires were given too much to handle and lost their grip, causing the crash.
Let’s move on to someone else’s last photo. The whole world was relieved when this 90-year-old died. You have to see it!
9. Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro died so recently his body might still be warm.
The man that brought a small red dot of communism on the map of the Western hemisphere passed away at the age of 90. The last public photo shows him greeting Vietnamese officials, or “comrades” like the Commies like to call themselves.
The death of the Cuban dictator ended an era of bitter relations with Uncle Sam, of which it is worth remembering the Missile Crisis of the 1960s. Yep, Castro was so belligerent back in the days when he was young that he almost caused a nuclear wipe-out.
Castro’s death was good news for at least some of us. The embargo on Cuban cigars recently ended, and we can feast upon the unforgettable flavors.
You might not cry after seeing Fidel’s last glimpse of fame, but the next final photo will crush you. He died so long ago, yet his vibes still raise hairs on your hand.
10. Freddie Mercury
Seeing the last known photo of Freddy Mercury is painful.
Any fan would be fooled to believe the emblematic performer lived a blissful existence at his Kensington residence. The reality was quite different.
Mercury died at the age of 45 due to bronchial pneumonia. The condition that is otherwise highly treatable was made worse by the fact that AIDS severely weakened the artist’s body.
Mercury’s final years were far from being glorious. Although living in comfort due to the phenomenal success of his music, Mercury contracted the deadly virus and became a favorite victim of tabloid media. Everyone wanted a bite, so the actor turned into a victim that did not have the strength to come out clean.
It was only 24 hours before his death that the artist finally admitted the source of all the troubles. Freddy’s death in 1991 might have devastated an entire generation of fans, but is also made him immortal in their hearts.
Let’s move to a photo that gives no clue of the horrors about to happen. Another rapper gets shot dead at the height of success. Check it out!
11. Biggie Smalls
This photo will haunt you!
Biggie Smalls appears alongside friend and music associated Puff Daddy, just hours ahead of the horrific shooting that left him dead.
Biggie attended the Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles, just two days before being ambushed by a still unknown killer. Four bullets where enough to kills the not so small “Smalls.”
Of course, it is impossible not to pair his death with that of Tupac. With only six months in between, there were many to view a connection hidden in plain sight.
Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. had a good share of insults delivered through rap verses, at the height of what was a civil war in that segment of the music industry.
The East Coast–West Coast rap feud left many loose ties even 20 years after its most dramatic events.
What is more daunting than to see a young man looking with pride at the car that will ultimately kill him?
12. James Dean
Millions of young fans had their hearts broken when the tragic news of James Dean’s death made a full circle.
The “rebel without a cause” perished in a freak car accident. The one to blame goes by the name “Little Bastard,” a Porsche 550 Spyder many biographers considered to be cursed.
Some wise words from a fellow actor describe what happened with James Dean postmortem. “Dean died at just the right time. He left behind a legend.”
The last known photo of James Dean shows him while he was preparing to fire up the Porsche. Accompanied by Rolf Wütherich, a German mechanic invested in looking after the car, Dean crashed into a 1950 Ford Tudor.
The photo gives away no detail of what was about to happen. September 30, 1955, was a fair weather day. Dean was anxious to reach Salinas for a racing event.
The next photo will make you cry. Your favorite comedian forces a smile upon his face just days ahead of taking his life.
13. Robin Williams
You could take Robin Williams’s last photo and view it as a metaphor for the condition that forced him to commit suicide.
Williams had a monkey on his back, and its name was depression. You might be the funniest guy in Hollywood, but when life loses purpose, there are few things money can do to help.
The same man that played Mrs. Doubtfire hung himself using a belt and died from asphyxiation. As you probably sense, this was the low point of 2014, a year that took many other famous people with it.
The death of Williams sent shock waves around the world and made us think deep about the double life most celebs have. It is enough to listen to the tear-jerking confession of his wife, who described the mental disorder as “the terrorist inside my husband’s brain.”
Take some extra napkins with you. The next photo has the potential to sadden you deeply.
14. Steve Jobs
What can be more devastating than to see the man that governed a technological breakthrough come to terms with his delicate human nature?
Apple did not lose only his CEO, but the one that mentored an entire generation of programmers and designers. Jobs died on October 5, 2011, after years of battling pancreatic cancer. His case was rather unusual because tumors found in that part of the body usually kill in less than a year.
The photo is more than daunting. Job’s assistant looks like the messenger of death, set to take him to meet his maker. Black is nothing new in Jobs’s attire. However, the 56-year-old looks devastated by the disease.
We should all pay a small homage. We owe jobs the iPhones and iPads from which we read this article.
Cancer also killed the next celeb on the list. However, his last photo sends a happier message.
15. David Bowie
Music icon David Bowie died this year, driving an impressive number of youngsters to discover his tunes and rebel against modern music.
The last photo of the charismatic black-eyed British singer is part of a series meant to promote his 28th studio album. “Blackstar” took everyone by surprise. The album sold incredibly well mostly because the artist died just two days after its release.
What is even more heartbreaking is that fans had no clue that Bowie battled liver cancer in the last year and a half of his life.
The black fedora and slim suit make the singer look unusually elegant. The photo that first appeared on the artist’s Instagram account is in sharp contrast with the flamboyance typically associated with David Bowie.
Let’s move on the last pic of a famous person no one misses.
Although fuzzy, the photo leaves no doubt that the man on the right was the artisan of one of the greatest wars ever seen on our planet.
Germany’s brutal dictator appears just days ahead of admitting defeat and committing suicide. His posture denotes helplessness as, one after another, his generals brought worrying news from all fronts.
Hitler decided to put an end to his life right after marrying his lifetime girlfriend, Eva Braun. The dictator shot himself just three days before Allied troops captured Berlin.
If the death of a tyrant did not impress you, take a look at the last photo of a TV character we all loved.
17. James Gandolfini
2013 was a harsh year that took James Gandolfini away from us.
The leading actor from “The Sopranos” got his last photo taken while enjoying a holiday with the family in Rome. Given the fact he visited the Eternal City at the height of the summer, you know who to blame for his death.
The 51-year-old suffered a deadly heart attack after a day packed with sightseeing in sweltering heat.
Tony Soprano felt at home on the crowded and bustling streets of Rome. You will be sad to know he died just days ahead of traveling to Sicily, where he was expected to collect another award.
You can say that justice worked in an ironic way. After whacking so many on screen, the man playing Tony Soprano died in the very heartland of the Mafia.