We all document our lives to some degree with pictures, but most of us tend to only take snapshots of the happier moments.
Unfortunately, some people have had the worst moments of their lives captured on camera — even during events that led right to their deaths.
From people helplessly trapped atop burning structures to the last known photos of murder victims, here are eight disturbing images that tell horrifying and heartbreaking stories.
1. In October 2013, four engineers were performing maintenance at the top of a wind turbine in the Netherlands when it suddenly caught fire.Two of the people were able to get off safely, but the stairs leading down were engulfed in flames.With the only exit blocked, the remaining workers stood atop the gondola next to the turbine before one of them jumped to their death.The other engineer stayed and died in the fire.
2. Thirteen-year-old Omayra Sánchez Garzón was living in Armero, Colombia, when the Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted in 1985.
Her home was destroyed by a mud flow and she was pinned beneath the debris for three days in water.
It was impossible to free her without cutting off herlegs, so doctors agreed that letting her die was more humane becausethey didn’t have the necessary equipment to safely amputate.Her slow deathwas documented for 60 hours by journalists who did their best tocomfort her.
3. In 2013, a crane operator in Ontario, Canada, became trapped when a fire broke out at the partially constructed apartment complex just below him.He was forced to crawl to the end of the crane before a RoyalCanadian Air Force sergeant was lowered from a helicopter to rescue him.Fortunately, he survived.
4. This photo of 14-year-old Regina Kay Walters was taken in an abandoned Illinois barn by serial killer Robert Ben Rhoades — who converted the sleeping cab of his truck into a torture chamber for his victims just before he killed her.He had cut off her hair and made her wear the black dress and heels before capturing the photo.
5. On July 16, 2011, 17-year-old Tyler Hadley (right) beat his parents to death with a hammer at their home in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.That night, he threw a party at the house while their bodies remained in their bedroom.He took this photo with his best friend, Michael Mandell, moments after telling him about the murder and showing him the bodies.
6. This CCTV footage captured the last documented moments of two-year-old James Bulger‘s life.The little boy was led away from the New Strand Shopping Centre in England by 10-year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables before they tortured and murdered him in 1993. Bulger’s mother had left him alone for a few minutes.
7. In June 1989, this Polaroid photo was found in the parking lot of a convenience store in Port St. Joe, Florida.The identities of the bound and gagged individuals have never been confirmed, but the young woman is believed to be 19-year-old Tara Calico, who disappeared in 1988.According to Calico’s mother, the book in the picture was one of her favorites.