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10 Seemingly Normal Images with Disturbing Backstories

6. This is a 1990-91 NBA Trading Card of basketball player Mark Jackson. In the background, you can see Menendez Brothers, who brutally murdered their parents. The photo for the trading card had been taken after they committed the crime, but before they were caught.

On August 20, 1989, Lyle and Erik Menendez walked into the den of their parents’ Beverly Hills home with a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun. José and Kitty Menendez were sitting on the couch. José was shot in the back of his head. Awakened by the shots, Kitty Menendez got up from the couch and ran toward the hallway.

She was shot in the leg, which caused her to slip on her own blood and fall. She was then shot several times in the chest, arm, and face, rendering her unrecognizable. Both the parents were also shot in the kneecaps to make it look like they had been murdered in connection with an organized crime.

Later that night, Lyle Menendez called 911 and screamed “Someone killed my parents!” When the police arrived, the brothers told them that they had gone to the movies and then to a festival at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

The police did not suspect them, and they never asked them to go through a gunshot residue test to find out if they had used a firearm recently. Since there was little evidence against the brothers, the police failed to look more thoroughly into them.

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In the months following the murders, the brothers began spending their parents’ insurance money lavishly. Lyle bought a Porsche Carrera, a Rolex watch, and a restaurant. His brother, Erik, hired a full-time tennis coach and participated in a number of tournaments in Israel.

Eventually, they left the family mansion and decided to live in condos in Marina del Rey. They drove around town in their dead mother’s Mercedes-Benz SL convertible, went on overseas trips, and dined at expensive restaurants. Experts say that they spent around $700,000 in the time between the murders and their arrest.

At one point, the brothers had attended a basketball game and were photographed. They are believed to be in the background of the 1990-91 NBA Trading Card of basketball player Mark Jackson. (1, 2)

7. This picture, taken on a hiking trip, shows a woman lying in the background. The woman had gone hiking with her friend, but both of them fell and got severely injured. Unable to move, they were left there for a day until they were found by other hikers. The woman in the photograph survived, but her friend did not.

Hikers found injured women
Image credits: u/gadela08 via Imgur

In 2014, Ventura residents Brenden Vega and Saylor Guilliams, both 22-year-olds, went on a hike near Tangerine Falls. Both were fairly inexperienced and they quickly realized that the terrain was more treacherous than they had initially anticipated.

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As the sun started to go down, the pair decided to head back to their car but was unable to find their way back. At one point, Saylor attempted to jump off a rock but landed badly and fractured her left leg.

Things got worse from there. Their cell phones were dead, and they did not have flashlights with them. Brenden tried to carry Saylor, but he fell and shattered his glasses. He also broke his elbow and Saylor’s ankle. Since Saylor was unable to walk, Brenden decided to leave her at the spot and go look for help. That was the last time Saylor saw Brenden alive.

By the next afternoon, Saylor had stopped screaming for help, and she was lying face down in the leaves and mud, delirious and surrounded by flies. Around this time, a group of three hikers approached the area.

One of them, a fourth-year resident at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, saw red hair out of the corner of her eye and saw it move. Upon inspecting Saylor, she found that her injuries were potentially life-threatening.

One of the three hikers used his cell phone to call 911 and emergency services arrived by helicopter soon after. Saylor was airlifted to a nearby hospital. Two days later, she learned that Brenden had been found dead by another group of hikers.

Authorities said that he fell 20 to 30 feet down a rocky ledge and was fatally wounded when he went looking for help. (1, 2)

8. This is the last photo of Thai diver Saman Kunan, who died while performing rescue operations at the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in 2018. While supplying oxygen tanks to the group trapped inside the cave, Kunan lost consciousness underwater and died of asphyxiation.

Saman Kunan
(Right) Last image of Saman Kunan. Image credits: Poom Pui/Facebook via abc.net.au

On 23 June 2018, twelve members of a junior football team and their 25-year-old assistant coach went on a trip to the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand. Shortly after they entered the cave, heavy rains partially flooded the cave and blocked their way out.

Strong currents and rising water levels hampered efforts to locate the group, and they had no contact with the outside world for over a week. Eventually, rescue operations began and involved a massive team consisting of over 10,000 people.

More than 100 divers, 900 police officers, scores of rescue workers, 2000 soldiers, and representatives of around 100 government agencies were involved.

Soon after rescue operations started, maintaining air supply became the number one priority. Hundreds of rescue workers were present inside the cave, which depleted oxygen inside the chamber down to 15%. In the air, the normal oxygen level tends to be around 21%. That is why divers had to make several trips in and out of the cave to supply oxygen tanks.

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On 5 July, one of the rescue personnel, diver, and former Thai Navy Seal, Saman Kunan, died of asphyxiation while supplying oxygen tanks to the trapped group. He lost consciousness underwater while on his way back from supplying air tanks.

His dive buddy tried CPR but had no success. Kunan was brought to a different chamber where CPR was again administered, but they failed to resuscitate him. Kunan was pronounced dead around 1 a.m. on 6 July. (1, 2)

9. In 1975, two brothers climbed Moro Rock in California’s Sequoia National Park and smiled big when posing for a photo that showed their hair standing up. Moments later, they were struck by lightning, and this photo has been used ever since to warn people about the signs of an impending lightning strike.

Michael McQuilken
Michael McQuilken, (right) with his brother, Sean. Image credits: Michael McQuilken/NBC News

In 1975, two brothers, 18-year-old Michael McQuilken and 12-year-old Sean McQuilken, went to Sequoia National Park with their other brother Sean and sister Mary and climbed Moro Rock. When they reached the summit, they noticed that the weather had worsened.

Much to their surprise, the hair on their head started standing up. Amused, their 15-year-old sister, Mary, took some pictures of the phenomenon. Little did they know that this photo will become famous, and also be used for warning others.

Years later, Michael McQuilken remembered that when he raised his arm in the air, the ring he was wearing started buzzing so loudly that everyone else heard it. Unaware that these were signs of the presence of electricity in the air, the group left the summit. Soon, the temperature dropped, and with it, came a hailstorm.

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They had not gone that far when disaster struck. A bolt of lightning struck the two brothers, and Michael remembered the incident as being engulfed in the brightest light he had ever seen. He also remembered a sensation of weightlessness, time slowing down, and a deafening explosion.

When he came back to his senses, he realized that his brother, Sean, had also been struck. Sean had collapsed and was huddled on his knees. Smoke was coming out of his back. He rushed to his little brother and checked if he was breathing and had a pulse.

Sean was alive, but he had suffered severe third-degree burns on his elbows and his back. Though the brothers survived the horrific incident, they made sure never to climb any mountain if there is a chance of a thunderstorm. (1, 2)

10. This photo of Travis Alexander was taken by his ex-girlfriend, Jodi Ann Arias, who stabbed him to death in his house the same night.

Travis Alexander
Travis Alexander. Image credits: Pool photo via Dailymail.co.uk

In 2006, Travis Alexander met 26-year-old Jodi Arias at a Las Vegas conference. Arias was a beautiful, blonde, and carefree aspiring photographer, and Alexander was a salesman, motivational speaker, and devout Mormon. When the pair met, they had an instant connection. They started dating, and despite living in different states, they continued their long-distance relationship.

However, since the beginning, Alexander’s friends began noticing some red flags in Arias and grew concerned about his safety. As the relationship between Alexander and Arias got more and more volatile and toxic, friends started to warn Alexander.

After five months of being together, Alexander broke up with Arias. After a few weeks, she moved to Mesa where Alexander lived. Arias began to show up at her ex-boyfriend’s house unannounced and let herself in after unlocking the garage door. While Alexander was angry at times by this intrusion, the couple would sometimes become intimate.

Meanwhile, Alexander had also begun dating another woman named Lisa. Occasionally, Arias would try to scare Lisa by knocking on her door and running away. After living in Mesa for about eight months, Arias went to her family’s home in California. However, Alexander and Arias kept in touch.

In 2008, Alexander had planned to attend a company retreat in Mexico with a Mormon woman he had started dating. He never went to the retreat, and his friend did not hear from him again. After five days of no contact, his friends visited his house and found a horrific scene.

As it turned out, on June 4, 2008, Arias and Alexander were at his house in Mesa. Arias stabbed Alexander 27 to 29 times. Alexander also had a slit throat along with a gunshot wound to the head. The medical examiner also revealed that he had defensive wounds on his hands. Alexander died of blood loss at the age of 30. (1, 2)

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