They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes you need those thousand words to truly understand the gravity of the image. Case in point, take a look at the following images.
At first, the images look relatively innocent; they show friends at parties, kids in malls, or high school seniors, but when you understand the context, the pictures will shake you to your core.
Columbine High School
What looks like nothing more than a senior group photo in a high school yearbook is anything but. If you look closer (the top left corner of the frame), you'll see a group of teenage boys pointing imaginary guns towards the camera. If you look even closer, you'll see that within the group are Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the shooters at Columbine High School.
Upon first glance, it looks as if this is just simply an innocent photograph of two teenage friends posing for a quick selfie at a house party. While the part about the two friends taking a selfie together is true, there is nothing innocent about this picture.
Hours before taking the picture, Tyler Headley, the boy on the right, viciously murdered his parents in the very house where he would throw a massive high school party in July 2011. Headley wanted to throw a party to impress his friends from school but knew that his strict parents wouldn't allow it. Instead of simply not throwing the party and going about his business, the high school junior bludgeoned his parents with the claw side of a hammer.
The image in question was taken just after Headley admitted to his friend that his parents' bodies were rotting in the master bedroom.
Huntington Beach Police Department
Rodney Alcala, better known as "The Dating Game Killer," is connected to anywhere from 8 to 130 kidnappings, rapes, and murders throughout the United States between 1971 and 1979. Alcala's nickname comes from his 1978 appearance on The Dating Game, which took place in the midst of his nearly decade-long killing spree.
What's more troubling is the fact that there are still dozens of possible unidentified victims from Alcala's' time in the New York City metropolitan area in the early 1970s, which includes the image shown above. This photo was one of the hundreds released by the Huntington Beach Police Department in 2010 in an attempt to identify even more of his Alcala's victims. The woman in the picture, however, has yet to be identified, with Alcala himself not even knowing her identity or even her fate.
Bond County States Attorney's Office
Moments after the above image was taken, Regina Kay Walters became just another victim of Robert Rhoades, AKA "The Truck Stop Killer." Though initially off-putting, the image becomes even more sinister when you discover that this image shows the final moments in the 14-year-old's short, troubled life.
Rhoades kidnapped Walters and her boyfriend, Ricky Jones, in Pasadena, Texas, in February 1990. He quickly killed Jones and disposed of his body in Mississippi, but would take Walkers on a two-week journey through the heartland of America in what was described as a "traveling torture chamber." Over the course of the following two weeks, Rhoades subjected Walters to unspeakable pain and suffering before finally strangling her death along Interstate 70 in rural Southern Illinois.
This picture was taken mere minutes before Walters breathed her last breath.
In February 1993, 2-year-old James Bulger was last seen on the grainy closed-circuit security camera being led away, hand-in-hand, by one of his eventual murderers. Hours later, Bulger's would be dead at the hands of Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, both 10 years of age.
Without knowing anything about the story attached to the image, you would think that it was just some random security footage of a boy guiding his younger brother through the crowded shopping center. Only if that were the case.
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