While some of these photographs were taken days or even weeks prior to the subject’s death, others were taken just moments before. Mahatma Gandhi, for example, was photographed just seconds before the other man in the picture, Nathuram Godse, shot him to death. These haunting images reveal the last seconds of some people’s lives, making people wonder if they could see their deaths coming or if they were oblivious to the imminent danger. The last photograph taken of John Lennon is particularly disturbing.
The conservationist, Steve Irwin, often put himself in dangerous situations and eventually lost his life on 4th September 2006. Irwin died as a result of a poisonous spine from stingray entering his heart. The Australian zoologist was stabbed hundreds of times by the stingray while filming on the Great Barrier Reef 13 years ago. According to the cameraman, Justin Lyons, who was with Irwin in his last moments, Steve “… had a two-inch-wide injury over his heart with blood and fluid coming out of it”. Steve’ last words were, “I’m dying”.
This photograph of the London-borne singer was taken just 11 days before Amy Winehouse passed away on 23rd July 2011. The 28-year-old’s death was caused by a combination of bulimia and an alcohol overdose. Although Winehouse’s father, Mitch, has since said his daughter was on the road to cleaning up her life, having been drug-free for several years, he said, ” This was someone who was moving towards abstinence. But unfortunately, she didn’t quite make it”. The Rehab singer was just 28 years old at the time of her death.
This photograph was found in Chris McCandless’s camera after he died sometime in August 1992. An enthusiastic hiker who called himself Alexander Supertramp, McCandless had set off on a solo mission to Alaska, where he hoped to live off the land. His body was found in a dilapidated bus by a hunter on 6th September. The cause of McCandless’s death has been the subject of some debate, with many believing he simply starved to death and others, including author Jon Krakauer, suggested he accidentally poisoned himself by eating potato seed.
This Canadian comedian was photographed on the set of Wagons East just days before he died of a heart attack. Candy was filming in Mexico when he died and, the evening prior to his demise, cooked lasagne for his colleagues before going to bed. The next morning, on 4th March 1994, Candy was found dead, with the cause of death believed to be a heart attack, although no autopsy was done. The Planes, Trains and Automobiles star had struggled for some time with health issues relating to his weight.
The star of I Love Lucy was photographed at the Academy Awards ceremony just weeks before she passed away. Lucille died in April 1989 after a seemingly successful operation to repair an aortic rupture. Although the actress and comedienne showed signs of recovery, on the morning of 26th April, she awoke with back pains and soon lapsed into unconsciousness. Attempts to resuscitate her failed and she subsequently died as a result of what doctors believe was a second rupture of her main artery. Keep reading for more revelations.
The first female Prime Minister of the UK was known for her strength and fortitude. This image was captured just before she celebrated her 87th birthday on 13th October 2012. The politician passed away six months later on 8th April 2013 as a result of a stroke. Although there were mixed reactions to her death, Thatcher was given a ceremonial funeral with military honors and a church service held at St Paul’s Cathedral. As the leader of the Conservative party, Thatcher served as Prime Minister for over 11 years.
This photograph of model and bodyguard, Anna Loginova, was taken not long before her untimely death in January 2008. The Russian beauty was killed in Taken at a photo shoot shortly before her death. A few months previously, Loginova managed to fight off an attempted carjacking but, this time, her bravery and strength couldn’t save her. Loginova fought to regain possession of her Porsche, before being flung from the vehicle, colliding headfirst with the sidewalk. The 30-year-old was dead before the ambulance arrived.
The British actor, Alan Rickman, was snapped looking healthy and well-groomed shortly before he lost his battle with cancer. Although the Harry Potter star kept his diagnosis private, it has since been revealed that he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in August 2015. The actor passed away on 14th January 2016 at the age of 69. Rickman’s last two movies, Alice Through the Looking Glass and Eye in the Sky, were dedicated to his memory. Rickman was survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Rima Horton
The Who drummer, Keith Moon, was pictured at a party on the evening of his subsequent death on 7th September 1978. The musician was known for his self-destructive tendencies and eccentric style of playing. Along with his fellow band members, Moon recalled, “[We] went through the same stages everybody goes through – the bloody drug corridor”. His death was the result of a combination of alcohol, cocaine and a drug called Heminevrin which is designed to help those addicted to alcohol. He died at his rented apartment in Mayfair, London.
Diana, Princess of Wales
The much-loved ex-wife of Prince Charles, Diana died tragically in a car accident in Paris while being pursued by members of the paparazzi. Diana died on 31st August 1997 and was greatly mourned. Known as “The People’s Princess”, Diana was famous for her charitable endeavors, particularly her work in trying to prevent the use of landmines. She was just 36 when she died, and the circumstances of her demise caused world-wide uproar and sparked numerous conspiracy theories, including one that the royal family had ordered her death.
A fan of the Star Wars celebrity took this photo just before Carrie Fisher embarked on a flight to Los Angeles. Minutes before landing, the actress suffered a heart attack believed to be caused by sleep apnea, which makes it difficult to breathe while sleeping. Fisher was rushed to hospital but passed away four days later, on 27th December 2016. Her mother, Debbie Reynolds, died the next day. A coroner’s report revealed that Fisher had drugs in her system but couldn’t confirm if they had contributed to her death.
This image shows the former Chancellor of Germany presenting Iron Crosses to the young soldiers fighting the Soviet Army in Berlin. Taken at the end of April 1945, this was one of the last times the Nazi leader left his secret shelter before he took his own life, alongside his wife Eva Braun. The couple took cyanide tablets together before Hitler shot himself with his service revolver in order to avoid capture. Both bodies were burned, although Hitler’s body was later identified by his distinctive lower jaw.
Although this photo was taken years before her death in 1945, it is the last known surviving image of Anne Frank. This young girl became world-famous after her book, The Diary of a Young Girl, was published after her death. Anne Frank and her family famously hid from the Germans during the Second World War. German soldiers discovered Anne and her family on 4th August 1944 after which she was taken, along with her sister, also pictured, and her mother to Auschwitz, where she died less than a year later.
This was the last time Cobain would ever be photographed for a Nirvana publicity shoot. The former frontman was pictured here some five months before he committed suicide. The songwriter was just 27 when he died, and a high level of heroin was found in his bloodstream. Cobain is believed to have shot himself although conspiracy theorists have come up with an array of alternative scenarios. Nevertheless, the singer had a long history of depression and drug abuse, making most people believe that he took his own life.
Just hours after this photograph was taken, Elvis Presley was lying dead in the bathtub. This was taken early in the morning of 16th August 1977, just as the King of Rock n Roll was returning to Graceland after a visit to the dentist. Presley’s unhealthy lifestyle involved a combination of a decadent diet and a drug habit that left his heart compromised. He died of a heart attack when he was just 42 years old, leaving a world in mourning. For next heart-breaking story photograph, keep clicking.
Taken just a few days before Williams committed suicide, this image was captured of the actor hanging out with his pet monkey, Crystal. The Good Morning, Vietnam star was wrongly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and it subsequently turned out that he was suffering from the debilitating Lewy’s body dementia which can cause depression. His wife, Susan Schneider, later said, “Robin was losing his mind and he was aware of it…”. The star hung himself in his Paradise Cay home on 11th August 2014, aged 63.
The iconic Hollywood legend was photographed just as he was about to embark on his final journey. This shot was taken shortly before he stepped into his Porsche Spyder 550 to drive along the famous Route 466 in California. Dean was known for his love of fast cars and, on that fateful day, was involved in a collision with another vehicle which left him with a broken neck and extensive internal injuries. With Dean was the mechanic, Rolf Weutherich, who survived the accident but has never spoken of it.
Two days before his untimely death, Michael Jackson was photographed rehearsing for his comeback concerts. This image was captured just two days before the pop star went into cardiac arrest at his Los Angeles home. Although Jackson was rushed to hospital and several attempts were made to resuscitate him, he was pronounced dead on 25th June 2009. The singer was found to have consumed a combination of anti-anxiety drugs, prescribed to him by his personal doctor, Conrad Murray. The American cardiologist was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Jimi Hendrix’s girlfriend, Monika Danneman, took this photo of the famous guitarist with his favorite instrument, known as Black Betty, on 17th September 1970. Hendrix is sitting in the garden at the back of her apartment in Samarkand Hotel, where, the next day, he would be found dead. Hendrix was discovered to have taken a large number of sleeping pills, along with several other drugs. The “greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music” died after suffocating on his own vomit. Stay tuned for more heart-rending stories.
This haunting image of a very gaunt looking Steve Jobs was taken on 26th August 2011. The Apple chief died a couple of months later on 5th October after pancreatic cancer had spread to other parts of his body. According to his biographer, Jobs regretted not having surgery sooner, having decided to pursue alternative methods of healing instead. He was diagnosed in 2003 and eventually succumbed to the disease eight years later. His sister, Mona Simpson, revealed that his last words were, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow”.
Of all the images included in this article, this is probably the most disturbing. Taken on the day Lennon was murdered, he’s pictured signing an autograph for the very man who would kill him hours later. Mark David Chapman shot the singer outside his home and later confessed to the crime saying he did it because he wanted to be famous. In a book published last year, author John Potash, claims the CIA trained Chapman to assassinate Lennon in a bid to stop him influencing others with his left-wing opinions.
Taken on the set of his last movie, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, this image of Heath Ledger was taken just days before his tragic death on 22nd January 2008. The actor died of an accidental overdose after combining prescription drugs with sleeping pills. Reports indicate that Ledger’s sister, Kate, warned him about taking the pills together on the evening of his death but Ledger brushed off her advice, saying, “‘Katie, Katie, I’m fine now. I know what I’m doing”. The actor had apparently struggled with insomnia since childhood.
This is another eerie image which literally captures one of Tupac Shakur’s last moments on this earth. The hip-hop star was severely injured after a gunman shot at him in Las Vegas on 7th September 1996. The celebrity was rushed to hospital but died of a heart attack less than a week later. Conspiracy theories have abounded since Tupac’s death, with some believing he faked it. The evidence they claim supports this notion includes the fact that his social security number was never registered in the death index.
It must be said, the actress and singer doesn’t look her best in this photograph, taken two days before she died. Houston was snapped leaving a club in Hollywood on 9th February 2012 and was found dead in her Beverly Hilton Hotel suite two days later. Her death was caused by accidental drowning and it seems the star had passed out in the bathtub after consuming a combination of prescription and recreational drugs. Friends say the star was battling to reconcile her private self and her public persona.
This photograph of the Queen lead singer was taken some time in 1991, before he passed away due to bronchial pneumonia on 24th November, aged 45. Although Mercury repeatedly denied having tested positive for HIV, in a statement released two days before his passing, the singer confirmed he had AIDS saying, “… I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private to date to protect the privacy of those around me”. Don’t go, there’s more.
Martin Luther King
These two photos were taken a day after each other. The one on the left shows Rev. Martin Luther King outside a motel in Memphis, with other civil rights leaders. It was taken on 3rd April 1968. The photograph on the right was taken moments after King was shot, allegedly by James Earl Ray. King was rushed to hospital but attempts to revive him were futile and he passed away on 4th April at 7:05 pm. Conspiracy theories indicate that Ray was framed, something even King’s family seem to believe.
This image of River Phoenix was captured on location during the filming of his final movie, Dark Blood. The actor passed away two days later, on 30th October 1993. Phoenix had plans to perform at Johnny Depp’s Hollywood nightclub later that night with his close friend, Flea, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He never made it onstage, however, collapsing outside The Viper Club after having overdosed on a combination of morphine and cocaine. The actor was just 23 years old at the time.
The peaceful political activist is seen weaving his way through a crowd of people on 30th January 1948. The other man in the photograph is his assassin, the Hindu extremist, Nathuram Godse. Godse approached Gandhi as though to offer him a traditional greeting but, instead, drew a pistol from his pocket and shot him three times. The 78-year-old politician was carried to the nearby Birla House where he died half an hour later. Although Godse tried to justify his actions in court, he was found guilty and sentenced to death.
Just before Mexican superstar Jenni Rivera and friends took to the skies out of Mexico’s Monterrey International Airport, one of them took this last shot of the Mexican singer. The Learjet 25 that the singer and her companions are sitting in crashed just 10 minutes after leaving the ground, killing the seven people onboard on 9th December 2012. Among those pictured are Rivera’s make-up artist, Jacob Yebale and her publicist, Arturo Rivera. The fatal crash was believed to be related to a faulty fuel system.
On the night of March 9th, 1997, the Notorious B.I.G was photographed leaving a party around midnight. The rapper left with his friends and entourage but, while stopped at a red light, an unidentified man shot him four times in the chest. The star was rushed to hospital but died soon after. Biggie’s death has often been linked to that of his former friend and fellow rapper, Tupac, who was killed in a similar incident six months previously, but neither case has been solved.
Snapped just before she took off on a worldwide flight, Amelia Earhart is pictured with her navigator, Fred Noonan on 2nd July 1937, just before the pair disappeared. Her death has been shrouded in mystery for years but, earlier this year, researchers announced they had found what they believed to be the famous pilot’s bones and a woman’s shoe on a small island of Nikumaroro, one of the Phoenix Islands in the Pacific. It is believed Earhart’s plane crashed on the island and she and Noonan died there as castaways.
This picture of Paul Walker was taken on 30th November 2013 as he left a charity event. Walker joined his friend Roger Rodas in the red Porsche which, just minutes later, crashed into a lamp post while traveling at high speed. The car burst into flames, killing both men. It has since been found that both the driver and vehicle were partially to blame and, last year, Walker’s daughter, Meadow, settled a lawsuit against Porsche after it was found Walker died in the fire after being trapped by his seatbelt.
John F. Kennedy
This image of John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie Onassis, was taken just before shots were fired and the President was assassinated. One of the most controversial murders in history occurred on 22nd November 1963 when the President was traveling through Dallas, Texas. Initially, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with the murder, only to killed himself two days later by nightclub owner Jack Ruby. There has never been a satisfactory conclusion to the assassination, allowing conspiracy theories to run wild over the past 55 years
Taken just days before the iconic actress was found dead in her home, Monroe looks happy and carefree, enjoying the summer sun with her friend, jazz musician Buddy Greco. The actress was found dead at 3:30 am on 6th August 1962 after psychiatrist, Dr. Greenson, broke into her home, concerned for her well-being. Dr. Greenson had prescribed Nembutal to help combat Monroe’s chronic insomnia and it seems she overdosed on the pills. Her death was ruled a suicide, although the police report suggested it was accidental.
2016, the same day as the singer released his final album, Blackstar. Bowie had been diagnosed with liver cancer some months prior to his death but kept his illness a secret until he passed away on 10th January. The album is considered his swan song. In one interview, Bowie admitted that he didn’t expect to be remembered for his music, instead suggesting, “I’d love people to believe that I really had great haircuts”.
This one scary selfie! Professional wrestler, Chris Benoit was photographed on 22nd July at his physician’s office in Georgia. Over the course of three days, between the date this photograph was taken and the 24th July, it was discovered that Benoit had killed both his wife and seven-year-old son, before taking his own life. His physician, Dr. Phil Astin, was implicated in the traumatic events after admitting he had supplied Benoit with steroids, although there was no concrete evidence that the drugs caused his patient’s violent behavior.
Taken in Germany a few months prior to the musician’s death, this is the last known image of Bob Marley who suffered from a rare type of skin cancer. The was in Germany getting alternative treatment for his condition. Sadly, the controversial Issels treatment had no discernible effect so, after eight months, the reggae star headed home to Jamaica. Sadly, he never made it. During the flight, his condition worsened and, after landing in Miami, he was rushed to hospital where he died on 11th May 1981, aged 36.
This image of the former Doors frontman and his girlfriend, Pamela Courson, was taken on 28th June 1971 in Paris. A few days later, Jim Morrison was found dead in the bathroom of the apartment the couple had rented on Rue Beautreillis. Although over the years, different versions of the events leading up to his death have emerged, they all agree that he died of heart failure caused by a heroin overdose. The singer was buried in the Parisian cemetery, Père Lachaise, along with other famous figures, including Oscar Wilde.
Racing driver legend, Dale Earnhardt, is pictured here about to embark on the last race of his life. Taken at the Daytona 500 race on 18th February 2001, Earnhardt is pictured walking towards his stock car, hand in hand with his wife, Teresa. On the final lap of the race, Earnhardt crashed into the wall around the track, after connecting with two other vehicles. He was cut from the car and taken to the nearest medical center where he was declared dead. NASCAR has since improved various safety measures.
During her last public appearance on 3rd December 2009, the actress Brittany Murphy was photographed repeatedly. These images are the last ones of the blonde beauty who died a couple of weeks later, on 20th December. The young celebrity collapsed in her bathroom, crying, “Mommy, I can’t catch my breath. Help me,” before falling into her mother’s arms. Her death was believed to be caused by a combination of anemia, pneumonia and drug intoxication. Doctors later indicated that her death could have been prevented if she had sought proper medical assistance.