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People Are Sharing Normal Photos With Very Disturbing Stories, And You’re Going To Want To Keep The Lights On For This

I clearly wasn't planning on sleeping tonight.

Recently, Reddit user u/KermitTheFraud92 asked, "What is a seemingly normal photo that has a disturbing backstory?" and you'll definitely want to read this during the day.

Here's what people shared:

1. Polish Constitution Day celebration in Chicago

First Lady Rosalynn Carter shaking hands with serial killer John Wayne Gacy
AP Associated Press

"This is a picture of First Lady Rosalynn Carter in 1978 shaking hands with serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who was active in politics at the time." 


By that time, he had already killed over 20 young men. He's wearing an "S" on his lapel, which was given to him by the Secret Service to indicate that he'd been given security clearance. The picture was even signed, "To John Gacy, best wishes, Rosalynn Carter."

2. American volcanologist David A. Johnston

American volcanologist, David A. Johnston sitting at the Mount St. Helens eruption site in 1980
United States Geological Survey / Via

"Thirteen hours after this photograph was taken on May 18, 1980, [Mount St. Helens] erupted and killed 57 people, including volcanologist David A. Johnston." 


His body was never found, and his last known words were, "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!"

3. The Station nightclub in Rhode Island


"This was taken at the Station nightclub during Great White's performance before it caught on fire by fireworks, leaving 100 people dead." 


There weren't any sprinklers, so the fire spread in less than five minutes. This was the fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in US history.

4. Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571

Survivors from the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash
Unknown / Via

"This picture was taken of a group of survivors of the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash in the Andes. They were eventually saved but had to resort to cannibalism to survive. They are all smiling in the photo, but it becomes eerie when you see the human spine to the right of them in the picture." 


They were stranded for 72 days, and eventually 16 survivors were rescued. The wildest part is that they were only 18 miles away from a hotel, but they hiked in a different direction to look for help.

5. Franklin Delano Floyd and Suzanne Marie Sevakis

Franklin Delano Floyd and his stepdaughter, Suzanne Marie Sevakis, posing for a family photo
The Doe Network / Via

"This is the leading image on Franklin Delano Floyd. In actuality, the little girl is Floyd's stepdaughter, Suzanne Marie Sevakis, who he'd kidnapped around 1974, when Suzanne was under 10 years old.

He would go on to raise her as his daughter, putting her through high school under several pseudonyms, have a son with her in 1988, and marry her in 1989, under the name Tonya Hughes.

By 1990, Suzanne had decided to leave Floyd and take her son, Michael, with her. In April of that year, she was found beaten and bruised on the side of a highway, and she subsequently died in the hospital. Michael went into foster care and was adopted, only to be kidnapped by Floyd in 1994 and to never be seen again."


6. John Edward Robinson and his family

John Edwards Robinson holding Tiffany Stasi as a baby
Unknown / Via

"This is serial killer John Edward Robinson (yellow sweater) holding baby Tiffany Stasi, whose mother he murdered the day before.

He later gave baby Tiffany to his brother, saying she was adopted. His brother, along with Tiffany, didn’t find out the truth for 15 years." 


Only eight of his victims have been identified, and he's been on death row since 2000.

7. The Lawson family

The Lawson family posing for a portrait
Unknown / Via

"Dressed in their finest, a picture made for the holidays, and no one knowing that the father (Charles Davis "Charlie" Lawson) would kill most of the family (and himself) days later." 


The motive is still unknown, but many suspect that it was due to a head injury Charlie suffered from or incest between him and his oldest daughter, Marie. Only his oldest son survived because he wasn't home, but he later died in a car accident at 32.

8. The Whitakers at a graduation dinner

Bart Whitaker, right, with his mother, Trisha, and brother, Kevin, at his graduation celebration dinner
Kent Whitaker / Via

"The kid on the right, Bart Whitaker, had paid two of his buddies to murder his family that night. They would kill the mother and brother, but the father, who took the photo, survived." 


Bart was later sentenced to death, but after his father strongly opposed it, Texas Governor Greg Abbott granted him clemency, and he is now serving a life sentence.

9. Tyler Hadley's Florida house party

Tyler Hadley holding a cup and posing with his best friend Michael Mandell
Michael Mandell / Via

"This is a photo of Tyler Hadley, the one holding a cup, at a party at his house.

Just before this party, he murdered his mother and father with a hammer and hid their bodies in the master bedroom." 


During the party, Tyler showed his best friend, Michael Mandell, the room where he killed his parents, and he took this photo because he wasn't sure when he'd see Tyler again. 

10. Father and daughter in Omagh, Northern Ireland

A father with his daughter sitting on his shoulders in the street
Unknown / Via

"This happy photo of the father and daughter was taken moments before the Omagh car bombing in 1998." 


The bomb placed by a group known as the Real IRA was in this red car and killed 29 people, including the photographer who took this photo. Both the father and daughter survived.

11. La Mataviejitas, Juana Barraza

All Things Interesting / Via

"Here is Juana Barraza, former Luchadora and Mexican serial killer. Her mother sold her to a man for three beers when she was 12 until her stepdad found her at 17. Ended up with four failed marriages and four kids and worked doing odd jobs as a cleaner. She strangled old ladies that reminded her of her mother by pretending to work for the government." 


12. Missing Big Island hiker

Missing Hawaiian teen posing in front of rocks; a man hiding in the bushes
Hawaii News Now / Via

"A kid went missing while hiking a spot on the Big Island of Hawaii. He texted some pictures of the scenery while he was hiking. After he never showed up at home, his family noticed somebody lurking in bushes in the photos he sent. [If I remember correctly], my family that live in Hawaii said the spot is illegal to hike at, so it’s not like it would have been a heavily populated trail." 


13. Genie standing for a photo

Genie posing for a photo
Bettmann / Getty Images

"Genie was a 'feral' child. She was tied to a chair in a room her whole childhood and punished when she made noise.

She was found, rescued, and they tried to teach her to speak, and she actually managed to learn to communicate a bit. By all we know now, she was curious, intelligent, and eager to learn. Her brain had just literally missed the window to learn language.

As far as we know, she's been in an assisted living facility somewhere."


14. JP Morgan and Lya Graf

JP Morgan holding Lya Graf in his lap at a Senate Banking Committee hearing
Everett Collection Historical / Alamy Stock Photo

"This photo of JP Morgan and Lya Graf, a performer for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, caused her to become an overnight sensation, but she couldn't deal with all the attention. So she moved back home to Germany, where she was later arrested and sent to Auschwitz for being Jewish and she was deemed an unfit human." 


Not much is known about her, but it's assumed that she and her family did not survive.

15. The Hartley Violin

The Hartley Violin
Peter Muhly / AFP / Getty Images / Via

"This is the Hartley Violin, owned by Wallace Hartley, the bandmaster and lead violinist on the Titanic. It was the one he carried with him and played on the night the ship sank.

Survivors reported seeing Hartley and his band on the deck of the ship during the sinking, playing to calm passengers as they boarded the insufficient lifeboats. 

Hartley and every member of the band died in the sinking. We have his violin because at some unknown point before his death, Hartley tucked the violin back into its monogrammed case for safekeeping. That's how it was found, floating in the debris field, by one of the ships sent to recover bodies from the wreck.

They were able to identify it as Hartley's because of an engraved brass plate, and it was returned to his fiancé, who kept it until her death. Her family authenticated it and sold it for $1.6M to an organization that collects Titanic artifacts." 


16. American physicist Harold Agnew

Harold Agnew holding the nuclear core of the Fat Man atomic bomb
Harold Agnew / Via

"This is physicist Harold Agnew holding the nuclear core of the Fat Man atomic bomb, which was dropped on Nagasaki in 1945." 


The bomb ended up killing about 80,000 people, many of whom died from the long-term effects the bomb caused, like radiation illness and leukemia.

17. Camp staff taking a day off

SS personnel posing for a photo
World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

"These photos of Auschwitz staff enjoying pleasant days off always stick with me. They look like camp counselors, but their job is killing people in horrible ways, and they enjoyed it. Most probably took lives not shortly before or after the photos were taken." 


Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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