Google image searching is so useful for so many things. But there are some things you may want to avoid searching for photos of, because let me tell you, you can find pretty much anything, which is not always a good thing. And sometimes, even without searching for anything grotesque, you come across it, anyway. What sorts of things would be so horrible, you may ask? I am talking about cringe-worthy photos, disgusting images, those moments captured on film that are altogether nauseating. Things like that.
One example of such a photograph is the crime scene photo. Given that our society is quite desensitized nowadays, graphic images may not have the same effect on us as they once would have. But we are still human, and there are definitely photos out there that still have the ability to sicken us, especially if we are looking at one of our fellow human beings who has been brutally murdered, tortured, and/or dismembered. The blood, gore, body parts, and whatever else happens to be at the crime scene may be commonplace on television and in movies, but something about knowing you are looking at a real person who has experienced such pain and horror is terrifying, and difficult to see.
Certain crimes take brutality to a whole new level, and these are the crimes that you should avoid Google image searching, especially if you have a weak stomach. This is a list of 15 of the worst crime scenes authorities have come across, although sadly there are far too many to ever list them all in one place. That being said, don’t worry- the images of these grisly murders will remain on Google and away from here (I have selected photos that represent the crimes, and/or blurred out the bad parts). Should curiosity get the better of you, you know where to find them and you can Google your heart out. For now, here are the gory details, and the photos that only hint at the level of depravity you can find on Google.
If you Google image search “Columbine crime scene”, you will probably be ok… unless you click on one of the options at the top to narrow your search. Those options are “Leaked”, “Victims’ Bodies”, and a few others. If you click on those, you will see up-close and personal shots of the dead students. They are very graphic photos, and I do not know why anyone would want to see them. It is worse than a normal murder scene, if there is such a thing, because the victims were children, and there were so many of them. There are a few particular shots that struck me as being worse than the others, like the close-up, bloody face of one student lying on the ground, or the photo that shows four students shot and dead by the entrance. Surprisingly, the photos of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the killers, are hard to stomach as well, even though they were responsible for the senseless deaths of 12 of their schoolmates, one teacher, and themselves.
14. Travis Alexander
Travis Alexander was the ex-boyfriend of Jodi Arias, before she murdered him in cold blood. Her defense was that she killed him in self-defense, but after the jury saw the photos of the crime scene, they found her guilty of first-degree murder, and she was sentenced to life in prison. It all started when Jodi, who was obsessed with her ex, started to stalk him after he broke up with her and began to date someone else. Alexander was stabbed 27 times and his throat was slit from ear to ear. Close-up images of it are on Google images (you can literally see into his throat it is so close), as are photos of all the other injuries he sustained. The stab and gunshot wounds, a bullet lodged in his head, and even his naked body curled up in a fetal position on the shower floor are all easy to find on Google, if for some reason you would want to.
13. JonBenet Ramsey
Any child murder is especially hard to hear about and see photos of because they more than any victim are so undeserving of such an awful fate. The beautiful and talented young pageant princess, JonBenet Ramsey, became forever infamous in death when she was murdered on Christmas night 1996, at the age of six. Her body was found in the basement of the family’s home, and her skull had been fractured and she had been strangled; the garrote was still tied around her neck. All of this is shown in graphic detail in the crime scene photos and autopsy photos that can be found through a simple Google image search. It is heartbreaking and unnecessary to go hunting for such photos that preserve her in our memory in that horrible way. This is a photo of the little girl’s hand, on which a pink heart was drawn into the palm.
12. Kermit Gosnell
Former abortion-provider Kermit Barron Gosnell was convicted of murdering three babies who were born alive during what were supposed to be abortion procedures. As sad as it is to hear about, it is about a million times worse when you see the photos of the babies. In 2011, Gosnell was charged with the murders of seven babies in total, whom he killed by severing their spinal cords with scissors, and he was charged with the death of a woman who died following her abortion procedure. Two years later, he was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three of the babies, and involuntary manslaughter in the death of his patient. Well known in the Philadelphia area for his work, he had had several prior complaints over the years, and when his clinic was finally raided in 2010, authorities found a “filthy, deplorable unsanitary, outdated, horrendous” place that smelled of urine. This was his clinic and is now known as his “house of horrors”. Never, ever Google image search his poor, tiny little victims, because there are easy-to-find pictures out there of the babies and the cuts to their spinal cords that killed them. You have been warned.
11. Reeva Steenkamp
Reeva Steenkamp was the model girlfriend of South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, who infamously went to trial for her murder. Photos taken at the scene of the crime show Steenkamp’s dead body, which had been shot through the bathroom door in the head, elbow, and hip. The three military-grade Black Talon bullets that killed her are designed to get bigger once they make impact with their target, so that made her injuries even worse than what they would have been otherwise. The police photographer, Morne du Toit, who arrived just minutes after her death, now suffers from PTSD from the scene, and left his job three weeks later, never to return. He was admitted to the hospital for depression and PTSD, and if that is not telling as to how gory the murder was, I don’t know what is. As you can see, close-up photos of her face post-mortem and still at the crime scene are not hard to find, and they are even labeled.
10. The Black Dahlia
Murder victim Elizabeth Short was known as “The Black Dahlia”, which was the moniker the actress went by. She was killed , cut in half, and mutilated at the age of 22 in 1947, and left in a parking lot. Her killer was never found, but in addition to all of the above that the killer had done to her, he had also drained her body of blood and scrubbed it clean. Detective Brian Carr with the Los Angeles Police Department worked on this case for a long time, and said of the crime scene, “I just can’t imagine someone doing that to another human being.” So you can imagine what the photos, even being in poor quality from so long ago, would be like. If you do Google image search this case, be prepared for what you will find.
9. Ed Gein
Most of us are familiar with the “work” of killer Ed Gein, who was the inspiration for several movie serial killers, like Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Norman Bates from Psycho. Implicated in the deaths of two women in the mid-1950’s, Gein murdered them, practiced necrophilia with their corpses, and then used them for human taxidermy, creating masks and other things like lamps from their skin. If you search for Ed Gein or his creations on Google, I guarantee you will cringe. It is very disturbing to see the skin of those poor women turned into household items, and the masks especially are unsettling to the core. Before turning to murder, Gein had been a grave robber, digging up recently buried women and then cutting off their body parts to keep as trophies. It was not long before this morbid obsession turned into something much more horrific.
8. Meredith Kercher
Meredith Kercher was the British foreign exchange student studying in Italy and rooming with the now-infamous Amanda Knox when she was murdered, and her case became known worldwide after American Amanda was the prime suspect and served time for the crime. In Perugia, Italy in 2007, Amanda and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, discovered her flatmate dead in her room. Police footage that was released (and is therefore readily available on the internet for your viewing pleasure) show the deceased on the floor under a blanket, her foot sticking out. Her body was covered in bruises and cuts, and her neck was slit so harshly that it nearly decapitated her. Bloody fingerprints on the walls and pools of Kercher’s blood could be found in her bedroom, and there was a lot of it. It was a pretty horrifying crime scene, and one I would steer clear of seeking out online.
7. Princess Diana
Although it is widely debated over whether the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, was due to an accident or a conspiracy, either way it was a gruesome death, and the photos are out there to prove it. The accident that killed her, Dodi Al Fayed, and their driver took place on August 31, 1997 in Paris, France. Their chauffeur, Henri Paul, was inebriated, and was driving the car at 100 mph trying to get away from the paparazzi. Neither passenger nor Paul were wearing a seatbelt, and all of this, of course, contributed to their deaths. However, months prior, Diana had said that there was a plot to assassinate her, and in fact, an inquest found that Diana was unlawfully killed by the driver. So perhaps it was not a direct murder by him, nor by the paparazzi, but they both played a role in her death, and that is a crime. And there is always the possibility that there was a conspiracy against her, and that, like Diana herself said, it included tampering with the brakes on her car. Either way, do not Google image search it, because you will find the beautiful princess’ face bloodied beyond recognition, among other things, and that is not how she should be remembered.
6. Dorothy Stratten
In 1980, Dorothy Stratten was Playboy Playmate of the Year. It was also the year the 20-year-old was gruesomely murdered by her husband and former manager, Paul Snyder. He then killed himself, and the photos of the murder-suicide are gag-worthy at best. Both bodies were found the next morning by Snyder’s roommate (the couple was separated). The bodies were naked, and it is believed that Snyder raped and murdered his wife before turning the gun on himself, because he was convinced he had lost her since her career was blossoming and Hugh Hefner was pressuring her to leave him. If you Google image search this, the very first picture you will see is of a face-down Dorothy, with her brains all over the floor, which I have blurred out for you (you’re welcome). Then there are some zoomed-out photos of Snyder in the background that are not any less gory.
5. The Hinterkaifeck Murders
The Hinterkaifeck Farm was the site of the Gruber family massacre that left six people dead. 60 miles north of Munich, Germany in 1922, Andreas Gruber, his wife, daughter, granddaughter, grandson, and housemaid were bludgeoned in the head. The crime scene told a nightmarish story of that night, in which it appeared that the granddaughter may have survived the initial attack and been the last to die. The murder weapon was a pickaxe, so you can imagine the horrors that were found in the family’s barn. The youngest victim was two-year-old Josef, who was suspected of being the product of an incestuous relationship between Andreas Gruber and his daughter Viktoria. But like the murders, no proof was ever found of the incest. The case remains open to this day, almost 100 years later. The photos are disturbing more than gory, but they still leave you feeling unsettled and thoroughly creeped out.
4. Jeffrey Dahmer
Everyone knows the grisly details of serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer’s crimes, which were, if anything, morbidly creative. His 17 victims were all male, and they were killed, raped, mutilated, dismembered, and stored in his refrigerator or eaten. While experimenting with different ways to do a lot this, Dahmer drilled into the back of one victim’s head and injected hydrochloric acid into the front sections of his brain to try and create a sex zombie. Another creative experiment he conducted was painting a victim’s brain, and he often photographed the process of cutting up the bodies. If you ever Google image search Dahmer or his victims, be prepared to see all of this, including victims’ dismembered bodies, blood, their parts in containers in his fridge and freezer, and photos of his apartment where it all went down.
3. John F. Kennedy
One of the most notorious crimes of the 20th century was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. The photos of him riding in the 1961 Lincoln Continental in Dealey Plaza, Houston, alongside his wife Jackie Kennedy are famous. The less famous photos are the ones that are widely available on Google of his autopsy, his injuries close-up (meaning his head wound), and the blurry but discernible pictures taken while his body was still in the car. The worst ones show him on the autopsy table with his head ripped open and gushing blood and brain matter, or any photos that show his head, at all. It is almost disrespectful that so many such detailed and gruesome photos of our 35th president are out there on the internet. No one needs to see that.
2. The Keddie Murders
The Keddie Murders is the name of a 1981 quadruple homicide that occurred in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the Northern California town of Keddie. Glenna Sharp, her two teenaged kids, and one of their friends were at a cabin in the former resort town (her three other children were there, too, but one had spent the night elsewhere, and the two others were found in the cabin uninjured). Three of the four victims were found tied up and bludgeoned with a claw hammer. Two of them had been stabbed repeatedly, including in the throat, and one had been manually strangled. The fourth victim was not found at the cabin, but 29 miles away. No one has ever been caught for the crime, but as you can imagine, it was a pretty terrible scene to discover. That means that the photos are just as bad. The worst are the ones that show the heads bashed in. Trust me on this one, and do not go looking for those pictures, as they are truly the stuff nightmares are made of.
1. Jack the Ripper
Google image search Jack the Ripper, and you will see pictures like these, the bodies of Mary Kelly (who is widely believed to be Jack’s final victim) and others. Mary and four other women are called the “canonical five”, meaning they are five of the 11 murders in the Whitechapel district of London in 1888 that were the most likely to be linked. All five were prostitutes, and they were all killed and mutilated in an unusual manner that indicated their killer had a keen knowledge of the human anatomy. Although he was never identified or captured, Jack the Ripper, as he is called, is one the world’s most infamous serial killers, due in part to the manner in which he killed. The “ladies of the night” that were unfortunate enough to run into him were humiliated, mutilated, stabbed, and disemboweled. Jack would cut out their organs, and in the case of Mary Kelly, her throat had been slit down to her spine. Many of their faces were hacked or mutilated. These are the kinds of images you will find in a Google image search of Jack the Ripper, although they are not very good quality and that, perhaps, makes them all the creepier.