If you are anything like us, you may remember the way you saw the world as a child. Limited to the areas and people directly around you or the family friendly fare you saw on television, it was hard to know that the world was a messed-up place pretty much wherever you go. Now that we’ve grown into adulthood, however, we’ve learned about the world as it is and it can be a scary and unkind place. We haven’t traveled the world nearly enough to have firsthand knowledge of all of the off-putting situations around the world, nor would we want to, but that doesn’t make us ignorant to them.
With the creation of cameras, it became possible for a single person to push a button on the device, take an image and change the world because of it. Spread through the internet, the news, and newspapers, pictures of the most important events are seen by millions of people with the ability to change minds. Unfortunately, on the scary side of the calculation, there seems to be photos taken of grisly and horrific scenes every day all over the world. That is why it is true that there are far too many photos taken already this year that are so affecting that we can’t just shrug them off and walk away. Realizing that is what inspired us to put together this list of the fifteen most chilling photos of 2017, so far.
In order for an image to be up for consideration for inclusion on this list, it first needs to include content that is likely to cause a feeling of fright in the viewer. It may not have that effect on someone from their first viewing but as long as that is possible, once an image is put in the proper perspective, it could wind up here. Next, it needs to have been taken in the year 2017. As a result, all of the images you’ll see here were snapped during the first part of 2017, as far as we can tell. Finally, screenshots of media of any kind were also up for consideration as there isn’t any real practical difference between them and a photograph.
15 Protestor Sucker Punch
There has always been a disconnect between the two sides of the aisle in American politics but it seems as though that chasm is larger today than it has been in decades. When Donald Trump was elected President, there was a great deal of joy in one part of society while it seemed like another group took it as a personal blow. Unfortunately, judging from much of the online discourse and rising tensions at protests, it appears that has only gotten worse since and one recent incident seems to have stoked the fires of discontent. When a protest in April resulted in violence, there was one image that was seared into the brains of much of the public to our disgust. That is the moment where a white supremacist by the name of Nathan Damigo, sucker-punched Louise Rosealma directly in the face. A horrible image in and of itself, it also sent a chill up our spines to see the oftentimes vitriol filled discussions that appeared where it was posted online.
14 United Airlines Controversy
Once upon a time, taking a flight seemed to be a luxurious experience judging by how it was shown in movies and on television; but over the years, that has changed. These days, many people feel as though the airlines almost come across as bothered to let us on their planes and treat their customers like they are fortunate they were allowed to board. Photos and videos taken on an overbooked United Airlines flight that featured a ticket-holding customer named David Dao being forcibly ripped out of his seat and dragged away made that seem more palpable than ever. Eventually shown to have been bloodied and quite possibly concussed, people from a multitude of countries reacted in disgust to both the violence and the feeling that the airlines do whatever they please.
13 Daycare Gone Wrong
A large portion of parents would likely tell you that one of their biggest concerns has been finding a daycare in which it seems like their children will be treated well. After all, if you are going to put your kid in the care of someone for several hours a week, it is of paramount importance that they are worthy of your trust. That is why it was so horrifying to see an image like this one of a daycare worker pushing a defenseless child down stairs. Fortunately, her pathetic attempt to make it look like she was anything less than monstrous once she realized she was on camera, accomplished nothing and she was charged with three crimes. Still, this was a reminder for a lot of people that they could never be one hundred percent sure that the people who take care of their children are as they seem.
12 A Family’s Anguish
When we decided to put together this list, there was no doubt that the so-called “Facebook killer” and his horrific crime needed to be represented. Considering the cruel and senseless murder of an innocent seventy-year-old man who only had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it was in itself an unforgettable and unforgivable event. However, we had no desire to show the face of the killer as publicizing him seems like something he may have enjoyed and we would hate to play into that. Additionally, including one of the images from the streamed video where his victim’s life was taken felt disrespectful to the man whose life was snuffed out. Instead, we opted to show this image of the family members of the victim in clear anguish at their loss because it is haunting to imagine losing someone in a similar fashion and it shows the cost of such a deed.
11 “Snapchat Murders”
If you were unaware of this case, we are sad to inform you that a pair of thirteen-year-old Indiana girls had their young lives taken from them earlier this year. An event that has come to be known as the “Snapchat Murders,” they were able to send out an image and voice recording of the person that is believed to have killed them prior to their demise. You may be wondering why this image is linked to the horrific incident, however, especially since you are only looking at a single person, but let us inform you that a photo of Abbie that was taken by Libby, is the last known image taken of either of them before they were killed.
10 Bathroom Bills Continuing Protests
Over the last few years, there have been several states in America that have moved to legally require people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the s*x they were at birth. A bigoted idea that was sold on baseless fears that allowing transgender people to use the same facilities that people that were born as the s*x they identify as will somehow result in s*x crimes, it is just plain wrong. An insult to people that have done nothing to deserve it and in some cases may put them in danger, its only purpose is to comfort a slew of close-minded people that fear abstract and wrong ideas. So, if you feel the same we do on the subject, you may be wondering why we find a photo of people protesting due to Texas considering such a bill so chilling. That is because the very fact that such an argument needs to take place in our society is alarming.
9 White House Climate Change Position
Speaking of arguments, it should be abundantly clear at this point that we should do whatever we can to protect our planet in the years to come. Despite that, the American government under Donald Trump has systematically lessened a series of measures designed to do just that in the name of economic growth. While they pay lip service to keep our world healthy, like President Trump tweeting about Earth Day and celebrating lakes and land, their actions tell a very different story. At this point, none of this should be surprising, as they almost immediately scrubbed the white house’s website of any hints of a desire to put the environment first as evidenced by this image.
8 Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting
Taking place on January 6th, 2017, the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting started the year off in the worst way possible for those involved. An event in which a man opened fire on a mass of people indiscriminately, it resulted in the death of five people, shooting injuries to another six, and thirty-six more who were hurt trying to escape. Clearly awful in a macro sense, it is made all the more real when looking at an example of a smaller group that was affected directly. Case in point, you are looking at a photo of Kari Oehme, a woman that was shot in the shoulder but survived her injury. That may not seem so bad but she was also hurt in a manner she will likely never heal from, as her husband and traveling partner, Michael, lost his life that day.
7 Canadian Mosque Shooting
Another mass shooting from January, this one took place in Quebec City, when a man entered a mosque and attacked the people gathered inside. Fortunately, the person responsible was arrested and charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder, but that does little to heal the heartbreak he caused. Seen here, the President of the Islamic Cultural Center, Mohamed Labibi, was unable to hold back his emotions while speaking about what had happened at a news conference shortly afterward. We can’t blame him in the slightest as we can’t even imagine what he and the regulars of the mosque must have felt that this took place.
6 California School Shooting
We touched earlier on how awful it was for us to see images of a daycare worker abusing a child but that pales in comparison to an event like this one. A shooting that was perpetrated by the “estranged husband” of one of the teachers working at a California elementary school, he shot his ex but paid no attention to the two kids that were behind her. At least one of his bullets passed through her body and injured one child and killed another. Then he took his own life but we don’t feel too bad about that one at all. Already awful due to his three victims, the fact that his actions will probably have traumatized every kid attending the school, several of which can be seen huddled together here, makes it all the worse.
5 Nightclub Shooting In Istanbul
It makes us sad to say that there have already been far too many terrorist attacks this year to include them all here. One of the most deadly of them, more on that later, the nightclub shooting in Istanbul went down in the early hours of January first as people celebrated the turn of a new year. Entering the packed club with an AK-47 a gunman killed a police officer and a bystander by the entrance and then unleashed hell on the rest of those inside. Firing more than one hundred eighty rounds, he wound up taking the lives of thirty-nine people and injured another seventy on top of that. A picture of one of his many victims being carted away from the mayhem by emergency workers, it isn’t overtly gory but still, shows the toll his actions had on those present.
4 Denis Voronenkov’s Murder
There has rightfully been a lot made of Russia’s interference in America’s Presidential election last year and their current efforts to undermine democracy in Europe as well. However, there are a surprisingly large amount of people that are unaware of the fact that several individuals have lost their lives in highly suspicious fashion of late as well. Chief among them is Denis Voronenkov, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin who was gunned down in March of this year. A man that previously decried the annexation of Crimea and that was helping prosecutors build a treason case against Putin and an ally of his, his death has been called an “act of Russian state terrorism".
3 Syrian Mass Grave
When speaking of the Syrian government killing their own people with chemical gas prior to launching an attack against the country, there is one thing President Trump seemed most affected by. “When you kill innocent children … that crosses many, many lines” is what he was quoted as saying after viewing footage of the grisly aftermath of the event and we can’t blame him. In fact, the images of kids gasping for air as a result were too appalling to even be considered chilling. Instead, it is this photo of what appears to be a mass grave dug to house dead bodies that were created that day we chose to include here. Evidence of how expansive the damage done was, it is made all the worse when reading about the stories of some of those affected. That is especially true when it comes to Abdel Hameed Alyousef, a man that lost his twin children, wife, and at least twenty relatives in total.
2 Aleppo Suicide Car Bombing
On April fifteenth of this year, Aleppo was rocked when a car bomb was detonated near a grouping of buses that housed people attempting to escape a pair of war-torn towns. Resulting in the gruesome killing of at least one hundred and twenty-six people, at least eighty of which were kids that had their lives taken from them that day, it disgusts us to our core. An image that shows off just how powerful the blast was, the sheer quantity of damage dealt to the bus, and the debris thrown around gives us the ability to imagine how it may have felt for its occupants. As gruesome as such thoughts are, they are made all the worse by our realization that anything we could conjure in our minds must have paled in comparison to the reality.
1 Mirage House, Greece:
Even more deadly than the terrorist attack we just covered, when at least Taliban fighters attacked Camp Shaheen, the results for those inside were devastating. The amount of the dead is in dispute, the Afghan government says one hundred forty but the media claimed as many as two hundred fifty-six, but one thing is clear, many people would never return home. Using a pair of military vehicles, weapons like rocket-propelled grenades and other firearms, they were able to take advantage of the fact that many of the men inside the base were unarmed. In this photo of a body of one of the dead being carried by a group of men, it is abundantly clear that the departed are far from numbers and that should be heartbreaking to all of us.