#1 John F. Kennedy Assassination
we would guess this is the death that has probably been seen more on television than any other in the history of death caught live on film. Unless you were in Dallas that morning in 1963, you probably didn’t see this as it happened. For years people wondered if someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald (a name you’ll see again on this list) was not the only person responsible for Kennedy’s death.
#2 The 9/11 Jumpers
The way our presidential elections are conducted with bitter rhetoric, the way we go through airports, the way we are forced to thank everybody in the military for their service…it all comes out of 9/11. One of the toughest scenes of that day, prior to the collapse of the buildings, were of Trade Center office workers standing in the spots where windows had been knocked out, trying to make the decision to jump to their death or not. Remember, their building was already struck by a plane, filled with smoke and fire and there was no sign of rescue.
#3 Robert Dwyer
You probably know this story in passing, but only because of Filter’s song “Hey Man Nice Shot” which isn’t about Kurt Cobain’s suicide as many people mistakenly believe. Nope, Robert “Budd” Dwyer was a former state senator in Pennsylvania who had risen to state Treasurer, called a news conference and killed himself with a gun at the state capitol in front of reporters and news cameras who all-too-happily showed it on television. Dwyer had been found guilty of taking bribes in exchange for influencing government contracts and was scheduled to be sentenced the next day.
#4 Victor Barrio
You’d think the bull might win more often, but this 1,100-plus pound monster scored a rare win for the mammals, killing a bullfighter for the first time since 1985. Yeah, people get hurt all of the time during the actual Running of the Bulls through Pamplona, but that’s what happens when drunk people stand in the way of charging animals in small spaces. Bullfighters are trained and “fights” are seen more as an artistic dance than an actual battle.
#5 The Challenger Explosion
All of those years of promising “regular” people being astronauts and seeing ourselves eventually being up there were coming true until tragedy struck 73 seconds into the launch. McAuliffe and the other six members of the Challenger shuttle were killed when the spaceship exploded off the coast of Florida. Many in NASA have said that the accident, caused by o-ring issues in the rocket fuel boosters, set the space program back by not only years or decades, but to a place it would never recover from. It’s hard to dispute since the greatest leaps forward in civilian space travel are now being made by private companies, not governments.