The dead tell no tales, but sometime it is possible using mad science or psychic powers to retrieve the last thing a dead person saw from their eyes or minds, where it burned itself in when they died. A form of (pseudo) scientific necromancy or fortean forensics if you will.
This is mostly a dead trope nowadays and not used very often any more. If it is used at all than it is either played with somehow or used in a medium that does not take itself all that seriously. It might get used in a setting where anything goes or where one deliberately tries to evoke the bygone tropes of a different era. Sci-Fi
plays on the trope might involve accessing a persons cybernetic ocular implant or similar.
- Trope Maker
might be Jules Verne
in his novel "Les Frères Kip"/"The Kip Bothers".
- The Wild Wild West
Movie with Will Smith
- The Fringe
used it directly referencing Jules Verne in the process.
Anyone can think of any others?