During the filming of The Crow, the crews of other films shooting nearby had a joke that the production was cursed due to the high number of accidents, punishing production schedule (permitted because it was filmed in Wilmington, in "right-to-work" NC), cocaine use among the crew, and too-low budget. This became Harsher in Hindsighttwice; firstly when a fire destroyed part of the other films' sets (and most of The Crow's), and secondly, with the tragic, accidental, and easily-preventable fatal shooting of Brandon Lee.
As you may have seen on other Harsher in Hindsight subpages, the tragedies of September 11th, 2001 in New York, New York, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania left a lot of ill tastes in a lot of media. Even the date September 11th was considered a downer for people who were born upon it (cf. Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges).
Also that same day, a blue-ribbon panel released the final and definitive report, roughly an hour earlier, concerning another massive sneak attack on the USA: Pearl Harbor.
It's even worse when you realize that the date coincides with the infamous 1973 coup d'état in Chile, which lead to a dictatorship with the hobby of Un-Person dissidents and was long speculated to have been orchestrated by the USA. Many a Latin American reaction to the attacks used in the aforementioned tragedies of 2001 was, more or less, "they got what they deserve".
In the days leading up to the primary for the 2001 New York City mayoral election, Democrat Mark Green repeatedly touted the "Twin Towers of [his] plan to run City Hall." The primary, scheduled for September 11, had to be postponed two weeks due to the destruction of said towers.
"Hitler indicates only one way out of the over-population of Europe, primarily of Germany, and that is the East. (...) The Nazis are against assimilation but not against annexation. They prefer the extermination of the conquered 'inferior' peoples to their Germanization. For the time being, fortunately, this is only a matter of hypothetical conquests." Leon Trotsky on Adolf Hitler
Along the same lines, the French right despised the Jewish Prime Minister Leon Blum so much that one of their most famous slogans was "Better Hitler than Blum." They gottheir wish.
War of Machines contains the line "Japanese scientists further advised their government that neither the Germans nor the Americans could possibly deflect enough of their productive resources to a bomb project to have a weapon [usable] in the current war."
An American journalist, Eugene P. Lyle Jr., wrote that by 1938 a defeated Germany would rise again to start a war of "monstrous proportions". This was in 1918, two months before the end of WW1 (which caused everyone to forget about the article, according to the link). Clearly, this guy was one Genre Savvy propagandist.
He wasn't alone in this prediction, either—the list of people who expected this to happen (especially at the end of World War One as the peace was negotiated) is sufficient and push it through this trope and into wondering how unGenre Savvy you'd have to have been to think it really was going to be the War to End All Wars.
Among the most influential voices warning of conflict as a consequence of the peace treaties was the great economist John Maynard Keynes.
This is a bit of an unusual example, however, if only because unlike most modern commentators, Ferdinand Foch's argument was not that the Treaty was too harsh but rather that it wasn't harsh enough. Foch was among many French statesmen and military figures who believed that Germany after WWI should have been partitioned and forcibly disarmed. Incidentally, this is EXACTLY what Machiavelli proposed (roughly paraphrased): either destroy your enemies so utterly that they cannot seek revenge, or be lenient, so that any desire for revenge would be outweighed by fear of another defeat. After WW2 both happened: West Germany was treated leniently, and became a staunch NATO ally throughout the worst of the Cold War. East Germany was totally stripped of anything useful and lost almost all of its autonomy to the USSR. In other words, the Treaty managed to be EXACTLY wrong, proving practically all of its critics right.
Before World War I, Norman Angell published a book titled The Great Illusion, arguing that economic dependence between great powers made an all out war between them difficult, if at all possible. (Not necessarily illogical—For example, German steel industry before World War I was dependent on British coal, while the British armaments industry was, in turn, dependent on German steel, produced with British coal. Having to readjust sources of industrial inputs during World War I was extremely painful for all involved.) Within a few years of its publication, World War I broke out. Undaunted, a second and revised edition was published in 1933. Not long afterwards, World War II broke out.
In fact, something of a subversion: The Great Illusion argued that any war would be too costly to be considered logical, making peace between all the major nations the best possible choice...and that proved right: after both world wars, the European powers (and Japan) went on to lose ALL of their colonies, gained no territory, accrued debt that took DECADES to pay off, and ended up trapped in a Cold War that terrified EVERYONE who lived through it with the possibility of nuclear extinction and forced military spending up so high for the US/NATO and the USSR/PACT countries that both ended up in a massive number of proxy wars in an attempt to justify the cost of their militarism, for fear that the civilians would undermine the military budget and lead either power unable to face the other. If neither war had occurred, the 20th century could very well have been the most prosperous in history; instead, it became the most terrifying.
Something similar happened on July 20, 2012 at midnight: Jessica Gawhi, one of the victims at the Aurora theater shooting in Colorado, had this to say on her twitter post with her mom: "Get some sleep, mom. I'm really excited for you to come visit. I need my mama" This was posted at 1:04 AM, just moments before she was killed in the theater. The last post on her blog is about having missed being at the June 2, 2012 Toronto mass shooting by minutes, including "After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given."
Similarly, ‘Amit Zhorno, the daughter of Jerusalem-based attorney Natan Zhorno, wrote a Facebook status saying, ‘A morning of new beginnings,’ on the morning of hers and her father’s murder.
German romantic-nationalist poet and liberal thinker Heinrich Heine is most famous today for his observation that "Where they burn books, in the end they will burn people too", made in 1821 in a play about the Spanish Inquisition. Heine's works were censored in his own time and later literally burned by the Nazis. Heine was a Jew.
This is the concluding passage of Heine's Religion and Philosophy in Germany, written in 1832: "Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered, the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame...The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals....Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder...comes rolling somewhat slowly, but...its crash...will be unlike anything before in the history of the world. ...At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead, and lions in farthest Africa will draw in their tails and slink away. ...A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll."
Heine's use of Pagan imagery can definitely be harsher in hindsight. The Schutzstaffel is largely considered the scariest part of Nazi Germany, what with the role they played in the liquidations of untermenschen. While the rumors of Hitler being into the Occult aren't true, the leader of the Schutzstaffel, Heinrich Himmler, was a real Neo-Pagan. He even had a spiritual adviser, Karl Wiligut, who believed himself to be a descendant of Thor. Heine and Himmler even have the same first name.
Even though there wasn't an revival of Germanic Paganism in the Third Reich, there was certainly a revival of the culture of Germanic Paganism. The Nazis promoted a form of German Romanticism that centered on ancient Pagan traditions, blood and soil, and Wagnerian theatrics. The infamous Nuremberg Rallies are a good example of this. The SS were also, what you can call, "culturally Pagan." The rituals and ceremonies that were a part of SS life were based on ancient Heathen practices. And in addition to Himmler and Wiligut, a few SS members were worshiping the old gods.
The opinion of William Jennings Bryan (prosecutor in Scopes Trial among other things) that Social Darwinism was undermining morality in Germany. The resulting eugenics movements of course being implemented in varying degrees involuntarily on the disabled or otherwise "handicapped (mentally or physically)" in Nazi Germany until the Catholic Bishops in Germany let it be known they considered the issue was non-negotiable, and Hitler needed all his troops available for his invasion of the Soviet Union. Also, by then Germany had newly conquered territory, so his killers were sent abroad to set up death camps for the Jews (though his eugenics movements continued on a smaller scale unofficially).
Somewhat funny in hindsight in that Hitler technically died a Catholic (the only Nazi to be excommunicated was Goebbels - for marrying a Protestant, while Hitler had long ago stopped actively participating he was never formerly separated from the church). Hitler promised religious education for youths in return for endorsement from the Church. Now the Church supports the theory of evolution and the average American is woefully ignorant of it. Not to mention the US was conducting sterilisation programs and the Tuskegee syphilis trials at the time.
These statements from various world political figures of the 1930s make painful reading:
Pope Pius XI: Adolf Hitler...a man implacably imposed to Bolshevism in all its forms.
Neville Chamberlain: Peace in our time!
Stalin: I hope that the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact will mark a decisive turn for the better in the political relations between our two countries.
Ludwig Kaas: Hitler knows how to guide the ship.
Charles Lindbergh: Instead of agitating for war the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way, for they will be among the first to feel its consequences. Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastation. A few farsighted Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not. Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government.
A little digging reveals hundreds more.
Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten, in her profile, listed "jealous people" as a turn-off. In 1980, she was murdered by her jealous husband, Paul Snider.
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, in which he relates being stabbed in the heart years before, when if he had even sneezed he would have died. He goes on to list all the remarkable things he had done since then, from sit-ins, to freedom rides, to telling the USA about a dream he had, all of which he could not have done or seen had he died. He then goes on to acknowledge the threats that have been made against him, and states that "like anybody, I would like to live a long life", but concludes by telling his audience, "I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything! I'm not fearing any man!" King gave this speech on the night of April 3, 1968. His assassination was on April fourth. In effect, King was reciting his own eulogy. To a point he may have been expecting it or at least anticipated that someone might try to kill him, since he often gave versions of the "Promised Land" speech when violent events were happening, like the riots that had just broken out in Memphis.
The Boondocks referenced this by positing an Alternate Universe where King merely lay unconscious in a coma until very recently, and how he reacted to the modern world when he woke up.
To fully understand the speech, you must remember that Dr. King was a minister, and you need to read Deuteronomy.
The musical 1776 actually changed a quote of the real John Adams to avoid this. His comment on removing the slavery clause in the Declaration of Independence: "If we give in on this, there will be trouble a hundred years hence; posterity will never forgive us." He was off by a decade and a half. This and Reality Is Unrealistic: the writer feared the audience would think he was Anvilicious, not realizing Adams actually said this.
Three time Formula One champion Ayrton Senna once said this:
I want to live fully, very intensely. I would never want to live partially, suffering from illness or injury. If I ever happen to have an accident that eventually costs my life, I hope it happens in one instant.
That's exactly what happened when he crashed and died at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
On top of that, he denied the opporturnity to drive in the Indy Car-Series in 1992, because he was too scared of crashing into wall with more than 220 miles per hour.
During the Eurosport coverage of the second qualifying session of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, the commentators spoke at great length on how safe F1 cars were these days and how driver safety was at the best it's ever been. This was interrupted by the sight of a wrecked Simtek spinning to a halt with Roland Ratzenberger at the wheel, dead.
In 1969, John Lennon remarked in an interview that he tried to be as humourous as possible with regards to his political agenda because 'all the serious people, like Martin Luther King and Kennedy and Gandhi, got shot." Just over ten years after that interview, Lennon got shot.
In an interview in the sixties, John was asked how he expected to die. He replied "I'll probably be popped off by some loony."
At the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery, which houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the archway leading into the amphitheater is inscribed with words from Horace: "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" - "It is sweet and honorable to die for one's country." The Memorial Amphitheater was opened in 1913 by Woodrow Wilson. By the end of World War One, those words would be inextricably linked to Wilfred Owen's poem about the waste and futility of war Dulce et Decorum est indeed. Worse, Owen was killed just days before the Armistice occurred.
"Pistol" Pete Maravich, at age 25: "I don't want to play 10 years and then die of a heart attack when I'm 40." After a 10-year NBA career, Maravich collapsed and died of a heart attack on January 5, 1988 — a little more than six months shy of his 41st birthday.
During an interview, Jim Morrison heard about the deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Turning to the interviewer, he held up his glass and said "You're drinking with number three." Not too long afterwards, he was gone.
This board game. Or maybe it's Hilarious in Hindsight, depending on your sense of humor. (And yes, your rig could blow up in the game, for a penalty of one million dollars. I guess that one actually had the safeguards installed.)
In this interview, David Foster Wallace talks about how, even though there have been hard times in his life, and he doesn't have a clear path or motivation going forward, it's not like he's going to kill himself or anything.
Before his Vigilante Execution by Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald was told (jokingly) by the policeman he was handcuffed to that if someone was going to shoot him in the mob of press they'd be walking out into, he hoped that they'd be a good shot. Oswald told the man he was being melodramatic and that nobody was going to shoot him. Shortly after they entered the mob of reporters, Jack Ruby shot Oswald.
On a related note to the above, John F. Kennedy's very famous inaugural address to his nation in 1961 features some very jarring examples.
All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
To elaborate, the life of his administration, which only lasted two years, 10 months, and two days, ended along with his own when he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas in 1963.
At Eleanor Roosevelt's funeral, Adlai Stevenson said to President Kennedy, "It may be some comfort to you, sir, to know that the White House is not the end and that you may find something to do when you leave here, whenever that may be." Obviously, Kennedy never got to retire from the White House, being that he was then assassinated that following year.
Speaking of Kennedys, his younger brother Robert, during his own presidential campaign trail in 1968, had apparently earned the ire some of the people he used to work with during his time as Attorney General, in particular Clyde Tolson, J. Edgar Hoover's deputy, reportedly saying "I hope someone shoots and kills that son of a bitch." On June 5, 1968 in a ballroom at the The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angles, he was shot by a Palestinian activist, and died the following morning. Even eerier, precisely two months prior, he announced Martin Luther King's death to a horrified crowd, then proceeded to give one of his best speeches, little knowing that he himself would soon meet the same fate.
After his Gemini 3 mission in 1965, astronaut Gus Grissom said at a press conference, "If we die, we want people to accept it. We're in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life." Grissom and his crew mates Ed White and Roger Chaffee died in the Apollo 1 fire two years later. (Somewhat mitigated by the fact that in the aftermath, NASA took him at his word and put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade, just as had been planned.)
In August 1966, the Apollo 1 crew, concerned about the safety of their spacecraft, took this photo◊ of them praying to God before a model of their spacecraft.
During his first space flight on Liberty Bell 7, Grissom nearly drowned when the explosive bolts holding the capsule hatch in place accidentally blew, opening the capsule to seawater. The hatch design was modified to an inward-opening design, so that atmospheric pressure inside the cabin would keep the hatch closed if a similar incident ever happened again. Unfortunately, it also kept the astronauts from being able to open their hatch when the fire occurred.
At the beginning of a NASA documentary of the second space shuttle flight, the narrator had this to say about Columbia, over video of its first landing:
"But unlike spacecraft that had gone before, Columbia would not be retired from service to become a museum piece."
Michael Jackson publicly announced to his fans & the world in early 2009 that he would launching his final concert tour (though it was only at one arena in London, England) called "This Is It". He died June 25, 2009, just weeks before the series was to start.
The cover story of the August 2009 issue of the U.K. music magazine Q was a look at the then-pending concert residency. It examined all the financial problems and botched comeback attempts he'd gone through after his acquittal on child molestation charges in 2005, and the problems the residency was already having, with several of the 50 dates already postponed to 2010. Given his bad track record, the writers concluded the article by doubting he'd actually see the residency through, even though it would be the end of his career if he couldn't. Shortly after the issue hit the stands in June 2009, they were proven right.
Jackson left three children behind to be raised by his own mother. At his memorial service, his large family surrounded the kids as daughter Paris spoke of her love for her father. This show of solidarity and support comes off as a sad lie considering that those kids have become pawns in endless lawsuits and Big Screwed-Up Family disputes over Michael's death, estate, and earnings, with no means of escape as yet. Paris even attempted suicide in June 2013, which kept her from testifying in the lawsuit the family's brought against concert promoter AEG Live, whom they blame for Michael's demise. (The family lost.)
Before the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili's last phone call to his father included "I'll win or die trying."
Sarah Palin's "Take Back the 20" website showed crosshairs over various states, including the very district in Arizona Gabrielle Giffords was elected for. A fundraiser event for Gifford's opponent, Jesse Kelly, featured shooting a fully automatic AR-15 with Kelly. Then Rep. Giffords was shot in the head... However, she survived.
Related to the above note, a blogger had stated that Giffords was, "dead to me", just days before her shooting. It should be noted it was a figure of speech.
In January 2001, Oklahoma State University basketball coach Eddie Sutton aired a broadcast of his regular OSU Basketball show, which opened with a CGI plane flying over an open field. The guest was OSU point guard Nate Fleming. The show ended with Coach Sutton thanking the OSU donors who provided the planes to transport the OSU players and staff to and from various road games. However, on the return trip from the following road game, one of the planes crashed in a field, killing ten passengers, including Nate Fleming.
The fact that Demi Lovato has been criticized for being 'larger' than the average Disney star, when in reality she actually has an eating disorder.
When Pat Nixon died on June 22, 1993, an observer opined that Richard Nixon, without his wife, "wouldn't last a year". He died on April 22, 1994, four days after having a massive stroke.
In 2006, Bam and April Margera said that they had Jackass co-star Ryan Dunn "in the death pool" for "death by vehicle". On June 20, 2011, Ryan Dunn and his friend died in a fiery car crash after a night of drinking.
Amy Winehouseonce said that one of her fears was joining the 27 Club (the name given to singers who have died at age 27). On July 23rd, 2011, Amy's fears came true.
Alicia Quarles, a report for the Associated Press at the time, explains that if Winehouse didn’t get her act together, she’ll die at 27. Quarles was on "Doomed to die? 13 Most Shocking Hollywood Curses" where she made that remark back in 2008, when the E! News special aired. What makes this more eerie, Quarles was right.
At the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner, Seth Meyers joked that Osama bin Laden was hosting a talk show on C-SPAN. The next day, Obama announced Bin Laden's death. This one was arguably Hilarious in Hindsight for most people.
Hillary Clinton had been at a wedding that weekend and someone had asked her "when are we gonna get Bin Laden?" Being one of only a handful of people who knew about the raid (she couldn't even tell her husband), she quickly made some non-committal remark and excused herself.
What's incredibly creepy about this isn't just the book's title. It's the fact that he spends a great deal of time discussing how much he likes kids, likes spending time with them, etc. It's horrifying to realize not only what he really meant, but that these kids could very well have been his victims.
On another tragic Elton John note, Elton was consoled at the funeral of his best friend, designer Gianni Versace, who died in July of 1997 from a gunman's bullet, by Princess Diana of Wales. In August of that year, Diana would die in a car crash while fleeing paparazzi. Elton would be called to sing "Candle In The Wind" at her funeral.
Even harsher as Elton had already (successfully) fought a battle with tabloid newspapers in 1987, while Versace's death, in a way, would echo the murder of his friend John Lennon in 1980.
The 1928 Republican Party platform stated, "Under this Administration the country has been lifted from the depths of a great depression to a level of prosperity." The very next year, the stock market would crash, plunging the US into theGreat Depression.
At the end of his Comedy Central Roast, William Shatner calls out Greg Giraldo, stating that he's a nobody and if life was like an episode of the original Star Trek from 1966, Giraldo would have been wearing a red shirt and have been killed by now. It would actually be a drug overdose that killed Giraldo years after that special.
The Comedy Central Roast of Larry The Cable Guy too. Lisa Lampenelli at one point kept repeating how much money Larry made a year, then ended it saying, "I'm going to keep repeating that until Greg Giraldo kills himself."
Similarly, during the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen, many jokes were made at the expense of Patrice O'Neal about his health. He ended up dying of a stroke 2 months after the Roast aired.
There's a now-memetic video of a large man dancing like a lunatic while playing DDR, only to fall off once he gets down, funny at first, but he was asked about the video and it turns out the fall was because the stress of his weight and the movement actually made his ankle break clean in half.
The New Orleans Saints 2009 Super Bowl run looks a lot worse when you find out that they were running a bounty program and paying guys to deliberately hurt opposing players.
Speaking of Super Bowl examples. In the 2007 season, the New York Giants played the seemingly invincible New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Before the game, Giants player, Plaxico Burress, said they would win and hold the Patriots to 17 points. Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, laughed when he heard this. The Giants would beat the Patriots and actually hold them to 14 points - stopping their undefeated season. But that's not what's harsher, or hilarious, (depending on if you're a fan of the Patriots or not) in hindsight. In the 2011 season, The New England Patriots would play the New York Giants again in the Super Bowl. The Giants would beat them again - this time holding them to 17 points. Even more interesting, Plaxico Burress wasn't on the team this time.
And speaking of the Patriots and Super Bowls, the once seemingly unstoppable tandem of coach Bill Belichik and quarterback Tom Brady has fallen short in the postseason every year since Spygate.
The Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame inducted the Beastie Boys in April 2012; the concert premiered on HBO a few days after Adam Yauch's death in May. Yauch had been too sick to attend.
Ivan the Terrible received his nickname for being a fierce and admirable leader. Then he started living up to his name in a whole different fashion.
Leon Trotsky wrote in 1936 that "Stalin... seeks to strike not at the ideas of the opponent, but at his skull" Four years later...
In summary, anyone famous who jokes about their death a short time before they actually die is going to count for this. Bonus points if they joke about dying in a certain way and they actually die that way.
In an interview before the 2001 Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt said, "You're gonna see something you've prolly hadn't never seen on Fox." These words took new meanings after Earnhardt was killed in a crash on the last lap.
In November 2007, Heath Ledger spoke about his sleeping problems, saying: "Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.". Two months later, Ledger was found dead in his apartment, and his death was determined to be caused by an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.
After UConn won their homecoming football game against Louisville on 17 October, 2009, cornerback Jazz Howard said to the media, "You have to play each play like it's the last play you'll ever play." Hours later, he was fatally stabbed outside the student union.
Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Colombine shootings. Her life was full of this trope. Though a lot of the stories about her have been made up, there have been many essays she wrote and entries in her journal that are just damn impossible to read after knowing the girl's fate. Just moments before she was killed she made a drawing of an eye with 13 tears falling from it. Though almost certainly a coincidence, many have theorized that she predicted the shootings and each of the tears represents a victim of the shooting.
Pretty much, anytime someone tells someone to kill themselves/commit suicide it becomes all the worse if the person told to kill themselves follows through with it.
In late 2012 after the NFL murder and suicide of Jovan Belcher and the killing of an unarmed teen named Jordan Davis because of loud music (both by guns) well-known sports commentator Bob Costas gave a speech during the half-time show of a football game, talking about the pervasiveness of gun use and violence in popular culture, and a perceived need for gun control in response. He was criticized by conservative personalities and gun advocates around the country. Then just over a week later, two gun massacres happened - the most tragic being the one in Connecticut.
In a blooper real from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Kevin Smith flubs a kick and falls into some tall grass. Kevin Sorbo reacts by doing an end zone dance. Smith says (In his natural Kiwi accent) "Looks like I'm Mr. Fally Guy!" Smith would later die after falling from some rafters.
Paul "Bear" Bryant: When asked by a reporter what he was going to do upon retiring after a fifty year career in football, Bryant responded "I'll probably croak in a week." The Bear died six weeks after coaching his last game.
ESPN joked that Penn State coach Joe Paterno would never retire because he was afraid of suffering the same fate. In the end, Paterno was fired in 2011 due to his involvement in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. He died less than 60 days later.
Chris Kyle's autobiography American Sniper closes with Kyle writing at length about his difficulty re-adjusting to civilian life after the military and his charitable efforts to help returning servicemen do the same. Barely a year after the book was published, Kyle and another man, Chad Littlefield, were murdered by a former Marine they had brought to a gun range to help with his PTSD.
A bumper sticker often found on the cars of marathon runners reads, "26.2 miles: What could possibly go wrong?" This obviously takes on a whole new and darker meaning in light of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
In the behind the scenes footage of the porn film called *ahem* I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU SUCKED A NEGRO 9, the cameraman has a light hearted conversation with porn star Sonya Sage and asks what her long term plans were in 5 years. She jokingly said she'll fire the interviewer/cameraman. His response was "I'm sure that'll happen before 5 years". He then pans the camera to male porn star "Sledgehammer" and says Sledge will probably survive. Unfortunately Sledge died under mysterious circumstances by police hands when they were trying to arrest him. More can be read here.
On the morning of February 20, 2003, a man named Rick Sanetti was eating breakfast at a Denny's in Rhode Island, then struck up a conversation with the members of Great White, who were sitting at a nearby table. Lead singer Jack Russell invited him to see them that night at The Station, a nightclub in West Warwick, promising "it's gonna be a killer show." It was a show to literally die for: 100 people died after the club caught on fire from pyrotechnics lit by the band's road manager. Sanetti wound up helping to rescue several other survivors.
ThisYTMND was uploaded seven years before the Edward Snowden scandal revealed that the NSA has been doing these kinds of things all along.
Of course, 2006 was also when the initial scandal involving warrantless wiretaps (bypassing even FISA in the process) broke in the news, so it was timely when it was written.
There is a YouTube clip showing the 19 year old Hanne Kristin Fridtun, a Norwegian Labour Party youth politician, making a very touching and heartfelt speech about elderly care, with her main point being that "when I grow old, I don't just want to live, I want to live well". She was shot to death on Utřya three months later.
In 2007, Boston experienced a bomb scare when several devices were found all over the city. Turns out they were actually just lite brites that were part of a viral ad campaign. Many people laughed at how Boston police could confuse a device like that for a bomb. It became less funny in 2013 when terrorists bombed the Boston Marathon using backpack bombs.
On February 3, 1959, Waylon Jennings, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens were supposed to fly in a plane between concerts on a tour of the Midwest. However, J.P. Richardson (the Big Bopper), who was supposed to travel by bus to the next stop, had come down with the flu earlier on the tour and asked Jennings for his spot on the plane. Jennings agreed and took Richardson's spot on the bus. When Holly heard Jennings was not flying, he said in jest, "I hope your ol' bus freezes up." Jennings replied, "I hope your ol' plane crashes." It did, killing everyone on board in what is known as The Day The Music Died. That remark would haunt Jennings for many years.
On the night of November 25, 2013, singer Arik Einstein, a pivotal figure of Israeli culture known for being very, very reclusive, was interviewed by phone for the first time in ages. The interviewer asked him about his health; Einstein said he was fine, only his eyes were growing a little bit dim. On the night of November 26, 2013, he died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm.
On November 5, 1995, the well-known Israeli song "Shir Lashalom" (Song of Peace) was sung at an rally in Tel Aviv in support of the Oslo Accords. The song talks about the impossibility of bringing a person back from the dead, and thus the need for peace. As Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was leaving the rally, he was assassinated. A blood-stained copy of the song lyrics was found in Rabin's pocket.
Rolf Harris used to be universally loved in Australia, the UK and even Africa. He used to do a lot of children shows and music. As of 30 June 2014, this becomes less heartwarming as he has been convicted of sexually harassing and assaulting children.
Ironically, he once hosted a PSA teaching children to report people who try to touch them.
Late in the 2013/14 disastrous English Premier League season for Manchester United, they lost 2-0 to Everton, and some people wrote messages 'congratulating' MU's then-manager, David Moyes (who got fired soon after that loss). This by itself is cruel enough, but before coaching Manchester United, Moyes managed Everton, and to twist the knife further, early on in his Everton managing career, Moyes said that "we (Everton) are going to beat Manchester United". How true.
A 2009 column by George Monbiot satirically refers to the possibility of Czech President Vaclav Klaus being the victim of an engineered tragedy. In 2013, the plane crash that killed Klaus spawned more than a few conspiracy theories.
David Sedaris wrote several essays that mentioned his sister, Tiffany. At age six, her older siblings convinced her to lie in the middle of the road and get hit by a car to make their mom feel guilty, telling her death is "like sleeping, only you get a canopy bed." In another essay, her father browbeats her for stabbing David with a pencil until she couldn't hold a crayon without bursting into tears. Finally, in "Put A Lid On It," he describes how his parents put her in a reform school (the now infamous Elan School, causing her to resent and separate herself from her family as much as possible. All of this presents enough of a sad portrait of his sister's life, but when you learn she committed suicide in 2013 and, in her will, banned her entire family from attending her funeral, all chronicled in David's essay, "Now We Are Five," the whole thing becomes downright heartbreaking.