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Unwitting Instigator Of Doom / Real Life

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  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge had a vivid dream, got up and started writing it down as the epic poem Kubla Khan, but then there was a knock at the door, and a man from the nearby town of Porlock kept him talking just long enough to forget all about the dream and he never finished it. The Person from Porlock is now literary shorthand for an unwanted visitor.
    • Though some have theorized that Coleridge never intended to finish the poem (or that it was finished already, or he was just suffering from a severe case of Writer's Block), and he made up the story of the visitor just to mess with people. It doesn't help that Coleridge was a heavy opiate user, and the "dream" could have been something more of a "drug-induced vision," and the man from Porlock may or may not have actually been there. (Cue images of a poet standing on his doorstep talking to nobody while hazy visions of Kublai Khan's utopia dissipate into the aether.)
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  • Christopher Columbus's voyages opened up the Americas to the Old World, bringing over disease which wiped out 90% of the Native Americans.
  • Andy Dick. At a 1997 Christmas party, he reintroduced Brynn Omdahl, wife of Phil Hartman, to cocaine, leading to his death. Which led to Andy Dick making some tasteless jokes about his role in Hartman's death, which resulted in Hartman's friend Jon Lovitz kicking his ass.
  • Floyd Wells. He told fellow cons Perry Smith and Richard Hickock that a farmer he worked for named Herb Clutter kept a safe hidden with plenty of cash inside. As it turned out, there was no safe. It was this false info that led Smith and Hickock to massacre Mr. Clutter and his family, the basis for Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. More infuriatingly, not only was he able to avoid prison time in spite of being the one who set the tragedy in motion, but since he was the one that fingered Smith and Hickock as the killers and helped to solve the case, he collected the reward money for information leading to the killers' conviction.
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  • A rare inversion in Stanislav Petrov. While monitoring a satellite for the Soviet early warning system of a nuclear attack, he received a report of five inbound ICBMs. He decided it didn't make sense for a US first strike to be composed of only five nukes, he logged it as a technical error and overrode the command to launch a massive retaliation strike. Had he not been so cautious, World War III surely would have erupted.
  • The failure of the Jay Leno Show on primetime had this effect on Conan O'Brien's tenure as host of The Tonight Show, as it damaged local 11 pm newscast ratings, as well as Conan himself, leading NBC to move Jay and his show back to his old 11:35 spot, and pushing Conan just past midnight. Conan, not wanting to tarnish the legacy of the Tonight Show, wanted no part of the agreement and was subsequently evicted from the show, with Jay back as host.
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  • Senator Stephen Douglas, the man responsible for the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Originally, his intentions had simply been to get a railroad to California built, which would start in Chicago, Illinois (his home state). To do this, he proposed splitting the remaining unorganized chunk of the Louisiana Territory into the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. Pro-slavery Southerners slipped in a part saying that the legality of slavery in each territory would be decided by the voters there. But then pro-slavery advocates from Missouri flooded into Kansas to support slavery, resulting in "Bleeding Kansas", the prequel to The American Civil War. Douglas himself has been branded pro-slavery for many years afterward following the fallout, with historians often leaving out that it was the South that suggested the decision of slavery by popular sovereignty and that Douglas himself simply wanted to build a railroad to California, obviously having no idea that the first planned transcontinental railroad would cause the biggest schism ever to hit the United States over completely unrelated circumstances.
  • In 2007, [adult swim] launched a guerrilla marketing campaign for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie featuring battery-powered LED placards resembling the Mooninite characters being placed in numerous places around the US. However, in Boston, police officials mistakenly thought that the LEDs were bombs, and treated the whole event as such. This event would turn out to known as the Boston Bomb Scare, which led to legal implications being placed on Turner Broadcasting and their contractors, the internet to make mock "Never Forget" memes, and forced then-current Cartoon Network head Jim Samples to step down. It wouldn’t be long after until fans began to realize that Cartoon Network would not be the same since the incident. Not because of any legal incidents, but because Sample’s replacement, Stuart Snyder, became the instigator of the channel’s infamous Network Decay, and an increase in poorly-received live-action and sitcom-style shows.
  • Franz von Papen, ex-Chancellor of the Weimar Republic, who in 1933 convinced President Hindenburg to make Adolf Hitler chancellor in order to save his own political hide. By this point, the Nazis (forced by previous chancellors to fight repeated elections which sapped their funds) were rapidly losing support and were scraping the bottom of their piggy bank.
  • Marinus van der Lubbe, the guy who started the Reichstag fire. He was a raving madman who was quickly captured that same night. It gave the Nazis the perfect opportunity to seize power, as the aforementioned repeated elections would eventually end in a loss of NSDAP seats. Although it bears mentioning that a lot of people believe the Nazis actually set the fire themselves and arranged for der Lubbe to take the fall for them.
  • In the mid-'80s bribery scandal linked to R. Budd Dwyer (the inspiration behind "Hey Man, Nice Shot" by Filter), William Smith, an attorney linked to the case, gave dubious testimony in order to accept a plea bargain, which made a guilty verdict for the former practically inevitable. As a result, Dwyer himself publicly died of suicide the day before the sentencing was to have taken place.
  • On the night of April 14, 1912, Jack Phillips, radio operator of the RMS Titanic, received a message alerting of an ice field ahead from the radio operator of the SS Californian, Cyril Evans. The message interrupted a piece of information directed to a first class passenger from Cape Race, Newfoundland, and Phillips radioed "Shut up, shut up! I am busy; I am working Cape Race!" back to Evans. Annoyed, Evans turned off the radio and went to sleep... ten minutes before the Titanic struck an iceberg. This prevented the Californian (who was the closest ship to the Titanic) from hearing the Titanic's repeated distress calls and rescuing her passage before the ship went down.
  • David Blair was originally slated to be the Second Officer of the Titanic during her maiden voyage. However, in the last moment, White Star reassigned the more experienced Henry Wilde, Chief Officer of the Olympic (at the time in drydock) to the Titanic, and the knock-off effect was Blair being given another post out of the ship. By accident, Blair left with a key from the Titanic, that turned out to be the only key to a safe in the Crow's Nest keeping the lookouts' binoculars. Without binoculars, the lookouts failed to see the iceberg in time.
  • Jamie Gorelick, during her tenure as Deputy US Attorney General, was responsible for strengthening the restrictions on information sharing between domestic and foreign intelligence services. The lack of coordination this caused lead directly to the US government's failure to prevent the September 11th attacks, despite ample evidence of the plot, up to and including one of the terrorists being (briefly) taken into custody not long before it happened.
  • Seth Rogen has become this with regards to the now-notorious consequences from The Interview and the cost it left Sony with. He knew that the film would piss off North Korea, and went ahead with it, presumably figuring that the DPRK would once again fail to follow up on its threats. However, he probably couldn't have seen his move as coming at the cost of the financial stability of the company he was working for, or The Guardians of Peace outright threatening terrorist attacks in theatres where it was due to play.
  • On April 20, 2007, Davon Boddie was arrested for cannabis dealing outside of the Royal Suite nightclub in Roanoke, Virginia. Boddie was the cousin of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and gave Vick's home address as his own. Five days later, police searched the home and discovered a massive dog-fighting ring, leading to the arrest and conviction of Vick and four others.
  • Gavrilo Princip and his co-conspirators in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. All they wanted was a re-arrangement of some political borders in one part of the Balkans. What they got was a world-spanning war which was the deadliest in history, which led to the fall of the European colonial powers and the rise of communism, another world-spanning war 20 years later which became the new most deadliest war in history as a result of the mess the previous one left, and a subsequent cold war due to the results of the previous war that kept the world on the brink of destruction for fifty years. Oh, and that Balkan situation never was properly sorted out.
    • To take it a step further, Ferdinand's driver, who was supposed to be taking him to visit some people in the hospital, got lost, tried to reverse, and stalled the car almost exactly where Princip happened to be at that exact moment. Probably the most consequential wrong turn in human history.
  • The TGWTG To Boldly Flee movie had a lot of effort and a lot of time put into it, but it was also a big Troubled Production with many producers having bad memories of filming. As shown in the behind the scenes feature, things were apparently running smoothly until Rob Walker had the bright idea to lie about running fifteen minutes late. You can see Doug's face fall when he's told this, and according to Lindsay and Todd, that's when things started to break down.
  • Best Buy's acquisition of Musicland in 2001 and their subsequent gross negligence, including making it hemorrhage $80 million in one year before selling it the following year, ultimately drove it to bankruptcy, leading to a mass closing of stores before being brought by Trans World Entertainment (owner of competitor FYE) in 2006. The mass closing of stores caused the unsold stock to be taken back to the warehouses. While this has affected all home video companies, anime companies (who were 100% reliant on home video sales due to the lack of digital distribution rights at the time because the Japanese licensors refused to give them those rights as they equated legal digital distribution with piracy) were particularly severely affected, leading to the crash of the North American anime industry by the end of the 2000s, including the closures of ADV Films, Geneon and Central Park Media, and the downsizing and eventual closure of Bandai Entertainment. On the general side, the mass closing of the stores led to a decline of home video sales, which was further exacerbated by the growing ubiquity of streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix.
  • Robert Campeau's expansion into the United States resulted in the demise of the regional department store in the United States. To wit, Campeau purchased Allied Stores and Federated Stores in the 1980s through junk bond LBOs but Campeau was unable to pay it off. This, combined with a downturn in the retail industry at the time, has resulted in what many called the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. This bankruptcy ultimately caused Macy's to start cannibalizing off stores that it inherited from both corporations beginning in the 1990s, and later on the May Department Stores company when that was merged into Macy's in 2005-2006.
  • Dylann Storm Roof, a white supremacist who took pictures of himself with Confederate memorabilia some time prior, shot up a church in Charleston with the hopes of dividing the nation. Not only did he fail spectacularly, he also caused collateral damage when his actions, which turned the general public (even in the South) against the Confederate flag, managed to TARFU The Dukes of Hazzard's reputation, if not outright FUBAR it.
  • Roof's actions helped precipitate the rise of the alt-right, and subsequently the "Unite the Right" white supremacist rally at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Unfortunately for the alt-right, the rally caused a national crisis after one of the rallygoers mowed down a group of counterprotesters with his car, killing a young woman and injuring nineteen other people. The fallout from the attacks crippled the movement's momentum, with members losing jobs and being blacklisted from the Internet. A nationwide sea change in attitudes about racism occurred, and the public began to turn against Confederate imagery (as the Charlottesville protest was against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue). The reputations of President Donald Trump and the Republican Party took a massive blow due to Trump's widely-panned response to the protest, in which he was widely accused of failing to condemn white supremacists. The right's fight against Antifa, the anti-fascist anarchist group who joined more peaceful counterprotesters to fight the white supremacists, was severely harpooned by the left's growing sympathy to the movement, as it was increasingly difficult to criticize a group, no matter how misguided, who fought on the same side as those killed in a terrorist attack. Most ironically, despite being called the "Unite the Right" rally, the aftermath rally ultimately divided the right and united the left. Other organizations who got blamed for the rally include the ACLU, who defended the rights of the protesters, and the Charlottesville police, who did little to stop clashes between the two groups and thus failed to prevent the terrorist attack from occurring.
  • The Punic Wars was started by a band of mercenaries called the Mamertines who took over the city of Messana, and the Romans and the Carthaginians turn their attention away from them and then against each other over control of Sicily. What followed was years of bloody wars between the two empires, which finally ended with the destruction of Carthage.
  • Faida Hamdi was a Tunisian government worker. In late 2010, she had a confrontation with a street vendor and confiscated the vendor's cart. The vendor set himself on fire as a protest in front of a government building. His death led to protests across the Middle East and the protests soon turned to devastating wars that would go on to shake the whole world. Today, Hamdi wonders What Could Have Been if she did not have that initial confrontation.
  • Michael Dukakis authorized weekend passes for prisoners while Governor of Massachusetts. One recipient of these weekend passes, Willie Horton, kidnapped, murdered, and raped one weekend. This ended up costing Dukakis the 1988 Presidential election after vice president George H.W. Bush's campaign pushed this heavily in an advertising campaign, and made politicians wary of being honest about their stances on crime, which led to the sudden toughening of criminal laws under Bill Clinton, which in turn contributed to the over-incarceration of so many people in America.
  • Portuguese missionaries who threatened to conquer Japan through the forced spread of Christianity were directly responsible for centuries of de jure xenophobia in the country, which only started to be loosened (keyword: started, only in 2017 did discrimination against foreigners living in the country start to significantly fade in earnest) when Matthew Perry opened trade routes between the United States and Japan in the middle of the 19th century via Gunboat Diplomacy.
  • The good people of Spain probably had no idea they were making world history beyond the scope of their own country when they toppled Isabel II in 1868. As even many of the revolutionaries did not even think of a Republic as a possible solution, they searched Europe for a potential King (or perhaps Queen). In the course of this search, they contacted Leopold of Hohenzollern, a good Catholic, a family man in his mid-thirties who seemed altogether a good candidate for the Spanish throne by the standards of the time. There was only one problem: as you might have guessed from his name, he was a (distant) relative of the Hohenzollern dynasty in Prussia and French emperor Napoleon III feared having German-speaking kings in his east and south, so Leopold ultimately declined. This could have been the end of it, and indeed in most cases, it would have, but Napoleon III being Napoleon III, he was not content with Leopold himself refusing, he wanted the Prussian king to renounce any claim of any Hohenzollern to the Spanish throne now and in the future. In 1870 the French ambassador bothered the Prussian King Wilhelm at a health spa in Bad Ems where the emperor was enjoying a Kurnote  and while the French ambassador was rude, the king was cordial and polite but basically told him "We've talked about this before, Leopold has already rejected, I am not him and I can't give promises for what my heirs might do". Unsatisfied, the French ambassador tried to bother the Prussian King again but the Prussian King, in essence, had a high ranking nobleman (sending anybody less would have been an affront) tell the French ambassador essentially the same thing again and that further discussing the issue was obviously pointless, the facts being what they were. Wilhelm then sent a report about those events in a telegram to his Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck saw an opportunity there and had the telegram shortened so that it could be read as the Prussian King rudely refusing to even meet with the ambassador (which would be diplomacy talk for "shove it up your ***") and to add insult to injury having that message delivered through some page. While Bismarck did not as he was often accused of Quote Mine the telegram, the French press published the shortened version and the reaction Bismarck intended occurred. France was furious, the emperor wanted to secure his domestic position threatened by previous foreign policy blundersexamples  as well as increasing demands for political liberalization and thus an ill-prepared France launched a war over what was seen by virtually everybody in Europe as a nothing-burger. France had hoped to beat Prussia and maybe call some allies to their side if the fight took longer. Not only did nobody ally with France, but all German states except Austria (which stayed neutral) rallied to the Prussian cause to fulfill secret defensive treaties. And then Napoleon III was captured near Sedan. While the newly declared Third Republic fought on, Prussia utterly wiped the floor with the French Army and ultimately France had to accept a humiliating peace treaty, that cost her five billion Francs in gold, Alsace and Lorraine and an immensurable sum in clout, credibility, and respect around the world. To add insult to injury, a new German Empire was declared in Versailles. This slight, of course, caused desire on the French part for revenge, which became one of the ultimate causes for World War I which the Germans lost, causing desire for revenge in them, ultimately leading to World War II. Thanks for asking about that Royal Succession thing, Spain.
  • On July 1st, 2002, Swiss air traffic controller Peter Nielsen, overworked and under-equipped, spotted two planes on a collision course and ordered one of them to descend. Unfortunately, due to his workload and the fact that key pieces of his system were offline, he failed to realize that the other plane was already descending in compliance with an automated collision avoidance system, and that instead of moving the first plane out of the second plane's path, he was instead ensuring they remained in it. Predictably, the two planes collided, killing everyone on board both flights. (Nielsen himself was later murdered in an act of vengeance by a man whose entire family had died in the disaster.)
  • One fateful day in 1921, a random black man in Tulsa stepped into an elevator operated by a white girl. To this day, the events of what really happened remains unknown, but regardless, the incident set off a chain reaction leading to the destruction of Greenwood Avenue.
  • A barbecue held by Bruce Pearl, then-head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers basketball team, only fueled the fire of Fulmer's Revenge and ensured that it could not only not be put out on the football side, where it had originated, as soon as then-head coach Derek Dooley would've liked, it also cost Dooley his job, spread to the rest of UT athletics, and became a major wildfire, as it were. What's worse is that Pearl's successor, Cuonzo Martin, never really got to show off his true potential as a UT basketball coach in the three seasons he was with UT before he resigned to coach the California Golden Bears. Read all the sordid details here, here, and here.
  • A random nurse at a hospital where Osamu Tezuka was working on Phoenix unwittingly ensured that the series would never be completed.
  • As chronicled in 9/11: The 102 Minutes that Changed America, there were several 911 operators during the attack on the World Trade Center that occurred on September 11, 2001 that told victims of the fires to stay where they were, block the smoke coming through the doors, and wait for the firefighters to arrive. The Twin Towers would eventually collapse, killing thousands of people who were trapped inside. The 911 operators were clearly trying to help save as many people as they could, and such advice is relatively standard for fires in office buildings. They also had no way of knowing that the towers were going to fall.
  • Possibly the case with Julius Caesar. Supposedly he attacked the city of Alexandria and lit the ships in the harbor on fire, unfortunately, the fire spread to the Great Library of Alexandria and burned it down, destroying the biggest repository of knowledge in the world at the time and setting us back by centuries. That said, historians are unsure whether that's really what happened or if the library burning down was really that devastating to human progress.
  • Were it not for Kermit Roosevelt Jr.'s efforts to keep the Shah of Iran in power back in The '50s, US-Iran relations might not have taken the dark turn they did in 1979, and certainly might not have been as strained as they are today.
  • American missionary Edwin Stevens innocently handed over a religious pamphlet to console a failed Chinese applicant in civil services. This applicant turned out to be none other than Hong Xiuqian, who became a dangerous cult leader who believed himself the younger brother of Jesus Christ and aimed to bring down the Qing dynasty and completely convert China to his own heterodox form of Christianity. The end result was the Taiping Rebellion, which ended in 20-30 million dead and resulted in lasting damage to Christianity in China.
  • Chemist Thomas Midgley Jr. unwittingly unleashed an environmental catastrophe on the Earth by developing a gaseous compound designed to improve refrigerators. Because of this, environmental historian J. R. McNeill argues that Midgley did more damage than any other single organism, human or otherwise, in history.
  • As soon as alt-right commentator Mike Cernovich dug up certain offensive tweets made by James Gunn from several years back, Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn did the first thing he could think of to do: fire Gunn without so much as a trial. Problem is, he went over everyone's heads with his decision and made it at a crucial time for Disney when the company was trying to acquire 20th Century Fox and had to look tough throughout the process. The result: an eight-month suspension for Gunn, a Gunn-directed film at DC Comics, and a potential two-year delay for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, to say nothing of an uncertain future for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole, never mind Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 itself, for the duration of Gunn's suspension. The whole affair ended up going down as the biggest boner of, and a huge black mark on, Horn's otherwise illustrious career as a film executive.
  • At a field hospital during World War One, a doctor treating a wounded patient, clinging to life, opted to motivate the soldier to fight for life by saying he had a great destiny that he still needed to fulfill. That soldier recovered, and apparently took the doctor's words to heart, subsequently striving to make an enormous impact on his country and on world history. Unfortunately, he succeeded. Why unfortunately, do you ask? The patient was none other than Adolf Hitler.
  • Neither Ronald Reagan nor Ted Kennedy had any idea that the fight over Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination would have stunning consequences multiple decades into the future. Bork's extensive paper trail, and his admitted anti civil rights stance were frequently used by Kennedy and other liberal Democrats in the Senate to paint him as an extremist, as covered in Role-Ending Misdemeanor, resulting in Bork being rejected in favor of the more moderate Anthony Kennedy. However, the use of Bork's track record and his own political views turned Supreme Court fights into enormous political clashes that would frequently divide the Senate. Many conservatives in the United States felt that Bork's rejection allowed the Court to consistently rule against them, fuelling a desire to guarantee a conservative Court in a three-decade fight led by Senator Mitch McConnell that culminated in Brett Kavanugh's controversial ascension to the Court, as covered in Frontline's documentary "Supreme Revenge", and the #MeToo movement's first real defeat since taking off following the Harvey Weinstein scandal in late 2017.
  • Johnny Depp probably had no idea the amount of bad press and attention he was going to give Disney when he took his wife's dogs Pistol and Boo to the groomers in Australia. The groomers posted the dogs on social media, when it was then discovered that Depp had not declared them to Australia's custom agents. The result was an enormous and highly publicized fight with Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, who threatened to kill the dogs in order to keep diseases like rabies out. Joyce's threat to kill the dogs was widely mocked by the media and Pirates fans as too extreme, but the drama did not even begin to end there. Joyce publicly stated that Depp had possibly broken the law, and it didn't take long for the media to inform everyone that the penalty if Depp was charged and convicted of smuggling in his dogs was a decade in prison. Disney was left wondering for months if the main star of one of their most famous original franchises was going to be charged with a serious felony. Thankfully, the dogs did not belong to Johnny, they belonged to Amber Heard, and the Australian government promptly started investigating her over the matter instead. Disney was forced to wait and see if Depp's wife was going to be charged with a crime, which would result in a slew of bad press and had already badly damaged production of the film, along with Depp's other absences. Amber and Johnny apologized in an awkward video, but the fight with the Australian government, combined with Depp's drinking problems and an unexplained hand injury, followed by his divorce from Heard during which she alleged Depp was abusive, led many in Disney to desire kicking Depp out of the franchise. The relatively poor box office and critical performance of the new Pirates film was all it took to convince Disney to show Depp the door. Maybe Depp should have just groomed the dogs himself.
  • Randall Munroe originated the concept for the algorithm behind 4chan's notorious /r9k/ board. Encouraging people to engage in genuine discussion ultimately lead to many of them explicating on their violent misogyny and the board became a breeding ground for the then-nascent incel movement, and ultimately (through no fault of Munroe's own) a contributing factor in numerous acts of domestic terrorism.
  • When the Senate acquitted Bill Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice over his affair with Monica Lewinsky, they had no idea of the searing social consequences that would emerge two decades later. At the time of the affair, most of the nation, along with a large amount of politicians on both sides felt that the affair was a private matter, and that the impeachment was a completely unnecessary sideshow, despite the fact that Lewinsky was only in her 20's and an intern, and Clinton was in his early 50's and the President of the United States. Many people later agreed, including high profile Clinton supporters, admitted in the wake of the Me Too movement that by acquitting Clinton, the nation missed a chance to send a strong message on sexual misconduct regardless of who the person was, and many others felt that acquitting Clinton led to the downplaying of sexual harassment and abuse of power in society, especially if they were someone important to society, as demonstrated by Vox creator Matthew Yglesias in his article "Bill Clinton should have resigned."
  • In 2014, a Florida homeless mother was supposed to drop off her children at a family friend's house while she went to a crucial job interview. Getting no answer when she went to their home, she ended up taking the children with her and leaving them in the car for what should have been a 15 minute interview. Unfortunately for her, while the prospects of her getting the job were looking great, it ended up being a 45 minute interview instead and by the time she went back to the car, the police were there after a passerby noticed the crying and profusely sweating children in the hot vehicle. She ended up arrested and charged with child endangerment. However, since many sympathized with her plight, they ended up starting a GoFundMe campaign for her that wound up with nearly $70,000.
  • Michelle Knight's mother was one of these. Already having a neglectful and distant relationship with her daughter, Michelle's young son was taken into foster care after a associate of her mother's had abused him. The day she was to go to court and try to get him back, Michelle's mother failed to pick her up and she had to resort to trying to walk to the proceedings and asking around for directions when a man said he knew the way and would give her a ride. Sadly, that man was Ariel Castro and the decade-long worth of atrocities that befell her, Amanda Berry and Georgia DeJesus could have possibly been avoided if only her mother had gave her a ride that day.
  • The 2019 Notre Dame fire, which nearly took down the whole cathedral, might not have gotten as bad as it did if one security guard had successfully located the fire in the attic sooner.
  • How invasive species become invasive. It starts off with people not knowing the ecosystem and introducing animals, either on purpose or accidentally, causing things for the animals to go really well in their new home, making a new pest for that ecosystem. There are many upon many of examples but one of the most well-known examples are the rabbits in Australia. The rabbits were brought into Australia as a food source but some got loose and did what rabbits do.
  • The backlash against The Phantom Menace, particularly the performances of Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker and Ahmed Best as Jar Jar Binks, codified, if not created, the concept of the toxic fandom and, in the case of the vitriol against Best and Jar Jar, paved the way for much more high-profile toxicity against any popular film franchise regarding any attempt at affirmative action, culminating in the controversies surrounding the Ghostbusters remake and The Last Jedi, resulting in the former tanking at the box office and the latter making the prequels more acceptable to like on account of the hate towards Kelly Marie Tran reminding fans who were around for the prequels of their own disdain for them, and not in a good way.
  • Large carnivores can turn into man-eaters when a bullet wound renders them unable to hunt animals. In his autobiographical book, Nine Man-Eaters and One Rogue, Kenneth Anderson recounts a particularly ghastly story when a group of people shot a tiger from their car, didn't even bother to give it a closer look, drove away, and didn't dwell any further on the incident. The tiger's lower jaw was destroyed, and from a merely bothersome cattle-lifter it turned into a cunning and ruthless man-eater that terrorized the entire province and claimed more than two dozen lives. The details of how it happened could be reconstructed because one of the "car shikaris", as the author dubs them, was heard bragging about having wounded a tiger.
  • The Hatfield-McCoy Cycle of Revenge was directly responsible for the excesses of the coal mine era and the hell endured by millions of rural Virginians and Kentuckians in the decades that followed.
  • In the 1970s, bond trader Lewis Ranieri was looking for a way to give investors securities that had a good return with little risk. He invented the Mortgage Backed Security, a bond that grouped several AAA rated mortgages together and were virtually guaranteed to return a profit and remain solvent. The banks profited greatly off of these bonds, but there were only so many AAA rated mortgages that could be put into bonds. Thus, they began to fill them with sub-prime mortgages that were unlikely to be paid back. Eventually, the housing market collapsed and the fallout was a big contributor to the Great Recession of 2008. In the aftermath, Ranieri spoke out against the banks for corrupting his invention.
  • One day in 1991, Milwaukee, Wisconsin police officers encountered a young man named Konerak Sinthasomphone wandering the streets, naked, disoriented and trying with his drugged up and limited English words to seek help. Shortly after, his boyfriend showed up and informed them that they had an argument while having sex, he had stormed off and was trying to paint himself as the victim to make him look guilty. Sadly, they believed his story despite of the man being, in reality, a fourteen-year-old boy who had escaped from the rape and torture of his abductor and that the "boyfriend" was Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who then subsequently murdered him.

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