Sometimes the ironies of cruel hands of fate also have a sick sense of humor, with destinies twisted in ways that seem particularly wicked.
Like a concert pianist crushed by a plummeting Baby Grand, ironies can add a layer of macabre mockery to scenarios that would otherwise be simply unfortunate. Other times, defeat or even death seem snatched from the jaws of victory, adding fleeting false hope to the doomed or the damned.
Here are the top ten tragic ironies—in order of happening.
10) From Freed to Fried
Toward the end of the American Civil War, Confederate prisoner of war camps were no place to be. By 1865, the South was so low on resources that it could barely feed its soldiers and citizens, let alone captured Union troops. At Georgia’s notorious Andersonville camp, of the 45,000 Union troops who entered, some 13,000 never came out. Starvation was a major factor, as evidenced by haunting photos of survivors.
Then in April, word spread south that Robert E. Lee had surrendered. The war was over. An overjoyed nation wanted its soldiers home as quickly as possible, POWs included. With rails torn up throughout the Confederacy, boats were sent south to retrieve the newly freed men from Andersonville and other spots, including Alabama’s Cahaba Prison.
Among them was the 376-capacity steamboat Sultana. In haste, it was loaded with 2,300 men and began its journey home.
It never made it. On April 27, several of its overtaxed boilers exploded, scorching some passengers and causing others to drown. The event stands as the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history, with the terrible twist that most of its victims were doomed, reborn then doomed anew.
Number 9: Joseph Johnston’s Last Stand
In excess of 25 year later, two of the American Civil War’s most regarded commanders would participate in their own awful irony.
Next to Ulysses S. Award, William Tecumseh Sherman was the Union’s most praised military pioneer. Under Grant, he assumed instrumental jobs in the catch of key fortifications like Forts Henry and Donaldson, just as the fruitful attack of Vicksburg, Mississippi, the supposed “Key toward the West.” In 1864, when Grant got General-in-Chief and moved east to connect with Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, Sherman accepted control of the Western theater, catching Atlanta before setting out on his celebrated walk through Georgia and the Carolinas.
During the drive toward Atlanta, Sherman’s Confederate partner was Joseph E. Johnston, who had assumed crucial jobs going back to the contention’s first significant challenge, the July 1861 (first) Battle of Bull Run. By 1864, the Union’s preferences in troop numbers and supplies had started to overpower waning Confederate powers; Johnston deferred Sherman’s development as well as can be expected, however without much of any result. Sherman, similar to his old buddy Grant, kept the weight on by utilizing better numbers than flank Johnston’s more slender lines, bringing about a moderate yet inescapable retreat.
Johnston increased a hesitant yet profound regard for Sherman. To such an extent that when Sherman passed on in 1891, the old Johnston evacuated his cap during the cool, stormy memorial service. Asked to return his top on, Johnston pronounced “In the event that I were in his place, and he were remaining here in mine, he would not put on his hat.”
Johnston contracted pneumonia and kicked the bucket the following month—heartbreaking incongruity tinged with the valor of regarding one’s opponents.
Number 8: Hollywood Heroine’s Harrowing End
Entwistle featured in only one film: Thirteen Women (1932). In the book the image depended on, Entwistle’s character is a lesbian who starves herself in an unusual type of self-destruction subsequent to being abandoned by her sapphic sweetheart (truly outrageous stuff for the 1930s). In the film, be that as it may, she is a straight hitched lady who kills her significant other and winds up in prison. The film is truly out there and worth a watch in the event that you like spine chillers; it includes a visionary master who sees dreams of fate, and a vindictive half-Oriental lady hell-bent on making the thirteen ladies murder themselves to rebuff them for excluding her during their school years together.
Sadly the test screenings didn’t look good for Entwistle’s character, Hazel, whose part was sliced from 16 minutes to four. The clear disappointment was unfortunate for the growing on-screen character. One month after the discharge (nearly to the day), twenty-multi year old Peg Entwistle ended it all when she moved to the highest point of the letter ‘H’ on the Hollywood land Sign (the last four letters were expelled in 1949), and hurled herself off, diving the 45 ft. (13.7 m) to the ground before her body moved under its own force down the side of Mount Lee.
Her self-destruction note was found in her abandoned tote by a lady climbing close by. The note read: “I am apprehensive, I am a weakling. I am upset for everything. In the event that I had done this quite a while back, it would have spared a great deal of torment. P.E.” Many accept that the Hollywood Sign is spooky by Entwistle’s terrible ghost.
You might be asking why this passage is on the rundown. Without a doubt, it is dubiously amusing that her character ended it all, however here’s the bitterest incongruity of Peg Entwistle’s life: a letter had been sent to her not long before her self-destruction offering her the lead job in a play about a young lady who ends it all.
Number 7: The Recovery-inspiring Relapser
Edwin Thacher, whose companions called him Ebby, was approaching an old buddy in Brooklyn Heights. It was 1934, and like a great deal of Depression-period people Ebby’s companion was down on his karma and out of a job.
He was additionally drinking intensely and fanatically. He had been attempting to calm down yet been fruitless. Furthermore, since Ebby was an old drinking mate, this companion, William Wilson, was anticipating thumping back a couple with somebody who could keep pace.
But rather than alcohol, Ebby brought a message of expectation. He, as well, had been not able to stop drinking. Be that as it may, with a lot of standards he’d learned, to a limited extent, from a balance disapproved of association called the Oxford Group, Ebby had captured his liquor addiction. He was, he announced, a free man.
The talk moved William Wilson so much that, today, he’s all the more generally known as Bill W., the prime supporter of Alcoholics Anonymous and boss planner of its Twelve Steps of Recovery. He proceeded to turn into the most popular calm alcoholic in history.
Ebby proceeded to… get drunk. A great deal. He was a regular relapser for the remainder of his life.
Ironically, among the reasons AA veered from and in the long run disassociated with the Oxford Group was its excessively enthusiastic evangelism. Ebby couldn’t try to do he said others should do, which may have destined him while in a roundabout way sparing millions throughout the following 85 years.
Number 6: A Tragically Ironic Last Meal
As the Allied Forces surrounded Nazi Germany from both east and west, the since quite a while ago speculated bits of gossip became horrible truth as many inhumane imprisonments were freed. At death pits like southwest Germany’s Dachau Camp, bodies were stacked like cordwood in the absolute generally horrifying, upsetting displays ever witnessed.
Still, the camps’ freedom brought salvation for countless those who’d figured out how to endure, assuming scarcely. At Auschwitz in Poland, Russian soldiers discovered 7,000 starved at this point still-alive spirits. In northern Germany, British soldiers showing up at Bergan-Belsen Camp spared 12,000.
Not shockingly, most by far of liberated detainees were very anorexic, regularly days from death without legitimate nourishment. What’s more, lamentably, for a few survivors their starved status prompted a heartbreakingly amusing demise.
Obviously, the Allies first objective was to take care of those frantically needing food. Be that as it may, when they did as such, many encountered a stun to the framework so serious that they kicked the bucket of overeating. Their official reason for death is “Refeeding Syndrome”, which can create when a malnourished individual ingests a lot of too rapidly and encounters a kind of “sugar stun” in which the food’s transformation to glucose overpowers the framework.
Number 5: An Accidental Anthem
A few tunes wind up being unquestionably more amusing than anything Alanis Morissette ever wrote.
Born in the USA is one example. A recognizable pre-discourse swarm hotter at numerous a political assembly, the melody’s title and taking off, apparently cheerful riff propose a glad nationalism that ties both applicant and supporters to their country. Truly does right by me to be an Ameri-… uh, pause… what was that about murdering a yellow man?
Far from bringing out pride, Springsteen’s 1984 hit recounts to the narrative of a Vietnam War veteran who enrolled subsequent to falling into some difficulty in his old neighborhood. Upon his arrival, he discovers managers reluctant to enlist him and the administration unfit to support him (sounds about right). “I’m ten years torching the street,” the last verse closes, “Nowhere to run ain’t got nowhere to go. “
That message of disillusionment is lost on numerous an American, including Ronald Reagan, who was president when the tune originally hit the wireless transmissions. “America’s future rests in a thousand dreams inside your souls,” he commented. “It rests in the message of expectation in melodies of a man such huge numbers of youthful Americans appreciate, New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen.” Not exactly, Gipper, however it’s a simple mistake to make.
Number 4: Biggie’s Unfortunately Accurate Album
Apparently the best rapper ever to get a mic additionally dropped the most lamentably amusing collection in hip-hip history.
On March 9, 1997, Brooklyn-conceived Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. also, Biggie Smalls, was killed while driving with an escort from a club in Los Angeles. The drive-by, death style shooting came only a half year after Biggie’s rap rival, the similarly skilled Los Angeles-based star Tupac Shakur, was gunned down on the Las Vegas Strip. Thinking about the couple’s superb abilities, their homicides were viewed as the costliest results in a deadly fight between hip-bounce specialists speaking to the East and West Coasts.
One reason their demises were such catastrophes is that both Biggie and Tupac – as of now the business’ two best rappers – were so youthful. Tupac was just 25 years of age at the hour of his homicide; Wallace was only 24. They had a great deal left to give.
But it was what Biggie left behind that made his demise especially brutal: fourteen days after his homicide, his goal-oriented, 22-track twofold collection hit the racks. Its title? Living day to day After Death. The marginally post mortem collection proceeded to turn into the fourth most elevated selling rap collection ever. Another layer of incongruity: the keep going track on Life After Death’s subsequent plate is the inauspicious “You’re Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)”.
Number 3: The Office Is Closed
Ever wonder why New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was meandering around Lower Manhattan on 9/11, as opposed to managing crisis reaction endeavors from a war room? Basic: he didn’t have any place else to go.
The city’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) was housed in… you got it, the World Trade Center, which is somewhat similar to putting a military field medical clinic legitimately between adversary lines. Part appalling incongruity, part lack of foresight, the NYC OEM was built up in 1996. Considering this was only three years after the 1993 truck bombing planned for toppling the Twin Towers, it’s, best case scenario a sketchy decision for an office entrusted with coordinating crisis reaction endeavors during catastrophes.
The office was situated at 7 World Trade Center, nearby the two towers. On 9/11, this got dangerous for two reasons. To start with, the OEM’s interchanges depended upon the receiving wire on 1 World Trade Center, the principal building struck by a plane. That receiving wire before long turned out to be in part stuck in light of the fact that the Fire Department required it to coordinate its own salvage operations.
And at that point, obviously, the towers crumbled. It was eventually the North Tower’s implosion – the second of the towers to fall, at 10:28am – that harmed 7 World Trade so seriously that the structure should have been completely emptied. Later that evening it, as well, collapsed.
Fortunately, what started as a constrained relocation north for Giuliani immediately turned into a circumstance where New Yorkers and the entire world saw a pioneer driving on the bleeding edges.
Number 2: Judge-ment Day
9/11 has a lot of abnormal coincidences, yet here’s one that crosses into genuine disastrous incongruity: the principal individual who portrayed the day’s devastation – around seven years before that decisive September day – has a similar name as the day’s first official casualty. All things considered, almost.
In 1994, one year after the primary, ineffective endeavor to decimate NYC’s World Trade Center, VICE magazine ran an article titled “What is al-Qaeda?”. The story was an inside and out gander at the then little-known fear based oppressor association drove by Osama Bin Laden.
For whatever reason, the article’s lead visual was a depiction of Beavis and Butthead, who in 1994 were at the stature of their notoriety. The couple of numb nuts are demonstrated wearing turbans while – you get it – flying planes into the Twin Towers.
Beavis and Butthead were made by Mike Judge, who proceeded to compose the 1998 faction parody Office Space and the long-running animation arrangement, King of the Hill.
On September 11, 2001, among the first to show up at ground zero was Mychal Judge – or, rather, Father Mychal Judge, the New York City Fire Department cleric. Father Judge rode alongside one of the principal motors on the scene that day to give comfort in any capacity he could. He passed on when the South Tower – the first of the two to fall – collapsed.
His body was immediately taken over the road to a congregation where, however innumerable others had just died that day through the underlying effect (and awfully, bouncing), Fr Mychal Judge got 9/11 Victim 0001, the day’s first official loss.
Number 1: Pain in the Glass
Melvin Henry Ignatow was not a nice person.
The Louisville, Kentucky man decided that if he couldn’t have his girlfriend, Brenda Schaefer, no one could. So when Schaefer ended their two-year relationship, Ignatow ended her life.
It was a particularly brutal murder. Ignatow and an ex-girlfriend, Mary Ann Shore, fastidiously dug a grave and soundproofed the latter’s house. On September 23, 1988, Ignatow took Schaefer to Shore’s house, stripped, bound and gagged her, then repeatedly raped her. Already, I’m starting to wonder what Ms. Shore ever saw in this young man.
Ignatow then tied Schaefer to a glass table – an odd scene for a murder that comes back into play later – and smothered her with chloroform.
Worst of all, Ignatow and Shore got away with it. And we know the jury got their acquittal wrong because Ignatow later admitted to the murder during a subsequent perjury investigation. He served five years for lying under oath during the murder trial, but per US law could not be retried for the killing itself.
Ignatow was released from prison in 2006. Two years later, he fell in his home, cut himself and bled to death. The culprit? A glass coffee table. See ya in hell, Mel.
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