Show Mobile Navigation

10 Notorious Cases of the Bystander Effect

The bystander effect is the somewhat controversial name given to a social psychological phenomenon in cases where individuals do not offer help in an emergency situation when other people are present. The probability of help has in the past been thought to be inversely proportional to the number of bystanders. In other words, the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help. This list describes the prototype of the effect and cites nine particularly heinous examples.


The Parable of The Good Samaritan

Good Samaritan Poster

First, the prototype of the bystander effect. Jesus tells a story to a lawyer, who, in all other ways, is blameless and upright in God’s eyes. He obeys the Ten Commandments, and loves his neighbor as himself. But he asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”

Jesus then explains, with the following parable, that everyone is everyone’s neighbor, and that help should be offered to anyone in need of it, regardless of who or what that person is.

A Jew is going along the road, and is beset by bandits, who beat him severely, strip his clothes, and rob him. They leave him for dead. Later, a priest walks by. He sees the Jew, moves to the other side of the road, and walks by without helping. Later, a Levite goes by, sees him, and gives him a wide berth, going on without helping.

Later, a Samaritan (considered by the Jews to be outcasts) comes by, sees him, and immediately helps him, taking him to a nearby inn, caring for him, and paying the innkeeper.

“Which of these is the neighbor of the Jew who is beaten by robbers?” Jesus asked.

“The merciful one,” replied the lawyer.

“Go and do likewise.”

In the following nine examples, no one goes and does likewise.


Shanda Sharer


From the 10th to the 11th of Janury, 1992, 12-year-old Shanda Sharer was abducted and tortured by four teenage girls, Laurie Tackett, Melinda Loveless (a propo), Hope Rippey, and Toni Lawrence. Tackett was more or less the leader of the four, and interested the others in the Goth lifestyle, punk rock, vampirism, witchcraft, Satanism, lesbianism, and such, and devised the plan for abducting Sharer and stabbing her to death, out of revenge for stealing Loveless’s girlfriend.

They abducted Sharer from her house just after midnight, pretending to take her to see their mutual friend, Amanda Heavrin, the girlfriend Loveless believed Sharer to have stolen. As soon as she was in the car, Loveless put a knife to her throat and interrogated her about Heavrin, until they arrived at “the Witch’s Castle,” a local run-down house where teenagers liked to hang out.

They took her inside, tied her up and discuss how they would kill her, at which point Sharer started crying. They claim to have been frightened by passing headlights, so they took her to a nearby landfill in thick woods, where Loveless beat her savagely with her fists. Lawrence and Rippey claim to have wanted out of the situation by this point, but did not dare try to run and call the police.

Loveless then tried to cut Sharer’s throat but the knife was too dull. Rippey then got out, had Loveless and Tackett hold her down, and strangled her with a rope. They thought she was dead and threw in the trunk, then went to Tackett’s home to wash up. They heard Sharer screaming, and Tackett went out with a kitchen knife and returned covered in blood. The screaming had stopped.

She then took out her runes, part of the Wicca lifestyle, and told the girls’ futures. They then Tackett and Loveless went joyriding from 2:30 AM, while Lawrence and Rippey stayed at her home. Sharer began struggling to get out of the trunk, so Tackett stopped, and beat her unconscious with a tire iron.

They returned a little before dawn, washed up again, and Tackett laughed as she told what she had done. They left and went to a neighborhood burning area, where leaves and limbs, etc., are disposed of, and showed Sharer, nearly dead in the trunk to the others. Lawrence claimed to have been so disgusted that she turned away. She still refused to rat out her friends. Tackett sprayed Sharer with Windex, probably to exacerbate her wounds, and taunted her, “You’re not looking so hot, now, are you?”

They then filled a 2-liter Pepsi bottle with gasoline at a nearby station, drove to a secluded field, laid Sharer, alive, in a blanket in the grass, doused and set her afire. Loveless returned a moment later and poured the rest of the gasoline on her, to be sure.

Lawrence was scared to death by this point, and finally called a friend of the same age, and told her what had happened. She refused to call the police, now out of fear as an accomplice. Loveless strangled became hysterical, sorry about what she had done, and called Amanda Heavrin to tell her. Heavrin did not believe them, until she and another friend saw the trunk of Tackett’s car with blood and Sharer’s socks.

None of them called the police. Sharer’s body as discovered by two hunters earlier that morning, the 11th, and reported. By 8:00 PM that night, the whole community knew, and Loveless finally confessed in a fit of hysteria to the police. Tackett, Loveless, and Rippey were sentenced to 60 years in prison, Lawrence 20 years. Lawrence was released on good behavior in 2000, Rippey in 2006.


Ilan Halimi


Ilan Halimi was a French Jew who was kidnapped in Paris by Moroccan “barbarians,” as they like to be called, on Janury 21, 2006, and tortured for 24 days, finally dying on February 13. During this time, his kidnappers, at least 20 of them, beat him all over his body, especially his testicles, completely wrapped his head in duct tape, except for his mouth, so he could breathe and eat, stabbed him, burned his body and face with lighters and cigarettes, and broke his fingers in order to extract a ransom of 450,000 Euros from his family. They stripped him, they scratched him, they cut him with knives, and finally poured gasoline on him and set him afire.

During these three weeks, neighbors in the apartment block where his kidnappers had taken him (and where they lived) heard the commotion and came to watch. No one ever called the police. 27 people have so far been charged with joining in. 19 people have been convicted and given long prison sentences. One of the torturer’s fathers knew what was happening and did nothing to stop them. This man, Alcino Ribeiro, was sentenced to 8 months, but this sentence was suspended. He has served no time.

Those neighbors known only to have watched were not convicted, most not even indicted. Halimi was found handcuffed and bound with nylon rope, naked, to a tree about 40 yards inside a woodlot from a railway outside Paris, on February 13. More than 80% of his body had been burned with acid, as well as gasoline, to the point that he was difficult to recognize. He had severe contusions, blood blisters, and hematomas covering most of his body, to the point that he was more blue than flesh-colored, multiple broken bones, one ear and one big toe missing, and his testicles looked like “blackened oranges.”
Halimi died en route to a hospital.


Edison Electrocutes an Elephant


Not just Topsy the Elephant, but a rather long series of animals, all of which had shown themselves to be a danger to humans. This included horses, lions, tigers, and bears. Edison was happy to oblige the state of NY in executing these “menaces to society,” by employing alternating current, but his ulterior motive was merely to show the world the danger of alternating current, invented by Nikola Tesla, his arch-rival. Edison’s direct current didn’t have the strength to electrocute an elephant, and he considered it safer.

So, on January 4, 1903, at Luna Park Zoo, Coney Island, Topsy was hooked up to Edison’s lighting plant, and electrocuted with 6,600 volts of AC. But this was after they fed her carrots that had been soaked in cyanide, just to be sure. They deemed Topsy to be a permanent threat to humans, as she had killed three handlers in three incidents, one of which involved a handler, who regularly whipped her, trying to feed her a lighted cigarette just to watch her suffer. She stomped on him.

1,500 people watched, and no one said a word in complaint. Edison filmed it, and the film is available on YouTube, if you feel like being outraged. The funny thing is that the ASPCA, which is supposed to protect the rights of animals, considered hanging to be cruel, as it would cause strangulation, not a snap of the neck, and yet had no problem with cyanide poisoning and electrocution.


Kevin Carter’s Famous Photograph

Kevin Carter

Kevin Carter was a South African Photojournalist who, in March 1993, took the most infamous photograph, so far, of the brutality and disregard for human suffering in sub-Saharan Africa. The photo shows a female Sudanese toddler, alone and severely emaciated, attempting to crawl to an aid station for food. A vulture is standing on the ground behind her, waiting for her to die so it can eat her.

Carter claimed that he waited 20 minutes for the vulture to spread its wings, which he thought would make a better picture, and when it didn’t, he took the picture as is. For those 20 minutes, the toddler had to rest before resuming its trip. She whimpered and panted, and Carter did nothing to help her.

He took the picture, scared the vulture away, then left the girl to continue crawling on her own. No one knows what became of her, but it very likely that she starved to death. This account is denied by Joao Silva, a journalist friend of Carter, who stated that the child’s parents left for only a moment to take food from a plane. Either way, Carter claimed later that he just “didn’t want to get involved.” He killed himself the next year, after winning the Pulitzer for this photograph, by carbon monoxide poisoning, in his truck in Johannesburg.


Forced Relocation of the American Indians

Historicindians Large

This was not a single incident, but all the major crimes against the Indians were perpetrated for the same reason. European settlers and their descendants wanted more land. They thus drove the Indians westward, killing hundreds of thousands over the centuries, in order to make way for themselves. Unfortunately, no land is ever enough land. They wanted more, and the Indians continued being deprived of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The most astonishing aspect of this crime is that many notable Americans, especially Andrew Jackson, considered it righteous, as the Indians did not have the military strength to defend themselves, and thus deserved to lose their rights. Survival of the fittest, so to speak. Jackson is the man most directly responsible for the “Trail of Tears” relocation of the Cherokee. Later, the Navajo and Sioux, to name just two large tribes, were slaughtered in outright warfare.

Very few Europeans or their descendants, from 1585 with the Lost Colony, to the turn of the 20th Century, ever raised much of a fuss, if any at all, over this disgustingly awesome mistreatment of an entire race of humans.


Murders of Three Civil Rights Workers


If you’ve seen the film “Mississippi Burning” you’re familiar with the murders of James Chaney (black), Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman (both white, Jewish). The White Knights of the KKK shot them dead and buried them in an earthen dam in 1964. The outrage in the northern half or so of the United States was immediate and fierce, as it should have been.

But there was no public outcry of any kind in the South. Very few black people, especially in Mississippi, had anything to say about the crime, as they didn’t dare incur the wrath of the white authorities. But the truly astonishing aspect is the absence of an outcry by many white people, if any, as they either agreed with the crime, or just didn’t care about the plight of blacks (and Jews, and anyone other than “WASPs”) in the South.

Racial hatred had become so rampant and impudent that the Judges who presided over the various criminals of this sort of case rarely convicted them, and then imposed the lightest sentences. The culprits of the three 1964 murders, 17 of them, were tried, and only 7 were convicted, not of murder, but of “civil rights violations,” because the prosecution didn’t believe they could be convicted, in Mississippi, of murder, which was probably true. The harshest sentences were 10 years each to two culprits. Others received 7 years, or 3 years. No one served more than 6.


Kitty Genovese

2866829171 Kitty Genovesex

The most infamous example of the bystander effect took place on March 13, 1964, in Kew Gardens, Queens, NY, when Catherine Genovese was entering her apartment building at about 3:15 AM, from work. She was stabbed twice in the back by Winston Moseley, a heavy machine operator, who later explained that he simply “wanted to kill a woman.”

Genovese screamed, “Oh, my God! He stabbed me! Help me!” and collapsed. Several neighbors in surrounding buildings reported hearing her voice, but decided it was probably just a drunken brawl or lovers’ spat. One man shouted from his window, “Let that girl alone!” which scared Moseley away.

This neighbor was sure to have seen Genovese crawling across the street, under a streetlight, to her apartment, but did nothing to help her. Witnesses saw Moseley drive away, then return about 10 minutes later. He had put on a wider-rimmed hat to hide his face, and searched for Genovese in the parking lot, the train station, and the apartment complex, for 10 minutes, before finding her prone in the external hallway at the rear of the building, where the door was locked. She could not get in.

Moseley proceeded to stab her to death, inflicting multiple wounds in her hands and forearms, indicating that she tried to fight him off. She finally succumbed and he raped her as she lay dying. He then stole around $50 from her and fled. The whole incident spanned 30 minutes.

A newspaper blasted it the next day as “Thirty-eight Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call Police,” but this is inaccurate. There were approximately 12 people who claimed to have seen the first attack. Many of them later stated that they “just didn’t want to get involved.” A simple phone call to the police would have sufficed, but everyone assumed someone else would do it.


The Richmond High School Incident

3075664322 8C6F61De55

The events that transpired on the night of October 27, 2009 inspired me to compile this list and I admit that it has caused me to reconsider the crime of the #1 entry.

The girl’s name has not been released to date, as she is 15 years old, but the accounts of the crime all agree, and it is beyond belief. For 2 and a half hours, while the High School Homecoming Dance was taking place inside the gymnasium, approximately 10 men gang-raped the 15-year-old student, beating her savagely the whole time, all the while 10 others stood around laughing and taking pictures with their cell phones.

The crowd eventually numbered more than 20, and no one called the police. No one went inside to tell a security guard or a policeman, several of which were on campus at the time. A little earlier, the assistant principal looked out his office window and saw 12 to 15 grown men sitting around near the scene of the crime, none of whom had identification badges, as is required, and none of whom appeared to be a teenager, and the assistant principal did not call the police, or alert any teachers or students. He returned to his job and ignored them.

The girl is still in critical condition at a hospital, having been found later by someone leaving the dance.


The Holocaust


The most repugnant, globally violent disgrace of the reputation of humanity gave rise to the equally infamous use of the phrase “diffusion of responsibility,” as the Nazi officers tried at Nuremberg all claimed the same defense, “We were just following orders.”

They argued that if the Holocaust really was as bad as journalists were saying, then someone else must surely have known of it, and thus it was not necessarily their responsibility to report it to the authorities.

They also argued that the only authorities in Continental Europe at the time were German, and thus, they would only have killed themselves by attempting to inform the outside world, and would have accomplished nothing. This is not true. Most of the German population knew nothing of it, but had they, they could easily have banded together and demanded that the Holocaust be stopped. The Nazis would have been reluctant to exterminate their own “master race,” and by that point, the Allies would have heard news of it. So the Nazis wisely concealed the concentration and death camps from all but the small villages nearest to them.

The Holocaust achieves #1, however, because the populations of the villages near these camps, Dachau, Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen, Sachsenhausen, Mauthausen, and Ravensbruck, to name a few, knew perfectly well of the atrocities and horror inside the camps. The camps were established near fairly large towns and cities, the inhabitants of which could not have ignored the stench coming from them. Allied soldiers all reported smelling camps before finding them, from as far as 20 miles if the wind blew right.

The Allies accused the German citizens of these towns of knowing full well what was happening to Jews and other “undesirables” and yet making no effort to save one life. These German populations were thus forced to clean up the emaciated corpses and bury them in mass graves, as punishment for their passivity.

Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

Read More: Twitter Facebook YouTube

  • lo

    @El the erf (50):

    that comment makes no sense. one of the biggest problems for believers is explaining why evil exists in a world created by a good god. see comment 45, where tons of people leaving a fricking church did not even stop to see if a woman sprawled face down on the pavement was even alive. yupp, looks like evidence of a loving god, and that religion religion in-and-of-itself makes us help others in need…………

    and why would the victims be motivated to believe in god? a god who let such things happen to them? do you think they are all job or something?

    • Malu

      I”m a bit frustrated pianyg for all these $50 no good google or affiliate courses online, so when i saw PERRY MARSHALL’S course , it really looks legitt, but I’d hate to spend another $50 and end up disappointed again does anyone have suggestions where to download it in ebook format at a discount price?thanks

      • Meghan

        Google courses?

    • melina

      What people fail to realize, even most supposed christians, is that the explanation for the evil in the world and why nothing has been done about it is in the Bible. James 1:13 states ” “When under trial, let no one say: ‘I am being tried by God.’ For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.” That’s because the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one..the Bible identifies him at 1 Corinthians 4:4 4 among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through” and 1 John 5:19 which states ” 19 We know we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the [power of the] wicked one.” What most don’t know is that the entire reason for what’s going on lies in the book of Genesis that b rings out how Satan challenged God’s right to rule and have authority, he said man could rule themselves, and that is exactly the point that Satan is trying to prove today. Thats’ why people keep trying to form government after government without much success. A small part of the reason that it’s happening is that so in the future, when God destroys the wicked, no one can cry out that He never gave mankind the opportunity to try their form of government, one free from God and independent. But there’s also hope ” The upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.” Proverbs 2:21, 22.

      People always cry out and say “why doesn’t God do this for me, or that for me?” But they never turn around and do for God, he stated you can pray for anything and it will be given to you According to HIS will. But even now, people have a bad experience or two with religion, and then they just shoo it away. People will try to talk to them about it, and they don’t want to hear it. Let’s face it, to most of the world, the belief in God is a convenience. You don’t when things are good, and you turn to him when you’re in crisis. The bible also states that “unforeseen occurrences befall us all” so none of it’s fate, and God doesn’t save some and kill others, so there are so many false beliefs people have toward God and that is why so many are angry.

      But in the case of these people, that was wickedness within themselves, they sat back and did nothing, so you see they had the power to help, but didn’t. Thats’ true evil.

    • suzako

      That’s because of the thing god gave us,
      We choose our actions, not God himself..
      Don’t Blame God for man’s shortcomings….

      • R Givens

        You nailed it- read “When Bad Things Happen To Good People” by Harold Kushner and you will have a better understanding of the evil in the world. God has given us freewill from the very beginning of time. We are free to do good or do evil, our choice. These people suffered because not one person made the freewill choice to do good and you want to blame God for their decision? For the outcome of these situations? It is so sad (an inadequate word) to see humanity at this level of shame. God gets angry according to the Bible but I wonder if He cries?

  • fcvaduz


    I'm saying that Polish people near Auschwitz knew what was happening in the camp and therefore to say that German citizens should have stopped it is to also suggest that the Polish citizens should have done it. Slovaks, Hungarians, Ukrainians, Latvians, Russians also etc etc. Millions of people in Europe had an idea of what was happening but still turned in Jews for their own gain, Anne Frank being an example. To single out German citizens, who may or may not have had sympathies with the Nazis (much like those in other countries occupied) is an attempt at shifting blame. In my opinion, it isn't just Germans who were guilty in 'ignoring' the Holocaust. I used Poland as an example because a lot of extermination camps were placed there and perhaps I should have worded it better, my apologies.

    You are right to point out that Polish people effectively bore the brunt of Nazi aggression and were subjagated to horrible crimes and had little or no chance at stopping what was happening to people in their vicinity. But if people believe that it is better to do something and risk death than do nothing and risk the deaths of millions, then all Europeans are culpable in ignoring the Holocaust. Not merely German citizens, or Polish citizens, or the Allies, or the Slovak government who paid the Germans to take their Jews, or the Hungarians, Ukrainians, Russians, Latvians who were quite happy to allow the Jews to be taken, knowing full well what would happen to them.

    Again, I apologise for singling out Poland.

    • kelpie

      You obviously observe the world from the Kingdom of Walt Disney… If you would take the time and research about that era and would have a bit of common sense, maybe, just maybe you would have refrained from such idiotic comments. If you think East Europeans just happily accepted it all an all overjoyed about it then you should remove those pink Chinese made plastic glasses you are looking at the world.
      The topic itself is a bit more extensive then to be discussed in a comment. Get a history book Troll

  • rain

    Nice list. :D
    This proves that people are violent when not tamed.

    • Deddrie

      …and that the tamed won't help those hurt by the untamed.

  • lab

    Sad, sad list, and do you know what, I would also have been a bystander. It’s a nasty thought but unfortunately it’s true.

  • Geronimo1618

    Good list flamehorse, no.2 is so shocking and disgusting more so that it occurred recently..can’t say that we are living in a civilized society if so many people are apathetic..

  • Pip

    Great list

  • mandiemurder

    This is discusting.

    It makes me question the famous quotes by Anne Frank, “… in spite of everything I still believe that people are basically good at heart.”

    No. No they aren’t.

    • ditto

      I agree, Annie Frank may have been inspiring but she was wrong on that one quote

      • nato2101

        people are good at heart, there are many stories of people willing to risk everything to help others. It is just that humans are also weak and it is easier smoother the flame of goodness than withstand the tide of evil.

  • sayam

    When they say it takes one person to change the world. On a small scale this is what they mean. If one person had of done something a lot more might have stepped in to help.

  • Ny

    This list is so, so sad but unfortunately this is what happens when people simly “don’t want to get involved”.

    We could all learn from the samaritan.

  • Davy

    Number 1 is disgusting. Nice list overall

  • jhhwild

    Here is a perfect example of this bystander effect. It involves a hit-and-run incident in which a 78 year-old man was hit by a car and nobody does anything to help. Here is the video, most may consider it disturbing.

  • kellie

    omg i cant believe people would do stuff like this. intresting list!

  • Mark

    Of course the concentration camps would have smelled by the time the Allies reached them, without the Germans there what would have happened to those too weak and sick to force on the death march? They died… and without anyone there to bury them, what do you think happens?

    That’s hardly compelling evidence that the residents of even the towns and villages adjacent to the camps themselves (let alone other German citizens) knew of the atrocities occuring within. Everyone knew that Jews were being persecuted, but it would have been suicide to attempt anything to try to prevent that. I think that you also under-estimate the German’s power during the majority of WWII and the efficiency of the Gestapo.

    It was a good list, apart from the first two entries (#1 and #2)

    • Hilah

      There are stories about the villagers and such in those areas about having to dust the outside of their houses every day because of all the ash. They knew. None of us can say honestly that we wouldn’t be complacent. We don’t know what we’d do in those situations, but we know what we should.

  • fcvaduz

    It wasn’t only German citizens who ignored the Holocaust, everybody did, the Allies, Poles, puppet officials in Nazi occupied or Nazi-allied countries.

    I think Martin Niemoeller sums up the attitude in his famous poem…

    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    • BlindedCoyote

      Wow, can't believe that nobody gives a shit about the first holocaust which happened on american soil and was carried out by americans, im talking about the Natives…
      I must know is it really that nobody cares or is it because they are happy to see them almost gone??

      • Meghan

        I agree that what the ‘settlers’ did to the natives of what is now the United States seems to have been pushed to the back of the psyche. Not enough is taught about the horrible things that were done to the natives. Part of this, I think, is because the people committing those acts are taught about in history classes as if they are heroes, for settling the new world, leaving England for religious freedom, and then breaking free from England. I think also that it is easier for someone from the US to say, “Why didn’t more Germans stand up against Hitler?” than to say “Why did our forefathers commit those atrocities against the natives?” Also, the education received in our schools on these subjects is severely lacking.

  • Tenebrae

    @jhhwild (9):

    That video is just tragic. It’s appalling how many people just pointed and stared, yet did absolutely NOTHING.

    In regards to #9 it really grates my nerves when people say “part of the Wicca lifestyle” to prove the aberrant behaviour is related. For one thing, it’s a religion. No more.. no less. For two, it’s a religion that’s central tenet is “An it HARM NONE”. It’s pretty obvious those girls were social deviants and utter miscreants who had NO religion at all. It’s annoying people make that ridiculous, ignorant association.

    Worse though – 2 of those girls are already out of prison? What the heck kind of justice is that?

    • Meghan

      I have seen that case covered by various different documentary style shows. It is sickening what they did to that poor girl. I think their sentences were far too lenient.
      Also, I hate when people paint Wicca in a bad light, simply because they are ignorant of what the religion is really about. It’s no better than blaming any other religion for someone committing a crime. And you are right about the main rule of Wicca being “do as ye wish, harm none.” It’s essentially the same as Do unto others as you would have done to you.

  • El the erf

    If I were you flamehorse, I would put the Gujarat riots at no.1.

  • Taash

    Flamehorse, I always love your lists, this one is very very sad, number 2 because of how recent it is and number 6 because its a baby. I dont think i would have been a bystander in most of these crimes. Perhaps with the exception of number 7, 5. 4 and 1.

  • Taash

    Flamehorse, I always love your lists, this one is very very sad, number 2 because of how recent it is and number 6 because its a baby. I dont think i would have been a bystander in most of these crimes. Perhaps with the exception of number 7, 5, 4 and 1.

  • Woyzeck

    Very interesting list, demonstrating perhaps one of the least acknowledged but most widespread and virulent traits of the human race.

    Two quick issues – number 6 is not a case of the bystander effect as it involves only one man, whose actions were probably caused by PTSD and shock.

    Secondly – the population of Germany during the Holocaust was collectively in the grip of Nazi fever. Exterminating the Jews was part of Hitler’s entire schtick, and I think his citizens were well aware of this. I know some people can quite happily and fashionably believe that history is all a matter of evil dictators rather than whole populations of evil people such as ourselves, but the phenomena in this case is probably one of complete moral recidivism.

    Number two by the way is truly disgusting. There can be no punishment too harsh for the perpetrators. They have forfeited their humanity.

  • stepha22

    i can’t believe number 2 happened the other day and I had NO idea…. as a child advocate, number 6 makes me sick, i can’t even look at that picture. Excellent list, Hopefully people will read this and learn that even one small phone call can save a life!!!!

  • joanne

    shocking, infuriating, depressing list

  • stepha22

    PS I think the Rwandan Genocide could be an example of it as well….. a lot of people believed that because it was in Africa, they didn’t need (or want) to get involved…. that or just a case of sever ignorance, which is just as bad.

  • Tenebrae

    I can’t believe they gave that man a Pulitzer for that photo. How could he just sit there for 20mins, waiting, while a small child struggled for her very life? That’s beyond callous. Obviously, he knew it and it haunted him.

    This whole list is heartbreaking and, unfortunately, gives me all the more reason to be distrustful and cynical. :/

  • BooRadley

    I think the picture in #6 is the saddest thing I have ever seen. To think that the photographer watched for 20 minutes to try for a better photo, then walked away without helping the poor starving child is repugnant. I was actually relieved to read that he killed himself, because it shows that he finally realized how heinous his lack of human decency actually was.

    All of these scenarios are appalling. I don’t understand how someone could observe such senseless, brutal violence and not be outraged enough to render aid. Add to that the onlookers who actually joined in with the tormenters, and you see a grim picture of the human race. To me, compassion and mercy are some of the most important qualities in a civilized society. How they seem to be so completely lacking in so many people is beyond me. It makes me want to despair of any hope for the human race.

    That said, I know that I can’t despair, I can’t give up, because the only hope of changing this mindset is for outraged people to speak up, to act against cruelty and to model good behavior towards our fellow humans. We need the good people to work against evil, or things will never change. If we can learn, as a race, to see every person as we see ourselves – important, fragile, and worthy of respect – then perhaps this sort of behavior will fade away. Maybe this is an implausible idea, but it’s all I have right now. We need to treat other people as we want to be treated. That’s the Golden Rule. Without it, what are we but savages? What’s the point of life without it?

    • joe j

      I feel this was the worst one. This guy should of been condemed by his peers not honored.

  • Lim of St.Francis Institution and MMU

    It’s not that people don’t want to help. These days good people are always exploited. Take for example the incident at #2 (Richmond). Someone could be acting out a rape scene then when someone does come to help, that someone is instead kidnapped or even worse raped. So you can’t really blame the bystanders for not helping.

    • Lolcat

      Yes. You can.
      Strength in numbers: once one person fights back, everyone else will join in, and a few unarmed people can't rape 10x more people who are intent on stopping them.
      If I am ever in a situation where someone else is in danger, I will help them no matter what.

      • Drew

        or you could just call the fucking police!?? Jesus. People are stupid.

        • Meghan

          Thank you, Drew. Why don’t people just call the f***ing police??

  • Zubair Kaka

    wow, i just lost a bit of faith in mankind.

    I cant think of two recent cases, firstly the “dont taze me bro” incident as well as the girl who was beaten by 8 teenagers.

    We are sick.

  • foljas

    Nuts the size of “blackened Oranges”…. hes got some gigantic balls

  • Firefly

    My own experience of the bystander effect happened just a few weeks ago. I had to go to a meeting and was walking along a street I am fairly familiar with. On the opposite side from me I saw about 3 men punching and kicking another man. This happened at about 11.30 in the morning so there were plenty of people around. Some people at a nearby bus stop were watching and other people were just passing by, trying not to make eye contact.

    I was going to go into a nearby shop and ask them to call the gardai but thankfully 2 security guards from a parking complex ran to help him. Having said that, the attack had already started when I got there and they must have been watching for a minute or two before they went to help.

  • Si Si

    Oh my goodness. The one about Ilan Halimi was umm…well it was terrifying. I am not quite understanding Flamehorse why they did it? Why did they kidnap him and do that? What is wrong with this world? I have been a potential bystander twice. The first time I ran and tried to help a choking victim, he lived. The second time I called the cops. I would not be able to live with myself if I didn’t risk or not risk my life to help someone in danger. Also, we all know about this one but the case of Sylvia Likens. Another wtf bystander moment.

  • El the erf

    I have but one question… What punishment would you prescribe for such people if, say, that girl in #2 would have been YOUR daughter,eh??

  • Q?

    Okay, little discrepancy in number 9: “… went out to the runes, part of the Wicca lifestyle…” No. Being a witch and being Wicca are two completely different things.

  • Mark

    @Q? (27): You do realize that being a “Wiccan” requires a belief that magic can be manipulated. I don’t know any Wiccans personally, but I have read some Wiccan texts and I have seen the words witch and witchcraft mentioned.

    • Jay

      Eating meat doesn't make you a butcher. The Wiccas are more aware of things you and I would call witchcraft. That doesn't mean they're witches.

      • Meghan

        The word witch has so many connotations, mostly negative. The term witch in its original intent isn’t offensive; it would only imply that the person practices Wicca. Sort of like a Jew practices Judaism. There is just so much misunderstanding and ignorance of the Wicca religion that the word is often used improperly. Perhaps some Wiccan groups don’t approve of the use of the word witch because of the negative connotations involved.

  • amo

    number 2 happened on my birthday and i remember reading about it in the paper.
    absolutely disgusting. in this day and age too.

  • El the erf

    You try stoppin’ these people…and they inflict you with an injury on one of those vital organs that is gonna stay with you all life long. Yeah…you become a local hero overnite,mebbe even your pic comes in the newsdaily the morn after, but what the hell. You aren’t gonna enjoy your 15 minutes of fame for even that long man,bcoz you know your life has been permanently punctured by one incident you could have never cared for. I hope i am able to say what i mean to say,duh!

    • Drew

      YOU GO AND CALL THE POLICE. FUCK. WHY ARE PEOPLE SO FUCKING STUPID!?!? You're one of those people that stands by like a little bitch and watches…..Youre just as bad as the murderers and rapists. Fucking coward. I know for a FACT I would help. Whether that be not getting involved and instead calling the police, or getting involved and kicking some fuckin ass – depending on the situation. Just becasue you cant help directly, it doesnt mean you cant alert the people who can. Im truly disgusted by the amount of people posting here saying things like what youre saying. You should be ashamed of yourself fucking coward.

  • randomprecision24

    If you’re interested in the subject, check out the movie “An American Crime”.

    • rbooker

      Hope it's not as brutal as Jack Ketchum's "The Girl Next Door".

  • Rufus

    this is what makes humans animals…

  • stepha22

    @El the erf (30): i don’t think anyone is saying to jump in and save the day, but to just make a simple phone call….. how many people would have been saved if someone called 911 or the equivalent

  • Sensekhmet

    fcvaduz, I hope you are joking. The Poles? Holocaust destroyed around 2 millions of Poles and those outside the fences were ‘kinda’ busy being repressed, shot and buried in ditches all over. Besides Polish resistance did inform the Allies of what was going on. I suspect you might also support the ‘Polish death camps’ nonsense? After Semtember 28th 1939 there was no ‘Poland’, only emmigration and underground state organisations.
    I’m not making the Poles saints, though. As a Pole myself, I’ll tell you first they can be murderous, corrupted, twisted and depraved and in a critical situation they may turn tail, betray or kill.
    Just like any other nation on Earth.

    • @KarmaTiger

      …and yet there are films of Jews being unloaded from trucks and herded by Polish militia into deeply dug trenches, where Totenkopfverbanded SS shot them by the dozens… then the next batch of jews were unloaded, and were made to stand on the bodies, then were also shot… and so it went.

      The townspeople, far from being "busy being repressed", were standing around watching, some with picnic blankets out and making a day of it. After all, the militia men were their neighbours or family.

      The creepiest part? The Jews being shot were also their neighbours.

      Google it. One of the worst films has a dog run past the camera after it was cared by the first volley of rifle fire, and a smiling SS troop caught it and handed it back to the 6 year old boy who owned it, smiling pleasantly, as bodies fell behind them.

  • Frank

    It is not the bystander effect if the person is involved in the group which perpetrates the crime. As such most of these falls away… horrendous yes. Bystander effect… no. This list should be renamed.

    Also, putting down a dangerous animal is not something that any sane person should want to stop, so I don’t see what that entry is even doing there. The method might not have been the best possible, but it was what was available and believed in at the time… nobody had a reason to interfere, or even to want to interfere.

  • Rufus

    oh there was a bystander case in hong kong

    a guy who suffered from heart attack was lying in front of a hospital and no one, not even the doctors or anyone in the hospital did anything to help the person. he later died…

    it’s in chinese though…

  • joanne

    shocking, infuriating and depressing list.

    what’s really horrifying about 8 & 9 is that they were still alive in such terrible condition when they were found right after what they’ve gone through

  • joanne

    oops sorry about my previous comment it was only number 8

  • lindam78

    tats a sad list but v good 9.8.2 are heart breaking

  • Geronimo1618

    How can they bloody hell give a pulitzer to a man who is claiming that ‘he waited for 20 mins. to take that photograph’? Where was the conscience of the selecting jury? Carter shoulda bin clamped in irons and left to fend for himself in the desert for a week or two,then a recording of his struggle should have been made and shown to him..that would hav been a lesson..jolly good that he committed suicide

  • Eyspire

    This list made me outraged and overwhelmed with helplessness. I can’t understand how a human being can commit such a terrible act – it’s absolutely appauling.

    I’ve been the first to call emergency services or run to a stranger’s aid in the past because I can’t help but put myself in that persons shoes. Imagine how it would feel to be left for dead in a crowded environment as bystanders watch seemingly nonchalant.

    Imagine thinking about your loved ones and desparately wishing you would see them again. Imagine coming to terms with that. How can the committer not consider another persons well being?! Lucky i’m about to hit the gym because i’m now primed with adrenalin and rage.

  • brosiusjb

    Nobody reads comments this late in the game but by way of explanation as to why the murderers of the civil rights workers were convicted on a civil rights destruction statute was because in the u.s.of a murder is a state charge. There was almost no investigation into the murder by the local authorities as they were a bunch of hicks. All the headway was made when Lyndon Johnson (a southerner himself) ordered reputed cross dressing head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to send agents to get to the bottom of this. The civil rights charge was the only federal statute the feds had to try and convict on and that law had only recently happened. This case further shows how much work the US had (has) in race relations post reconstruction.

  • QND

    I once saw a motionless woman lying head-down on the ground, yet no one came to her aid despite the crowded area. Sadly, the area was crowded because mass has just finish at a nearby church. She practically lay in front of it.

  • brosiusjb

    10 years was the maximum time allowed for imprisonment in the denying a persons civil rights law. That’s partly why sentences were so short.

  • El the erf

    @stepha22 (33): One ‘simple’ phone call you say,ha! Maybe you haven’t listened to what Kevin Cosgrove had to say in the list of top 10 eerie recordings.

  • keyshock

    Cordell Hull should be on this list for not granting asylum to Jewish refugees escaping from the Nazi. In his pursuit not to involve the US in the ongoing world war during that time, he chose to ignore the suffering of others.

  • MORT

    Whether this list has the right name or not is irrelevant. Brilliant list. Makes you think. Saw pic of #6 stuck on a friend’s fridge years ago and I’ve never been able to get it out of my mind. Shocking.

  • El the erf

    And then people say ‘God doesn’t exist’. Go tell this to those who are the victims of such outrages. (I don’t wanna turn this into those type of debates,but still)

    • ScOTTy078

      dont you mean "god does exist" because if something like this happened to me, and someone said to me afterwards "it was gods will" i'd puch them in the face

  • lo

    there was a horror film made about this phenomenon, the gathering w/christina ricci:

    it all comes down to some combination of fear of becoming a target yourself and indifference, depending on the “bystanders” constitution (or degree of depravity themselves), and for the participants i guess you can add liberal dashes of “group mentality” to the above cocktail.

    and to tenebrae #13, first off you are close to correct about wiccans, 2 of their central beliefs are that all actions must be done “and thus[ly] harming none” and that all actions and mental/magickal energies sent out into the world will return to the sender at 3 times the power, so if you hurt people expect pain coming your way (like karma to the 3rd power).

    but your quote “It’s pretty obvious those girls were social deviants and utter miscreants who had NO religion at all.” is thoroughly offensive and retarded! so, you think that actions like this are a calling card of atheists?

    news flash: having any religion or no religion at all it not the thing that separates the sociopaths from those who are kind. not to mention that your ugly implication here also contradict your own other thoughts, if their religion was wiccan -or any other form of ritual magic- they weren’t “suffering” from “NO religion”. or did you just mean “NO religion like MINE“?

    get a clue, you can be good without religion and even good without god….. and deeply religious people can be evil (see the salem wicth trials, the spanish inquisition, “manifest destiny” in the americas, the crusades, religiously identified terroism, etc.)

  • Tigerama

    I am thisclose to deleting this site – what is going on with this Christian creep? This would have been a perfectly valid and interesting list without the Bible prologue, and this stuff is starting to show up in a LOT of lists.

    • Kiko

      dude, it's a list about the bystander effect. The good Samaritan is a well known story and example of this. If you don't want to read it, don't click on the link.

  • saopauloesquecida

    The first list to really make me feel sick. It’s well written as usual, but I just couldn’t finish reading it. So much suffering over stupid matters… And yet even in these comments we see the same old discussions which have caused or contributed to that suffering. We can travel in space and dive to the depths of the ocean, but we still can’t reach our ‘neighbor’.

    • Rob

      This was not well written at all. There were quite a few grammatical errors.

  • Jesse

    Humanity has a long way to go, as we see in the everyday happenings around the world. Truly, I am surprised we’ve gotten this far sometimes. But, for the many with compassion for fellow mankind the road is long indeed.

  • Lauren

    This reminds me of an incident that happened in my street a few months back. It was very early in the morning, I’d say about 2AM, when the sound of a screaming girl was heard outside on the street. My parents woke up to see what the fuss was about; a young girl was being pursued by a drunk man. She was screaming ‘Help me! Help me!’ It was obvious no one else on our large street was going to help; half of the residents are elderly people, and the other half are the type of apathetic civilians all too common today. So my mother phoned the police whilst my father went across to the green where the man had pushed the girl down onto the grass. Somehow my father, with the help of just one other man from across the street who came out to help, managed to get the girl inside our house, and the man stood at the bottom of our drive waiting for her to come out again. She stayed with us, visibly shaken, until the police came to take her to the station to make a statement. In that time, the man had run off, nowhere to be seen. To this day, I dread to think what would have happened to that vulnerable girl if my parents and our neighbour hadn’t acted as they did.

    Sometimes it’s just best to bite the bullet and take action.

  • Al

    Sad list. Ashamed to be a human-being.

  • stepha22

    @El the erf (47): ok, so maybe it won’t do anything…. but firmly believe that something is better then nothing….. maybe i’m naive, but i do believe it

  • oouchan

    Very sad list, FlameHorse, however good it was to bring to light.
    Even still it just proves to me that humans are more evil than good. Too many stories of this type then those that save.

  • Hayloiuy

    What a bunch of HYPOCRITES making comments. Ok you hero wannabes ANSWER THIS QUESTION. Suppose someone is beaten up by a group of thugs, are you gonna try stop it when the thugs threaten that it will come for your family next? If you answer yes then I respect you as a selfless human being. If you say no i still respect you as you want to protect your family but stop making shitty hypocritical comments here ,”Humans are animal”, “i feel ashamed as a human” etc etc.Bah!

    • Drew

      Oh god, shut the fuck up. YOU CALL THE POLICE. Just because you cant help, physically, you CAN alert the authorities…..If they have you trapped and are making these threats, well you are one of the victims. Not a bystander.

  • Audrey

    Okay, let it be said that I’m not even halfway through the list yet and had to comment on this.
    There is nothing, absolutely nothing, on this list or at all, worse than animal abuse.
    They had this earth first, we are nothing but disgusting, mangy shameful terrible MURDERERS.
    And we deserve nothing less than the tortures of humans that have been mentioned on this list for hurting animals in any way at all.
    They have no defense and ESPECIALLY if someone is trying to feed an elephant a LIT CIGARETTE, then that person should suffer an excruiciating, slow painful death. And worse.
    Anyone that harms an animal should feel nothing less than continous agony.

    There’s my two cents.
    And my opinion on mentioning any sort of animal abuse in the same way you’d pass by everyday human abuse, it being as common as it is now that we think its alright.
    There was a point when we fell into the belief that killing our fellow human was alright.
    Don’t let that happen with the animals. They have no say against it.

    • Rob

      You are an idiot. 'Tis all.

    • Cariari

      I agree, i dont understand why people act like that, and yet they think they are superior than animals, and by doing that sick shit they just prove what kinda savages they are, an animal would never do that.
      Im glad he got stomped he had it coming…
      I hate when people do shit just because they "can".

      • ScOTTy078

        what a totally ridiculous statement, i will never, NEVER value the life of a dog or an elephant etc etc above that of my mother or father

    • Brogan

      I completely agree.
      Of course I value the life of humans but when someone hurts an animal it really, really angers me as animals cannot do or say anything to stop it.
      Anyone who harms an animal in a way as sick as the example above should be executed. People like that really don't deserve to be alive.

  • alexman

    i wouldnt agree with most of these- the holocaust was supported by most germans (the persecution was anyway) and the camps werent known about by most people or were seen as labour/relocation camps. people watched the animals be executed as they had killed and were seen as a menace even if the killings were justified people still agreed with the punishment, the jewish man killed in paris was surronded by violent, muslim people who agreed with his killing and the civil rights people killed were killed in a deeply racist south that also agreed with the killing. number 2 and the kitty one, number 10 and number 9 are the ionly true examples of normal people not wanting to help or get involved even though they knew they should. good list though

  • Jen

    I was walking around during the night around 1am and from outside a store window I saw the store owner being beaten by thugs. I just stood there for a while in disbelief. I was really shocked and didn’t know how to respond. My friend was like oh my god lets call the cops and we did as soon as we ran from the scene. The 911 staff took at least 20 minutes to figure out how to spell the name of the street. I have no idea what happened to the store owner. We were too scared to go back and look. We didn’t intervene and I felt awful the whole time because there was nothing we could have done except call the cops.

  • robert

    Great list but written very poorly. Do you own any software that gives spelling, punctuation or proper writing advice?

  • H3000

    I am shocked and chagrined, mortified and stupefied. This trial is outrageous! It is a waste of the taxpayers’ time and money. It is a travesty of justice that these four people have been incarcerated while the real perpetrator is walking around laughing – lying and laughing, laughing and lying. You know what these four people were? They were innocent bystanders. Now, you just think about that term. Innocent. Bystanders. Because that’s exactly what they were. We know theywere bystanders, nobody’s disputing that. So how can a bystander be guilty? No such thing. Have you ever heard of a guilty bystander? No, because you cannot be a bystander and be guilty. Bystanders are by definition, innocent. That is the nature of bystanding. But no, they want to change nature here. They want to create a whole new animal – the guilty bystander. Don’t you let them do it. Only you can stop them.

    • rbooker

      Ever hear of the Good Samaritan Law? In some places it is possible to be convicted for doing nothing to help.

  • Daemon

    Might I add that the Allies “knew” of the Holocaust aswell.
    They took aerial reconnaissance pictures of Auschwitz accidently for example. The trains coming in, lines of people marching and the ovens burning are clearly visible.
    The British Command just thought it was another Nazi scheme and dismissed it as disinformation.


  • damien_karras

    I asked the question on FaceBook about a week ago: “If you saw someone being mugged and/or assaulted on the street, would you personally intervene?” and the responses I received from my American friends saddened me somewhat, as it confirmed a belief I had been carrying about for some time now. The popular response was, “Would I be sued or be held personally liable in any way?”
    It’s a cynical world, no doubt, and a depressing commentary that describes what a litigious country the United States is.

    • Drew

      I agree, this would never happen where I am from….Im so amazed by alot of the comments here supporting the bystanders, truly disgusted. Jesus. I remember driving through the middle of town and seeing a guy lying on the sidewalk by the road, who appeared to be crawling along – I made the assumption he was a drunk (which I regret, now) as it was a friday night and we had been with people who were drinking – Anyway, I called the police and alerted them. They told me that 7 or 8 other people had also rang about the man and that police had collected him and taken him to the hospital safely. I felt relieved to live in a society where we look out for one another. The bystander effect is bullshit, it should be called the heartless coward effect, because thats what those bystanders are.

  • aliciaspinnet

    Maybe there should be a list of people saved by random passerbys.

    I have my own recent example. I was working in an A&E department last night. A man was witing for a family member and was sitting in the back seat of his car just outside the entrance. Luckily a passerby saw him looking unwell, and came inside for help. When we got out there he wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. A nurse and doctor started cpr in the car while we brought out a trolley, dragged him onto it and brought him inside. We managed to resuscitate him and I heard this morning that he’s in a stable condition. If it wasn’t for that random passerby then that man would probably have died.

  • dazzerjp

    The good will always help.

    The bad never do.


  • flamehorse

    @El the erf (14): Hadn’t heard of it till you mentioned it. I’ll go look it up. Thanks, everyone. I can’t say it belongs on a Halloween list, but it’s still scary.

  • zigra

    @H3000: Huh?

    Also, the point of this whole list is that simply because you did not participate in the physical abuse of someone, if you see evil and do nothing, then you are morally guilty and even complicit in the crime.

  • Davy

    The bystanders that are mentioned on the list are heartless. If I was a bystander on any of the single person items on the list, I would do something to stop it or call help. Extremely disturbing but well written list, flamehorse.

  • Lkienzle

    Overall a very good list, but I’m really annoyed by #6. I took a class on media coverage of crises, and we covered that photo. I’m not sure where Flamehorse got the information, but there are two things he (or his source) left out.

    One, they were actually not terribly far away from the center she was trying to get to, and she was just outside her village. It is probable that the aid workers or others (whether her parents or someone else) saw and helped the girl.

    Two, it is a fundamental tenet of journalism, whether print or photo, that you do not under any circumstances interfere with what is going on. That’s why wildlife photographers don’t rush in to save the gazelle from the lions, and why other famous photographs (the one that comes to mind would be Eddie Adams’ photo) depict horrific things.

    Carter was no different than any of the others, except that he perhaps felt much more strongly about what he had seen, so that he killed himself a year later. He wrote in his suicide note that in addition to terrible money problems, he was haunted by what he had seen in Sudan, where the above photo was taken, and in many other places in crisis.

    With this in mind, it’s really depressing that in an otherwise good and – to my knowledge – accurate list, these facts were left out and instead grouped Kevin Carter with rapists and murderers.

  • Someonelse

    I see no reason to print this list, what’s your point? People are assholes? People are evil? I see no reason for this list utter than to satisfied peoples voyeurism. I only read the first two items I do not want to read stories about women being tortured and gang rape! Life is depressing enough now.

    • Renn

      …Why did you even read this list?

  • CrevanFox

    took out her runes, part of the Wicca lifestyle

    actually tarot cards are much more common, Runes tend to be for Asatru and other Norse religions. Although none of these type of fortune telling devices are actually compulsary in any Pagan religion, and can be used by anyone.

    Not saying Wiccans, Witches, or Pagans can’t be involoved in crimes, but punk kids trying to shock the establishment with everything listed in Shanda Sharer’s segement aren’t real practionners.

    Rest of the list is horrifying, and a testament to the nature of humankind. We’re asshats.

  • Moonbeam

    @Lim of St.Francis Institution and MMU (23): How hard would it have been to call the police for help?

  • CRC3

    i have my own experience on the bystand effect, as victim.
    On my way home from school, i have to walk trought a small halley. That day it, only me was walking there. At the other end, two men coming my way. When we bump each other, he assault me trying to take away my belonings(?). The complete incident lasted 10 minutes at most. It ocurred near the end of the halley really close where taxi bikers wait for clients in front of a small cafeteria. In total 10 persons. All of them saw, all of them said they saw, none of them did anything.

  • ianz09

    Damn FlameHorse. I mean, good list, but this is awfully pessimistic. You don’t really think about how shitty people can (and will) be until something like this list is thrust upon you. You just wish you don’t have to hear about it. But, if you aren’t exposed to it, it will grow unchecked. So, great list FlameHorse, well written, well-conceived. The subject matter is simply atrocious, but of course that’s the point. Maybe next time you can do a list of some of the best humanity has to offer, so that we know that humans aren’t all pieces of shit. Unless that would undermine the impact of this list.

  • ianz09

    @CRC3 (78): Damn dude. I hope you were ok. Well, as ok as you could’ve been.

  • Davy

    This list is the complete opposite of yesterday’s list.

  • fifthsonata

    A bit of a Freudian slip?

    Within #3 – “..He had put on a wider-rimmed hate to hide his face…”

    Honestly, I couldn’t read the rest of the list after #3. I reallly can’t understand how people can sit by and do nothing.

  • Moonbeam

    How about this case from Brooklyn,NY? (From “Surveillance footage shows a woman collapsing in a Brooklyn psychiatric hospital, then lying on the floor for more than an hour while hospital staff ignored her. Esmin Green, 49, had been waiting for treatment for almost 24 hours when she collapsed at 5:32am and lay convulsing on the floor. She stopped moving at 6:07am, and was found dead at 6:35.” Staff then falsified records to make it look as though she had been “sitting quietly” although she was already dead. The video of it is disturbing. You see one staff person roll her chair over and look at her, then continue working.

  • aliciaspinnet

    – @Lkienzle (74):

    “One, they were actually not terribly far away from the center she was trying to get to, and she was just outside her village. It is probable that the aid workers or others (whether her parents or someone else) saw and helped the girl.”

    So it’s okay, because someone else probably helped her? I think with alot of these stories, people didn’t help because it was “someone elses problem”. There is a theory that the more people there are around, the less people will try and help, because they assume someone else will. And if everyone else thinks that way, nothing gets done. Your argument is incredibly weak.

  • archiealt

    @dazzerjp (70):

    This is a very stupid comment. You can’t divide humanity in to good and bad. People who are commenting on this list saying similar sort of things, such as,

    ‘all the bystanders on this list are just evil people’

    need to have a long hard think about things. It’s just not that simple.

  • Federov

    Today, half of you are ashamed to be ‘human’.

    Tomorrow’s list will have the top 10 deeds of heroism. And you’ll be proud to be a human.

    The tide comes in, then it ebbs. Groupthink.

    • ScOTTy078

      i agree, people are so fickle

  • aliciaspinnet

    @archiealt (85):

    I have to agree with this. some of the bystanders on this list were probably good people for the most part – loved their families, gave to charities, helped out friends in need etc. But when faced with an extreme situation, maybe they succumbed to fear, or were too busy to help or just didn’t want to get involved. Doesn’t make it right by any means, but it’s wrong to just say they’re evil.

    People aren’t divided into good and evil, black and white. There are infinite shades of grey. And most of us don’t really know what we’d do if we were in that situation. People are capable of terrible and wonderful things under extreme stress, and its hard to know how we’d react.

  • sg

    in number 9 you make it sound like lesbianism should be associated with satanism…etc. I find this offensive and ignorant. The fact that they were lesbians has nothing to do with their horrible crime. The wording makes it sound like you believe it to be on par with, and even the cause of this terrible crime.

    “Tackett was more or less the leader of the four, and interested the others in the Goth lifestyle, punk rock, vampirism, witchcraft, Satanism, lesbianism, and such, and devised the plan for abducting Sharer and stabbing her to death, out of revenge for stealing Loveless’s girlfriend.”

  • Qabandi

    good list,

    how about making a list of actual Good samaritan now

  • ianz09

    @Lkienzle (74): “One, they were actually not terribly far away from the center she was trying to get to, and she was just outside her village. ”

    You can never assume anybody else has called for help until help has arrived. You must take it upon yourself to intervene, if only that means calling the police or getting the attention of somebody who can help that person. His lack of action is not justified by the fact that the girl may have received help from elsewhere.

    “Two, it is a fundamental tenet of journalism, whether print or photo, that you do not under any circumstances interfere with what is going on.”

    It is also a fundamental tenet of being a decent human being that you help or call for help for those who need it. This was a young girl, not a gazelle. After he got his photograph, he easily could have helped her. And should have. I’d consider being a good person trumps being a good journalist. His Pulitzer didn’t stop him from committing suicide.

  • ianz09

    @archiealt (85): Archie is right. You cannot lump people into black and white. While I would like to think of myself as calling the cops or possibly stepping in in some of these cases, I have never been face with circumstances that would require this. I honestly don’t know if I would have it in me to step up. A metaphor that is applicable here: Everybody has a plan until they get punched. You know exactly what you would do in that situation, until you are in that situation. People aren’t metaphorically black and white, just different shades of gray.

  • “ODHI”

    The compilation by flame horse left one gruesome event
    which took place in arica in 1994.”The Rwandan GENOCIDE”
    Which “democratic”countries in those 100 days or so
    intervened ?

  • LaRose

    Great (but horrifying) list. There’s also the Cheryl Araujo case on which the movie “The Accused” was based.

  • callie19

    I’m gonna get so flamed for this, but whatever.

    I don’t think number 6 should be on here. Photographers have to train themselves to take emotion out of their work. It’s how they capture they most amazing pictures. Animals hunting down other animals, people hunting down other people. Those moments are what make the veiwer understand. When I was in high school, we heard a lot about drunk driving. It went in one ear and out the other until the day we had the assembly where they showed us close ups of dead kids, kids exactly like us. Kids who had their brains spattered everywhere, kids with faces caved in. You think that was easy for the photographer to do? Why isn’t anyone mad at the people who go film the kids for the charity commercials? In one that airs near me, it starts off with the announcer walking hand and hand with a small, malnourished child. “This is little Suzy. Her family is so poor that they can’t afford shoes, clothes, or food for her.” And she’s not wearing shoes, while walking down a litter-strewn path. The camera crew couldn’t give the kid some shoes for the shoot? The announcer couldn’t have picked her up instead of making her walk down the street shoeless? Yet these people are heros and everyone sends them money? How about this picture?

    Malcom Brown won the Pulitzer for that photo, and he didn’t rush to put the fire out. Was Carter guilty of shady morals? Maybe. Did he desereve all the hatred, so much that he chose to kill himself, leaving his own daughter fatherless? No. He took a picture that’s still a sign of the struggles of the land. That photo touches a lot of people, and makes the situation much more real for those that do choose to help. Carter doesn’t deserve to be villified for doing his job- especially not now, 15 years after his death. He paid the ultimate price for his bad choice. Let the man rest in peace.

  • Enigma

    Lkienzle, wow you clearly shock me! So in your opinion, watching a gazelle being chased and devoured by a lion is the same as watching the same happening to a human? Good God, what is the world coming to?

    • Cariari

      you're right, whats next? whining about how people can eat "carcasses" it's just as ridicuous

    • You completely missed the point.
      The gazelle thing was just an example. He never said gazelles being eaten and humans being killed are equally emotional or terrible.
      The point is that all of you that think #6 is so terrible don't understand photography. A good photographer does not interfere under any circumstances. Think of some of the most powerful images in history that depict terrible atrocities. We wouldn't have them without photographers doing what they're supposed to.

  • Fred

    Great list I thought! Not quite understanding the humans are assholes comments however?

    If anybody in the UK saw the pride of Britain awards, they would have seen plenty of selfless acts of bravery.

    People can be good/evil it doesn’t matter what gender, age, race, nationality, social status, sexual orientation or religion.

  • prolepak

    About no #1..I don’t think they fit there. The crime Israel did to Palestine are more cruel than that.

  • callie19

    @Lkienzle (74): I spent too much time writing my own comment to see yours. I agree with you 110%

  • Davy

    Even though words can’t describe how horrible number 6 is, I’m sure there are many cases that are much worse.

  • Davy


  • Enigma

    I clearly understand that photographers need to take emotion out of their work but is there somewhere we need to draw the line? I clearly think so. If you are a photographer and someone is going to die but you know if you help them (without there being any risk to your own life), you can save them, then obviously saving the life of that person takes precedence over a Pulitzer prize. This is not the same as when a lion is chasing a gazelle, for the glaring difference in this case is obvious to anyone.

  • MommaDuck

    What was done to the Native people of America (Native Americans, Indians) was, in a word, deplorable. To force an entire, nationality of people to move, to put it lightly, because you want the land is just not right. They are this countries native people. If any one deserves reparations, it is the native American peoples.

  • HulkSmashNow

    What about the hundreds of innocent settlers killed by the Indians? These people were led to believe that the lands they were settling were safe, and then were haplessly slaughtered for no reason by the Indians. No one ever mentions that. Nor do they mention how the Indians hunted the North American horse to extinction, as well. The American Indian does deserve his due, but also some blame, too.

    • 34E

      … Wow. That isn't even comparable. That's like giving someone a life sentence for killing in self-defense. Obviously there are exceptions, but not on anywhere NEAR the same scale.

  • “ODHI”

    Stepha 22, I totally agree with you,The publisher should
    take note of the bystanders effects during the killings
    sometimes spectators numbered more than a dozen during
    the broad-day light killings so aired on television a few
    years ago.

  • jeslynn6

    It is so sad that we have become so hardened to think that we can just stand by and let evil people get away with the shit they do! I’m not saying by any means that the bystanders are inherently evil as well because they did nothing, but they sure as hell are completely innocent. Screw the 15 mins of fame of being a hero – do something anonymously! The list made me sick (but was still a well written, interesting list), but what made it worse is some of the comments from people on here saying that they wouldn’t do shit if in the same situation! It’s one thing to hear about these stories from a distance and still be able to retain your faith in humanity, but a whole other when normal everyday people like me just reading the daily listverse say that wouldn’t stand up for a fellow human! I have 4 young boys and just pray to God that if they are ever in a situation one day where they need help that some of you people won’t be around! I would help you or your children.

  • flamehorse

    The writer of the list should not take part in the discussion, except to say thanks and such. I also noticed quite a few typos in this one. That’s whatcha get for rushing.

    I’ll try to fix them all next time.

  • Ike

    @Woyzeck (17):

    I don’t agree with your statement about #6. I suffer from PTSD from my time spent in Iraq, Kosovo, and Bosnia. There are times, back then and even to his day, that I get in a bad way. But no matter how bad I get.. how emotionally detached I become from the world… I could NEVER stand by and just do nothing in a situation like that.

    To me, his actions were nothing but selfishness. He had more pictures to take and that was his priority.

    I’m glad he killed himself.One less selfish asshole roaming the earth. One down six billion to go…

  • GTT

    @Audrey (62): Really? You honestly think that the killing of an elephant is much worse than the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl? Or the turture and murder of a 12-year-old? I agree that animal cruelty should be punished but I really think you need to get your priorities straight.

    @damien_karras (68): You know, that was the first thing I thought of. I´m not American but I´ve lived there for several years and so I too automatically think of the possible legal consequences. It´s amazing that people who want to HELP another human being in trouble run the risk of being sued for it. In a country where this is allowed to happen, can we really be all that surprised that people dont want to get involved? The SUE-happy culture is just completely out of control.

    By the way, great list again Flamehorse. A few editing issues but the topic was just incredible. So sad that humans can just sit by and watch while another person is suffering.

    I actually have my own good samaritan story. I was completing my semester abroad in Italy when my parents decided to come for a two-week visit. We rented a car and decided to drive along the coast of Italy to France. On our way back, we stopped in a small town for lunch and were about to get back on the freeway when my father suddenly collapsed in his seat. My mom (who was driving) hit the brakes in the middle of a busy intersection and ran out of the car screaming for help. Within 30 seconds we had a woman giving my father CPR and a man who got in behind the wheel and sped to the nearest hospital. Another person then picked up my mom and drove her there to meet us. These people saved my father´s life. Thank God there are still some decent people left.

  • adoh

    Wow. I knew about most of these, but actually reading it again has gotten me upset ALL over again.

    I’m really just disgusted with some people. God. I am just so incredibly disturbed and upset by these.

  • Wolfer

    @Tigerama (52): Go ahead and delete away. We won’t miss you.

  • Sensekhmet

    It true about photography, but the ‘waiting 20 minutes for a better shot’ bit shows the man really started to lose his grip on reality, even sanity perhaps. He paid the ultimate price in the end.
    As for the good vs. evil debate. It’s as old as humanity itself. I beleive 99% of people are just that: people. Capable of acts of bravery or wickedness, especially when pushed. But I also belive there are some people that are evil, rotten to the core. Like people who kill others and are unable to give any reason for their actions. They didn’t do it for gain, out of passion, neither were they compelled to do so (they are declared 100% sane). They just did it… just because.

  • “ODHI”

    How about the cruxifision of “JESUS CHRIST?The most unprec
    edented event in human history !Most bystanders,spectators
    accomplices…you name it did nothing.

  • slipstick

    @H3000 (66) Didn’t the French enact a law to the effect that if you see someone in need of assistance, you must help, even if it is just calling the police? Something having to do with a certain dignitary dying in a car crash where people just took pictures and didn’t help.

    While all of these are saddening cases of good people doing nothing, a point in #9 really upsets me. The fact that the one was into “witchcraft.” People say that as if it alone is evidence of malice and evil. It’s the stereotype that we have to fight against. For every story you hear about people who have corrupted the teachings, there’s a hundred more doing good, much like any religion.

  • GTT

    @callie19 (94): I completely understand the need to take emotion out of their work… I also understand that it is impossible to intervene in situations where you risk your own life (these people would either be constant heroes or dead after the first assignment).

    However, in the case of #6, was the photographer´s life really in jeopardy? Couldnt he have taken his picture and then helped the girl? Did he have to wait 20 minutes for a “perfect” shot? Or in any case, did he have to just walk away?

    In the example you gave, I think it depends on what happens next. Does the announcer and camara person just leave the little girl wandering the streets alone? Or do they take her to an orphanage where someone can take care of her? That, to me, is the difference.

    Carter could have taken his picture, picked up the little girl and taken her to aid station. He chose to walk away. That is indefensible.

  • insert name here

    this is the reason why superman quit his job.

  • The ones who killed the French Jew were MUSLIMS!

    MUSLIMS MUSLIMS MUSLIMS who did it in the name of the Koran, which tells MUSLIMS to kill Jews.

    Or were you cowardly to mention that fact?

  • Randall

    @callie19 (94): @Lkienzle (74):

    Sorry, but you two are *dead wrong* on this. I’ve worked in journalism, did a stint as a journalism major in college, and have two close friends who teach journalism at two different institutions here in New York. I can tell you right now that we’ve had this conversation before, and we’re all in agreement on this, as most journalism professors, professionals, and editors would agree—the “tenet” of journalistic “non-interference” is oversimplified and does NOT apply to situations such as this.

    Carter’s suicide is not the issue here. Certainly the man didn’t deserve to die, and certainly he DID perform a service in taking the picture he took—BUT—to WAIT while a fellow human being is dying for the “right picture” and then to WALK AWAY without helping is beyond the pale of what makes for good journalistic practice. It’s taking the notion of objectivity to moronic levels of inappropriateness. There is no sane or reasonable moral argument for what he did–or rather failed to do–it was simply a species of professional callousness.

    Now, no—there’s no issue of “punishment” here that can be brought into consideration. There’s no actual crime involved when one is observing a tragedy of this nature, and lets it continue. (That’s different, of course, from observing an actual crime being committed). Nevertheless, journalistic professionalism does not excuse one from behaving like a human being.

    There is a point where one’s journalistic professional demands and integrity end, and one’s humanity take precedence. This was one of those times, quite clearly. The idea that we could ASSUME that others would have helped the child is ABSURD. We do not know this and can’t have known it–and neither could Carter.

    Recharacterize this particular situation by changing the locale. Suppose a journalist were to see a child crawling in the street of your city, where you are right now, dying… with no one else about or at least no one any nearer than he, to help. Suppose this journalist waited for 20 minutes for the “right light,” then snapped a picture to illustrate “inner city horror” or some such thing… and then walked away to leave the child to his or her fate.

    Would you still feel so comfortable about “journalistic tenets” of objectivity and non-interference?

  • Cassia

    All of this is just so sad… I hope the raising awareness of the Bystander Effect greatly reduces the chance of occurance.

  • Jasmine

    I couldn’t read after number 2 which made me cry. I can’t believe a 12 year old girl died like that and went through all that. I can’t believe it.

  • saopauloesquecida

    @Kathy Shaidle (116):
    “A crime against one innocent is a crime against all mankind”. This is also on the Koran.

  • Lowdog

    maybe this list will leave a lasting impression on the minds of us who have read it and could hopefully help us to NOT just be a bystander if anything like this happens when we are around. maybe we will remember all these sad events and buck up the courage (even though in some cases this would take ALOT of balls) to do something…anything to help the victim.

  • callie19

    And what of the monk picture I posted, or the Eddie Adams Lkienzle posted? Or this?

    Now, I wasn’t alive for the Eddie Adams, and I was very young when Carter took his photo and I don’t really remember the controvery about it. I do remember the above picture being circualted and everyone being mad at the man pointing the gun. No one was mad at the photographer. No one said the photographer should have intervened and told the gunman to put down his gun. I’m not saying Carter did the right thing. I don’t think he did. However, I don’t think he deserves a place on this list, and I don’t believe he deserved the complete shitstorm that befell him when other photographers take just as repugnant photos and don’t see any consequences.

  • Lowdog

    @ (62) you are f*cking crazy. get your priorities right.
    sayin its worse than the abuse of children etc…wow.

  • L

    You really should have added the genocide in Rwanda to this list. The American government knew it was going on the entire time but didn’t want to get involved, so it kept making excuses and denying the fact.
    Sick stuff.

  • ChevalierDupin

    #1 should be “The HolocaustS” and should also include the one Stalin inflicted on Ukrainians and Poles and other Eastern European civilians who were sent off to Siberia to work and die. Considering that it was an even larger number of people terrorized and senselessly murdered, I cannot for the life of me understand why the one in central Europe has always received more attention, as if it was the only one.

    At any rate, very interesting and well put together list.

  • Garash

    “ODHI” (112) First of all not all people are christians and thousands got stapled up to the cross so i don’t think a whole lot of people care bout this guy (except for the christians).

    Second of all, did you forget that there was a whole lot of romans stabbing the guy in the chest with a spear?
    They did something all right… stabbeti.

  • Randall

    @callie19 (122):

    You see no difference between an instance where a photographer could place himself in danger of losing his or her life, by “interfering,” and one where nothing of the kind would happen, were he/she to help?

    It’s one thing to expect someone to jump in and risk their own life to help another. It’s nice when this happens—it’s commendable. But we cannot in all fairness “expect” it of others. But it’s quite another thing when one would NOT be at risk, if one were to help—and still just walked away.

    The execution, however repugnant we find it—and the monk immolating himself–are not analogous to the situation of observing a child dying alone in the open from starvation.

    We agree that he didn’t do the right thing; that in fact he should have helped the child. But no, let’s not excuse it with blather about “journalistic tenets” of non-interference and objectivity. He deserved the scorn heaped upon him and still does. Though, yes, I think knowledge of what he failed to do was punishment enough. I can’t get behind his personal decision to end his life—but neither do I find him blameless or his decision mitigated by some “professional tenet.”

  • Randall

    @callie19 (122):

    GTT’s stance on this at #114 is absolutely correct.

  • General-Jake

    Harsh but good list. Sadly i can GUARENTEE that instances of this nature and worse are only going to increase. No one cares about anyone anymore. As we all argue over religion and politics
    more people will stand idly by and say i dont want nothin to do with this.

  • archangel

    Brilliant and bittersweet list. I have to maintain my faith in humanity.

    In its defence, half of us would be dead if all of us were paralysed by the Bystander Effect each time heroism called.

    But still… poor people. Mass psychology can sometimes become atrocious.

  • callie19

    We have no idea what happened next in the commercial. Maybe it wasn’t even real, maybe they fashioned a third world country on an LA soundstage and maybe they got a child actress to play little Suzy No-Shoes. Maybe it was real, and maybe they packed up their Kraft services table and left while the money poured in. Maybe they went to the orphnaage and did some good deeds. The point is, if it was real, they exploited that child for their thirty second ad. Was it for the greater good? Yes. Could he have picked her up off the dirty ground with who knows what on it and made the same impact? Yes. Is he in trouble? Is anyone saying he did the wrong thing? No.

    I’ll give you the monk, because he did do it to himself, but the execution is absolutely in par with this.

  • General-Jake

    To many get offended at ideas as harmless as christianity
    (52 tiger) instead of being offended at things like child starvation and high school girls gettin raped.

  • Randall

    @Mark (11):

    The following was an appallingly stupid comment to make:

    “Of course the concentration camps would have smelled by the time the Allies reached them, without the Germans there what would have happened to those too weak and sick to force on the death march? They died… and without anyone there to bury them, what do you think happens?”

    The concentration camps smelled, Mark, because people were dying there ALL THE TIME. And depending on the camp (not all camps were the same) some were being cremated, some buried. Cremations were the standard. But the number being murdered and/or dying of starvation and disease on any given day was too great for the crematoria to keep UP with it.

    The smell was therefore CONSTANT, and not simply a result of the Germans “not being there.”

    MOREOVER, you make an incorrect assumption anyway, because not all concentration camps were abandoned by the guards and SS by the time Allied troops arrived. Some camps were still very much manned, and the SS soldiers and guards within fought. Nevertheless, the carnage and its smell and other physical evidence was still there.

    NOR was it only a matter of “smell.” Many camps were in part serviced by local businesses for various supplies and services–everything from baked goods to laundry services were delivered/peformed by locals. This varied from camp to camp, of course—and of course these services and goods were for the guards and SS troops, not the prisoners–but in any even there WERE local logistical support networks which helped keep the camps running—and this means that many local citizens DID know what was going on in the camps. They had eyes, ears, and noses with which to see, hear, and smell.

    They knew.

    “I think that you also under-estimate the German’s power during the majority of WWII and the efficiency of the Gestapo.”

    As you are evidently ignorant of the willingness of the German people, at that time, to go along with what was done within their country and by their government and military in other countries. They were not ignorant and never were, and the German people have long admitted their complicity in what was done during the war.

    You have spoken with actual correct knowledge on this subject, and quite frankly need to read more and attempt to grasp more before you offer your opinions in public like this.

  • Randall

    EXCUSE ME… the last line in my last comment should have read:

    You have spoken withOUT actual correct knowledge on this subject

  • Alencon

    I’m not sure that most of these are examples of the Bystander Effect.

    Certainly #10 is not, nor is any case where the bystanders are co-consirators, nor is any case where the bystanders have reason to believe that their own safety would be jeapordized by action.

    The bystander effect occurs in situations where a single person is more likely to take action than someone in a group solely because there is a group.

    The lack of action in most of your examples are for reasons other than group dynamics. Fear, prejudice and simple stupidity all seem to play a much bigger role.

    I could be wrong, but I suspect that only #2 and #3 qualify as true examples of the effect. In all the other cases there are other much stronger dynamics at work.

  • Norman

    I was surprised that the tragic case of James Bulger wasn’t on the list.

  • H3000

    Did anyone realize my first post (n. 66) was from the Seinfeld finale? It’s during the trial where the foursome is charged with breaking the Good Samaritan law. They see a man get mugged and laugh at him…. Anyone?

  • Benjamin

    “Let that girl alone” ????

  • “ODHI”

    Thankz garash (126),the fact remains that throughout hist
    ory a lot of events have taken place,The romans did what
    they had to do coz they were given the orders; but on the
    conscience side of human nature (which god will judge us
    based on that)it was all wrong,Who in those times did’nt
    know about the good works of JESUS CHRIST ?As for the byst
    anders and participants during crucifiction,Judgement day
    is awaiting them.make an effort to watch the film “the gat
    hering and see the flimpsy side of human nature !

  • redcaboose

    Flamehorse, this was a very good list of very repugnant acts. And I am sure these things go on all the time, all over the world.

    I remember the Kitty Genovese case, as I was in high school at the time. My father made me read all the news articles and watch all the tv news about it,using it as a study of how good men do not act. It is something I will remember all my life.

  • happypants78

    to Audrey (62) Get a life you PETA creep, number six was far worse than feeding an elephant a lit cigarette. Not to mention all the Native American tribes that were destroyed, or the holocaust……

  • redcaboose

    @Lim of St.Francis Institution and MMU (23): Yes, you can blame them. If they are unable to get actively involved, the can go for help, call for help, or grab some passersby and get involved. If you do nothing, you are a participant.

  • Amy

    I have always been amazed by the bystander effect. Some example on this list make me almost throw up though and some are plain sad.

  • Anyone ready for a good story?
    A number of years ago, my daughter and three of her friends were leaving Universal Studios after seeing a movie. It was quite late, about 2 a.m., and dark in the tunnels that lead from the main “street” area to the parking garage.
    They heard a girl screaming and man grunting with effort. My daughter, all 5’4″ of her, raced to the sound and found a girl curled up on the cement with a 6’3″ heavily muscled man kicking her for all he was worth.
    My daughter moved herself in between the two and first kicked him where no man wants to be kicked. As her friends arrived (slightly delayed because they called 911), it became apparent that the kicker had friends too, and they showed up simultaneously, and the melee began. It quickly became apparent who was in better shape, especially when my daughter kicked the 6’3″ man in the back of the head (anyone with gymnastic or ballet training can do it), but they kept the bad guys occupied until the Sheriffs Dept. arrived.
    As it turned out, the big guy was a honcho in the gangs of L.A. and the Sheriffs and the PD had been trying to get him off the streets for a long time.
    Moral fortitude. Ethical living. That’s what I taught them, and WOW! did she ever take it to heart.

  • archiealt

    @sg (88):

    Ha, I didn’t even notice that the first time around. It’s such a valid point.

    ‘Satanism, lesbianism and such…’

    If I was a lesbian i’d be pretty pissed off with that.

  • archiealt

    @segues (144):

    Is your daughter Jackie Chan?

  • redcaboose

    @Randall (117): I agree. I would not want to work in a profession that would tell you to stand by an ignore a child dying. I know that when an observer interferes with his subject, it changes everything, but in some cases, that is the good and right thing to do.

  • kofeelite

    It’s been said before but…why is it so hot and what am I doing in this handbasket?

  • Bill Gecko

    Submitter really needs to get treatment for severe Dyslexia

  • punkcat

    Mark made the comment that since the Germans were gone from the camps and no one was taking care of them or the dead of course it would smell. Wrong my father was in the army and helped liberate camps. The smell was that of burning flesh. The ash that covered the town was not that of trees they towns folks knew what was going on. They were all proudly wearing their german pins and once they saw the American troops they would rip them off and say “Oh look we are saved”. BS.

  • Cat

    My sister worked with a nurse who was a victim to the by stander effect. The nurse was treating a mentally ill patient who turned violent and beat her, while getting this beating a doctor sat and watched the whole incident and then went back to reading his paper.
    The ironic thing is that 2 weeks later the same doctor was killed in a car crash.
    Thats Karma for you.

  • David

    Such a disturbing list. I hope it encourages everyone who reads it to do the right thing even if those around you are comatose.

    Can I request a sci-fi novel list for tomorrow??

  • Moonbeam

    I recall reading a story from several years ago that stayed with me. It was about a man who jumped into a body of water and rescued a drowning person. When a reporter asked the hero why he risked his own life to help a stranger; all while no one else in the crowd of witnesses did, he replied that at first he thought,’someone should help him’ but then he realized, “I’m someone” and so he dove in.

    “I’m someone” – it makes me think that most people in a crowd will assume someone else will help, forgetting that they’re someone too.

  • BrotherMan

    It’s a sad fact, but a good majority of the people (and possibly all of the people) leaving comments like “I would definately help them” definately would not help anyone and would simply stand around and watch expecting someone else to help.

    This list reflects a sad, but true part of the human psyche.

  • GTT

    @callie19 (131): Actually, no, it´s not and the reason has been explained various times.

    It has to do with the RISK TO THE LIFE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER. Do you think there was a real life-threatening risk that, had the photographer of the execution pic intervened, he would also have been shot? I think it´s fairly safe to assume that the risk was there.

    Was Carter´s life EVER at risk? No. The situations are different.

    And for your commercial example, I will not cast blame until any subsequent inhumane actions are exposed. Carter was wrong in the way he acted and he deserved to be critized for it.

    Again, it´s not about taking the picture, it´s about not helping once the photograph is taken.

  • samsaragx

    @Hayloiuy (61): HYPOCRITES huh? Well this “hero wanna be” will answers your question. It depends ont he situation. It is clearly obvious that you won’t jump to help someone who is being beaten up by a bunch of criminals. I mean it’s 1 against many others and you will surely get beaten up unless you have super hero powers! If you get beaten up you won’t be of any help and will end up as the person they were beating. HOWEVER, you CAN still DO SOMETHING about it. You can call the police. Little things can change the world you know? I know police takes a while to arrive but who knows? Maybe you are lucky and they arrive fast. as for fear of being involved…I wouldn’t care, I have nothing to fear if I am innocent. I would be worried about my family and all that but I would also know that they would be proud of me for helping an innocent person, so I know they would understand. Is that shameful? is that being selfish? I don’t think so. If my husband went out and jumped to help someone about to be raped and he ended up injured or even dead I wouldn’t blame him or go on about “you selfish bastard, you had to help that girl and didn’t think about us for a moment” Come on. I would be proud of him since he died in such a honorable way. I believe the problem with society is exactly what you mention, that they limit themselves to protect their family only. while it’s ok to protect your family, it doesn’t mean you have to ignore the rest of the world. Now answer my question. WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WERE THE ONES IN DANGER AND NO ONE HELPS YOU, T HEY JUST STARE AT YOU AND DO NOTHING? Would you be all like “I respect you as a selfless human being” I bet you’ll be crying for help as you die in front of them. and yes I have lived dangerous situations before and have experienced the coldness of people and that made me change a big deal and decided not to act like them. It’s true that fear and surprise can make prevent you from reacting or helping someone on time, I have lived that before, everything is in slow motion, you are shaken, scared and don’t know what to do and yes you are also aware of what other people might think about you, but who cares? I have learned to not care what other people think about me or if the police is gonna accusee me falsely of something, doing the right thing or saving a life will be rewarded even if you don’t expect it. Just follow this rule: TREAT OTHERS THE SAME WAY YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED.

    the “Hero wanna be”

    Have a nice day.

  • Cass

    Nice story segues. I wish more people would instill basic traits like that in their children. My wife and I found a drunk teenager passed out in minus zero temperatures once and stopped to help. Though once I copped a beating for helping someone else in a fight against 4 guys. I ended up getting it worse and he did a runner. Unbelievable.

  • lrigD

    This was a weird list. I’ve never heard of the Bystander Effect as an actual sociopsychological phenomenon (of course I knew it existed) so I was surprised to see this, but I believe that some of these examples are not really fitting… To me Bystander Effect is literally standing by and not doing anything. Not all of these examples have that.

    But that’s not really important because what’s written on this list is bad regardless of how it should be called.

    As for the dying child photo. I remember seeing a documentary about a British woman (Kate Blanchett if I remember correctly) who filmed a lot of barely-human cases all over the world. I can’t recall a perfect example but I remember that she did something like this too, that she just COULDN’T help. (She filmed in orphanages in Eastern Europe and China, among other countries).

    And number #1, ‘Wir haben nicht gewusst’… this is actually quite a major issue here in the Netherlands. How much can you trust the people living nearby? I don’t think you should believe anyone in this case. Yes, maybe they knew. But does anyone know what it was like to be in such circumstances? I’m not condoning it, I’m definitely not, but I kinda think that people shouldn’t judge before knowing the circumstances. Of course, if people actually do that, pretty much nothing would be judged.
    I really think about this quite often, about the concentration camps I mean. I wonder if those people in villages near concentration camps were aware of what was happening nearby. I know that it didn’t become known in the Netherlands that people were gassed in camps until far into the war, and even then, many people didn’t believe it. Kind of makes me thing of what those villagers THOUGHT was happening in the camps.

    I’m confusing myself now… clearly not a good idea.

  • adi000

    I think fear plays a big part in the Bystander Effect.

    Certain posters rightly point out that fear of retaliation, of harm coming to you or your loved ones, makes people hesitant to be “the good samaritan” in many of these cases. I can see this holding true in my own society, where members of powerful (mostly political) families have a virtual carte blanche to inflict harm on people.

    It’s a difficult question to ask oneself, if one is honest. Would you help a stranger, if by doing so you would put the people you love in mortal danger? Take note, I didn’t say put yourself in danger. It’s relatively easy to make that choice. But to put your loved ones in danger, now that’s a difficult position to be in. Personally, if those were the stakes, I don’t know what I would do. I truly hope I would have the courage to do what I know is right. But I truthfully could not say.

    That being said, I salute people who would rush to another’s aid without question or pause. Their acts embody the best in us. What we, humanity, can be; rather than what we, for the most part, are.

  • callie19

    @GTT (155):He deserved to be critized to the point where he had NO other option than to take his own life? To leave his own family without a father, husband, brother, son? Photographers don’t know if a certain picture will even be published. It’s a good bet that he wasn’t thinking “Here’s my Pulitzer!!” when he took the shot. It’s widely assumed that child died. It’s not proven. Carter is DEAD. Fact. Did he deserve that? No. Does he deserve to be the first person brought up when journalism classes talk about integrity? No. No one is disputing he acted wrongly. I’m disputing that he dereves a place on this list. Would the gunman in the Elian Gonzalas picture have turned his gun on the photographer if he’d been told to stop? I doubt it, yet no one ever spoke up and said it was the photographers reponsibility to stop that for happening. He just took the picture. Don’t shoot the messenger.

  • Cass

    Phil Ochs wrote a song about the Kitty Genovese case, “Outside of a small circle of friends”. Radio wouldn’t play it because of the line “smoking marijuana is more fun than drinking beer”. How’s that for priorities?

  • Chris

    Sadly this reminds me of an incident that happened to me two years ago at the mall.

    I had to drop something off at a store in the mall, and on my way out I noticed a large crowd gathered, curious I went to see what was happening. There was an father screaming at his daughter, trying to hit her as she hid behind her mother.

    As I pushed my way through the crowd, three large men around my age commented to each other “Someone should do something”.

    I spent a few years working at a nightclub where incidents similar to this (Involving guys and girls) happened and we always stop it, so it’s hard to ignore for me.

    I walked up to the father and pinned him to the wall, he reeked of booze. About 2 minutes later an off duty police officer pushed his way through the crowd and took over.

    The thing that shocked me was the amount of people watching, and the three huge guys I pushed my way through to stop the father.

  • Spiff17

    Amazing all the contradictory sentiments things like this conjure up! I’ve never seen a list that generated such a variety of controversial views that are so drastically opposed to each other. Everything from human nature, Wicca, animal rights, lesbianism, the Holocaust, Christianity, historical debate, photo-journalism objectivity, civil responsibility, etc.

    Job well done Flamehorse! Its good to be reminded by things such as this from time to time. I didn’t feel this was a case of demented voyeurism as someone had suggested. This is a look at the dark side of humanity and the bizarre apathy that we are capable of. Being conscious of it can help us to fight against that urge when such a situation arises.

    Has anyone else noticed that Randall has been really pleasant lately? Like even in tearing down the idiots he’s been uncharacteristically civil and calm (but equally as effective I think). Whats going on Randall? A new love perhaps? Stronger meds?

  • moo

    A person is good at heart. People are not.

  • deeeziner

    @callie19 (160): I’m sorry to be the devil’s advocate here….but…

    “He deserved to be critized to the point where he had NO other option than to take his own life?”

    I’m sorry but suicide IS NOT the only choice he had at his disposal. Many people have made poor choices in life, and have regrets about their actions in situations….but have chose to learn from their mistake, often with far-reaching, humanitarian results.

    “Photographers don’t know if a certain picture will even be published. It’s a good bet that he wasn’t thinking “Here’s my Pulitzer!!” when he took the shot.”

    And obviously he DID have some sort of goal for his photo if he actually waited for a “better” image. Just that type of thinking makes me wonder about his overall mental health to begin with.

    “Carter is DEAD.”

    Well yeah, he CHOSE to be.

    “I’m disputing that he dereves a place on this list.”

    Personally, I read his listing as a way of showing how the whole world stood by and did little/nothing to help the plight of the Africans…by witnessing his photo in all the places worldwide that it was published, and then going on about their lives.

    Regardless of what his listing here was meant to illustrate…he still walked away from that suffering child, and he did reap rewards that cannot be denied, whether that was his actual goal or not.

  • Tom

    To whoever said that people are basically not good, you are 100% correct. Left to themselves, no matter what their IQ or talents are, people know in their heart of hearts that they prefer to do wrong. We tell ourselves how different we are than this but we know better. We do charity and other works to try to negate it but it is in vain. Without the one who told the Good Samaritan parable we are rightfully all condemned.

  • Woyzeck

    It’s all very well for everyone to tug at their forelocks and castigate Carter for failing to help that girl. But people, remember:

    THIS IS STILL GOING ON. People are still dying like that girl in Sudan and in many other parts of the world [i]every day[/i]. And we are bystanders too.

    At least Carter was out there reporting on this. At least Carter was taking an interest. At least Carter was trying to show the world what goes on in Sudan. And like a bunch of howler monkeys everyone leaps on him for not helping one dying girl, when hundreds of people are dying in the same manner every week? That is utter, [i]utter[/i] hypocrisy.

    The Sudan crisis is bigger than one little girl. No, she didn’t have to die for Carter to get his picture. But what are you really angry about? Carter’s complacency or your own?

    Until you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is, your indignance is utterly impotent.

  • flamehorse

    @Bill Gecko (149): I’ll have you konw I resemble that commnet. :)

    There are a bunch more good (horrible) ones I omitted, so unfortunately, someone can submit another list. Not I.

  • Randall

    @callie19 (160):

    Callie, why do you keep raising the irrelevancy of Carter’s suicide? It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the discussion of whether he was right or wrong in what he did. You continually bring it up as though it in some way logically mitigates his actions, or at least in some way proves that it was wrong that he was and is criticized. This is absurd.

    “Photographers don’t know if a certain picture will even be published. It’s a good bet that he wasn’t thinking “Here’s my Pulitzer!!” when he took the shot.”

    What of it? Again–his intentions in regards to his work are not at issue here. It’s his ACTIONS at the time that matter.

    You keep dragging irrelevancies into this—I suspect because at heart you know you have no real argument, but you’re loathe to admit it.

    “It’s widely assumed that child died. It’s not proven.”

    Again, irrelevant. The child was suffering terribly. What finally became of the poor girl is not the point. Carter was in a position to help and did not. Period.

    “Carter is DEAD. Fact. Did he deserve that? No.”

    He took his own life. YOU do not know for a FACT, either, that the “hounding” he received over the picture is the real reason that he committed suicide, or all there was to it. Suicide is a very personal, insular act—we can never know everything in the suicide’s mind.

    Moreover–it is IRRELEVANT, again, to the moral debate over what he did or didn’t do. I don’t care if he killed himself or lived a long happy life. Neither outcome has ANY bearing on the moral question of what he did at the time he was taking that picture.

    “No one is disputing he acted wrongly.”

    Forgive me, but you seem to be doing just that, if in a rather roundabout way. You keep talking about how HE suffered, and keep making rather pale and backhanded excuses which are apparently intended to mitigate his actions at the time, at least to some extent. I frankly can’t understand your attitude about this.

    “I’m disputing that he dereves a place on this list. Would the gunman in the Elian Gonzalas picture have turned his gun on the photographer if he’d been told to stop?”

    AGAIN–that is an ENTIRELY different moral situation. This has already been pointed out and explained. We cannot rightly *expect* people to place themselves in danger for another, though we recognize the heroism and goodness of such an act.

    But we DO expect those who are in a position to help when it does NOT endanger to them to DO SO. Carter was not in any danger. Nor is anyone endangered by picking up a phone and calling the police when they know someone else is being victimized. We cannot rightly expect someone to run to another’s defense, bodily–to put themselves at risk–though we like to see this, surely. But we do expect the individual to help when and if and in whatever way they can. Carter did not. Not in any way, shape, or form.

    “I doubt it,”

    You cannot KNOW that. We can never KNOW what someone who is armed will DO, regardless of who they are, and how professional they are or seem to be. Being faced with someone with a firearm, who is in our eyes doing wrong, is VERY different with being faced with the kind of situation and choice Carter faced. VERY different.

    “Don’t shoot the messenger.”

    IN THAT MOMENT in which it was in his power to act, and he did not, Carter became MORE than a mere messenger. He was, in fact, in full possession of a position of human choice. And he utterly failed to make the correct choice. He chose, instead, callous, even inhuman, neglect.

    This is NOT the same as a photographer facing an unfair, injust execution, or an armed policeman or soldier pointing a gun at a child. To act in either situation would be heroic, because it would require the risk of one’s own life.

    To act in Carter’s situation would have simply been HUMAN and humane. He failed at both. And deserved all the scorn, professional and otherwise, that was given to him as a result.

  • adi000

    One more thing, about item #6 on the list.

    It made me recall a cinematography class I attended a few years ago. It was informal affair, held in the professor’s home (who is, incidentally, highly respected in his field). He told us about his experiences during my country’s military coups during the late 80’s.

    It was nighttime and he was shooting footage of the fighting around the capital. As he turned around, he saw a horribly injured man being dragged away. It was happening right in front of him, the whole scene caught perfectly in his lights.

    My professor turned to me suddenly and asked me: “What would you do? Stop and help him, or keep shooting?” I immediately stammered that I would help him. “WRONG!” he said, “Don’t stop shooting!”

    In hindsight, I realize he was right. As a professional, it is my duty to tell the story; not to intervene. I understand now that this is done in the hopes (in this specific case) that others who see our images realize the truth of war. That it is horrible, ugly, and inhuman. That it is something to be avoided. But even knowing this, I am not comfortable with being the dispassionate observer. The idea of it truthfully breaks my heart. Perhaps that makes me bad at what I do, I don’t know.

    I guess my point is this, do not judge Kevin Carter too harshly. An image is a very powerful thing. It can pierce through the emotional callus we naturally build up around ourselves and move us in ways we did not think possible. It can stir to action those who would otherwise do nothing. I do not condone Mr. Carter’s actions, neither do I judge him. A journalist/storyteller’s duty can be an ugly one. Sometimes it can haunt him for the rest of his life.

  • Randall

    @Spiff17 (163):

    “Whats going on Randall? A new love perhaps? Stronger meds?”

    Watch your mouth, twerp, or you’ll find yourself unable to eat solid foods for a few months.

    (Some of Randall’s old loves are still around and so there is no need for a “new love” at present. Randall’s *favorite* love remains himself. Ever and always).

  • samsaragx

    I remeber a few examples… Once I was on the subway station, walking down the stairs when suddenly a man passed beside me running and pushed a mature woman. she fell down the stairs.. evrything seemed in slow motion, she rolled and rolled and I will never forget the expresion in her face.. that was the expression of pain, she just let herself roll for some reason and I’m guessing it was because she was not young anymore and the whole thing happened so fast. I thought of reaching her while she was rolling down the stairs but it was just impossible. she reached the bottom and I thought that people would gather there and help her. No one helped her. They stared and passed her avoiding her fallen body. I remember I could only say Oh my god in my somehow bad English at that time. I asked her is she was ok and picked her up, She was clearly in so much pain and the guy who pushed her came back when he saw I was staring at him in disbelief. He smiled and said I’m sorry and ran away. that was all. Anyways, I focused on her and I was lucky to have some tylenol with me so I gave her some and asked if she needed an ambulance,she said she didn’t think so and that she was already late for work but that she was in so much pain and her hips were killing her. she was shaking but said that she was going to get checked up. That scared the hell outta me, really. People can be cold. I have experienced that so many times. there is one that has been hauting me for some time now. I was around 10 years old I think or 11. My parents were tired from work so they took a nap after dinner and i went out to play. I thought they would wake up and call me to take a bath as always, but they didn’t and being a child I was more than happy since I was having “extra play time’ So there I was with some “friends” in their front yard. They were sisters and well we were playing and stuff. I was 1 year older than the oldest one. suddenly 2 drunk men came to where we were and he started talking to them and my friends were scared because he started chasing them. I still don’t know why I didn’t think about myself and went and took them with me. we tried to open the front door but it was locked so we called out to their mom but she was watching tv and couldn’t hear us. We ran to the backdoor but it was locked too. The drunk man that wanted to get us was older and slow so the most he could do was touch me in you know what places, everytime he tried to do something to us since I always put myself infront of my friends when he was coming. I said “the window” and the girls managed to enter the house using the kitchen window. i thought they were going to opent he back door for me since they were inside, but they didn’t. They ran away and …the oldest of the drunken men had his fun with me until the other younger guy who was also drunk came and stared like half surprised, half drunk. i can’t forget his face and i think i remember his eyes and expression more than the guy who was actually raping me. I was numb. I don’t know why but I felt like floating, like giving up, i felt betrayed by my friends and sad, and happy at the same time becaus ethey were safe. It was a complicated feeling. The younger guy managed to convince him to get away from me. I remember him saying “your wife is going to scold you, lets go lets go, come on” He went away laughing and spitting. the younger guy had this huge open eyes staring at me and I don’t know what he was trying to tell me but he looked like he wanted to help or maybe he was just plain scared. I never told my parents about it, don’t ask why since I don’t know it myself. I just know that i was afraid and ashamed and didn’t find the words to tell my parents. My personality changed a big deal too but my parents never imagined it was related to something like that. I told them about this about 4 years ago which is wayyyy too late since I’m older, but I managed to live with those memories since I have lived worse things than that. My point here is… people can be cold. I still don’t know why my friends didn’t help me since I didn’t tell them what happened. I don’t know if the mom knew about it. i was yellng and crying and yet no one came out of their house to help. No one heard me. but i think the mom knew and i think they told her because she because so cold towards me and my parents since then even made up an story and said that I was blaming their children for a toy I lost, then thatw as her excuse for avoiding me and my family. Maybe she didn’t want to get involved? whatever. If she knew what was going on… shame on her and shame on “my friends” since that incident ruined my life in many aspects especially now that I’m older so I think people should try to help even calling the police will do….In my case I think I’m just cursed since it seems such a movie-like thing taht this happened at night, the doors were locked and i was trying to save my friends. also the police would never get there since I lived in a rural area back in my home country. God… it was hard to remember all this all over, I just got so mad after reading this list and remember how people can be so… cold. However If you think about it, I bet my friend’s mom was trying to protect them and herself. I understand since it was dangerous and like i said, I lived in a poor and crappy town, at least that made me feel better.

  • Randall

    @adi000 (169):

    Sorry, but your professor’s exhortation is far too pat an answer. We’ve heard it before—I’ve heard it before—but we also know that this broad philosophy does NOT apply in all situations.

    In the scenario your prof outlined, you would not, for instance, be taking an active role in the fighting. You would not be acting as a combatant. There is a very real demarcation between combatant and non-combatant in such a situation.

    But Carter’s role was not in a combatant/non-combatant situation; he was, quite simply, a bystander to a human life that was in need of assistance—and nothing more. It is tantamount to a person hanging from a cliff, begging for help. Would you or your professor, in that case, exhort the photographer to “keep shooting,” and not assist the other human being in need? I would hope not. No journalist or journalism professor I know would say that.

  • samsaragx

    Just a correction about what I wrote previously: “I still don’t know why my friends didn’t help me since I didn’t tell them what happened.” I meant to say taht i didn’t tell my friends what happened after they went inside the house. sorry about the misspellings. I was rushing when i wrote that. I kinda felt like “wirte it fast and forget about it”, plus I’m dyslexic and tend to write words backward a lot (I usually correct them after re-reading it, but this time I just wanted to get this over with.) Sorry.

  • ben

    . ww2 was a war between the soviet union and Germany and it should have been that way . Briton went to war becouse of the polish and abandoned them to the soviets we didn’t enter the war for human rights but for adventurous militarism. Morally there was no difference btween the soviets and the Nazis . The soviets had a holocost of their own even before the germans and killed as many people as them. In reality ww1 only ended for the western powers their was fighting in Europe btween facist and communists until the west decided to get involved .Look up European civil war on wikipedia, or pat Buchanons Churchill Hitler and the unecesary war.

  • Adia

    I actually live here in Utah where the incident mentioned in number two occurred. It is surprising, and I have to fight with myself to believe it. I was fifteen just three years ago, that could have been me. It’s been my worst nightmare for years now. All those that did not report it should be sent to prison for the next 60 or so years, and the rapists should have their penises cut off and be thrown into a pit never to be seen again.

  • Tompadompa

    As soon as I read the title, I expected Count Axel von Fersen’s death to be on the list. I suppose watching a film about his life in class will do that to you.

  • adi000

    @Randall (172): I agree. I don’t think I can (or should, for that matter) do nothing.

    I guess I guess I just lost my cool with some of the harsher comments about him.

  • Savanna

    You guys should check out a movie called Edens Lake. It’s a British film about a couple being tortured by a bunch of teenage ‘gangsters’. The movie has A LOT to do with the Bystander Effect.

  • adi000

    edit: and that professor does tends to be a bit flippant. :-)

  • Woyzeck Returns

    Reposting this under a new name because otherwise it will never appear:

    It’s all very well for everyone to tug at their forelocks and castigate Carter for failing to help that girl. But people, remember:

    THIS IS STILL GOING ON. People are still dying like that girl in Sudan and in many other parts of the world [i]every day[/i]. And we are bystanders too.

    At least Carter was out there reporting on this. At least Carter was taking an interest. At least Carter was trying to show the world what goes on in Sudan. And like a bunch of howler monkeys everyone leaps on him for not helping one dying girl, when hundreds of people are dying in the same manner every week? That is utter, [i]utter[/i] hypocrisy.

    The Sudan crisis is bigger than one little girl. No, she didn’t have to die for Carter to get his picture. But what are you really angry about? Carter’s complacency or your own?

    Until you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is, your indignance is utterly impotent.

  • necro_penguin

    i thought for sure that the one that happened recently in chicago would be on here. i’m talking about the one where there was a gang fight outside of a school and some kid got beat with a board when he tried to get a friend out of danger. there were people around filming it and no one helped the poor kid.

  • @Woyzeck Returns (181): Your comments are still going into moderation – they will stop being moderated when you consistently don’t abuse people. The only comments you have made which don’t make it to the site are those.

    Also, for future reference, you can’t use BB code here – you need to use HTML. According to the “read me first” above:

    Yes. You can use a subset of standard HTML for your comments. NOTE: you can not use forum markup (this usually has square brackets, like [url] – this is not standard HTML). What you can use is:

    <b>bold text</b>
    <i>bold text</i>
    <u>underline text</u>

  • kbx777

    #6 has left me angry and heavy-hearted. a small child obviously weak and struggling with a predator looming close behind and the main concern was taking a good pic??? unimaginable………….

  • callie19

    I’m sorry, why is his suicide irrevelant? This list is about people who stand back and do nothing when they could have helped. How is the whole world heckling a man to the point where he FEELS he has no other option (there, GTT) than to take his own life any different? I just think this situation is completely different than 20 young men standing around LAUGHING at a girl being raped. It’s still a terrible situation, yes he’s in the wrong, and yes he should have done something. Despite what you think, I’m not condoning him, I just think I can understand this one. I don’t understand the rape situation, or any of the other ones. And before you get on me, if one of those raping teens ends up commiting suicide, no it’s not the same situation. Apathy and being cruel are differnt things entirely.

  • flamehorse

    I feel the urge to say one thing in general about the bystander effect. At least one commentator here has brought up that the average person swears never to be the indifferent bystander, when in truth, s/he always turns out to be.

    I assure you that I have less regard for my life than for that of another, and I will not hesitate to kill myself in order to stop a rape or save a child (or an elephant).

    But of course, none of this belongs in a list you submit. I think I’ll try leaving out the first-person perspective from now on, also. Jafe, if you’re going to publish these as anonymous in anthologies, then the first person really doesn’t belong.

    I salute you for it!

  • flamehorse

    But unfortunately, that commentator, and I can’t remember who, is probably correct. The bystander effect affects (ha! I knew I could get em both in one sentence) the majority every time.

  • Moonbeam

    The story of Kevin Carter didn’t seem to ring true for me so I searched for more info. In Japanese journalist and writer Akio Fujiwara’s book “The Boy who Became a Postcard,” Fujiwara interviewed Joao Silva, another photographer who went with Carter to Sudan. Silva described the event in this way: “They (Carter and Silva) went to Sudan with the United Nations… The UN told them that they would take off again in 30 minutes (the time necessary to distribute food), so they ran around looking to take shots. The UN started to distribute corn and the women of the village came out of their wooden huts to meet the plane. …parents of the children were busy taking food from the plane so they had left their children only briefly while they collected the food. This was the situation for the girl in the photo taken by Carter.”

    Apparently Carter had paid his own way to the southern Sudan to photograph a civil war and famine that he felt the world was overlooking. In publicizing the horrific famine, Carter actually did more to help many other children in the same dire situation. His subsequent suicide had more to do with personal problems with drug addiction, a failed marriage, debt, and difficulty coping with all the tragedy he’d witnessed as a photographer.

  • Mika

    the bystander effect is a result of man evolving as a social animal. it is through our human consciousness that we are able to break free of it and help. So don’t lose faith in humanity just yet, it is hard to shake the baseness of our nature.

    the bystander effect is caused by fear of the unknown. we often don’t know what’s happened or we aren’t sure. We don’t know the victim or the attackers, or the condition that either of them are in. All our animal instincts can perceive is danger, and that is why we are inclined to stay away. our rational mind tries to figure out why we are so averted to helping, and so it says “I just didn’t want to get involved,” but it’s much more than just indifference. It’s a deep rooted fear.

  • GTT

    @callie19 (160):

    I was going to reply but I think deeeziner (165) and Randall (169) did a pretty thorough job.

    Forget the fact that these people have camaras in their hands. Now, put a regular person in front of the execution scenario where he is just looking at another person be summarily shot. Would you expect him to jump in? Wrestle the gun from the attacker? Risk his own life? It would be incredibly heroic but you would not expect it.

    Now, put that same regular (non-photographer) person in Sudan and have him just walk away from a dying toddler where absolutely no risk to himself existed. Would you condem him? You bet you would.

    And you know why? For the same reason you should condem the people who look out at the man who got run over by a hit-and-run driver posted in comment (9). These people stood by and watched while another human being was dying and did absoltely nothing to help even though their lives where not in immediate jeopardy.

  • Katie

    Reading about any form of rape, torture or abuse makes me want to be sick. Would it be too hypocritical to say people who commit these crimes should be killed themselves?

  • Maggot

    @callie19 (185): I’m sorry, why is his suicide irrevelant? This list is about people who stand back and do nothing when they could have helped. How is the whole world heckling a man to the point where he FEELS he has no other option than to take his own life any different?

    There isn’t anything that specifically indicates that he took his own life solely because he was “heckled to the point” or hounded to death by moral criticism over that one photo. He had a number of demons going on in his life (most of which Moonbeam pointed out in #188), all contributing to depression, and in fact had attempted suicide before. But as you said yourself: “This list is about people who stand back and do nothing when they could have helped.” – which is pretty much what he did, so inclusion on this list is justified.

    For whoever may be interested, here’s some supplemental reading about Carter and his life before and after the photo:,9171,981431,00.html

  • callie19

    @Maggot (192): But there’s a difference between standing back when you could have helped and taking part/joy/pleasure from someone else’s misfortune. In most examples in this list, people did just that. THAT is the true evil here. There are different levels of wrong, and IN MY OPINION, as I am not stating a fact, Carter’s level of wrong isn’t up to par with the other examples here.

  • deeeziner

    Is there a name for the increasingly common act of being a bystander with a camera, who not only does nothing to help a victim, but actually races to their computer to post their photos and video like a badge of honor for being there?

  • esamutash

    At best a horribly misguided list. The Bystander effect applies to almost none of these because almost none of the situations where people did not help can be attributed to their being inhibited by other observers. Which is the whole point of the phenomenon. 1. WW2 and the Indian persecution. People didn’t help because they largely supported it or they felt like there was nothing they could do (think of us standing around while 100,000 iraqis have died senselessly.)
    2. The Elephant thing- Jesus, the elephant had killed 3 people. Even today, he would be put down.
    3. The sudan toddler.- That guy was conflicted, not inhibited by others.
    4. The Wiccan one and the Homecoming rape- The other girls were there for the planning. Hence, no matter if they changed their minds, they were in on it. They were in no way bystanders.
    5. The good samaritan- The people didn’t help him because they didn’t consider him an equal. Not because they were inhibited by others.
    I think you had a good idea but just squeezed a whole bunch of bad shit and called it the Bystander effect.

  • Blogball

    Deep Thought: I hope the human race doesn’t get to the point where we act like Eloi’s, and just sit around and act unconcerned when a drowning woman struggles for her life right in front of us. Then we would have to wait for somebody like Rod Taylor from the past to rescue us.

    Nice thought provoking list FlameHorse

  • esamutash

    Randall- I’m wondering what you think carter should have done?

  • Alexa

    The number 2 story was a bit different. It sounds like the one I heard that just recently happened about a 15 year old girl who was going out to meet/wait her father when a group of people asked if she was to drink with them. She said yes and that’s when they decided to beat and rape her. People came by and took videos and pictures on their cells. Someone outside eventually went in and told a friend who told an adult at the homecoming. When police arrived and so on people fled and they didn’t get everyone who was there. I’m guessing this is the same story (or suppose to be) because it was at Richmond Highschool.

  • GTT

    @Moonbeam (188): If that had been the case, why would Carter claim that he had waited 20 minutes for the vulture to spread its wings? And why would he claim that he just “didn’t want to get involved”? I dont think many people would have critized him if those had been the conditions. Again, what is appalling is not the fact that he took the picture, it´s that he seemingly just walked away from a dying toddler.

    @Mika (189): That actually makes sense. But I think a distinction should be made between people who freeze up in fear (and dont react) and those who laugh/point/take pictures with their camara phones of a 15-year-old getting gang raped. That´s not fear, that´s a sociopathic tendency.

  • Maggot

    @callie19 (193): There are different levels of wrong, and IN MY OPINION, as I am not stating a fact, Carter’s level of wrong isn’t up to par with the other examples here.

    I would agree with you on “different levels of wrong”, but one could argue that Carter’s case of doing nothing was worse than some of the others. Of course not worse than the “bystanders” actually joining in on the criminal activity described in entries like #9 and #2 for example, but as compared with other situations where bystanders were numerous and the (lame) excuse given is that everyone thinks someone else would intervene such as with #3 or even #5 and #1. Carter doesn’t have that excuse, as he apparently was the only one on the scene (which may or may not be true, as we don’t see what is in the relative nearby vicinity but out of frame).

  • esamutash

    GTT- For 8 years I was the Director of a homeless shelter. One thing about being around horrible suffering is that unless you have unlimited resources, eventually, one way or the other, you have to walk away.

  • damien_karras

    Is it wrong that I saw a rather large housefly on a cheese danish, but didn’t warn the person who was eating it?

  • bucslim

    Did Carter’s photograph save any lives?

  • Disc Huker

    flamehorse: amazing idea and follow through for a list. you are a valued submitter for this site.

    all: this list is evoking emotion. it should. we should see these things and be outraged. however, we need to be sober minded in this endeavor. do you think most of these people were simply that much more evil than you or i that they would do these things?

    i see many comments that are saying “i would have jumped in” or “i would never do such a thing”, but look at the evidence in your own life. have you never acted in an evil manner towards someone? perhaps someone you love dearly. perhaps that guy that swerved in front of you almost causing you to crash your car.

    we are all bystanders right now to a crime against humanity in the name of “personal choice”. there are approximately 40 million abortions per year in the world. yet we excuse this.

    can’t you see? we all have malice in our hearts that manifests itself in varying degrees. to think that you or i are absolutely incapable of these sorts of reprehensible acts is foolish thinking. we must see what men and women just like you and me have done by their actions and their inaction.

    can’t you see that left to our own we all seek our own good to the detriment of others if necesary? the right response to these crimes is that we would jump in to help regardless of the consequences to our own safety. but who can live like that? who can sacrifice themselves to help someone in need? who can leave safety to enter danger? not your or i on a consistent basis.

    but there was this one guy who did all of these things…

  • natapillar

    If Kevin Carter really did say that he did not want to get involved,then i am glad he killed himself. Nothing would stand between me from helping that little girl. Perhaps that is me saying that because i have my own little girl who is a toddler,but mostly i believe it is the decent human side coming out.

    As for the elephant,i am not surprised she killed the handlers. An animal is built to defend itself against something which poses a threat. And forcing an elephant to do those kind of things was just stupid on the handlers part. she did not deserve to be maltreated.

  • GAlba

    a few weeks best friend was taking me home whe we heard awful yelling…. we didint think twice before putting the car in reverse and going to rescue whatever was in danger…..

    i cant imagine not doing anything to help these people…. i lived and seen too much to be scared. and this is coming from a 19 year old 110 pound chick…i know im putting myself in danger but i simply do not have the heart to let harm happen when i could do something about it.

    all for all…. these stories are f’ed up.

  • Steve

    It seems to me that some of these are not “bystander” effects at all. You can’t call people involved with the crime “bystanders” just because they may have started to turn chicken during the crime.

    Also, a more proper wording for “by Moroccan “barbarians,” as they like to be called, ” would be “by a Morroccan gang called the Barbarians,” it is a proper name being it’s a gang name rather than the subtle re-wording of calling them barbarians that used.

  • Mark

    @Randall (133): “…The smell was therefore CONSTANT, and not simply a result of the Germans “not being there.”…”

    Yes, you are right, it would have smelled all the time. However, it would have been worse with many more rotting bodies of the recently deceased lying around. The smell would have increased exponentially with the departure of the guards, and with them, any attempt to deal with bodies.

    “…MOREOVER, you make an incorrect assumption anyway, because not all concentration camps were abandoned by the guards and SS by the time Allied troops arrived…”

    I don’t have enough knowledge to deny that. I can however tell you that none of the extermination camps were still manned when the Soviets rolled into town. Sure, I know that you think I’m missing the point, but everyone knew that the Jews were being persecuted. That they were being systematically executed, well, that was not such common knowledge.

    “…They had eyes, ears, and noses with which to see, hear, and smell…”

    Agreed, I’m not the tome of knowledge of the universe that you are, but it seems to me like the Nazis would hardly be showing these people around. “Yes and next up we’ll be showing you both the mass graves and the crematoria. Then we’ll move on to my personal favourite, the showers.”

    The idea that delivering bread to the camps instills instant knowledge of the inner-workings of the camp is a poorly conceived argument.

    “…As you are evidently ignorant of the willingness of the German people, at that time, to go along with what was done within their country and by their government and military in other countries…”

    I know that the Germans as a collective probably couldn’t have cared less about some things. “Who cares if Hitler’s locking the Jews up; I don’t like them anyway.” But the idea that the Germans knew the severity or extent of Hitler’s policies is ridiculous. German citizens could have tried to do something about it, but they would have ended up with a bullet in their head for their troubles. Would you commit suicide to stop the Jews or the communists being locked up? I know that I wouldn’t.

  • Mark

    @punkcat (150): You do notice that the Allies didn’t actually liberate any of the Nazi death camps?

  • esamutash

    Mark, well argued and explained. Good to have a reasonable, knowledgeable voice around here. For too long have we had a bunch of Randall wannabes. And as we all know, although I personally enjoy one Randall, the rest of these guys don’t have the knowledge, wit or humor to back it up.

  • flamehorse

    @Disc Huker (204): Why thanks! But you know…you just opened up a whole new can of whoopass. The abortion comment’s gonna have everyone this side of Coruscant crawling you.

    The Jesus remark at the end was very poetic. Liked it.

    From one, God-awful Christian sinner to another, let’s go pray and get shit-faced.

    @esamutash (195): Here’s to swimmin with bow-legged women.

  • esamutash

    Flamehorse- I like it. Although I’d rather take you up on your offer to Disc Huker!

  • Miss_Info

    Flamehorse is an idiot! poorly written list! I agree with #75-someoneelse, Whats the point of this list ?? We all know very well of the hypocrisy and indiffrence that is humanity.. As for all the people that say THEY would speak up and be the hero..BULLSHIT!!! read comment #61- Hayloiuy (well said). Unless its my own brother in danger im not gonna stick my neck out for some prick who probably wouldnt do the same for me anyway… Hypocrisy will land you a nice spot in HELL!! Can’t wait for the Apocalypse (any day now as soon as the Freemasons carry it out)… GODS GONNA SET THIS WORLD ON FIRE… :D

  • David.

    Ah, yes, The Holocaust. Most Evil Thing Ever. “We could have done something about it, and didn`t,” and all the other crap. Er-we did exactly the same thing in Kenya, during the Mau Mau Rebellion. Consider this quote, by one of our soldier`s: “There were like Nazi concentration camps, these things. Personally, though, I couldn`t give a shit. The bloody blacks deserved all they got.” The Hola Massacre, where Kenyans were beaten to death, torture, slave labour, killing competitions, and keeping “scores,” clubbing people to death with machetes, creating “Death-squads,” to hunt Kenyans down and kill them, gang rapes, and other horrors. And what about Pol Pot? He commited genocide, and he did it faster. Over Two million dead, in under 4 years. And the Rwanda genocide? The “Interhamwe,” commited genocide faster, than Hitler and Pol Pot. 800,000 buthered in 100 days. And Josef Fritzl.. That was just unbelievable.

  • flamehorse

    @Miss_Info (213): Hey, if you don’t treat me nice, I’m not gonna ask you out.

  • Woyzeck Returns

    “Abuse” people? With all due respect, I don’t think it is the “abuse” which is the issue. Plenty of people post on here every day with far more vitriol than I could ever dredge from the depths of my bile ducts. Granted I am sharp with people, but that is merely my schtick. I thought the issue you were having was that I was swearing too much?

  • Woyzeck Returns

    @David. (214):

    Not to mention the Chinese, who commited the largest genocide in history and who continue to torture and massacre as they please. But God forbid anyone should say a bad word about anyone ruling over a billion dedicated sheep.
    The bystander effect is humanity. We fucking suck as a species.

  • Derek

    The reason noone did anything for the concentration camps was because the Nazi’s would of called them insane and thrown them in the camp. The populations were too scared to do anything.

  • e-bit

    no mention of the final episodes of seinfield

  • sammmie davis

    i would have laughed my ass of and not done anything if i witnessed any of these things happening, as would most of you.

  • archiealt

    @Disc Huker (204):

    ‘we are all bystanders right now to a crime against humanity in the name of “personal choice”. there are approximately 40 million abortions per year in the world. yet we excuse this.’

    Don’t mate. Just don’t. The fact that you just compared the gang rape of a fourteen year old girl, to abortion, shows how much your morality has been warped by religious metaphysics. It’s people like you, with that sort of twisted view of things, that ensure the suffering of thousands of women across the world continues due to religious dogma.

    ‘but there was this one guy who did all of these things…’

    Was there? Was that the same guy who’s Dad came up with this pearl of wisdom,

    “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.”

    ‘Leviticus 20:13’

    What a twat. What a twat.

  • Jessy

    I’m amazed no one’s pulled out the “evil occurs when good people do nothing” line yet.

    I understand the bystander instinct, especially the idea that someone else has intervened/called for help, etc. You just assume it, and absolve yourself of responsibility. Or in some cases, such as a fight, you just decide it’s not your problem.

    My most recent unfortunate experience with the bystander effect was when I was travelling in India. On my first day, while walking in an underpass, I saw a man laying to one side, with bugs in his mouth. It was hugely disturbing, and I…did nothing. It was my first day in the country, I had no phone, even if I had one I had no idea what the emergency numbers were in the country, and there was no one nearby to ask for help (the hotel where I was staying was almost an hour away from there, so going back to call someone would have been useless). All I felt I could do was hope that a local found him and helped him.

    While my trip was primarly for pleasure, at times I would see such suffering, and just feel so helpless. In hindsight, there were ways I could have helped. I could have gone to a shop and told the shop keeper that there was an unconscious man in the underpass. Perhaps I could have bought a sandwich for a begger. But when you’re surrounded by poverty and suffering for the first time, it can just be overwhelming. You just feel like you can’t do anything. I wish I had acted differently.

    With that experience in mind, I can at least imagine what that photojournalist in #6 was thinking, even though I don’t agree with him by any stretch of the imagination. He should have taken that poor child to get help. But if he’d been surrounded by that kind of death and suffering for days, I can imagine him feeling overwhelmed and impotent, convinced he couldn’t do anything to help even if that wasn’t entirely true. Well, that doesn’t cover the “waited 20 minutes to try to get a better shot” part. That’s just…out there.

    A few years ago a daytime talk show demonstrated this phenomenon in the middle of NYC. They had a male and female actor pose as a couple and argue on the street, with the man grabbing at the woman and generally acting aggressively. Hardly anyone intervened (the first person to step in was a big burly fireman, and it was observed later that “it’s their job to be heroes.” In fact, the fireman went right at the guy and the camera crew had to jump in quickly to make sure the poor actor didn’t get the poop beaten out of him). Quite a few people simply walked right by, staring at the arguing couple all the while.

    The best way out of this phenomenon is becoming more aware of it, as this list has done. Most people probably don’t even entirely realize it when they fail to intervene in a situation that calls for it. I certainly know, after my experiences abroad and after being reminded of it just now, I will think twice the next time I walk past someone in need and assume someone else is looking after it.

  • Disciple

    I used to be cynical and believed no one could be trusted, but the truth is we were meant to be genuinely good. Selfishness and pride made us fall. Now indifference has become equal to any evil act an “innocent” party witnesses. I don’t understand how people can stand by and do nothing. What if it was them and they were begging for help? God sees both, and eventually everyone is judged.

  • Randall

    @callie19 (185):

    “I’m sorry, why is his suicide irrevelant?”

    Because it has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue at hand: which is the moral question of whether Carter was right in his behavior or whether he should have taken some action to help.

    I would have thought that was rather obvious. In fact, it is.

    Why, given this simple question, you keep throwing the man’s suicide into the discussion, is frankly beyond me. It makes no sense at all. I don’t care if he offed himself or not. It has NO relevancy to the question of whether his actions earlier were right or wrong.

    I cannot understand YOUR reasoning about this, and therefore I frankly feel you ought to explain it better, if you wish it to be understood.

    “This list is about people who stand back and do nothing when they could have helped. How is the whole world heckling a man to the point where he FEELS he has no other option (there, GTT) than to take his own life any different?”

    There’s a world of difference. In the first place, you are being ridiculously melodramatic in this repeated insistence that he was driven to suicide over the “world’s” response to what he did. You don’t KNOW for a fact that that is why he actually committed suicide; in fact, I’d say his suicide suggests a deeper emotional/psychological issue than that. However, this is still not relevant; one act does not necessarily bear upon the other, and even if it DID, this does not mitigate or excuse his earlier action.

    I mean, suppose we have an actual criminal who goes out and kills someone. And this criminal then is caught, and faces not only trial, but the hostility and anger and hatred of the community. Suppose, then, that our hypothetical criminal then kills himself in prison.

    Does that act mitigate or excuse what he did? I hardly think so. We might say that he paid his penalty, to some extent. But we would not say it washes out the moral wrongness of the original criminal act.

    Now, Carter was not a criminal. But he WAS guilty of an AT LEAST stupidly inhumane thing. That he was attacked for what he did and was, perhaps, bothered by it, does not change WHAT he did. That he finally killed himself does not change what he did. I’m sorry he chose to take that route (but I doubt he did so really because of the treatment he was given over the photo–but then that’s my opinion—which is no less valid than yours) but it really has nothing to do with it.

    Nor does the “world’s” treatment of him make an analogy with the subject of this list. He was rightfully scorned for what he had done. You are, by implication, stating that someone should have stepped in and defended him, and that the “world’s” attack on him was wrong. This is a tacit allowance, if not an actual excuse, for what he did.

    “I just think this situation is completely different than 20 young men standing around LAUGHING at a girl being raped.”

    Technically, perhaps, yes. One is very definitely criminal. The other is merely neglectful. Both are inhumane and even to an extent inhuman.

    “It’s still a terrible situation, yes he’s in the wrong, and yes he should have done something. Despite what you think, I’m not condoning him, I just think I can understand this one.”

    But how? How do you “understand” it?

    *I* can understand a photographer not stepping in front of a gun to save someone, or not stepping in to prevent an act of violence which might easily be turned upon HIM.

    I cannot understand ANY human being, for any reason, taking advantage of another human being’s misery–especially a child, but really anyone’s–REGARDLESS of the noble reasons of getting a story or a great picture which will do larger things to illustrate the plight of the suffering—I cannot understand any human being taking advantage of a situation like this for ANY reason, and then to simply walk away from it. It’s not like he didn’t GET his picture. He did. But he not only took it–he waited for it to be a “better” picture… and then left the child to her own fate.

    That’s morally repugnant and disgusting–and there IS no way to “understand” it on any moral plane that I am aware of.

  • Teebor

    Awesome list.

    Hey heres a piece of advice that might save your life.

    The bystander effect only occurs when witnesses feel anonymous. Eliminate anonymity. Point to people and say YOU HELP ME. YOU – THE MAN WITH THE HAT – CALL THE POLICE.

    It has also been well proven that once one bystander lends help the others will too. Social proof is powerful.

    Also for anyone interested in the nazi soldiers’ defence – look up the milgram shock experiment. You may be well surprised at the power of authority.

  • Alison

    Such a sad list. When I saw the title I thought Kitty Genovese would be #1. My sister used to have a true crime book about #9, Shanda Sharer, called “Little Lost Angel” and it goes into even more horrific detail.

    A few years ago there was a girl who was raped and murdered a few towns over from mine. Apparently she spent almost twenty minutes screaming for help before the guy killed her. When the police found her body, a bunch of neighbors admitted they’d heard her but didn’t call the police. I think someone had even yelled at her to shut up. Some of the neighbors were quoted in the paper saying they were sorry they hadn’t called 911. “Sorry”, yeah right, what good does “sorry” do in this kind of situation? So disgusting.

  • Ranchero


    I’m a looooooooooooooooooong time reader but first time writer, my name is Jesus Cisneros from Houston tx, this
    Item number 8 just made me want to write something in disgust, I can’t belive how some people have no respect for human life, that really made me angry. On Kevin’s photograph I never heard this side of this story, waiting in front of a starving child for 20 minutes for a good picture is unvelibable and on edison’s note, the guy is the founder of General Electric a company I work for and was proud to have such a famous founder but this made me re-think. But anyways Mr. Frater good list I always enjoy them , i must be one of the first ones to read them every morning becasue I wake up a 3:00 am central time.

    Ps. can someone tell me the name of J. Frater other site thank you

  • faketree78

    #1 is depicted rather well, albeit graphically, in one of the installments of the HBO miniseries ‘Band Of Brothers’.

  • esamutash

    I completely disagree with Randall on this one. To think that Carter could have intervened in that child’s fate is way ignorant of the terrible difficulties when dealing with starvation. Carter was in no medical position to attempt to feed a child at that level of starvation. We don’t even know if he had food to give out. Besides, having fed, thousands of starving people many times, I can assure you that isolating one to help is the best way to start a massive riot. In an event where people are suffering, however cold it seems, the people handing out food or assistance, must think systematically. That means a line, a base and no one worker acts outside those parameters. When I worked in this line of work, when I came home people would curse at us after seeing the images and us being calculated and seemingly cold.. They simply did not understand the complexity of dealing with this level of suffering.
    The child’s parents were getting food, the UN team that he was with was going to leave in a matter of minutes, taking the child with him was not an option, he had no medical training nor do we know if he had any medical supplies, guerilla fighters were everywhere so he was under intense stress, all of the children in the village were in this condition, so I ask again- what could he possibly have done?

  • Tenebrae

    @lo (51):
    Do not misunderstand me. One can believe in something and not have religion. I’ve yet to hear of ANY actual religion that accepts torture, cruelty, and murder in its tenets. I just didn’t like the implication that my religion was being bastardized, yet again.

    Please don’t assume I meant atheists. I think it’s very obvious that one does not need to believe in God or have religion to be a good & noble person. My apologies if you felt I meant that everyone without religion is evil. It was a poorly worded attempt to distance my religion from such repugnant and evil behaviour.

    As for your explanation of Wicca, I don’t see anything I stated that contradicts what you said. The core of our belief verbatim from our Rede – “Eight words the Wiccan Rede doth fulfill, an it harm none do what ye will. … What ye do comes back to thee, so ever mind the rule of three..”

    I’m a practicing HPs, have been so for decades. My remark was only meant to wave away the nonsense implied in the article. Explaining all the complexities and tenets of the religion would take far too long.

    @Q? (29):
    All Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccan. Again, long explanation. So to say they’re COMPLETELY different isn’t entirely accurate.

  • GTT

    @Randall (224): Maggot actually posted a link to a TIME article on Carter. As you would suppose, he had a wealth of problems that drove to his suicide, none of which had anything to do with the scorn he received over the picture: drugs, money, his best friend´s (also a photographer´s) murder, money, unstable emotional relationships, money, and a general depression over all the violence he had seen in his life.

    One might “excuse” his behavior as part of this depression. He had witnessed murders, executions, famine and he might have felt powerless to stop it. It might be an excuse. But that doesnt change the despicable fact that he waited 20 minutes for the perfect shot and then walked away from a suffering child (it says in the article that he actually sat down to smoke a cig while watching the struggling child before walking away). It´s sick.

  • lo

    @Randall (224):

    randall, i agree with all you’ve just said to callie, the issue here is what happened in the time carter was on the ground in the vicinity of that child, not how his own conscious or “the world” reflected on it later.

    so, i think we all need to step back for one minute and recall that as at least 2 comments above have pointed out, there are different versions of what happened that day. the versions seem to be along these lines:

    “carter waited for 20 minutes trying to get a dramatic spread wing shot, then gave up on that idea, snapped it and just left.”

    “he waited for this shot, but then chased away the vulture, then left.”

    “he was only on the ground there for 30 minutes total, -the time it would take the aid agency he was flying with to distribute food- and happened to see this scene fairly near the plane, the child’s family was getting food and then returned”

    “he approached the scene slowly, not wanting to scare of the bird because of the meaning it added to the image, got everything in frame and took the shot, then chased off the vulture, the group he’d flown in with was then leaving and he was under the assumption that the child’s family would return from picking up food momentarily, so he left.”

    -etc.- we weren’t there, and these small details seem to weigh heavily on how we should judge his actions. if the whole village was in this state, he didn’t know who her living family or caretakers where, but honestly assumed they were receiving the food drop off and would return to the area where they left her, and he did chase away the vulture, all while only being there for half an hour total and seeing this extreme degree of widespread starvation in person for the first time and a bit in shock, it sounds less callous than “he wasted 20 minutes waiting for a dramatic shot and than just walked away”.

    what do we all think he should have done instead? snap the shot, pick up the child and carry her to the place where food was being distributed and then trusted that the equally starving people there would find her caretakers?

    picked her up and franticly asked around through an interpreter to try and find the adults who were responsible for her care (her biological immediate family may all have died already) in the perhaps 15 minutes the aid group had left on the ground?

    simply carried her to an area with more people and perhaps shade, set her down, and returned to the plane?

    it really seems that what happened on the ground that day is not just a cut-and-dry “carter callously walked away, thinking only of the fame his pic could bring” and not being there we don’t fully understand it.

  • esamutash

    God, the image hurts. I understand that and because of the pain it brings, we feel the need to blame. Unfortunately, in this situation (famine) there simply is no one person to hold accountable. I’ll never forget the time someone filmed me stepping over a mine that had laid down in front of our shelters door. The image was used to demonstrate the coldness of the aid workers. when asked why I had not stopped to help the man, I explained, “behind the building were 1000 people waiting for food at 7:00am. I had to oversee it being handed out and it was 6:55am. If we were late, the people would not be able to get their food in time to be out in the fields.” Swear to god, the person then asked me, “why didn’t you get there earlier.” I replied, “Just like you, I have to sleep.”

  • esamutash

    Sorry, I meant stepping over a man (not a mine). All this brings me back to shit that I am in no way completely over.

  • 8rustystaples

    Google the name Sylvia Likens for another horrifying example.

  • Davy

    @sammmie davis (220): You disgust me

  • Spiff17

    Randall: Ha, there’s the Randall I’ve come to appreciate! Just making sure you haven’t gone soft. But seriously I’ve found your posts very enjoyable lately! And your list on Hammer films opened up my eyes to a new form of entertainment as well. I just happened to notice that your posts haven’t seemed as seethingly angry and profanity-laden lately. But your points have been as good as ever. And your physical threat against me has made it clear you haven’t gone soft…

  • twiggythe2nd

    mark, you’re kind of an idiot aren’t you?

  • MadMonkey

    For #7… really? Animals? I think people are more deserving to be included in a list like this.

    #6 just makes me sick.

  • Woyzeck Returns

    @Derek (218):

    Who were ‘the Nazis’? They weren’t some alien race which enslaved Germany for twelve years. People are greater of far more evil than they are generally given credit for.

  • Davy

    @Randall (224): No list is complete without a 17 paragragh Randall rant.

  • GiantFlyingRobo

    This list depressed me. But it was good, just needed to be edited better. Good job, Flamehorse.

  • Randall

    @Mark (208):

    A) Where do you get off trying to say that the Allies never “actually liberated any of the death camps”? EXCUSE ME?

    B) You have proven yourself once again to be an obstinate little jackass. In one breath you admit you know very little about it, but in the next you start throwing around opinions as though they were facts. I find this practice PARTICULARLY loathsome. Amongst other HIGHLY disingenuous little habits you repeatedly display on this site, and in your recent comment.

    “Yes, you are right, it would have smelled all the time.”

    YES. And there the question ENDS.

    You actually go on to try to say that without the SS and guards there, it would have smelled “worse.” That is NONSENSE. So what if it would have smelled worse? Your argument started on the premise that the camps hardly smelled at all until the German guards abandoned them and the bodies started piling up. When you are shown to be WRONG in this ridiculous statement, (because by your own backhanded admission, you don’t really know enough about the subject to offer an authoritative opinion) you breeze right past your error and attempt to simply restate it, by trying to imply that it smelled “worse” without the guards there to deal with it.

    This is pure disingenuousness. The camps smelled, Mark. Admit your error and move on. They smelled ALL the time. There are Germans who have spoken and written about this time and time again.

    In fact, were I not so convinced that you simply don’t really at all know what the fuck you’re talking about, I’d say your statements border very nearly on Holocaust Denial. Not of the variety of “the holocaust never happened,” but of the variety of “the holocaust was committed only by a few SS fanatics and the like, and the vast number of Germans and the Army and such knew nothing about it.”

    At any rate, you’re DEAD wrong on this, and I suggest you shut up before digging yourself in deeper.

    ““…MOREOVER, you make an incorrect assumption anyway, because not all concentration camps were abandoned by the guards and SS by the time Allied troops arrived…”

    I don’t have enough knowledge to deny that.”

    Well tell you what, Mark. I DO have knowledge, okay? I’m an historian. I’ve TAUGHT history. WWII is one of my personal specialties. My father and five of my uncles fought in the war, in various services–all in combat. I’ve spoken personally with men who liberated camps, and read countless accounts of these liberations. There were many instances where SS guards and even SS combat groups fought at the camps—either because they were caught there with no escape, or because they faced small forces they thought they could best, or what have you. BY NO MEANS were all camps abandoned when the Allies got to them.

    “I can however tell you that none of the extermination camps were still manned when the Soviets rolled into town.”

    Where is your support for that statement? I’d like a citation, please.

    “Sure, I know that you think I’m missing the point, but everyone knew that the Jews were being persecuted. That they were being systematically executed, well, that was not such common knowledge.”

    COMMON knowledge, no—perhaps not. But that is NOT the point. It WAS known amongst the German populace living near the various camps–and word did get out, albeit piecemeal and largely via rumor.

    “Agreed, I’m not the tome of knowledge of the universe that you are, but it seems to me like the Nazis would hardly be showing these people around.”

    I didn’t say that they did, smart ass, and you know damn well I didn’t say that.

    YOU were denying that ANY knowledge of what was going on had gotten out. THAT, as I said earlier, is not only VERY wrong but borders on being despicable.

    It didn’t require “tours” of the camps for these people to gain their knowledge.

    Mark, you’ve proven yourself before to be an ignorant little son of a bitch who likes to shoot his mouth off and then play the snide smart ass in order to squirm out of admitting your errors… but in this it’s disgusting.

    “The idea that delivering bread to the camps instills instant knowledge of the inner-workings of the camp is a poorly conceived argument.”

    THAT was NOT my argument you little bastard. I SAID that there were local members of the populace who serviced the camps in all manner of ways, not JUST in “delivering bread.” Don’t pull high-school debate tactics in order to try to prop up your badly informed bullshit. You are DEAD wrong in your opinions ONCE AGAIN and haven’t the goddamn courage–again–to admit to it.

    The camps were not stand-alone affairs with no contact with the outside world, or contact ONLY through the SS and the military. The vast majority of the concentration camps and extermination camps were built near towns and villages for a reason—for logistic reasons of supply and transportation. The people living in those towns AND around the camps were involved *materially* in helping to supply and support those camps in all manner of ways. They were not a “secret” and never were, and MANY Germans have written and spoken about this, albeit tacitly at first, being unwilling to admit wrongdoing.

    YOUR arguments, as I’ve said, are not only patently wrong on the facts and devoid of logic as well—but frankly are exactly like the defense raised by Germans after the war who claimed that they “did not know” and “could not have known,” that it was all an “SS affair” carried out by “fanatics.”

    “I know that the Germans as a collective probably couldn’t have cared less about some things. “Who cares if Hitler’s locking the Jews up; I don’t like them anyway.” But the idea that the Germans knew the severity or extent of Hitler’s policies is ridiculous.”

    AGAIN, Mark–you are being nothing but purely disingenuous. IN FACT a GREAT MANY ordinary German citizens DID know what was going on in the camps. Did they ALL know? No. But no one has ever said that! But neither was it some great secret. The fact is that a great many knew, but did nothing and said nothing—partly out of fear, and partly out of the manner of thinking that had been drilled into them for generations, and especially since the Nazis had taken power–that the affairs of the state were not *their* affairs.

    The idea of German knowledge of what was going on, and the severity of it, is not “ridiculous” Mark—it is in fact a sad and terrible truth. And you are speaking deplorably by trying to downplay it and ridicule it.

    “German citizens could have tried to do something about it, but they would have ended up with a bullet in their head for their troubles.”

    The VERY argument that LED to Hitler in the first place. A morally despicable and slimy argument. And as I get to know you more and more via the things you say on this site, things like this become less and less a surprise.

    “Would you commit suicide to stop the Jews or the communists being locked up? I know that I wouldn’t.”

    Good for you.

    I would never commit suicide, no. But committing suicide is not the only option open to a people as a whole, when they’re faced with evil. There are other things that can be done than simply ignoring a problem.

    It’s deplorable that there’s still people like you talking like this in our world–excusing and squirming to get out of responsibility, to paint pictures on past history that are in fact distortions and lies, and then to act smug and rather self-satisfied about it.

  • whathappened?

    As has been brought up a few times in the numerous comments, most of these are not cases of the bystander effect. Number 10, which is supposedly explaining the bystander effect, only seems to be included to have some sort of bible reference in the list, and it is not an example of the bystander effect!

    @Woyzeck Returns (217)
    After reading this list I have no choice but to completely agree with you! We do suck as a species from a moral point of view, but biologically the only measure of a species success is their ability to survive and reproduce and shit are we excellent at that…It breaks my heart to know that this is what humanity is made of, though of some comfort is the knowledge that few people do exist who would risk their own wellbeing to save another. As much as I would love to think of myself as such a person, it is impossible to make such claims without knowing what it is like to be in such a situation. Thus, I feel there are too many people commenting here saying THEY would never be the ones to sit back and let someone suffer or be harmed in front of their eyes. While a small percentage would in fact help out a person in need, this is not universal, which is visible just by reading the comments. Some say they would certainly save the starving child, while others claim they would help the girl being raped and others still say they would save the life of the girl in #3. However, it is unreasonable to assume that you would help EVERYONE and sacrifice your life for anyone who may need you to. There are way too many variables affecting these things, which is why I cannot judge those who would not help without knowing exactly what was going through their heads at the moment. It does not, however, stop me from judging the people committing these truly awful acts. If the bystander effect is a result of a deep rooted fear as stated by a comment far above mine by Mika, then it is at least understandable from a human point of view. Killing millions of people, or even one person in such twisted, sick ways has no excuse.

  • Tenebrae

    @Q? (29): @Davy (236):

    sammmmie is “that guy” – You know that kid who thinks pretending to be a sociopath and a callous twat is cool. He thinks it makes him badass and it garners him attention. Don’t feed the idiots.

  • Woyzeck Returns

    @Teebor (225):

    Excellent comment.

  • Katie M.

    Great list, but I’m surprised at the absence of Sylvia Likens. The whole freaking neighborhood came out to watch/help her ward Gertrude Baniszewski torture her to death, almost all children. Even the neighbors suspected something was wrong but never said anything. Bleh!

    As to the Shanda Sharer case… You’ve included this on another list somewhere, and there too you claimed that Laurie Tackett was the ringleader when it was almost certainly Melinda Loveless. Laurie encouraged her, to be sure, but it was definitely Melinda’s idea. Oh, and if I’m not mistaken, it was Hope Rippey who sprayed Shanda with the Windex.

  • lo

    @GTT (231):

    but the article actually says he chased off the vulture, then sat beneath a tree smoking a cigarette while he “cried and talked to god” then became notably depressed and kept saying he just wanted to hug his daughter.

    i don’t know if you’ve ever been a smoker, but experiencing something strongly emotional and negative REALLY makes most smokers feel they need a cigarette to steady themselves.

    carter should probably have tried to carry her to (or at least closer to) the feeding station post-picture, but it’s very likely the hopelessness of what was happening overwhelmed him. this wasn’t a place where she was the only one starving to death, it was everywhere around him, maybe knowing that he couldn’t save any of the other children he saw in the area made him feel that helping her while not helping them was worse than nothing, who knows?

    he seems to have been a conflicted man with a sad life, mostly of documenting the horrors humans bring upon each other, so the rest of us do not forget.

  • Davy

    @Randall (243): I agree that Mark is an ignorant asshole. You just proved it in your 30 paragraph attack.

  • Davy

    Wow 250 comments already

  • GiantFlyingRobo

    @Davy: Are you just trying to get the #1 spot on that Top 10 Commenters list in the About link?

  • okaywtf

    How on earth did #2 happen? At my school dances chaperones didn’t let us get within an inch of eachother when we were dancing. How on earth did this go unnoticed by the chaperones? Or were there NO chaperones?!

  • will


  • will

    crazy stuff i dunno how these people do this stuff i couldnt live wit myself knowing i could have stopped someones death and to not have done it. whenever i see someone in trouble i help them no matter what.

  • Davy

    @GiantFlyingRobo (251): Wow I never even knew anything about the top commenters. #3 cool :)

  • J32

    fcvaduz #12 – was going to post that.

    What a sad list. :-( I knew about a fair few of those, but hadn’t heard of the story which gave the idea for the list.

    The photo @ no. 6 has haunted me since I first saw it, so utterly horrific, it’s a very sobering reminder of how lucky a lot of us are.

  • Disc Huker

    archiealt: “The fact that you just compared the gang rape of a fourteen year old girl, to abortion, shows how much your morality has been warped by religious metaphysics.”

    yes, i compare all of these atrocities with abortion. they show absolute disregard for human life. they show complete lack of mercy.

    if religious metaphysics makes me to look on the slaughter of literally millions and be moved with compassion to the victims and anger against this sort of institutionalized murder then so be it.

    to be more accurate, i probably don’t compare abortion with these things. abortion is worse. atleast when we tell the stories above, people unite in disbelief and anger. when abortion is mentioned in a negative light, those that are “against choice” are seen as “warped” as opposed to simply showing basic human emotion.

  • natapillar

    Hi Time magazine hi Pulitzer Prize
    Tribal scars in Technicolor
    Bang bang club AK 47 hour

    Kevin Carter

    Hi Time magazine hi Pulitzer Prize
    Vulture stalked white piped lie forever
    Wasted your life in black and white

    Kevin Carter
    Kevin Carter
    Kevin Carter

    Kevin Carter
    Kevin Carter
    Kevin Carter
    Kevin Carter

    The elephant is so ugly he sleeps his head
    Machetes his bed Kevin Carter kaffir lover forever
    Click click click click click
    Click himself under

    Kevin Carter
    Kevin Carter
    Kevin Carter

    Manic Street Preachers

  • li

    What, pray tell, would any of those German civilians have even done? Anybody who stood out was targeted and silenced, and I really doubt that in the beginning any of them knew that it would escalate to the point that it did.

    So while it’s easy to point fingers, I don’t think that the situation is simple at all. There were those individuals who helped hide or transport others to safe locations, but are they considered?

    I’m not condoning the silence by any means, but come on.

  • Moonbeam

    @GTT (199): You ask me why Kevin Carter would have waited 20 minutes for the vulture to flap it’s wings:

    Let’s think about this logically. If a photographer wanted to make a boatload of money, going to Sudan during a famine is not the ideal way to attempt it. He could have chased some starlet in the hopes she passed out drunk and without her underclothes.

    He was most likely carrying camera equiptment, not a backpack full of rice and water. The UN people were bringing the food and supplies. His role was to publicize their plight.

    If you have read about how to medically treat someone who is severely malnourished, it is dangerous to feed them just anything. People have died right after well meaning rescuers fed them. Their bodies can’t handle the sudden intake of food, and they begin to vomit or have diarrhea, which can and has lead to death.

    Carter was a man who spent much of his life fighting injustice through his work; “When riots began sweeping the black townships [in South Africa]in 1984, Carter moved to the Johannesburg Star and aligned himself with the crop of young, white photojournalists who wanted to expose the brutality of apartheid — a mission that had once been the almost exclusive calling of South Africa’s black photographers. ‘They put themselves in face of danger, were arrested numerous times, but never quit. They literally were willing to sacrifice themselves for what they believed in,’ says American photojournalist James Nachtwey, who frequently worked with Carter and his friends.” After getting his picture of the baby “he sat under a tree, lit a cigarette, talked to God and cried. ‘He was depressed afterward,’ Joao Silva recalls. ‘He kept saying he wanted to hug his daughter.'(From 9-12-04)
    Not the cold, heartless scum presented in the list above.

    Why did he wait the 20 minutes? We may never know. If you read accounts of those who have witnessed similar tragic events, they often express a terrible sense of helplessness. They want to help everyone, but often can only help a few, or no one. Sometimes they have to make heartbreaking decisions, like helping those more likely to survive. I would not want to ever be in the position to have to choose who gets treatment and who should be allowed to die. Ask any doctor who has worked triage on casualties of war.

  • Ortho_Fan

    It’s hard not to recoil in horror at the Topsy execution — — but we’re looking at it with 21st century sensibilities.

    Today, we might excuse the fact that Topsy killed three people by pointing out that an elephant does NOT belong in a captive environment, such as a circus. (I, for one, am against the use of “show animals” under any circumstances.) But, we also have to accept the fact that people were VERY different 100 years ago, especially where the treatment of animals was concerned.

    As noted, one of the suggested alternatives was a public hanging–a suggestion that would actually be put into practice a few years later! (There’s a horrific online story describing “The Hanging of Mary The Elephant” which took place in Tennessee, in 1916.) Compared to that, Topsy’s death in seconds through electrocution seems more humane–possibly even more-so than the use of an elephant gun.

    In this instance, I would classify the onlookers, less as bystanders who might have done something, and more as spectators, who came to watch for amusement–disgusting as that may seem. (Unfortunately, some people still do this today. Do a google news search for Animal Cruelty OR Torture, and see what you come up with.)

  • winchestre

    Sorry so late in the comments. I was going to read the list on my phone at work today (sneaky me), but then I noticed it was by FlameHorse and I thought to myself, “Self, you are going to want to take your time reading this one. FlameHorse lists are too good for the phone.”

    FlameHorse, you have been and remain still, the best of the best. The relative anonymity of the internet allows me to say the truth, which is this: On the days when the list is NOT by you, I actually fight tiny little waves of disappointment all day long. Is that weird?

    I have so many things to say about this list I don’t even know where to start.

    1. If I could go back in time and meet any one person it would be Nikola Tesla. I think he is history’s forgotten genius. Possibly, the two of us would skip on over to Edison’s house, break down his door and bitchslap him until he cried. What a douche, electrocuting all those animals because of a rivalry over… what…current? CURRENT?

    2. The Carter photograph of the Sudanese child is one of the most striking images I’ve ever seen (yes, I was familiar with it before this list). Every time I see it, I am reminded of just one of the many reasons I am an atheist. There is no god looking out for us, loving us, caring for us. We are not special or privileged. We are simply life forms on this tiny blue rock, and when we die there is something waiting to eat us. Just like everything else.

  • Moloch1123

    I knew a girl in college who went through something similar to number two. Only differences really being that she was much younger(ninth birthday when this started if I remember correctly), there were at least four packs of shite involved, and the whole incident took place over the course of around two weeks.

    She herself doesn’t know how long exactly, and her mother never reported her missing because she was stoned unconscious when her daughter left to go to the park to celebrate her birthday with an ice cream cone she’d saved for and a ride in a swing. When her mother came to, she never reported her daughter missing, as I’ve said, and in fact continued to stay utterly trashed the entire time her daughter was being violated. Hell, the cops found her mom still stoned in their apartment.

  • Spiff17

    Disc Huker: I’m with you 100% on that one. I’ve never been able to fathom abortion. Not because I’m a freaky religious person because I’m not. Just because it never made sense in my head that destroying an innocent life could be justified for any reason. To me abortion is the silent holocaust going on right under our noses.

  • Danny

    Excellent list, I had read about number 8 before, a girl who was working with the Barbarians lured Ilan by pretending to be into him. Imagine going out to a bar, a hot girl is into you, dancing with you, invites you back to her place, and you get ambushed by a gang and tortured for a month…. so ridiculous.

  • winchestre

    @Spiff17 (264): Hmm. Really, not justified for any reason? Any? The life of a tiny cluster of cellular matter with no nervous system is more valuable than the life of the woman carrying it around? Really?

  • GiantFlyingRobo

    @winchestre (262): For the love of all things awesome, why do atheists feel the need to comment about how religions are fake on EVERY, SINGLE LIST!?!? Sheesh, this is starting to really bug me…

  • irishman1982

    I only wish there was a hell for Kevin Carter to go to. What an inhumane bastard. Fuck his memory.

  • winchestre

    @GiantFlyingRobo (267): Oh, okay, because religious people are so quiet and private about their beliefs.

    I’m not representing atheism or all atheists. I merely made a comment about how a photograph on the list made me feel.

    Maybe you should ask yourself why it bugs you so much.

  • GiantFlyingRobo

    @natapillar (258): Seriously, WTF?

  • Randall

    @lo (232):

    Well, that’s the Rashomon argument, isn’t it? Except it’s my understanding that it was Carter’s OWN words that damned his behavior there–HE is the one who claimed to have “waited 20 minutes” and then walked away. Another photojournalist made a contrary statement. One wonders, if perhaps to cover for Carter after the storm started brewing, but we can’t say.

    In any event, fine–let’s treat this as a hypothetical then. Let’s ask ourselves what is right and wrong in the situation AS WE UNDERSTAND it to have happened. And yes, let’s admit that under different circumstances, the moral choices are far less clear.

    Nevertheless… under the situation as it was described by Carter himself–the question is NOT what he could have efficaciously done to help the child. The issue is not “suppose he had done this” or “suppose he had done that.” The issue, rather, is… should he have done ANYTHING? And the answer to that is a resounding YES. He should have done something. Even if his actions would have been futile and fruitless… he should have done *something.*

    Futility is a very real concept; to face its existence is one of the qualities of the human mind that allows us to accomplish many things we might not otherwise accomplish. But to GUARD against futility is also a strenuous necessity of being alive. Each of us sitting here knows that every day children are dying. Do we surrender to that futility and simply let them die? Or, when presented with a DIRECT chance for SOME kind of action, do we attempt to help? That’s the moral question here.

    And actually, a few people have mentioned, in regards to the holocaust, the futility of the German people standing up to stop it. They miss that vital point, however. An individual has choices—as does a society. An individual German could not have done much. But a German society that stood up in numbers to revolt against the great evil being perpetrated in their name could have done much, perhaps. Perhaps even then it might not have changed anything. But RESULTS of a moral action are not as germaine as they seem–the real issue is the question itself. Do we act when we see wrongs being committed, or do we turn our back and pretend not to see them? Or do we rationalize that we can do nothing to change them, so why bother?

    I have never said that Carter could have changed anything in that little girl’s life. I’ve never said that the German people could have stopped the Holocaust. But what is possible or likely or unlikely is not the point, in a moral question. The point is right and wrong.

    People forget that, and then they wonder how it is that there can be such a thing as a “bystander effect.” Well there it is right before our noses. We think we’d never find a reason NOT to act–we think we’d never have a defensible excuse—but here we are already backpedaling to excuse certain things.

  • Spiff17

    winchestre: No, not more valuable at all. But equally as valuable yes. And there is no reason anyone could possibly justify snuffing out that girl’s life. Nor should we snuff out any other human life. Do we base human life on the amount of cells in its body? That makes no sense.

  • Spiff17

    Please keep in mind, I’m not judging anyone. Just stating a deep felt conviction of mine that I cannot begin to understand the argument of the opposite stance.

  • winchestre

    @Spiff17 (272): I think your comment about “no justified reasons” and comparing abortion to the holocaust are gross generalizations and poorly thought out.

    I dig your respect for life. I do. My frustration lies with people making well-intended comments that basically disregard the life of the pregnant woman. What if it was a choice between her life or the child’s? Would abortion be justifiable then, or is the lump of cells still more precious? Get some perspective.

  • GiantFlyingRobo

    @winchestre (269): I don’t have anything against atheists nor you in particular, it’s just that one always shows up EVERY time to say the EXACT same thing. It gets kinda frustrating, you know? Look, I didn’t mean it as something against atheism, I sort of get irritated with the fact that it happens almost always. Sorry to have taken it out on you.
    P.S. If it were a bunch of Christians,Muslims, etc. instead of atheists, I’d probably do the same thing.

  • Marv in DC

    @ Randall

    Not trying to start an argument, but you’re saying that one single german couldn’t have done anything but a majority of them rising up could have changed things so the single german should have done something even if it was futile. Right?

    My problem is if you apply the same argument to Carter, who are the many Carters who would have risen up? Isn’t that all of us? and therefore is it fair to single him out alone, or is it more appropriate for us all to share the blame, as seems to be the case with Germany in particular.

  • winchestre

    @GiantFlyingRobo (275): Fair enough. Thanks for taking the time to explain.

    Again, I’m not attempting to represent all atheists, but I can say for myself that the internet is where I tend to let that sort of thing out because my point of view is not welcome in my family, my community, or in the friendships I have at work. I’m not a closet atheist, but my necessity a quiet one. So, when I’m commenting sometimes it just comes out. Sometimes dissent needs a voice.

    Peace to you Robo. I read your comments and I think you’re cool. Kiss and make up?

  • Linnie3

    Let me say this…….name calling does not improve your argument, it makes you look desperate and uneducated. Just wanted to put that out there.

  • mko

    Crazy. So I am a law student and this morning in my torts class I was reading this article, totally zoned out, when my prof started talking about item 3 while I was reading it. One of those moments that can really confuse you when you are sleep deprived. Took me a second to recognize what was going on, had me thinking if he knew I wasn’t paying attention, hoping he didn’t know what other websites I was looking at. Nah. Good Stuff.

  • GiantFlyingRobo

    @winchestre (277): Someone thinks I’m cool!? I’m not sure if I should proud or outraged!

  • winchestre

    @Linnie3 (278): I’m so confused. Who’s name calling?

  • lo

    can we please, please not have the abortion debate here, again?

    this list provides so many other interesting aspects of human life and behavior to think on that hijacking the comments back to that topic yet again would be a loss. i can link you to many, many other times in this past year that the comments were redirected solely to that single issues, or even to whole websites and blogs pro and con if that’s what you want to discuss, but this list isn’t about that.

    hijacking the comments for that single issue -when none of the list items mention it- would be trolling.

    i have a question about the definition of “the bystander effect” itself. it seems that the comments and the list itself have given it a broad definition or even contrary definitions. i thought it was when one is a personal physical witness to harm or danger to another and chooses not to act at all, merely to “stand by” and observe or leave. so this would mean that direct participants in committing the harmfull act don’t count, it would also mean that widespread riots and acts of war as a whole cannot be considered, merely the individual incidents that compose them and the witnesses to each.

    isn’t the whole thing about how each individual witness chooses to do something or do nothing but “stand by” during each situation? about (as was said above) watching and thinking “someone else will help” and then realizing “wait! i’m someone”. i think when we extrapolate it to whole cultures and countries “actions” we start talking about something else.

    also, do we think the phenomenon of failing to act on the assumption “but someone else will” is a different thing than failing to act because “it’s not my place, it’s not my business….”?

  • mko

    And the one man who stood up against abortion is also the same man whose birth was the reason a king killed a generation of male infants…

  • flamehorse

    @winchestre (262): Well thanks! I was just cruising YouTube, and if you guys want to be cheered up, check this one out.

    I think it’s in Turkish, and the only word I understood was at 1:44: “knockout.”

    We should all know how to do this. If not, cf. “Most Audacious Shootouts in History.”

  • winchestre

    @GiantFlyingRobo (280): Outraged. Definitely outraged. *big smiles*

    Well, lo seems to want Spiff17 and me to stick to the topic of the list, which is the bystander effect.

    I’ll do my part. Yay, here I go: I was out to eat at a restaurant with my family. As we were walking in, there was a woman walking out with two boys (I assume, her sons). One of them was about my son’s age and he was being, as toddlers can sometimes be, a bit defiant. He didn’t want to get go to their car. His mother hit him repeatedly in the back. He went to the ground on his knees and he was crying. The mom continued to hit him in the back hard and she was shouting, “GET UP. GET UP.”

    Now, my spouse and I have chosen not to hit our child. Ever. Not wanting to risk getting involved with an obviously ill-tempered woman in front of my son, I didn’t say anything or step in at all. But, I’ve thought about that moment several times since then (this happened a couple of weeks ago).

    So, what say you listeversers? Did I perpetuate the bystander effect by not stepping in, calling authorities, etc. for what I personally deem as child abuse? Or would stepping in have been trying to force my parenting/personal beliefs on someone else? Not my place or my business?

    I sure hope the little guy is okay.

  • Disc Huker

    winchestre: no nervous system? have you ever looked at the timeline of development for a baby?

  • sydney

    Rwandan Genocide should definitly be on there!

  • winchestre

    @Disc Huker (286): Nervous starts to function at around 20 weeks? It isn’t until the 2nd trimester that the fetus is capable of moving. Not until month 7 that the fetus is capable of independent life because he/she has formed an actual brain. Thanks for asking.

    I made that comment because of the prevailing pro-life stance that life begins at conception. I think a more moral approach is to ask is abortion cruel because the “cells” suffer in any way? My point was that prior to the development of a nervous system, they do not. In contrast to the very well formed nervous system of the mother.

    Now then… I’m not going to comment on abortion anymore on this list or lo will get upset.

  • Teebor

    262 comments before a religious debate.

    That has to be a record.

    People need to relax. Plus realise that when you attack a person’s beliefs (especially metaphysical) this will only harden their resolve. At least be subtle in your attack so that they come to realise things without you forcing it down their throat. Thats how you destroy someones worldview.

  • Spiff17

    winchestre: I’m not sure I understand the “whose life is more important” argument. I’m not saying kill the girl and save the unborn fetus. My point is that we shouldn’t be choosing to end any life! I don’t think my points were poorly thought out at all (though I may be bias ;) ). I think that its a really scary thing that we have taken it upon ourselves to decide at what point a person becomes a person, at what point a cluster of cells can have rights. And there are some disturbing inconsistencies in our ideas about this. It seems to be more of an issue of “in the belly = not a person, out of the belly = person. In many places a fetus can be aborted at a point that, if born prematurely it quite likely would have survived. And if you were to murder that baby or fetus the moment it was born you would be a murderer. And yet if you were to abort it moments before you would not be. Is that not confusing and disturbing? As for the rights issue, should not the right of a person to live overrule the right of a person to avoid childbirth? Yes, every woman has a right to make decisions over her own body. But God or nature or whoever you think is calling the shots has made life in such a way that women bear children when impregnated. Its no one’s choice, its just how the process of life works. (I don’t mean to explain this as if you don’t know it. Just trying to explain my thought process). Its no ones choice to get sick or to go through many difficult things that are common in life. If a woman becomes pregnant its not a matter of choice. It just is. She’s pregnant. It becomes complicated at that point because there is a “cure” for pregnancy. However, that cure ends a life. No matter how you look at it when an abortion occurs a life that would have been is now ended. So we have made a choice to end a life. I don’t see how the right of that life to live are lesser than the rights of a woman to avoid enduring something that, fortunate or unfortunate, is just the way nature works. The issue of one right overruling another is a constant issue in our society, and generally there is a fairly clear moral choice as to which is the greater right. In the case of woman’s rights to avoid pregnancy and childbirth vs. a child’s (or fetus if you prefer scientific lingo) right to live it seems to me that the hierarchy should be clear? Thats what I don’t understand in the slightest. Please understand I don’t want this to become a discussion with an air of anger or judgement. I’m curious to hear your thoughts. You have to understand that even if your belief’s differ, if I believe that thousands upon thousands of innocents are being killed I can hardly just shrug and say “oh well”. When the opportunity arises I have to at least state my case.

  • Spiff17

    Lo: I posted before I read your request. If it bothers people then fine, this doesn’t need to be the venue for it. But I’ve actually never seen an abortion discussion on here before. And the topic is one of the most current examples (at least in the minds of many) of exactly what this list brings up. So it most definitely is relevant. What is it that bothers you about the topic?

  • BobbyP

    I wish i was aborted.

  • Spiff17

    Besides, I don’t think that fetal pain or development is the main concern. Its that people have decided that we’re free to morally choose what is a human life, and at what stage it becomes so. How can we know at what point a fetus is a person with rights? If we can’t tell without a shadow of a doubt then its a pretty scary thing to act on it.

  • mimz619

    I think the girl that is mentioned on the #2 case has died. I saw a commercial for the news a half hour ago, and it was broadcasted as “Girl killed at her Homecoming Dance”. I am unsure, as I heard it in passing on my way to the back part of the house…but either way this Bystander stuff is sick. Why can’t anyone interfere anymore?

  • Spiff17

    Teebor: How is abortion a religious topic? It has religious repercussions but its about as physical of a debate as one could have. Its not only atheists that are pro-abortion, and not only christians that are anti-abortion.

  • Teebor

    After we rid the world of all the atrocities committed against self aware entities;

    and build systems of life and economy that benefit everyone; (dont worry im not a communist – just hate greed)

    and actually make a life worth living

    then we can worry about abortions.

  • Teebor

    Spliff i was talking about the banter about the dude who brought up his atheism

  • Spiff17

    Teebor: Why wait? Life IS worth living. I’m sorry you don’t think so. But that doesn’t give us the right to decide that for an unborn person. Maybe they would like give it a shot.

  • Spiff17

    Typo: Maybe they would like *to* give it a shot.

  • Spiff17

    Teebor: Oh, gotcha. Sorry I misunderstood your comment.

  • winchestre

    Lo, I tried to end it. I really did. The conversation is now self-sustaining and can’t be STOPPED! It’s alive. ALIVE!!!

    By the way, Spiff17, I’m not pro-abortion. I don’t even know anyone who has ever professed to be pro-abortion. I’m pro-choice. There is a distinction.

  • FlashofFury

    Excellent point winchestre. They are two very different things.

    I’m not going to read all 301 comments. So forgive me is this already came up. But how about a year or two ago when that woman died in the waiting room of a new york hospital and everyone just ignored her. Apparently she was waiting for treatment for over a day and was dead for hours before anyone even bothered checking on her. Not exactly as atrocious as many of the things on this list but still worth noting I would say.

  • Maggot

    @Spiff17 (291): But I’ve actually never seen an abortion discussion on here before.

    Try here:

  • Bearglove

    No one raised a voice of protest over the elephant because there wasn’t really much concern for animal rights among the general populace back in those days. As far as I can tell, the general population didn’t really care about animals until the last 40 years. Why? Because animals are and always have been lower life forms to us. They always will be, because 100% of the population can never relate to an animal in the same way they can relate to another human(another animal, as some seem to forget). Most people who are concerned with animal life in general seem to have been taught it, and it usually doesn’t go beyond their own personal pets. Everyone else seems to just be joining the “Animal Rights” religion dreamed up by peta and the self-righteous vegetarians/vegans who just regurgitate bullshit lies they’ve been fed by their handlers.
    Humans have become too concerned with the rights of animals. It’s quite sick really, that many people are more willing to cause an uproar over the mistreatment of animals as opposed to the mistreatment of children.
    Michael Vick was involved in dog fighting, and he’s regarded as the biggest scumbag in the world.
    Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13 year old and went on to write/direct/act for the next 33 years.

  • lo

    @Spiff17 (291): what bothers me is we’ve already talked about it here so much that there’s nothing that hasn’t been said and this particular thread is about SOMETHING ELSE.

    i can’t link you to all the times it’s come up, it’s literally 1000’s and jamie’s anti-spam system puts comments with multiple links into automatic moderation.


    or try it yourself, go to the box to your right labeled “search listverse” and type in the single word abortion. the first thing that comes up is an entire “your view” titled “should abortion be legal?” -it alone has been up over a year and got its most recent comment 5 days ago, comment #943 to be exact. and that’s a discussion meant to be on that topic, it doesn’t include any of the other times the other discussions got hijacked that way.

    always having the same, unresolvable fight here is boring and unfair to the other list writers jamie selected with other topics they actually wanted us to ponder.

  • Huh

    I wish I was God so I can revoke the world

  • superbloop

    “I wish I was God so I can revoke the world”

    With my real name

  • Metalwrath

    One of the biggest bystander effects ever was that of the Arab/Muslim intellectuals on black slavery.

    This list, and most articles on things like this, often focus on the crimes of white people as if whites were the only torturous people in the world. The fact of the matter is that Arab Muslims have traded black slaves long before the Europeans, and have continued long after the Europeans abolished it. It is considered by historians that the Arab Muslim slave trade was more deadly and more important than the Atlantic slave trade. Also, if there aren’t any descendants of black slaves in Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, its because the Arabs systematically castrated them, which wasn’t the case in western countries where the black diaspora flourished. The bystand is that absolutely no intellectual or politician of the Arab world cried out to this crime, which wasn’t the case in Europe and America during the Enlightenment. The only reason why slavery is abolished in the world is because Europe colonized and pressured most of it, spreading the ideas of freedom and human rights.

    Also in the same vein, Arab, Ottoman and north African pirates raided southern European coasts to capture white slaves as well (the numbers of victims were in the millions). They were called the Barbary corsairs. Their raids were a major reason for European attack and subsequent colonization of African and middle eastern countries.

    Sorry for this post if its interpreted as racist against arab muslims. But history is what it is, and unfortunately, when it comes to the slave trade, it seems like all we ever talk and learn about is the European slave trade. The arab one is left to oblivion because it wouldn’t be politically correct.

  • Sardon

    “A propo”? What the heck is that? Some new streetwise abbreviation for some hip perversion? Just what the heck IS a “pro po”? I looked at it and spoke it in my mind several times, using different accents and inflections. A propo. a PROpo. a proPO. AHA! That’s it! I had not reckoned on the idiomatic illiteracy of the list-maker.

    It’s “apropos”. It’s French, and means “fitting”, or, what a surprise, “appropriate”. A basic rule of writing is that you don’t use any idiom without being absolutely certain of it’s meaning, proper circumstance for use and the correct spelling. Perhaps you think it’s a minor thing, but let me tell you, fair or unfair, mature readers used to employing critical reading skills see egregious mistakes things like that, especially in the first paragraphs of an article, and they very often abandon the entire work of the writer as not worth their time. A word to the wise.

  • slipstick

    As my sensei said, “Someday, somewhere, you’ll be called upon to place your life on the line with no clear path back to safety…. Are you prepared?” Both he and I have found the answer, and it is yes.

  • Sam

    In comparison to the horrors above the elephant story is stupid and doesn’t fit. Its sad that some people regard animals rights and lives higher than a humans. The Richmond High story is truly sickening! I wish the men who did this could be castrated and then have their genitals cut off and shoved up their ass!

  • Zoe

    I think the case of Sylvia Likens should be on this list. For those of you who don’t know, this girl was tied up and repeatedly tortured by neighbourhood kids and even a parent untill she eventualy died.

  • Jael

    Where can I resign from the human race? I am utterly disgusted by the actions of the bystanders in these cases right now.

  • DavidTehGnome

    An interesting list indeed, you could have saved yourself some time and just written white people are evil and jews are the eternal victims (cue violin). The holocaust is a total crock of sh*t and this preposterous narrative you jews like to tout is quickly coming apart at the seams (thank god). The fact that world war two is remembered as the war in which six million jews were killed with bug spray in various two car garages all over Europe is absolutely sick. What about the forty or so million that lost their lives fighting in a war judea started in the first place and couldn’t even be troubled to fight in? How about Dresden? Or perhaps the jewish kabal who spawned communism and subsequently murdered tens of millions of white Christians in the soviet union? You jews truly are a sick sick people. Thankfully, as I’m sure pretty much nobody agrees with my views on this propaganda site, my denial of the holocaust remains a proven fact for anyone with a brain in their head still capable of critical thinking. The numbers simply do not mesh, the red cross visited these camps and gave their seal of approval unlike the jewish run gulags and NKVD murder squads. No western leader has ever written about this holocaust and when a critical eye glances over these jewish lies the whole episode absolutely crumbles like the complete and total farce it is. Eventually no one will want to watch this weeks holocaust blockbuster sh*t show movie and you all might just find yourselves in some real sh*t.

  • lo

    @DavidTehGnome (314):

    hey, look everybody! this topic has already had us insinuating that the “evil others” are wiccans, lesbians, satanists, atheists, religious peoples, christians, pro-choice people, anti-choice people, peta-people, and those who think peta-people are out of touch, those who are “bystanders”, and those who are “wannabe-heros”….. and now, step back for our first batshit crazy raging anti-semite!

    “TehGnome” gets a big shiny “flocking insane racist” star! shall we clap? are gnomes first cousins to trolls or just their intellectually inferior little brothers?

  • ianz09

    @lo (315): Damn, get burned Gnome! Lo you can bust out with some zingers, huh?

  • kristi

    i can not believe what people were/are thinking. how could someone just standby and not even call the police. it is terrible, absoulutly atrocious. this has lowered my belief that humans are good (not angels, just good) i understand that people can be bad but this is plain sad that you cant even rely on you’re neighbours to call the police if you call out “Help! i’ve been stabbed!” You’d think that they wouldve got the picture when she says that she had been STABBED, the people who gathered around that young girl, the man and the elephant are not worthy of being called civilised, i sometimes wonder if humans worse that the most barbaric of the animal kingdom. i can not express my fury and sadness.

  • Spiff17

    Lo: Cool, thanks. No need to get hostile. Someone brought it up so I replied. Its not like there aren’t a hundred other topics that aren’t brought up over and over. That’s what happens on threads. People discuss stuff. This was an especially relevant topic to the theme of the thread so it seemed appropriate. But I’m not here to upset anyone so consider the conversation over. Besides my main post was before I read yours. I was typing it out when you posted.

    It bugs me how the anonymity of the internet empowers people to be so much more hostile than they would be in real life. Its possible to be polite and civil when posting on a thread. Obviously thats something thats not going to stop though so I’ll stop griping. Or maybe I’ll embrace it and join in?

    Great list Flamehorse.

  • lo

    @Spiff17 (318):

    i usually at least try to be civil, hence beginning my plea to cease with “please, please can we?”, i can see how some persons might find the abortion debate relevant, but it has a way of consuming the entire comment stream without any room for anything else, and although this thread is already huge i don’t wish it to become solely about one single issue where “the bystander effect” could possibly apply. as the list itself shows us, many, many other human actions give us pause where this concept is observed in action.

    thank you.

  • Alison

    Jael (313)-if you find out, let me know so I can do it too.

    People are such jerks. I work at a cat shelter and some of the stories I’ve heard about how the cats were treated by people before they came to the shelter make me cry. Lists like today’s do nothing to change my mind about the so-called “people are good deep down” argument. No. They aren’t.

  • LMXV

    One time after school, my mom picked me up like usual. We took a lesser populated street to get home. We were behind a car that stopped immediately in the middle of the street and two gang banger looking people came out and rushed a student (He was in a class of mine and talked about gangs, he definitely had it coming).

    They gave him a beating, not too severe because he got up and walked away. I don’t think anyone would want to be a good samaritan in that situation. Let those people off themselves.

    If you can help someone out, try your best. If there is nothing you can do, call the police. If it’s too dangerous, well, that’s up to you.

  • littlegoldwoman

    Im sorry but anything apart from G-d is evil. Evil essentially is, lack of G-d. Yah, the creator of the universe. Just as dark is absence of light.

    It shocks me that sooo many people dont see that and that so many people want to call their evil good.

    We are ALL horrendous evil creatures. That is WHY we need a saviour! That is why we have bystander effect, the world is lacking in what essentially will save them.

    I know many of you on here wont get this but I know many of you will. And dont lump me in with every WACKO, judgmental ignorant christian out there because Im not. There are MANY MANY MANY believers in G-d and Yeshua that dont act stupid and show their asses online.

  • lo

    @LMXV (321):

    If you can help someone out, try your best. If there is nothing you can do, call the police. If it’s too dangerous, well, that’s up to you.

    riiiight, cause you can name a single situation in a country (where the police themselves aren’t known to take sides) where “calling the police” or emergency general emergency number f-cking anonymously on a telephone is “too dangerous”???

    your “Let those people off themselves.” speaks volumes. you only “call the police” for “worthy” victims, don’t you? how disgustingly sad.

  • aliciaspinnet

    @littlegoldwoman (322):

    I’m agnostic, and I’m a good person. Maybe better than many christians, because I do good because I want to, not because some almight being told me to or because I’m scared of divine retribution.

  • lo

    @aliciaspinnet (324):

    littlegoldwoman appears to be a super-hyper-“christian” person with an anti-girls-gone-wild fixation “that dont act stupid and show their asses online”.

    i wouldn’t stress about it ;)

  • Adrian

    I once defend a women from a beating by he´s boyfriend…she then grabed her bag and hit me with it..that was not cool.

  • zuh.

    1.) i don’t remember what year it was…there was some big sale on TVs or something at a walmart somewhere and people waited by the doors to get in. once they were let in, people were literally trampled to death by the mob, who kept running to make it to their friggin’ TVs before they sold out.

    2.) child abuse is FAR worse than animal abuse.

    3.) i live close enough to richmond to know those are people you wouldn’t wanna screw with. i think i recall saying there are more homicides there than any other place in CA.

  • nuriko


  • AuthorityFigure

    That was a thoroughly depressing collection of articles.

  • Randall

    @Marv in DC (276):

    We all do indeed share the blame, Marv.

  • natapillar

    Now days,where i live at least,people are frightened to get involved or help a victim. If u were to see a teenage lad being pushed and shoved around by a group of other teen lads would u stop to help,or would u think to ur self ”i should leave it,there are too many of them and only one of me” ?
    I was heavily pregnant at the time when i stopped to ask a young woman if she was ok,as i had seen her being shouted at by a man that appeared to be her boyfriend(they had both obviously been drinking that evening). The man then turned to me and told me to keep my nose out and said ”i wont beat u up because ur obviously pregnant,now fuck off”. This is the reason why some people prefer to simply walk on by.
    There have been many cases in the UK of people trying to help a person in need,only for them to be attacked themselves.
    so,would I step in and help a person who quite clearly needs it? My answer is yes i would like to think i could do that. But it all depends on the circumstance. If it was going to put myself or my children in danger,then i am not so sure i would help.
    Until we are placed in that situation it is all too easy to say ‘yeah,of course i would help’,

  • GTT

    @lo (248):
    @Moonbeam (260):

    True, I felt bad for the man after I read that TIME article. He seems to have been suffering from a very deep depression (among other troubles). The point is, he himself made the claim about waiting 20 minutes for the shot, shooing away the bird and then walking away.

    And I understand that he couldnt just feed her anything… That isnt the point. He could just as easily have carried her somewhere closer to the aid station where someone more qualified could have cared for her. It´s as simple as that. He chose to leave her out there and walk away.

    @Moloch1123 (263): Great, you just made me throw up a little in my mouth. That is an incredibly sad story…

  • SaucyJack

    Great list, but I don’t appreciate “lesbianism” being lumped in with witchcraft, vampirisim, etc as a way to indicate that the girls were participating in socially deviant behavior (and I would also argue that none of those sub-cultures in and of themselves encourage murder,torture and whatnot).

    Also I’ve been a victim of the “bystander” effect too. When I was in high school, I was jumped by a pair of guys, who came up behind me, covered my eyes and put me in a head lock in an attempt to rob me. This was right outside of the school. I could not see anything, but when they figured out that they could not get anything from me, they dropped me to the ground and ran off. When I looked up I saw a couple of adults standing a few feet from me looking concerned and some curious folk across the street. No one said or did anything. It sucked.

  • dazzerjp

    @archiealt (85):

    It’s stupid to call people stupid and even more so to do so one the internet. The fact that I used few words to express a universal truth doesnt simplify the fact.

    As for shades of gray or those bystanders that stood back and allowed these evils to take place: fear is no excuse.

    In situations such as those quoted above, it does boil down to 2 simple choices; do I help or do I allow that evil to take place.

    And shame on you for defending those that choose the later.

  • Green Eyes

    Woah Flamehorse, another classic.

    Some great comments – too many to comment on individually but I like what Callie, esa and Woyzeck had to say (as always), I worry about the sanity of people who think the lives of animals are comparable to humans.
    I am somewhat disturbed at the level of animosity towards atheists here these days and JFrater, I love you madly for this site but there are FAR viler people than that Woyzeck on this site completely unmoderated.
    When he’s not being ‘Woyzeck’ he brings some great discussion points to the table…unlike other
    ‘Regular Participants’ who just want to randomly USE capitals and belittle people for having an opinion (it’s DEAD wrong to have an opinion to SOME people here).

    I also think y’all should stop getting your panties in a bunch and DO something about starving children, victims of genocide and the like.
    Don’t get mad, get even. I suggest Palestine and Darfur as your first ports of call for helping others…do it, volunteer, give money, give time, DO SOMETHING other than cry helplessly.

    I know, I broke my own rule: tl;dr.

  • Curious

    this is a great list, entry #2 certainly made me angry because from what i read i feel that girl could have gotten help if someone in that crowd had any conscious. I would also like to add what about the nanking incident? i know it’s like really bystander affect but it is somewhat close to the holocaust, no?

  • Curious

    whoops! i forgot one more bystander story, it was on The Today show, the victim was Maria Besedina, she was on the way to see her boyfriend and was raped at the subway station and she claimed the workers didn’t do anything to help her. here is the story:

  • GTT

    So, I just read about the Maria Besedina case and found it interesting… This 25-year-old woman was attacked and raped in a NYC subway station. Two workers apparently witnessed the attack and called the police. Now, she has filed a suit against NYC´s MTA because these two men only called the police but did not physically intervene.

    Her case was tossed out by a judge who ruled that there was no negligence on the worker´s part.

    A poll taken on AOL News says that 84% (68,750 people of a total of 79,943 respondents) do not agree with the verdict.

    What do you all think? Is it enough to call the police or are you negligent if you dont get physically involved. We dont know if this attacker was armed so we cannot say that these workers were not putting themselves directly in harm´s way…..

  • julz

    Sylvia Likens…i think this fits right in with your list.

  • Disc Huker

    GTT: if someone is physically being harmed, we have a moral obligation to get involved. even if the police are on the street outside of the subway station (in this particular example), it could take them a minute to render help. one minute might not seem like much, but think of the damage that a person can do with ONE punch. how many punches, kicks, bites, gouges can a mad man do in one minute?

    we must help.

  • GTT

    @Disc Huker (340):

    Yes, and I hope I would make the decision to help if ever put in that situation. But it´s a personal choice to become phyically involved in a situation that might cause you harm or death. How can you say that it is the LEGAL obligation of a person to risk their life in order to help someone else? It´s a comepletely different thing to assume it is your moral/ethical duty, but should you be sued if you do not act the hero?

    It kinda gets at what we were discussing above (regarding the photojournalists who “do not get involved”). Would you truly and honestly put yourself between an attacker´s weapon and a (totally unknown and random) victim? Would you trade your life for theirs? Should you be held legally accountable if you dont?

  • Maggot

    @Disc Huker (340): if someone is physically being harmed, we have a moral obligation to get involved.

    It’s a case-by-case thing, there’s no one answer that fits all. To “get involved” yes, but to physically engage? Not so black and white. As has been discussed prior in this thread, no one should be expected to physically endanger themselves (whether real or perceived) to render assistance to someone else. Sure, many people will say they would in fact willfully and selflessly jump right into any situation in order to try and help or save someone no matter what, and that’s very admirable and heroic of them, but no one should be expected to do that IMO.

  • Kay

    Sad. I don’t know what I would have done if I were in one of these situations. Would I have done somthing? I don’t know…

    In a less extreme example, fights at school. People just stand around a watch. Or someone is being picked on or something, and nobody does anything to help. Even teachers!

    When I was in middle school and this stuff happened, I would try to ignore it, but then feel guilty about it afterwords. Sometimes I would do somthing, if I was mad enough.

    Whenever I hear those types of stories, like the ones on this list, I feel so angry and I just want to beat those people. And I always say to myself, if that ever happened to me, I would surely do something. But I know, deep inside me, that I am too scared.

    Which is problibly what some of those people were feeling. Like if you call the police or if you speak out against something, people might turn toward you. And now your a target.

  • Kay

    It’s almost like a kindergarden thing, “If you tattle, people won’t like you.”

    Or, as said on the list, “someone else will do it.”

    Or nothing good would come of telling.

  • GiantFlyingRobo

    @DavidTehGnome (314): Excuse me, but is David your real name? If so, change it, because David is revered and respected by most Jews as being the greatest Israelite king in all history. If you are truly this much of an anti-semite, change your name so you can continue to be an @$$hole without being a hypocrite at the same time.

  • gabi319

    @GTT (338):
    Hadn’t planned on getting involved in this thread but it’s a fairly decent question! :-D

    Sure people should feel compelled to get involved HOWEVER involved in whatever way they can best contribute. In regards to Disc Huker’s One Punch Test… Don’t know where he is but I would say an overwhelming majority of those in my kickboxing classes don’t know how to throw a good punch. Someone who’s in a rage would be less likely to feel a bad punch and could either shove you away or turn their anger on you. Why make the situation worse for the victim and for yourself in that way when a better situation would be to find someone who CAN resolve the problem?

    Same goes for when two dogs fight. There’s a right way to separate them and then there’s hundreds of wrong ways to separate them. Do what you can to help but the bulk of the physical labor should be left to those who can safely do it.

    Same goes for someone going into anaphalactic shock due to allergic reaction. It’s best to be the one to call for an ambulance or to help by finding someone more capable because if you aren’t trained in this type of first aid, chances are probably half and half that you could hold the epi pen wrong and inject yourself with the epinephrine. Then you’ve got two 911 cases and no one to call 911.

    See the gist of what I’m saying in these various examples? Yes, everyone should help but only however way they can (and there are more ways to help than to play the indisputed superhero). Regarding those two in GTT’s blurb, did they do everything they were capable of? I dunno. I personally don’t know the situation so I don’t know if they could have done more but at least they did SOMETHING so the judge was right in that they weren’t wholly negligent.

  • Harry

    @DavidTehGnome (314): You sicken me. If you’re going to comment on this site, keep your anti-seminte opinions to yourself.

  • NotABystander

    I am proud to say that I am not a bystander and if this ever happened to someone I would definitely call the police. Some people are just stupid.

  • David

    DavidTehGnome is right. Jews ARE mass-murderers. And there scum too. Ever heard of Lazar Kaganovich? One of Stalin`s inner-circle, and was one of the people behind The Holodomor, the Ukraine famine, which killed up to 10 million people, Beria, “Stalin`s Himmler,” leader of the NKVD, who sent MILLIONS to the gulags, before the War, and after the war, sent Russians who had fought Hitler to the gulags, A Ukrainian Jew, I can`t remember his name, encouraged Russians to rape German women, Avraham Stern, leader of The Stern Gang, tried to side with Hitler, to fight us, fortunately we killed him. Terrorist attacks against England, massacring Palestinians, and bombing Lebanese.. Jews keep ranting about how there the victims of genocide and terrorism, but they`ve commited some of the worse ever genocides, and terrorist attacks!

  • lm

    dude, you do realise that in 1903 animals were viewed really differently than they were today? You can’t project modern values onto other times. If you’re gonna go that route, just start describing executions in the middle ages, or witch trials, or slave trade, etc.

    just something I figured I should say, since that one really just– didn’t fit in with the rest.

  • krazykoreankyle

    sad list…
    but thought provoking

  • Moonbeam

    @GTT (332): It saddens me that so many here are so sure that Kevin Carter walked away from that helpless baby. It’s easy for me to say, “If I was there, I would have helped her.” Yes very easy, as I sit here in front of my computer, composing comments on a website safe at home or at work.

    But look at what Carted actually did do. He went there. He tried to help all of the starving people in Sudan. When all was said and done, his photo probably saved many, many lives, just by inspiring people to send money or aid. What did any of us do?

    Why did he wait for 20 minutes? He could have left her alone to the vulture and gotten numerous other just as compelling photos. But instead he stayed with her. Do we know he didn’t try to calm and comfort her until her mother came back? None of us were there, so we will never know for sure. Is it possible that he was a depraved, evil, heartless man? Sure, people like that do exist. But when you read about the man, and read what those who actually knew him say about him. It’s hard to believe the account that he abandoned the infant to her certain death; or that his only motive in lingering so long was waiting for the perfect shot? From “In Carter’s case, Western newspaper readers saw a little girl. Carter, in the Sudanese village where he landed, was watching 20 people starve to death each hour. Perhaps he might have laid aside his camera to give the victims what succor he could (and thus never have encountered the girl in the bush); perhaps his photographs could have led to greater help than he could personally give. Should he have carried one girl to safety? Carter was surrounded by hundreds of starving children. When he sat by the tree and wept, it was beneath a burden of futility.”

  • Cuious

    There are plenty more cases like this like Cheryl Araujo?

    She is much more public however it’s the case of her words against his. Who can we trust? In this world now it is hard to try to intervene because you could be doing a good deed and then get sued for what you did. I understand how people don’t want to be involve but when it’s a life at risk I would try to help but then not everyone think alike.

  • tangentlines

    What I did like is how the Allies forced the German populace near those death camps into cleaning up the corpses, I believe they got off fairly easily, along with the rest of Germany for the horrors it visited on not only Europe, but Allied POWs as well. I prefer the method of how the Soviets dealt with German POWs after the war.
    I believe this list does show man as animal, rather than a spiritual being. Such events really have knocked Christianity out of Western thought.
    And to me, all humans who are attacked and slaughtered by one group in turn attack and slaughter a group weaker than they are. This is human nature, we are pack animals after all.
    But I must say, these kind of things will always continue, we have no choice but to be on our guard in case such vile acts crop up. And to me, if you know someone is being tortured to death, you have a legal obligation to at least report it to the authorities. To stop this bystander effect, perhaps the bystanders should be sent to prison for the exact amount of years as the attackers.

  • GTT

    @gabi319 (346): ;)

    I think most people were upset that these two MTA workers didnt do more to help. However, as I read some of the comments of people who had actually worked at that job, the MTA manual says the employees are not allowed to get involved in these situations. Apparently, they are afraid the assailant might sue them if they are hurt while being bodily forced away from the intended victim. Employees could not only lose their jobs, they are not covered if they receive any injuries in their heroic actions.

  • What about Princess Diana?

  • ianz09

    @David (349): Oddly enough, DavidTehGnome’s defender shares the same first name………………..?

  • ianz09

    @gabi319 (346): Same goes for someone going into anaphalactic shock due to allergic reaction.

    Anaphylaxis is no fun at all. Neither is the Epi-Pen, but I’m sure it beats the hell out of dying. I have taught all my friends how to use it, just in case something bad goes down.

  • educate

    To dismiss these perpetrators and bystanders as “evil” and lament about the nature of humankind is a very passive mentality. People need to consider the possibility that the behaviour of people is a direct result from one’s socialization. Behaviour and thought are formed by the society/environemt we live in, learn in and act from which we act accordingly to; the society that we, in turn, create by our choices. This suggests that we can indeed shape our society and its people for the better by collectively participating in decision-making processes, properly educating ourselves and others, expressing our opinions, possessing a social awareness and providing positive environments and positive examples for future generations. As is evident in the “mob mentality” (similar to the bystander phenomena), if ideas become more widespread, the more likely they are to be recognized and produce change. An example of this environmental approach would be the to “pay it forward”. If we demonstrate acts of kindness towards others, we will perhaps better their livelihood, making them more likely to act kindly towards others. Creating better environment/better society also requires a review of how we operate things today and. As I’ve heard mentioned before, negative influences that are present in today’s society that expose us to violence presuppose violent acts, and I firmly believe this. Whether consciously or subconsciously, external influences of television, videogames, pornography, etc. do weigh in on the behaviour thought patterns of some people. Yes, such atrocities occurred before such technologies existed, however, as these violent mentalities are constant on the television sets all over the world, these sensibilities are being adapted by many and are becoming widespread. Thus, producing the callousness and desensitivity to such abhorrent acts as evident in the perpetrators and bystanders. Many, I’m sure, would object to this idea, denying the correlation, however, I’d like to compare it to the absurd argument, “Gun’s don’t kill people, people kill people”, which I’m assuming is seen to be absurd..
    I do not suggest the censoring of such material as it is up to the individual to select what they choose to view, however, the appropriate interaction between individual and medium assumes a mind capable of recognizing reality versus fantasy, ethics and social conduct. What I believe necessary is to limit such content from those not yet capable to make informed decisions; the uneducated; children. Hopefully in participating more in the shaping of the environment of our children, we prevent dangerous socializations. Ultimately, it is one’s environment that presupposes their thought and action.
    Hopefully we can induce change enough to ensure these atrocities are not repeated.

  • deeeziner

    I decided to do a little research…And curiously found that there are two distinct legal tenants adopted by many countries world-wide.

    The first is commonly known as “Good Samaritan” laws…Good Samaritan laws in the United States are laws or acts protecting from liability those who choose to aid others who are injured or ill. They are intended to reduce bystanders’ hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death.

    The other legal tenet is known as “Duty to Rescue”….A duty to rescue is a concept in tort law that arises in a number of cases, describing a circumstance in which a party can be held liable for failing to come to the rescue of another party in peril.

    It seems that bystander effect is largely a case of morality, but in certain circumstances “duty to rescue” is the legal standard that determines criminal liability towards those that do not come to aid.

  • gabi319

    @ianz09 (358): but I’m sure it beats the hell out of dying
    It probably takes as much time to shout “Does someone know how to use an epi-pen?” as it would take for a person to figure out on the fly how to operate one. Perhaps it takes even less time to shout in situations like mine where we have many many epi-pens for many many kids and you’ve gotta pick the right one before deciding to read the instructions on the shaft before actually using the thing on the child. And again, half and half chance first timers will do it correctly without prior instruction and therefore actually help rather than harm… versus a near certainty of improvement when someone who knows what they’re doing is the one to administer the shot. If worst came to worst, then by all means try but it’d be better to at least attempt to find a better qualified individual rather than this form of “learn by doing.”

    At my job, we had day camps during the summer and to be on the safe side, we collected the epi-pens in the morning, individually bagged with gigantic names, and hung them from this big hook near the office door so they were easily accessible. At one camp we had so many severe allergy kids that the gigantic hook wasn’t big enough to hold all the epi-pens. Thankfully we haven’t had a need to use them yet.

    Did you teach your friends with the orange? It’s terrifying thought to do this on little kids but I used to have to give my mother daily injections (not this, but something else in a regular syringe) to her abdomen as part of her treatments so the actual DOING doesn’t bother me as much as having such young…patients, so to speak. When my boss was in First Aid Training, they took out an orange and she thought it was snack time. When she saw what they did to the orange with the epi-pen her eyes bugged out. Then her mouth practically fell to the floor when the instructor said “Now imagine this is a child’s thigh.”

    @GTT (355):
    Doesn’t surprise me. When I worked retail, our manuals, our disclaimer sheets we had to sign, and our infotainment videos (Tells you how to do the job in a FUN way! *sarcasm*… Also, they were probably produced in the late 80s judging by the outfits) all stressed that we were under strict orders to never ever follow or chase a shoplifter or to interfere in any sort of physical altercation. Announce the code to alert our managers and that’s the most we can do.

  • Reminds me of the story of the woman who got raped in the middle of the street, 6 people saw but they all assumed that someone else would call the police, but no one did. I think I read about it in Malcolm Gradwell’s book The Outliers.

  • Peter

    ‘Most of the German population knew nothing of it.’

    Are you kidding ? I won’t go into it at length, but you are so wrong here. They knew.

  • Peter

    349 ‘Jews ARE mass-murderers. And there scum too.’

    Excuse me, is this kind of talk allowed here ? (and I don’t mean the spelling)

  • ag

    349-there are mass murderers in every major religion you fuckhead so unless you think the whole world is scum..

  • ag

    this is the best recent list

  • mordred

    Look up Unit 731 on Wikipedia, and you’ll find your No.1 bystanding effect. This was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and World War II. According to the 2002 International Symposium on the Crimes of Bacteriological Warfare, the number of people killed by the Imperial Japanese Army germ warfare and human experiments is around 580,000. Oh, and don’t forget to read the fact that the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, Douglas MacArthur secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731 in exchange for providing America with their research on biological warfare.

  • David

    Unit 731.. Now that was horrific. It was also refered to as “The Water Purifacation Bureau.” The guy who did it, was called Ishii Shiro, and he infected Chinese and Koreans with anthrax, cholera, The Black Death, TB, typhoid, and God knows what else, he experimented on American POW`s, by freezing their limbs to see the effects of frostbite, dropped plague-infected Fleas on Chinese cities, and after all this he was then let off by America, to go and work for the US Army! How`s THAT for justice! But how can we call Japan, when we have Porton Down? And Fort Detrick in America, where American soldiers, were made ill on purpose?

  • Corey

    What the hell? Hardly any of these are an example of “Bystander Effect”!

    Being okay with watching something die is NOT THE SAME THING.

    Nazis didn’t have BE; they liked killing Jews. The people watching the elephant didn’t have BE; they didn’t care about the animal (I mean, this WAS a time when blacks were still lynched). Nobody caring about racial “cleansing” is not BE; it was the way of life back then and people honestly believed in inferior races (many still do). A bunch of kids taking pictures of a girl getting raped don’t have BE; they have severe mental problems.

    These things are all horrible, but not Bystander Effect (save for the Kitty Genovese story).

  • Miss_Info

    @peter (364): peetor dont you get tired of being a pussy ???? he can say whatever he wants.. if you wanna monitor what hes ALLOWED to say you should move to nazi germany (unless your a jew scum) :)

  • Abs

    What about Jamie Boulger? he was dragged through the streets of Liverpool by his 10 year old killers (he was only 3) to his death screaming and crying and over 30 people saw them and didn’t do anything to help. Surprised that wasn;t on this list.

  • Harry

    @Miss_Info (370): if anyone’s a pussy it’s you

  • falconatic

    I think yo u have to include African slavery in America which went on for much longer and led to many more deaths than anything on the list…including The Holocaust.

  • ianz09

    @falconatic (373): That isn’t exactly on the same plane, though. It’s not that people witnessed it and refused to act (surely some did), but most people very much approved. It isn’t the same as people going “oh man somebody should stop that!” but not acting themselves, as much as it is people going “I enjoy owning slaves.” Not that this justifies it or makes it any less evil, but I imagine it isn’t quite what FlameHorse had in mind when he thought “Bystander Effect”.

  • Peter

    370 Miss Info,
    Amazing how many things you manage to get wrong in just a few lines. Let’s see:
    ‘peetor dont you get tired of being a pussy ????’

    My name is not peetor and I’m not a pussy.

    ‘he can say whatever he wants..’

    No he can’t. For several reasons. He lacks the mental capcity and liguistic skills. Practical reason why he couldn’t say he’s tired of it all and will kill as many students as pissible and then himself tomorrow, is that he would be picked up.
    And of course there’s social and moral reasons. But probably those lie outside the scope of your mental wurthering lows.
    ‘if you wanna monitor what hes ALLOWED to say you should move to nazi germany’
    Many forums monitor posts. Most countries are not Germany. Nazi Germany doesn’t exist anymore.
    (unless your a jew scum)
    In the ’30’s in Germany one couldn’t show superior intellect or moral level without running the risk of getting beaten up or killed by the offended dumb nazi. Thanks to the internet, now it’s safe.

  • Miss_Info

    @peetor #375: Your name is PEEtor and you are a pussy :)

  • Miss_Info

    @harry #372: Sticks and stones… You and peterpuffer should get together. :)

  • David

    What`s falconatic going on about, when he talks about slavery? Slavery was good for England. It helped the Industrial Revolution. It`s only because of the political correct brigade, and New Labour, that people say slavery was bad. And Africans should thank us. If it weren`t for slavery, they`d still be savages. Just look at Africa now-the place is a slum. When we ruled Zimababwe it was beautiful and lush. Now, it`s got the lowest life ewpectency in the world, more people die from AIDS there, than any other country, 1930`s Germany-type hyperinflation, people are starving, and their leader is a nutcase, who famously said, “I`m the Hitler of the time. Let me be a Hitler tenfold,” and said the cholera epidemic, was sent there by us, as a biological weapon. And Zimbabweans still see him as a freedom-fighter. If I was an African, I`d be begging for us back.

  • Peter


  • Scratch


    It’s always interesting to me when people use the political correctness label to describe anything that is essentially opposed to racism.

    Remarkable is your ability to conflate the country of Zimbabwe with the entire continent of Africa.

    You clearly have no grasp of the impact of slavery on African civilization nor the continued legacy of colonialism and economic exploitation in Africa. Of course, you’re a racist so you have no desire to learn any more about Africa than what your willful ignorance and bigoted imagination have told you.

    To blame the ills of Africa on the end of slavery is similar to blaming a rape victim’s trauma on the departure of her rapist.

    You’re an imbecile.

  • GiantFlyingRobo

    Hey guys, I’ve been thinking of all the reasons possible Miss_Info could be as retarded as she is, and I’ve come up with 3.
    1. She’s not, she’s just screwing with us by pretending to be racsist.
    2. She’s 6 years old, and just typing everything her drunken dad says when he has one too many beers.
    3.She is the result of incest.
    What do you all think? Satire, cluelessness, or inbreeding?

  • ianz09

    @GiantFlyingRobo (381): I’m going with satirical cluelessness as a result of inbreeding for 500, Alex.

  • Fred

    The Mount Everest story about the climbers walking right past the guy who was on the path might be a good one for this list.

  • Looser

    @El the erf (28): i would have murdered them. all of them. and im a vegetarian

  • Maggot

    @mimz619 (294): I think the girl that is mentioned on the #2 case has died.

    No, she’s alive and has even been released from the hospital and is at home with her family.

  • GiantFlyingRobo

    @ianz09 (382): You are correct. That brings your total up to 2,050. Pick from the remaining catagories, Ianz. You have “Talk-os”, “Purr-itoes”, and “Crappy Pun Titles Whose Catagories Have Nothing To Do with Mexican Food” Take your time…

  • Marie

    What about the palestinian genocide???

  • Bearfoot

    Factual errors there.

    Runes are NOT “part of the goth culture” nor are these things connected

    “Goth lifestyle, punk rock, vampirism, witchcraft, Satanism, lesbianism, and such.”

    I’m guessing by the inclusion of a parable in a factual list that you’re christian. And that sort of thing does show through.

    Please stop the slander. It’s just wrong.

  • ianz09

    @Maggot (385): That’s a relief

  • ianz09

    @GiantFlyingRobo (386): Uh… uh…. The last one for 400, Alex

  • GiantFlyingRobo

    Talk-os it is, then. Now here is your question: ‘Known by many people to be the “father of modern douchebagery”, this Canadian smart alec feels that reading questions out loud from a piece of paper on a game show makes him superior to others.’ Take your time on this one… I’m SURE you’ll need it.

  • ianz09

    Oh… Oh God it’s like right there… OH!


    Who is Drew Carey!

  • GiantFlyingRobo

    I’m sorry, that’s wron- wait, what’s the answer? Doh, uh… you are right for 400 dollars! That once again brings your total up to 2850. Choose again. Oh, and you totally got that last one in time. And I totally am not lying about your total amount. Nope, not at all.
    I’m gonna beat the carp outta *mumble mumble*…

  • sof

    Not that I’m defending him, but Carter didn’t help the girl because he had been told that he shouldn’t touch the locals due to the high risk of contracting disease from them.

    The incident in #2 is horrific. I’ve heard plenty of cases of people getting into fist-fights with crowds surrounding, but how can anyone stand around taking photos while some poor girl is being gang-raped? Twenty people? Seriously?

  • Mehmet

    #9 and #2 just made me plain sick. How they could just stand around in these situations is absolutely despicable. In fact, these people deserve nothing less than death. There are always arguments about how someone didn’t say anything because they were afraid but that is not a fair excuse.

    “I saw a girl getting lit on fire but didn’t do anything because i was afraid.”

    **** the world. **** my life. Humans like these surround us every day.

  • Ru

    #2 made me sick to my stomach :(

  • Bessie

    Here is the one that should be top of the list:

  • David

    So I`m being a racist, when I say that Robert Mugabe is a nutcase? Since the day we gave Zimbabwe it`s independence in 1980, he`s drove Zimbabwe into the ground. He calls this country every time he`s given the chance, and people laugh, and say that he`s right. And oh yeah, we were terrible in Africa. We baught civilization to the place. Every country that we left, madmen took over. When we ruled Uganda, it was rich and beautiful. Idi Amin, took over, and he turned in into a dump, and killed thousands. And this, “Slavery damaged Africa.” What about the Arab Slave Trade? More people were made into slaves there, than in European slavery. But you`ll never hear about that. And “Colonialism was terrible.” We ruled Hong Kong as a colony, for over a 100 years, and Hong Kong people, don`t go around killing one another. It `s because Africans are incapable of looking after themselves, and need sensible leaders, not nutcases.

  • Miss_Info

    @Peter (379): I wonder who else got that?? I wont bother you.. :)

  • Miss_Info

    @giantflyingrobo #381: Flattery will get you nowhere giantflyinghomo :D

  • @flamehorse (71): Nice list FlameHorse. I must say however that I feel like the wording on #9 really gives a negative impression of Wicca (and lesbianism for that matter, lumping it together with Satanism and vampirism). I realize that the fact that the girls were lesbian is integral to the story (as Tackett wanted revenge for an allegedly stolen lover) and that the recount of Tackett’s rune readings makes for an intriguing read…. I just wish the wording near the beginning were a little more careful, so as not to give the idea that lesbianism is in the same boat as an occult following like vampirism, or that Wiccan rituals encourage kidnapping your friend and torturing her to death.

  • Scratch


    I never said that you were being racist for calling Robert Mugabe a nutcase. I completely agree that he is a nutcase; furthermore, his anti-colonial rhetoric is just a mask for his destructive rule.

    No, you’re a racist because you call Africans savages, proclaim slavery as beneficial to Africa, and claim that Africans are “incapable of looking after themselves.”

    There were some tangential benefits to colonialism, but overall it was a destructive force. The scramble for Africa in the 1890s saw artificial boundaries drawn by Europeans without concern for tribal identities or physical barriers. The Europeans violently put down any insurrection to states already weakened by the slave trade. Colonial powers often favoured one tribe over another, exacerbating tribal tensions. Not only that, but many Africans were uprooted from their traditional farmlands and forced to work as tenant farmers and labourers.

    Of course, despite their paternalistic rhetoric, European colonizers had little concern for their African subjects. The main concern was usually (like today) extracting resources. When the European powers granted independence to African states, they often left their subjects uneducated and unprepared for rule. At the same time that African states were given independence, the Cold War was in effect. The Soviets would sponsor one group within a state while the Americans and their allies would fund another. The Cold War has ended, of course, but economic exploitation, the massive debts incurred by previous African governments, and the oppressive legacy of colonialism have not.

    I know that you’re willfully unaware of this, but there were flourishing civilizations in Africa prior to the arrival of the Europeans. Also, some states in Africa are beginning to achieve moderate success despite historic injustices perpetrated on them. You cannot just remove a state from its past and expect all to be well.

    Yes, the Arab slave trade was terrible. I’m not sure what your point there is. If anything, it weakens your argument.

    And Hong Kong? Hong Kong is not an independent state nor is its history in any way similar to that of the African states. This aside, if any of the African states had served as a conduit for trade between China and the West they would also be flourishing.

  • ianz09

    @Miss_Info (400): You are kind of a bitch, huh?

  • David

    Yes, I`ve heard of The Scrmble for Africa, and the Berlin Conference, when Us, France, Germany, Portugal and Belgium decided to colonize Africa. And how we did things, that if done, today, would be classed as war-crimes and genocide. But in those days, these sort of things were the norm. King Leopold and the “Rubber-Terror,” killed millions of people. Lotha von Trotha, and The Herero Genocide, where The Herero and Nama tribes, were put in Death-Camps. And these things were terrible. BUT-we were allowed to do these things. People in those days, who were British, or European, they weren`t seen as people, and nobode was bothered if they were killed. And they were better off, before we were there? Before we were there, they lived in the kind of houses, we lived in, during The Middle Ages! The minute, we realized, we didn`t have to live in houses made out of mud, we stopped straight away. And-“Colonialism was a destructive force.” How can be bringing civilization to countries, that if they were the way they were, before we were there, they`d still be living like cavemen, be a bad thing? And most of the-“historic injustices,” have been done by themselves. Robert Mugabe, Idi Amin, Emperor Bokasa, Mobutu, Charles Taylor, Rwanda genocide, War in Sudan, Nigerian civil war, Sierra Leone civil war, the LRA, and so on. Africa has had more tyrants and dictators, than any other country. Can you name any other country, or continent which has had so many nutcases? I can`t. Idi Amin, who people probably only know from that film, The Last King Of Scotland, for example, gave himself, the title of “His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshall al-hadji, Dr Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All The Beasts of The Earth, and Fishes of The Sea, and Conqueror of The British Empire, in Africa, in General, and Uganda in Particular.” Not exactly a sane person! And this is who Robert Mugabe said is his hero. It`s in Africans mentality, to act like thugs.

  • Peter

    Scratch, in general I agree with you. Not bringing out the label racist would make your arguments stronger though.

    David, you have a point also.
    However, there are somke thigs that strike me as odd. One is: you refer to recent mud huts in Africa and how we left them behind way back in the middle ages. At the same time you point out that it was perhaps wrong to treat the Africans the way we did, not deeming hem humans and such, but that was just the way it was.
    Well, Davic, that was in some cases less than a century ago. So how far above mud hut level did we rise in all that time ?
    Another thing, related: you seem to consider material progress as the only relevant yardstick. That doesn’t make sense. People want to be happy, period. When you look at women who have everything they need and then tons more, fighting over Thanksgiving offers in shops desighned to keep people in a state of neurosis to make them buy more, and you then think of people living in mud huts with backward rituals and believing in spirits etc. HAPPILY. Does your argument still make sense to you ? To me neither.

  • GiantFlyingRobo

    @Miss_Info (400):
    Dear Miss_Dildo, I hope you realize that insult means nothing to me, for I am a robot(a giant, flying one at that, so it’s advised you DON’T mess with me), meaning I am incapable of sexual feelings/acts for anyone else. I know it sucks, but I’ll live on. Oh, if only all robots were designed by Michael Bay. Oh, well. You still suck. Technologically yours, GiantFlyingRobo

  • jon

    From wiki:

    “South African photojournalist Joao Silva, who accompanied Carter to Sudan, gave a different version of events in an interview with Japanese journalist and writer Akio Fujiwara that was published in Fujiwara’s book The Boy who Became a Postcard (????????? – Ehagaki ni sareta sh?nen).

    According to Silva, they (Carter and Silva) went to Sudan with the United Nations aboard Operation Lifeline Sudan and landed in Southern Sudan on March 11, 1993. The UN told them that they would take off again in 30 minutes (the time necessary to distribute food), so they ran around looking to take shots. The UN started to distribute corn and the women of the village came out of their wooden huts to meet the plane. Silva went looking for guerrilla fighters, while Carter strayed no more than a few dozen feet from the plane.

    Again according to Silva, Carter was quite shocked as it was the first time that he had seen a famine situation and so he took many shots of the children suffering from famine. Silva also started to take photos of children on the ground as if crying, which were not published. The parents of the children were busy taking food from the plane so they had left their children only briefly while they collected the food. This was the situation for the girl in the photo taken by Carter. A vulture landed behind the girl. To get the two in focus, Carter approached the scene very slowly so as not to scare the vulture away and took a photo from approximately 10 metres. He took a few more photos and then the vulture flew off.”

    We would all have done the same thing. Carter is a hero.

  • Scratch


    “Yes, I`ve heard of The Scrmble for Africa, and the Berlin Conference, when Us, France, Germany, Portugal and Belgium decided to colonize Africa.”

    Har. The European powers did not “decide” to colonize Africa after the Berlin Conference. – Hey chaps, I have an idea, let’s colonize Africa! – In fact, colonization had already begun and the Berlin Conference merely set a few ground rules for the division.

    “And how we did things, that if done, today, would be classed as war-crimes and genocide. But in those days, these sort of things were the norm”

    Question: Aren’t genocide and war-crimes always wrong?

    “King Leopold and the “Rubber-Terror,” killed millions of people. King Leopold and the “Rubber-Terror,” killed millions of people. Lotha von Trotha, and The Herero Genocide, where The Herero and Nama tribes, were put in Death-Camps. And these things were terrible.”

    Agreed, these things were terrible.

    “BUT-we were allowed to do these things. People in those days, who were British, or European, they weren`t seen as people, and nobode was bothered if they were killed.”

    Ridiculous. This is the most asinine thing I have read all week, and I read a Scientology pamphlet. The Europeans were allowed to commit atrocities because the Africans weren’t seen as people? Come again?
    And there were voices raised in protest against colonial excesses. They weren’t often heard, but they were there.

    “And they were better off, before we were there? Before we were there, they lived in the kind of houses, we lived in, during The Middle Ages! The minute, we realized, we didn`t have to live in houses made out of mud, we stopped straight away.”

    1)Although some African tribes benefited economically from the slave trade, overall many African peoples were better off before the arrival Europeans – being alive and relatively free are preferable to being dead or enslaved.
    2)North Africa was more culturally advanced than Europe during the Middle Ages. In fact, many European advances came from the work of North African minds.
    3)People don’t suddenly “decide” to stop living in mud homes. These are gradual developments. That aside, mud homes are remarkably cool in hot weather and well-insulated for cooler weather.
    4)Africans also built homes of stone, wattle and daub, wood and thatch, and stone and brick.

    “And-”Colonialism was a destructive force.” How can be bringing civilization to countries, that if they were the way they were, before we were there, they`d still be living like cavemen, be a bad thing?”

    As I pointed out before, Africa had civilizations before the arrival of Europeans. Just look at Egypt, Nubia, Carthage, Aksum and the empires of Mali and Ghana for starters. Africans were hardly cavemen. European advances could have been brought to Africa without the bloodshed and paternalism.

    “And most of the-”historic injustices,” have been done by themselves. Robert Mugabe, Idi Amin, Emperor Bokasa, Mobutu, Charles Taylor, Rwanda genocide, War in Sudan, Nigerian civil war, Sierra Leone civil war, the LRA, and so on.”

    The primary responsibility for the bloodshed in many of these cases lies with the perpetrators themselves. However, you cannot ignore the colonial legacy and the international players in any of these conflicts. Take the Rwandan genocide, for example. Before the arrival of the Belgians, there were no rigid divisions between Hutu and Tutsi and clans were more important than tribes. The Belgians solidified the division between the two groups by appealing to perceived physiognomic differences. The Tutsi were seen as more European and were therefore favoured. Before the Belgians left, they reversed their favourtism and gave command of Rwanda to the Hutu. In the 1994 genocide the French intervened on behalf of the RGF, machetes arrived via Belgium, and Belgian Marxists were on the hate radio, RTLM.

    “Africa has had more tyrants and dictators, than any other country.”

    Africa is not a country, genius.

    “Can you name any other country, or continent which has had so many nutcases?”

    Europe and Asia have had a fair share of nutcases. Let’s see: Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Franco, Mussolini, Tito, and Milosevic – and that’s just in Europe in the last century.

    “Idi Amin, who people probably only know from that film, The Last King Of Scotland, for example, gave himself, the title of “His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshall al-hadji, Dr Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All The Beasts of The Earth, and Fishes of The Sea, and Conqueror of The British Empire, in Africa, in General, and Uganda in Particular.” Not exactly a sane person!”

    Yep, Idi Amin was brutal and crazy.

    “And this is who Robert Mugabe said is his hero.”

    Crazy loves crazy.

    “It`s in Africans mentality, to act like thugs.”

    I want to thank Peter for his thoughtful post, but I really think I should be able to call people racist when they say things like this.

  • Kennoth

    Very sad, yet true. The heard instinct. I really don’t know what would I do in those situations, because I usually mind my own business. But I can tell you what I would NOT do:
    let the unfed, depraving child suffer so I can take a better shot with my camera.

  • erinn

    #6 is incredibly out of line, Carter brought awareness to the Sudanese famine, and without his photographs, many people would not have any idea of the situation. The situation which is, in fact, still occurring, and you are doing the same thing that you’re accusing him of. This should be less opinion and more fact based.

  • Connie

    This is just horrible. I remember watching a movie called ‘A Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story”. She was an abused wife and her husband brutally beat her and slashed her throat WHILE POLICE WATCHED! Since they were married the police “did not want to get involved”. It is AMAZING that human beings can stand by and watch these types of things happen to each other!

  • Egg

    I think ONE of the reasons other countries remained indifferent to the concentration camps in particular is because a lot of the Allied nations at the time had them too. My opa was held for months, for example, in an American camp for Germans (essentially, a big field with tents) and my great oma was in a camp in Russia because she was Austrian.

  • David

    Alright, you know more about Africa, than I do. But saying we`re to blame for the problems in Africa, is just ridiculous. Robert Mugabe ALWAYS says we`re to blame for the sanctions and all the other things, that go wrong there. And Idi Amin-do you really know who he is, and what he did? In the 70`s, in this country, he was seen by people, including me-as a figure of fun. Remember how he offered to send bannanas and Goats, during the 3 Day Week, and “The Save Britain Fund?” Though he didn`t turn out to be funny, did he? And he ranted against us, in the exact same way that Mugabe does.

  • GTT

    @David (413): I think the problem is that you are trying to measure the happiness, culture and lives of these people using your preconceived notions as a yardstick. In other words, you are trying to measure their degree of happiness and development using only the parameters of what you consider would make a person happy.

    The problem is that you might not understand these cultures, or value the things that makes another culture happy. You would be unhappy living in a mud hut? That automatically means that they would be likewise unhappy! Not necessarily. As Scratch said in comment (408): “mud homes are remarkably cool in hot weather and well-insulated for cooler weather.”

    In any case, yes, Robert Mugabe and Idi Amin are bat-shit insane. No one is denying that. Unfortunately, what that means for the average person is that they went from one uncaring ruler to another.

  • Scratch

    Well-said. Thank you.


    I agree that saying that Europeans are to blame for all of the problems in Africa is ridiculous. The primary responsibility, as I’ve said, lies with the perpetrators of the bloodshed. I believe that it is also ridiculous to ignore the colonial legacy, the Cold War machinations of the Russians and the Americans, and the continued role of international corporations and governments in conflicts in Africa. African states are not sitting in a vacuum, they are affected by their past.

    At the same time, I think it is important to acknowledge the positive in Africa and the good that both Africans and the international community are doing there.

    I completely agree with you on Mugabe and Amin. These two men are and were terrible leaders. The tragedy is the people who have suffered under their rule. For all of Amin’s talk of expelling the Asians, he actually killed more of his fellow Ugandans. Mugabe is a coward who hides behind Marxist rhetoric to mask his tyrannical rule. They are and were, in the words of GTT, “bat-shit insane.”

  • Pammy

    Wow, this list is heartbreaking. It angers me knowing that there are people out there who would not help. I can’t even imagine how the victims of these heinous crimes must have felt, it brings a heavy pain on my chest and tears to my eyes.

    I wanted to post a quick story about somebody who DID help! With the violence going on in Mexico, a certain gentlemen was mentioned in the news a while ago. A gunfight broke out in the middle of a street, killing the owners of a certain car. After this gentleman (not involved in the shooting) realized there was a baby in the backseat, he risked his life and ran through the gunfight, saving the child.

    People like this need to be commended and these are the true heroes of our time.

  • David

    We left a great legacy. We stopped them from talking jibberish. At one time, a White person would never have understood what an African said. Now, they talk English. Plus, Africa now has roads, railways, planes, civilization, and so on. If anything-Africa did more damage to the UK, than we did to Africa. Idi Amin, when he sent 10`s of thousands of Ugandan Asians here, they bought their lousy cultures. And helped to create the awful, multicultural, political correct society we have today. One of the Ugandan Asians who came here, was that moaner Yasmin Allabi-Brown. Who moans that we`re not tolerant of other religions, says Britain is a racist, imperialist country, we should apologize for slavery, doesn`t condemn suicide-bombers, everything. So-we did damage to Africa? More likely Africa did damage to here!

  • GTT

    @David (417): Well dear, now you´ve gone and crossed the line into total xenophobia.

    We stopped them from talking jibberish. At one time, a White person would never have understood what an African said. Now, they talk English.

    Well, lets see now… There is a GREAT number of people in the world who speak languages other than English. You know those billion people in a little country called China? Or that other tiny minority of people in Brazil? Yup, you guessed it. They speak “gibberish” unless you can speak Mandarin/Cantonese in the former or portuguese in the latter.

    I´m from South America. There are a great many WHITE people here that dont speak English either. They consider your language gibberish. So, what does that say?

    And while we´re on the subject of English, might I suggest you take some classes yourself so you dont butcher it in your posts.

  • Scratch

    Well said again, GTT.

    In addition to being obsessed with a dictator who has been out of power since 1979, I think David might be a BNP supporter.

  • Peter

    @ David
    ‘One of the Ugandan Asians who came here, was that moaner Yasmin Allabi-Brown. Who moans that we`re not tolerant of other religions, says Britain is a racist, imperialist country,..’

    I used to think that was outrageous. Having read your posts, I realise Yasmin has a point.

  • David

    I`m not “obsessed,” by a murderous thug, I was just making an example of how Africa`s leaders, since we gave them independence, they`ve all been power-mad tyrants, who kill thousands, and wreck their country. Kind of like Gordon Brown!

  • Scratch

    @ David

    You seem pretty obsessed.

    And, no, you have not shown how Africa’s leaders have all been power-mad tyrants. Please list all of the African states and the power-mad tyrants from each. Thank you.

    Gordon Brown killed thousands?

    You haven’t denied being BNP, so I’m going to assume that you are.

  • David

    I`m not a historian on Africa, all I know about Africa, is that their`s been god knows how many wars and how most of Africa`s leaders, have all been evil. The only reason I know a little bit about Idi Amin, was because of during the 70`s, and because of a programme, called The Most Evil Men in History. How he`d been a cook in the British Army, overthrew some guy in a coup, which WE supported and how he then went on to rule Uganda. And alright, I gave gave two examples of African lunatics. And thousand`s of Iraqi`s, and Afghan`s, have died, because of them being invaded by Brown, and that poodle, and future EU president, Tony Blair.

  • Scratch

    Listen, you semi-literate BNP mouthpiece, of the two African dictators you’ve mentioned, only one is alive and in power. The one you have a schoolgirl crush on is dead and hasn’t seen power in thirty years. You have used these two leaders as some kind of bizarre representation of an entire continent of culturally and historically diverse countries.

    Yes, Africa has had many corrupt and brutal leaders and much bloodshed, but this is not the whole of Africa nor did these things occur in a vacuum.

    And war casualties are an entirely different thing from massacres, you should be smart enough to recognize that. Of course, you’re BNP so I’m probably giving you entirely too much credit.

  • ianz09

    Damn, David’s logic is incredibly applicable! Watch this: Europe is a hotbed of gibberish-speaking freaks who are savage and uncivilized, because in the ’30s and ’40, this dude named Hitler declared war and killed Jews.

    The United States is country of filth and drug-use who are all racist and are mindless killers who don’t feel guilty about their crimes. I know this to be fact, because Charles Manson lives there.

    In England, everybody is funny as hell, claps coconuts together, and fights just the MOST humorous medieval wars, and giant wooden rabbits roam the country side. This is unabashed fact, of which I am 100% sure. Why, you have the nerve to ask? Two words: Monty Python.

    That was fun! Being a bigot ain’t so bad, you guys should try it.

  • doom

    #354 – Tangentlines

    “What I did like is how the Allies forced the German populace near those death camps into cleaning up the corpses, I believe they got off fairly easily, along with the rest of Germany for the horrors it visited on not only Europe, but Allied POWs as well. I prefer the method of how the Soviets dealt with German POWs after the war.”

    The Allies did not do such thing with the German populace. That is a fantasy of the Hollywood movies. In fact, the Allies were in control of the “death camps” before the was was officially even over. (Search Bergen-Belzen, British take-over.)

    Allied POWs were treated exceptionally well and the Red Cross was given full access to POW camps in Germany. (Allies did not allow Red Cross to their POW camps.) Allied POWs were healthy, could receive parcel and post, tobacco, etc. Germans followed the Geneva Convention to to a “T.” (Allies did not allow these for their POWs.) What isn’t spoken about is the ruthless treatment and mass murdering of Germans by the hands of the Allies. For instance, Eisenhower starved 1.5 million German POWs after WWII was already over. (Einsehower side-stepped the Geneva convention to change their position of “Prisoner or War” to “Disarmed Combatants” thus relieving the Allies Army of any of its Geneva obligations.) Not to mention, America incinerated innocent German citizens by the hundreds of thousands by firebombing incendiary bombs into Dresden and Berlin – melting and burning innocent people alive. They carried this act to Japan where they melted hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese civilians via the atomic weapons.

    And yet, your inclination to think that Allies were the “good guys?” Where? What good things? Oh, you mean “Hitler and his nasty Nazis?”
    This website is honest and non-biased revisionism of National Socialist Germany. It does not make any apologies for what National Socialist Germany did, but it does make the Allies step up to the plate for the obvious and slandering propaganda it has used against Germany for almost 70 years now. Oh, this website is run entirely by college educated historians. To submit material you must have a minimum of a Bachelors degree majoring in History. You’ll be very intrigued to read about just how not racist Germany was.

    Black Nazis! – Veronica Clark
    Search this book on Amazon and read about Asians, Muslims, Arabs, Blacks, Slavs, AND Jews served voluntarily (or were conscripted) to fight for Hitler and National Socialist Germany.

    Don’t believe all the lies you’ve been told.

    Germany has gotten off fairly easily? Hardly, sir. The Germans are a shadow of the country of people they used to be. They are no longer a proud people. They are ridden with malice and self-hate. Self-hate that they do not deserve nor should feel – for the holocaust didn’t happen.

    Germans have created more intellectual, musical, scientific, and cultural wealth than many other nations, including America. Just a side note, the Germany technology of the rocket is what was used to propel America to the moon.

    The Russians, you say? Do you mean where the Red Army was encouraged to rape women and children? Do you mean where the Red Army was encouraged to steal and loot all of Germany? Do you mean where the Red Army was encouraged to slaughter innocent civilians?

    I fail to see how you could say the words you have said. Please consult the information I gave you.

  • David

    I couldn`t agree more. Germany are always being made to feel like there the scum of the Earth, because of the actions of one lunatic. What about other countries that have done evil things?

  • Od1um

    Haha, so much fucking idiocy, so little time.

    @ Pro-lifers: Give it up, fundies. Most of those 40 million shits wouldn’t have deserved life, anyway. Isn’t this thread enough to demonstrate that humans do not make the world good, but horrendous?

    @ The Davids: Congratulations, you’ve just earned yourself a free coupon for 1x pellet mouthwash! I’m oh so sorry that the little inconveniences known as ‘World War II’ and ‘The Holocaust’ have disturbed your Aryan-supremacy circle jerk, but no amount of anti-Semitic bullshit will wish it away. But of course, you’re just an all-round racist fuck, right? The history of colonialism illustrates that, if any race is comprised entirely of evil savages, it is the Cock-ass-ian race.

    OP: I’d wax about how the ‘human’ species deserves a nuclear enema, but I’d just be repeating what I say many times each day.

  • David

    Since when have I said World War 2 and the holocaust were good things? Getting rid of Hitler, was a good thing. And since when have I said Hitler didn`t kill 6 million Jews? It`s Jews who are racist. They refer to non-Jews, as “goyim.” And that`s a fact.

  • []

    there should be more crime(?) lists,they’re very interesting

  • Scratch


    Don’t be alarmed that you’ve been confused with a Holocaust denier; you possess just the right amount of ignorance and obnoxiousness to be confused for one. I am pleasantly surprised to see that you don’t fall for that revisionist nonsense.


    Go crawl back into the hole you came from (it’s not hard to find, you sit on it all the time).

    “Allied POWs were treated exceptionally well and the Red Cross was given full access to POW camps in Germany. (Allies did not allow Red Cross to their POW camps.) Allied POWs were healthy, could receive parcel and post, tobacco, etc. Germans followed the Geneva Convention to to (sic) a “T.” (Allies did not allow these for their POWs.)”

    Lie. Contrary to international law, the Germans shot POW escapees on sight. Nevertheless, Allied POWs did continue to receive their Red Cross parcels.

    In the Allied camps, the Red Cross had regular access to the prisoners. Germans in British and American POW camps ate better than their families at home and had regular access to medicine. While they were certainly treated harshly in some camps, only 1% of German POWs in British and American POW camps died.

    Germans captured on the Eastern Front, however, were treated brutally by the Soviets and only 40% survived the Soviet POW camps. This is a bit better than the treatment of Russian POWs in German camps, only 1 in 5 of whom returned home.

    “What isn’t spoken about is the ruthless treatment and mass murdering of Germans by (sic) the hands of the Allies. For instance, Eisenhower starved 1.5 million German POWs after WWII was already over. (Einsehower side-stepped the Geneva convention to change their position of “Prisoner or War” to “Disarmed Combatants” thus relieving the Allies (sic) Army of any of its Geneva obligations.)”

    Someone has been reading James Bacque, perhaps? Bacque is a novelist, not an historian and his research and methodology have been found to be spectacularly flawed.
    I won’t get into all his mistakes, but Bacque’s main argument is founded on a flawed reading of historical documents. He argues that one million German prisoners are missing between two reports given in 1945. If Bacque had actually paid attention during his undergraduate lectures in history, he might have learned that historians must examine documents carefully. The difference between these two documents is that one omits the numbers held by other armies – a fact that is cited in both documents. Also, Bacque repeatedly refers to the other losses column of the POW documents, but he ignores the fact that these include prisoner transfers and the over 600,000 members of the Volkstrum who were released without charges.

    Bacque, frankly, is an idiot.

    “Not to mention, America incinerated innocent German citizens by the hundreds of thousands by firebombing incendiary bombs into Dresden and Berlin – melting and burning innocent people alive. They carried this act to Japan where they melted hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese civilians via the atomic weapons.”

    The bombing of Dresden remains one of the worst excesses of the Allies resulting in between 20 to 40,000 deaths. The bombing of Berlin resulted in approximately 4,000 deaths. This is hardly “hundreds of thousands.” The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are also highly charged issues and resulted in, perhaps, 250,000 deaths. Of course, while these deaths are tragedies, they have little to do with the systematic killing of the 6,000,000 victims of the Holocaust.

    “And yet, your inclination to (sic) think that Allies were the “good guys?” Where? What good things? Oh, you mean “Hitler and his nasty Nazis?””

    This is a red herring. Yes, the Soviets committed brutal atrocities, and yes, the western allies did not always abide by the rules of war. However, this does not excuse the extreme brutality and genocide committed by the Nazis. I can certainly vouch for the elation of the occupied Dutch when they were liberated from German oppression. I have also heard the testimony of Holocaust survivors who would classify the Allies as the good guys.

    This website is honest and non-biased (sic) revisionism of National Socialist Germany. It does not make any apologies for what National Socialist Germany did, but it does make the Allies step up to the plate for the obvious and slandering propaganda it has used against Germany for almost 70 years now.”

    This is laughable. The website’s stated mission is to “present positive scholarship on the subjects of, and related to: Adolf Hitler, National Socialism, the Third Reich, “fascist” socio-political movements and culture, and all persons and movements affiliated with Hitler or the Third Reich—including Allied partners and sympathizers.” They do this without presenting any “negative scholarship.” How can you possibly call a website non-biased (not a word, by the way) when it completely ignores any negative scholarship on its topic? Real historians have the cajones to examine the moral issues surrounding the bombing of Dresden and Hiroshima. Real historians do not shy away from attempting to examine all sides of an issue. This site is definitely not run by any reputable historians.

    “Oh, this website is run entirely by college educated historians. To submit material you must have a minimum of a Bachelors degree majoring in History. You’ll be very intrigued to read about just how not racist Germany was.”

    College-educated historians you say? Gasp – with bachelors degrees? Does their other job involve serving the rest of us french fries? I’m not mocking those with a BA in history, only those with a BA in history who willingly write Nazi revisionist bunk. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

    “Black Nazis! – Veronica Clark
    Search this book on Amazon and read about Asians, Muslims, Arabs, Blacks, Slavs, AND Jews served voluntarily (or were conscripted) to fight for Hitler and National Socialist Germany.”

    Anyone who has seriously studied Nazi history will know that the Nazis were not entirely consistent in carrying out their ideology. The fact that Nazis were willing to use soldiers they viewed as genetically inferior does not refute the inherent racism of their ideology. Hitler viewed blacks as “half-apes”, instituted forced sterilization against blacks in Germany, and murdered thousands of French African soldiers.

    “Germany has gotten off fairly easily? Hardly, sir. The Germans are a shadow of the country of people they used to be. They are no longer a proud people. They are ridden with malice and self-hate. Self-hate that they do not deserve nor should feel – for the holocaust didn’t happen.”

    I see that you have never watched the German national football team play.

    The Holocaust did happen, it is an irrefutable historical event documented on paper, on film, and by so many witnesses that it is impossible for any rational person to argue against its occurrence.

  • esamutash

    A well written and extremely informational argument. I am by no means a denier but I have always foolishly balanced my WW2 education with a documentary by Errol Morris about a man who studied the gas chambers in great detail and found them insufficient for the purposes that the Allies claimed them to be for. Again, a foolish decision. Anyway, your arguments have led me to further my research and concur with your statement that, “The Holocaust did happen, it is an irrefutable historical event documented on paper, on film, and by so many witnesses that it is impossible for any rational person to argue against its occurrence.” I assume that while there are probably holes in the records, probably some events made up, the holocaust was an event of such evil that it almost cannot be overstated or over-demonized. Thanks again, I think posts like yours represent the best that the internet is.

  • Scratch

    Thank you kindly, esamutash.

  • binky

    I would like to commend you, FlameHorse, for putting a wide variety of incidents – from atrocities to one particular person, to whole races, and even the sickening cruelty to an innocent animal. EXCELLENT article and great list.

  • David

    Hitler DID kill six million Jews, no doubt about it. But why aren`t all the other people that he killed, are hardly ever mentioned? Why do we never hear, about the Gypsies, gays, handicapped, communists, socialists, political opponents, Yugoslavs, Soviet POW`s that were killed? It`s only Jews we hear about. Why? What sets Jews apart from everyone else?

  • Scratch


    It’s all about the numbers. The others are often mentioned, but the sheer number of Jews killed is what makes Hitler’s targeting of them stand out.

  • suzi

    Carter does not belong on this list. He helped in the capacity he was there for, and the anguish of what he witnessed added to the troubles that caused him to take his life. As mentioned, it is not a simple matter of picking up the child and giving her a sandwich. And what about all the other starving children there too? It is ignorant and ridiculous to be heaping all this venom.

  • David

    So because Hitler killed 6 million Jews, that sets them above everyone else? Well, what about the 10`s of millions of Native Americans killed? Surely that`s worse, than killing 6 million.

  • Scratch

    No, David, Htiler’s murdering of 6 million Jews dwarfs the other groups that he murdered. This is why they are generally remembered most when it comes to genocide during the Second World War. No one is arguing that the other murders weren’t significant or should be forgotten.

    Of course, you’re comparing another completely different historical event. When we’re talking about millions of deaths, it really is pointless to quibble over which calamities were worse. When millions of any type of people are slaughtered or killed by disease it is a human tragedy, and no one should argue about one being more significant than another.

  • Bearfoot

    “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic”

    I think that sums it up nicely, myself.

  • GTT

    @David (427): I couldn`t agree more. Germany are always being made to feel like there the scum of the Earth, because of the actions of one lunatic. What about other countries that have done evil things?

    See, now I´m really confused. Didnt you just rant and rave about how Africa is populated by a bunch of gibberish-speaking barbarians because ever since they gained their independece they´ve been ruled by lunatics such as Idi Amin and Mugabe? So how does that logic apply to countries in Africa and not Germany?

  • Peter

    @ David.
    Is it you view also that Germany never invaded Holland ? That Rotterdam was never bombed – around 1000 innocent people killed; the centre of the city completely destroyed – to break the resistance ? That the Dutch were sorry to see the Germans go in 1945 ?

    Re. the Germans being punished for one man’s evils: right after the Anchluss 80% of the German population stood behind Hitler. That’s eighty. Achzig. Got that ?

  • David

    “No one should argue about one being more significant than another.” Well, it doesn`t seem that way! How come their`s COUNTLESS programmes, about Hitler, Nazis, the holocaust and everything to do with Hitler. The way that people keep going on, about how 6 million Jews were killed, is just ridiculous. Their`s been other horrors commited before and since, but their`s never programmes about those. And as far as even Israel are concerned, their`s been no genocides before or since. When Shimon Peres was questioned about the Armenian genocide, and what he thought of it, he said it was-“Meaningless.” Basically, genocide is horrible, unless it happens to them.

  • Davy

    @David (443): You’re an dumbass.

  • Scratch


    I said that no one should argue that one is more significant than the other, not that people don’t argue that one is more significant than the other.

    The Holocaust was an attempt to wipe off an entire people from the face of the planet. In a screwed up reading of Hegel, the Nazis saw the Jews as the problem in history that needed to be completely wiped out. They killed 6 million of them and this is in living memory.

    Shimon Peres said that it was a tragedy and not a genocide.
    He was wrong to say that, but you are confusing him with all Jewish people.

  • David

    So it`s in “living memory,” that 6 million Jews were killed. But it`s also in living memory, that Pol Pot killed over 2 million Cambodians. What`s the difference, between him and Hitler? Maybe it`s because nearly all of Hitler`s victims, were WHITE, that people think he`s evil incarnate. What if he`d killed 6 million Christians, Muslims or Buddhist Monks? Would he be seen as the most evil man ever then? I doubt it. And Shimon Peres didn`t say the Armenian genocide, was a tragedy, it was someone else.

  • Davy

    @David (446): You’re full of BS, aren’t you?

  • Scratch

    “We reject attempts to create a similarity between the Holocaust and the Armenian allegations. Nothing similar to the Holocaust occurred. It is a tragedy what the Armenians went through but not a genocide.” – Shimon Peres

    Shimon Peres was wrong to say this, and he was rightfully taken to task for it by many Jews.

    What’s the difference between Pol Pot and Hitler? Pol Pot murdered Cambodians in order to create a new Communist state while Hitler murdered Jews in order to wipe out an entire race of people. Did they both bring about evil? Yes.

    Of course, that’s not the point. The point is that all of these atrocities are horrific and that trying to argue over who is more evil or which event was worse is pointless. They were all terrible.

  • doom

    Well, I cannot respond to any “arguments” here because the moderators delete all of my comments.

    Free speech for the win. (So long as it doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings, right?)

  • doom

    #448 – Scratch (and your other nonsense)

    There is no physical or credible evidence (outside of witness testimony that is consistently being proven fraudulent) that death camps existed. Also, Jews are not a race – they’re a religion. A lot of folks mix that up.

    Also, Hitler did not slaughter anybody. Go to your local library and look up the census statistics for Jews in the 1930s-1940s. You’ll find there wasn’t even six million Jews to be slaughtered. The difference you speak of is that Pol Pot actually did commit mass murder while Hitler did not. I know it’s a very hard thing to think that possibly your government is lying to you. (Coincidence that the whole Kennedy family is dead? Doesn’t strike you as odd that when JFK removed sole money printing power from the Federal Reserve that he was killed? Those darn magic bullets! So tricky, they are.)

    On a technical, rational, and scientific level, the holohoax is impossible no matter how you look at it. SIX MILLION PEOPLE. You’re talking the size of a major metropolitan area. You mean to tell me they used rickety buildings (that are not proven and admitted to have been built by the Soviets after WWII) as the mass murder device? Oh, wait, I know! The showers that were never used! Right…. so they spent all that extra money to make a technical underground piping system? Okay, what about an airing system to suck the gasses out so nearby soldiers didn’t die also? You do know that a gas chamber must be locked and completed sealed and air tight? Just looking for a little consistency here. What’s the difference between and oven and a crematorium? Do you mean to tell me that the most scientifically advanced country didn’t know how to mass kill people? Rubbish. They figured out a way to run vehicles from CO2 using wood that produced 20% the amount of carbon dioxide – why didn’t they just use that?

    By the way, how do you kill somebody with diesel exhaust? (I’m just curious because the byproduct of diesel exhaust is oxygen. Y’know, just looking for consistency from this “docile and kind” people.)

    I posted my sources for you to read (and I know you won’t read them because you are quite pompous and arrogant – par for the course.) Show me ONE source where the Red Cross had FULL access to ANY Allied POW camp. Just one. Especially Einsenhower’s REAL death camp where he STARVED 1.5 million German soldiers because he side-stepped the Geneva Convention.

    The problem here is not me, but you. It is the lazy and ignorant mind that would much rather take the easy way out and not ask any questions. You don’t want your car or your phone or your nice fancy clothes to be taken away for you. You want your personal world to be not affected or changed or harmed. You speak of death as it is a numbers game – you speak of Germans as if they are not people. You speak of ME as if I am not a real person. That is fine, I understand this tactic.

    When the Federal Reserve and the entire Jewnited States finally robs you of everything you’ve ever held deal, perhaps maybe, you may wake up to the truth. But, as it stands now, you are proudly standing and supporting the Vampire Parasite. Go and call me racist or an antisemitic “hater.” You go right on ahead with all of that. Meanwhile, don’t forget to pay your unconstitutional taxes every year to the unconstitutional Jewish banking systems in America.

    Don’t forget that you’re the bottom of the list if you’re a white man. The gay man, the black man, the Asian, the Spanish man, the Mexican — they all come before you even if you have all the requirements for that job you really want. Free education? Sorry, only for illegal immigrants and “minorities.” You don’t get any of that. White colleges, white scholarships, white organizations, white clubs, sorry! You can’t have any of those either no matter how many other minorities found a club and publicly declare hate for white people. I don’t speak hate, I just speak truth and fairness for all. You want something? Work your ass off for it.

    The holohaux never happened. It’s just technically and scientifically impossible with the details and “testimony” that the Jews give us. You have done no research beyond what you have learned in school and the quick google search you did to pull some numbers and statistics.

    So, you go right on ahead with your words and half-truths. All of you, go ahead. But I guarantee you all, that in our lifetime, you will see America fall. Not to another country, not because it was destroyed in battle, not because of a nuclear weapon – but because the people you protect who control your money will drive your country into the ground for every last dollar that it’s worth.

  • Every item on the list is atrocious, as are the many stories related in the posts. It only goes to prove something I taught my children along with their ABC’s; the moral and ethical treatment of their fellow man.
    I never even taught them words to differentiate by race; My son’s best friend was simply “Daren”, the fact that he was African-American took my Mum (a racist to the marrow) to point when my son was 4.
    But the point is that I taught them to treat everyone as if they were worthy of trust and friendship. Trust, given freely, without reservation, but with clear house rules, creates a level of trust in return that can’t be bought.
    People ache for trust, more than they ache for love. You simply can’t have love without trust.
    I’ve read the histories (not as extensively as you, Randall!), and these actions, these genocides have been ongoing for as long as history has been recording important facts (although I suspect there is some fudging by the winners).
    What a different world this world would be if genocide was not a factor in it’s history.
    And remember this, for every person you kill, you kill multitudes. You kill the children they would have had, the grandchildren…the nations that one person could have peopled under the optimum conditions.
    The psychiatrist at Ft. Hood who shot down so many of his fellows because he didn’t want to go to the Middle East should have had the sense to talk to someone, rather than obtaining automatic weapons, yelling “Allah Akbar ” and star shooting randomly.
    All these deaths are as tragic as each of the deaths in the list. Whether it is a dozen or a million, or just one, a death for nothing more than political reasons is a tragedy.
    Horrifying as the many genocides I can name off the top of my head are, I know there will be more unless people learn to live together in something approaching harmony.

  • D

    @doom: wow you seem to have your points covered. just going trough the comments from a non biased point of view i must say your comment is not even minutely challenged. i guess people can oppose your viewpoint with venom and anger but your facts seem indisputable.

    (6 million people is almost the population of my country and its a hell of a lot of people that take up a hell of a lot of space!)

    everything he says makes sense guys…. i understand that this is a highly sensitive topic but come up with some sort of evidence to the contrary because what doom stated seemed pretty damn solid! also check out the sources…..

  • have your say

    For me, the pennultimate bystander effect that should have been included is the global warming we are experiencing now. While governments of the world are trying to bring their best effort to eliminate this problem, still many people are uneducated or unaware about this. Worst, many still doesn’t believe that this could be happening.

  • Peter

    @ doom an David,

    Just one question for now: if not to the gas chambers, where did the Jews go ? Take Holland. The greater part of the Jewish population was taken away. And the vast majority of them did not come back. All of this is completely documented, including who took their possessions etc. Not to mention the grief of the ones still living, including 2nd and 3rd generation. I have a friend whose entire family was killed, save for his father. Is he acting his inherent pain or what ?

  • Peter

    ‘@doom: wow you seem to have your points covered. just going trough the comments from a non biased point of view’

    non biased point of view ? Who do you think you are fooling ?

  • Maggot

    @doom (451): By the way, how do you kill somebody with diesel exhaust? (I’m just curious because the byproduct of diesel exhaust is oxygen.


  • GTT

    @doom (450): Well, your suggested websites have been blocked at work because they fall in the RACISM AND HATE catagory. I´ll have a looksie when I get home but it doesnt really bode well, now does it?

  • Scratch

    @ doom
    Good Lord, you’re deluded. It’s a shame that the completely idiotic ravings of conspiracy theorists like you even need to be addressed. But, since other idiots like D fall for your garbage, I will slap you down again.

    First, I will address your point that there is “no physical or credible evidence . . . that death camps existed.” Please, the Holocaust is one of the most well-documented events in history. The Nazis kept meticulous record of their atrocities on film, in documents, and in photographs. Look up the Wannsee Conference Protocol, the Einsatzgruppen Reports, and the Nazi Concentration Camps film presented at the Nuremberg Trials. Look up pictures of the victims of Dachau, Himmler’s speeches, the testimony of Nazi Officers at Nuremberg, Goebbels diary, Vrba-Wetzler report, and Hitler’s own words. You can even visit the sites of the camps themselves. Of course, you will do none of these things because you would prefer to deny historically verifiable facts.

    You also argue, blindly ignoring this overwhelming evidence, that the only evidence comes from witness testimony that “is consistently being proven fraudulent.” Now stop picking your nose for a second, you’re supposed to be looking up the items from the previous paragraph. The testimony of Holocaust survivors, of the perpetrators of the Holocaust, and of the liberators of the camps is so overwhelming that it is pure wishful thinking to think that it could be dismissed. It would involve coordinating the testimony of the perpetrators, the victims, and the liberators. The sheer number of testimonies that would have to be coordinated would make it an impossible task.

    Yes, Jews are not a race: race is a social construct. Of course, the Nazis saw the Jews as a race – “The Jew has always been a people with definite racial characteristics and never a religion.” -Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf).

    You mean to tell me that you haven’t read your hero’s book? Idiot.

    “Also, Hitler did not slaughter anybody. Go to your local library and look up the census statistics for Jews in the 1930s-1940s. You’ll find there wasn’t even six million Jews to be slaughtered.”

    I find it amusing that you would advise me to go the library when you’re barely literate. Listen, you troglodyte, it doesn’t matter how many Jews were in Germany – it matters how many were in occupied Europe. There were 9.5 million total Jews living in Europe, 3 million in Poland and 2.5 million in the Soviet Union alone. 2 out of every 3 European Jews were killed.

    “The difference you speak of is that Pol Pot actually did commit mass murder while Hitler did not.”

    Both men committed murder.

    “Blah blah blah Kennedy assassination blah blah Federal Reserve blah blah magic bullets.”

    Does anyone actually take you seriously?

    “On a technical, rational, and scientific level, the holohoax is impossible no matter how you look at it. SIX MILLION PEOPLE. You’re talking the size of a major metropolitan area.”

    Please do not use the words “technical, rational, and scientific” to relate to anything in your argument until you display an ability to use technical, rational, and scientific arguments.

    Yes, it is hard to imagine six million people being systematically killed, but the inconceivability of something does not negate its occurrence.

    “You mean to tell me they used rickety buildings . . . as the mass murder device?”

    Jews were not only killed in the gas chambers, but also starved to death, worked to death, and shot.

    “(that are not proven and admitted to have been built by the Soviets after WWII)”

    No, little man, they were built by the Nazis. In fact, Zyklon B was tested on Soviet prisoners.

    “Oh, wait, I know! The showers that were never used! Right…. so they spent all that extra money to make a technical underground piping system?”

    Honestly, do you even think when you’re typing or do you just regurgitate half-digested arguments from other conspiracy foil-heads? The gas chambers were used, there are witnesses and there is physical evidence. Please see the Vrba-Wetzler report.

    “ Okay, what about an airing system to suck the gasses out so nearby soldiers didn’t die also?”

    The gas was concentrated in the gas chamber, but when the ventilation system released the fumes into the air they were no longer concentrated and would not kill those standing nearby. Oh, and the SS men who carried out the gassings wore this amazing contraption called a gas mask.

    “You do know that a gas chamber must be locked and completed sealed and air tight?”

    It does need a ventilation system to release the gas if the pressure inside becomes too high.

    “What’s the difference between and oven and a crematorium?”

    The Nazis used mass crematorium ovens. Do you have a point?

    “Do you mean to tell me that the most scientifically advanced country didn’t know how to mass kill people? Rubbish.”

    They did know how.

    “They figured out a way to run vehicles from CO2 using wood that produced 20% the amount of carbon dioxide – why didn’t they just use that? “

    Diesel exhaust and Zyklon B were highly effective and cheap, there was no need to go around chopping down trees.

    “By the way, how do you kill somebody with diesel exhaust? (I’m just curious because the byproduct of diesel exhaust is oxygen”

    Byproduct of diesel exhaust? Diesel exhaust is the byproduct, moron. Diesel exhaust is mostly made up of nitrogen, water vapour, and carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide will kill people if its ratio against oxygen is high enough.

    “I posted my sources for you to read (and I know you won’t read them because you are quite pompous and arrogant – par for the course.)”

    I might be arrogant, but it’s because I’m right. I did give your sources a chance, but they were clearly skewed. I mean, a website that does not report any negative scholarship on its topic? Ha!

    “Show me ONE source where the Red Cross had FULL access to ANY Allied POW camp. Just one.”

    “Especially Einsenhower’s REAL death camp where he STARVED 1.5 million German soldiers because he side-stepped the Geneva Convention.”

    Rather than addressing my arguments, you have just restated a lie and even seem to have misread Bacque (one camp?). Again, James Bacque’s book is spectacularly flawed. He misread documents, he put words in people’s mouths, and his book should be regard the same way as his other work as a novelist – pure fiction. A real historian, Albert Crowdey, put it very well “Surely the author has reason to be satisfied with his achievement. He has no reputation as a historian to lose, and “Other Losses” can only enhance his standing as a writer of fiction.”

    For a more thorough debunking of your Eisenhower revisionism, please see the following link:

    “The problem here is not me, but you. It is the lazy and ignorant mind that would much rather take the easy way out and not ask any questions.”


    “You don’t want your car or your phone or your nice fancy clothes to be taken away for you.”

    I don’t have a car. I do have a phone and some fancy clothes, though. Well, they’re not really fancy but they are pretty nice. I do need a new coat, though.

    “You speak of death as it is a numbers game – you speak of Germans as if they are not people.”

    No, I do not. Please provide any quotation where I have stated anything resembling this.

    “You speak of ME as if I am not a real person. That is fine, I understand this tactic.”

    No, I speak to you like you’re an idiot. This is because you’re an idiot.

    “Blah blah blah Federal Reserve blah blah blah Jewnited states blah blah blah unconstitutional taxes blah blah blah Jewish banking system.”

    I’m not American, and you’re still an idiot.

    “Don’t forget that you’re the bottom of the list if you’re a white man.”

    White is not a culturally homogenous group nor is it a useful biological classification.


  • D

    @scratch thats exactly what i was asking for! an explanation of your argument contrary to the conspiracy theories.

    see i have very little knowledge first hand on the events barring what is commonly thought in history books and we know that thats not always the best source. your argument provides evidence and an excellent analysis of events counteracting the conspiracy.

    thank you and apologies if i offended you i certainly didnt mean to do so. i understand it was a horrible period and the atrocities were disgusting. i just wanted to see a better argument than a few swear words ridiculing what was said.

    @peter: yes it was non biased because all i saw before scratch’s comments were some baseless arguments filled with insults and lack of content! relax a bit!

  • Chamale

    After the first attack on Kitty Genovese (#3), someone did call the police. The police decided not to investigate it. The second attack took place in the dark, and no one could see it happening.

  • Simon

    Evil never takes a day off.

  • DJ

    Edison’s main rival for electricity in America wasn’t Tesla, it was George Westinghouse, founder of Westinghouse Electric, who was very active in pushing that the world adopt AC as the primary source of electricity. That’s why when Edison developed the electric chair, he pushed to have it named after Westinghouse and to ensure that it use AC in order to ensure a properly horrible association in the popular mind.

  • niko

    how about the US attack on Afghan, iraq etc? or Israel’s attack on GAZA? that ought to be on the list!

  • @niko (463): You have failed to understand the basis of the “bystander effect”. You aren’t alone in this misunderstanding, but you make your case more plainly in error.
    The bystander effect does not include acts of war (the Holocaust was a special event, because it was an event which the bystanders could have intervened and made a difference). In acts of war, e.g. Israel’s attack on GAZA ( as per your example), who is the innocent bystander whose actions could have prevented the act?
    Are you getting the picture?

  • Charlyn-Marina

    Well this is a breathtaking list. I just feel ashamed to be even reading this and I know i can’t do anything to change it all! I just had a similar incident and I know how does it feels :)
    Good work!

  • LEla

    I am usually a lurker on this site. I love it in general, I just rarely comment.

    I wanted to say that this is one of my top rated list in my time here. I’ve probably read over 2/3 of them by now, and I honestly love this one.

    Well thought out, great citations and information. Great article for #2. Non-biased. Once again, great list.

    Thank you.

  • matt

    number 2 is so outrageous.

  • Spiderbait

    You forgot to mention the Einsatzgruppen massacres in the Soviet Union during WWII. The death squads would go have a few key jews convince the others to rally at a certain point for ‘relocation’. When they got there they would be made to dig a massive grave before being led 5 at a time to the grave, made to strip and then shot. The locals would usually come out to see what were often their former neighbours being executed. The death squads would then give the clothes and all the other belongings of the jews to the locals causing an economic boom in the nearby populated areas. I’ve even seen a video where you can see a mass grave surrounded by villagers watching the Jews die. What scared me the most though was how normal this was for the soldiers. Most of them were simply bored as if they were simply doing some menial labour.

  • JeepThang

    you cant stop a holocaust if the govt took away your guns.

  • elizabeth lambert

    Meh? The families of the victims did nothing to insure there was justice. Probably because the victims weren’t much use to begin with. If Shanda Sharer weren’t some screwed up lesbo then her parents or brothers/sisters or friends would have made things right with retribution to Lawrence and Rippy when they got out. And as for Kitty Genovese, screw New Yorks who haven’t the balls to insist on being allowed to be armed.

  • OMG! Are You Really Elizabeth Lambert?! You’re My Hero!

  • Trazzoli

    Lord of the Flies was a great story, and unfortunately, not all that far from the truth of human nature. Although we as a species have developed the capacity for compassion and empathy, when it comes to the fine line that defines action, it rely does rely on the strength and self-confidence of the individual. You also have to factor in the psychology of the mob, the misguided trust that “someone else will take care of this” and the modern dilemma of just “not wanting to get involved”. The impact of media and the sick youthful glorification of power through money, gore and violence doesnt help either.

  • Memphistopheles

    All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing – Edmund Burke.

    Cowardice doesn’t excuse negligence. – Basil White

  • _-DAN-_

    What about how people say treat Muslim extremists fairly when they clearly just kill people and beat their wives.

    • Storm

      I think you're generalising a bit too much here love.
      Evidence for your argument please!

  • Ladyshywink

    Never commented b4, but I don’t just stand by. I will intervene. Fuck criminals, I’ve been robbed at gunpoint more than once, and I did not take it lightly. I’ve seen girls harassed and as a women myself I have no qualms of taking action. I will not be scared into submission. I never know what i will do, but have done some pretty scary things without thinking. If your not the solution then YOU are the problem. Grow some fucking balls because this BITCH wears her ovaries on the outside.

  • R2K

    Wow, a lot of these list are terrible. First of all, please spare us your agenda in retelling the story of Shanda Sharer. The line “She then took out her runes, part of the Wicca lifestyle, and told the girls’ futures.” almost made me laugh out loud.
    I could tell story after story of Christian serial killers my friend, (David Berkowitz aka The Son of Sam, Jeffrey Dahmer, the BTK killer, Ted Bundy, etc.) and try to infer that their Christian beliefs had something to do with their becoming murderers, but that would be ridiculous and insulting. Every religion has it’s bad eggs, and the sooner you realize that the better off you and your writing will be.
    And your version of the Kevin Carter story is so full of half-truths and full lies, I can’t even begin to cover it. But I’ll try. By all acounts, the girls parents were just a few feet away receiving free food to feed their families, and after the picture was taken, the girl returned to her home with her family. Yet you have this story in a list of people who died, while bystanders just watched and did nothing. An out and out, outrageous lie.
    Plus, this is not a black and white world we live in, and I would implore you to consider the things you write about on more than just the surface level. Could one make the argument that the fact that this picture exists and was seen all over the world, actually serve a greater good, and raise awareness about a horrible situation going on the world? That is an age old argument, when does the journalist stop being the tool to record events, and participate in the events themselves. It’s a very powerful debate, and both sides have valid points, I’m not here to tell you you’re opinion is wrong. But to not even mention that philosophical connundrum, which is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Kevin Carter story, aside from the power of the photograph itself, is laughable, honestly.

    And finally, you imply that Kevin Carter committed suicide because of guilt he felt for taking this famous picture. Kevin Carter had spendt years as investigative journalist and persoally witnessed atrocity after atrocity, from famine to war, to genocide and on and on. No one know why anyone commits suicide, save the person commiting the act, but sometimes they leave a note, shedding a little bit of light on what was going through their head at the time of their death.
    Kevin Carter’s note read:

    “I am depressed … without phone … money for rent … money for child support … money for debts … money!!! … I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain … of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners…I have gone to join Ken if I am that lucky.”

    It would seem their were myriad reasons Carter did what he did, but you would have your readers believe that guilt over his famous photograph was the only reason. For shame, sir.

  • JoeBlack

    Great list, but apart from that, a little correction : in n° 8, the barbarians gang are not moroccans, they are for the majority french citizen and are originary from the ivory coast, martinique island and so on…


  • alias42

    I like this site. I really do.

    I like this article. No hate.

    However, this line has bothered me immensly.

    I quote: “… and interested the others in the Goth lifestyle, punk rock, vampirism, witchcraft, Satanism, lesbianism and such”

    Are you honestly placing lesbianism in a list of those things? That is just gaybashing.

  • NATO

    This list is compelling for so many reasons. I felt sick to my stomach after reading it. People need to recognize that the bystander effect is an every day occurrence and that we need to fight against it. I found the example of Native American Indians particularly close to my heart. As an Indigenous person to Australia my family history is tainted by similar examples of callousness on behalf of a lot of white Australians and the Governments they choose to elect (not all white Australians I have to say). For evidence of Australia’s neglect of its first peoples visit these websites:

    The following is an excerpt from the second website (Which is an official Australian Government website):

    “Although comparisons should be made with caution (because of the way different countries calculate life expectation) data from the late 1990s suggests Indigenous males in Australia live between 8.8 and 13.5 years less than Indigenous males in Canada, New Zealand and the USA; and Indigenous females in Australia live between 10.9 and 12.6 years less than Indigenous females in these countries.”

    Here you can clearly see that Native American Indians have fared relatively well compared to that of Indigenous Australians. I feel that I have to publicize this issue as much as possible because the fact of the matter is most white Australians still treat the plight of Indigenous Australians with disregard. The statistics would show otherwise if this weren’t the case. It’s disgraceful for a Western Democracy that the white locals often refer to as “The Lucky Country”. Lucky for whom?

  • Cer45sy67

    I am so sad and disqusted right now. This is heartbreaking stuff

  • Allison

    I have the say the bystander effect is more of a disgrace to me than the crimes in question. I generally think this is a good list and a great thing for people to learn about. I do have two issues, however.

    First, you mention that most people in Germany at the time of the Holocaust were not aware of what what going on. In fact, the Holocaust is the greatest bystander crime of all time because it is well-documented that people DID know. The American government was well-aware, too. That is why what happened is such a great crime.

    Second, I’m not even sure where to start with the phrase “Goth lifestyle, punk rock, vampirism, witchcraft, Satanism, lesbianism, and such”. Have you heard of the West Memphis Three? Another great case you should check out of you’re interested in true crime. None of the things in this list are really related and none are necessarily evil or dangerous. The idea that anyone involved in these things must be a violent killer is a small-minded, dangerous attitude.

  • Tempe


    “Two quick issues – number 6 is not a case of the bystander effect as it involves only one man, whose actions were probably caused by PTSD and shock.”

    Of course it’s a case of bystander effect. A bystander is a SINGLE person who stands by and does nothing but watch while something happens. There does not need to be multiple people doing nothing to be a bystander effect. One person is enough.

    Secondly, it does not matter what his motivations were for not doing anything, the fact still remains that he did nothing- and standing by doing nothing regardless of why is the definition of the bystander effect. A lot of the bystanders in the above listed and other incidents very likely did nothing due to shock themselves.

    Carter watched that toddler for 20 minutes and then walked away. If the toddler was crawling to an aid station and not waiting for his/her parents he could;ve picked her up and carried her there. He likely had a car nearby if he drove to that location.

  • ianz09
  • struck21

    The was a case that started the “Good Samaritan” law. I believe it was NY where someone was mugged, the muggers came back 3-4 times while people stood at their windows and watched. No one even called police. Now you can be an accessory to the crime for not at least calling police. They expect you go off and fight someone, but they EXPECT you to dial 911.

  • Psst…
    “…girlfriend Lovelessbelieved Sharer…”
    “…Loveless strangled became hysterical…”
    “…wider-rimmed hate to hide…”

  • anon279

    This list was just fine until I got all the way to #1… it turned into complete BS from there.

    First of all, is the Holocaust going to be stamped onto the #1 spot of every single list like this one, for whatever reasons its author might conjure up? If you really wanted “acts of genocide” here then please also mention the Holodomor, Katyn massacre, the GULAG camps, Pol Pot, Armenian Genocide, the crusades, the constant war in the Middle East (not going to name countries here), the nuclear bombings on Japan, Dresden, Stalin (1932-33 famine anyone?), the Eastern Block (thank you Allied powers, 50 years of communism was just A-OK), the Chinese Cultural Revolution… do I need to go on?

    I don’t deny the Holocaust but I am tired of it being viewed as the single greatest crime against humanity, while all others just get swept under a rug, never to be mentioned again.

    Also, are you really trying to convince me that a few small villages should have stopped what was happening in the camps, and because they didn’t they get the #1 spot? If it was even true that they knew of it, what would you have expected them to do? Start spreading the truth and be exterminated by the authorities (who were a bit more effective than what you might think)? Maybe you would be willing to get yourself killed and accomplish nothing, but don’t try and condemn anyone else to the same fate. We aren’t talking about the majority of the german populaion here, but a small group of people, and they couldn’t have done much more than get themselves killed as well.

    And what about the Allies, who knew about the camps as well? Don’t they get mentioned? Of course how could they have known? Maybe because either the Nazis weren’t dumb enough to let everyone (including those villages you mentioned) know what the camps were for. And if they did know, why couldn’t they do anything against it? Fine case of bystander effect right there.

    Even the claim about being able to “sniff out” camps from 20 miles away seems absurd. I spoke to people who saw the trains going towards these camps, and the area around them was sealed off in a large radius precisely to prevent anyone from finding out what happened in the camps.

    AGAIN: I don’t deny the Holocaust, but don’t try to feed me BS. If it really is a case of the bystander effect, then how about we mention the Allies and the Soviets as well, who could have stopped it all from happening before the war began. Instead they decided to wait until Hitler built up one of the srongest armies in Europe, and then invaded Poland. (Oh, and Time magazine made him “Man of the year” in 1938, right after the Munich Agreement)

    You want a REAL case? Read what happened here:

    Also Poland fought on the Allies’ side throughout the war, only to be fed to the USSR after the war was over.

    Final note: I’d have placed #5 at #1. It was a systematic extermination of a race that was almost completely carried out, and noone stood up against it, regardless of which country it was viewed from. Then again, #2 seems like a better choice, becuase unlike the stories about genocides (which are full of deception and misinformation), it’s actually related to the “prototype” at #10.

  • Aurell

    wow. o3o

    i could understand people would sometimes be too scared to be involved.. but seriously?

    and #2.. Dx i would hate to be in that school. i would just kill myself when i’d be able to, because i’m sure no one would like to live with that kind of memory.

  • In the age of mass media people watch, sometimes in almost real-time, images of atrocities that take place somewhere in the world – on the other side of the planet, in another town, next door – and do nothing. They fail to act not so much because they are heartless but because they are unable. Their world is shattered. There is such disconnection socially that a feeling of belonging never developed, never mind a sense of obligation.

    Furthermore, people are carefully trained to think that it is not their place to intervene as it is the job of “the proper authorities” to do it in their stead. This is why people will idly stand by and wait for the cops to arrive. Calling the police is not only the least but also the only thing they can do: it’s someone else’s job to help.

    Someone else’s job. That helping the victim is someone’s job and not the responsibility of every passer-by is what I call the institutionalization of life. The delegation of responsibility to authorities and experts means that there is an institutionalized denial of community and moral agency. Ultimately it is a validation of the social disconnection and alienation that already exists in society.

    Why didn’t anyone call the police? The proper question is, Why didn’t people team up to help the victim themselves?

  • WTFdevBITme

    Apparently a native american named Sitting Bull was the last person to leave the Trail of Tears. Sitting bull is also my so-many-greats grandfather on my mother's side. it is quite a sad story to read about.

  • The Sanity Inspector

    The Kevin Carter photo was famously–and accurately–criticized for being "disaster porn."

  • Will Trame

    Number 6 was extremely disturbing. Maybe it was Carter’s conscience that ultimately drove him to suicide.

    Kitty Genovese is undoubtedly the most known and notorious incident of the bystander effect. In fact, it inspired folksinger Phil Ochs to write “Outside A Small Circle of Friends”.

  • The way you wrote #9 upsets me slightly because, to me, you make it sound like paganism helped influence these people's decision to commit this crime. Seeing as how I'm pagan, I find this slightly offensive and wish you would revise it in some way. Paganism gets enough bad press as it is. Those girls probably would've committed the crime anyways..even if they had not been introduced to such things.

  • Steph

    I haven't read through all the comments, but from what I can tell, no one has mentioned a large part of the story of #6, Kevin Carter's photo.
    This picture was taken by complete coincidence. Carter was in Sudan to document famine. He was so overwhelmed by the sight of all the starving people, he tried to escape it by hiding out for a moment in the bush. He heard the girl whimpering, and took the opportunity. The photo was taken 10 meters, about 32 feet, away from the feeding center. There were armed guards within shooting range, and had he helped the toddler in anyway, both of them would have been killed. After taking the picture, he chased the vulture away, and the girl resumed her struggle towards the feeding center. All this according to a Time article chronicling Carter's life.
    This one picture and its publication completely shattered his life. I think we owe him some respect for chasing away the bird, as well as putting this picture out there and bringing attention to the crisis. But that's just my opinion.

    • Rob

      Thanks for that. You're completely right.

  • neesha

    I’m glad this list was complied so perhaps if something like this would arise ppl who have read this whpo normally wouldn’t do anything will. Terribly terribly sad tho.

  • Rob

    If it makes anyone feel any better, #3 isn't actually correct. A few people called the police. The police, of course, took their sweet time getting to the scene of the crime, as they usually do. Saying that no one called was merely a cover-up by the police. You can read all about it in SuperFreakonomics. Very interesting book, btw. The first one, Freakonomics, was just as good. There are many examples of this "bystander" effect being analyzed in both.

  • Cariari

    I dont understand how nobody cares about the "real american genocide" im talkin about the natives, how can it be that nobody seem to notice that a whole pure nation was raped,pillaged and almost entirely killed by a supposedly more "civilized" people, and yet they say yhat they were savages, uncivilized….blabla….just a excuse to make a wrong "right". A whole nation! and now nobody gives a fuck about the long-lasting effects that it has today, i mean if one just think of what it was then and how it is now…..SUCKS! it will never be the same again, but ironically there will never be peace there now, calm and quiet? i dont think so, no with the kind of fucked up people that live there, im not generalising but you have to be blind to not notice al the fucked up things that happened and happens….In the end you harvest what you planted.

  • Jimmy

    The Indians were pussies! They had it coming.

  • I really found your article very useful.

  • This is so depressing, a great list nonetheless. I really hope that if I'm ever a bystander to a crime, I won't be affected by conformity …

  • Trevozhnoy Molodosti

    The Holocaust is not a good addition to this list. At all. I figured it’d be comprised of individual acts, and some grouped bullshit like the holocaust is on there. FUCKING INTERNET FAIL!

  • Little Remark

    A little remark : Ilan Halimi was not kidnapped by Moroccans. Youssouf Fofana was born in France from Ivorians parents.

  • broganrae

    Wow, I can't believe how ignorant some people can be! This list really stirred something in me, I felt particularly angry about Ilan Halimi and the Kevin Carter story. I couldn't begin to ever imagine how he must have felt to be brutually tortured for 24 days, it is incredibly sickening that not one single person had even an ounce of human decency or morality in them to tell someone so that poor man's life could be spared. Also, Kevin Carter was a disgrace for not helping that child.. he got his photograph, won his prize but I wonder if that was worth letting the child starve? I understand sometimes it's easier to stay out of things, and keep yourself to yourself but if I saw a young woman being stabbed outside my window the very least I would do is ring the police. Can you imagine how angry you'd be if it was your own daughter and no-one bothered to help? Grrr this made me so angry!

  • redwolfblack

    about number 2 my teacher told us about this at school, we had left our papers scattered around the table where we would normally put them and we didnt pick up them assuming someone else would do it . Then he told us this story. we were silent for a second put the the guys sitting next to me said " did you just compare gangrape to us not picking up those papers… nice" wtf!

  • John

    Didn't #3 lead to a law about not reporting crimes you witness?

  • DanniBell

    this is obviously a very sad list, but i think u are missing a very serious case. Check out Sylvia Likens….there is a recent movie based off of the horrible crime, the movie is called "An American Crime" and it is about a young girl who is sexually and physically abused in a basement by a trusted guardian, and not only do family members no and contribute, but neighbors and friends from the children's school come to watch the abuse, and no one tells.

  • Random

    The Ilan Halimi story is wrong. He was of Moroccan heritage. His torturers weren't Moroccan. I think you got your facts mixed. Please correct.

    You can see the names of the torturers in the wikipedia link.

    You'll be shocked

  • anon

    and the worst part is that most of the people who commented on the atrocity of these incidents wouldn't do anything for someone in trouble either

  • Storm

    Number 6 made me so angry :|
    But they're all horrific and awful in their own way.
    Humans are so messed up at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised if all the animals mutinied and decided to attack us all. It's what we deserve.
    Bystander effect happens everywhere. Homeless people are a key example. People walk past homeless people all the time without even stopping to ask whether that said person is okay. We're all guilty of doing it.

  • Ana

    Actually, even Israel knew about the holocaust but didn’t do anything about it until after the war.

    • Micah

      Israel was not the Jewish state at the time of the holocaust, it was palestine. It was an arab state. Israel became a jewish state in 1948 .


  • Pscyhe

    Years ago after learning about this phenomenon I decided that if I found myself in a situation where there were something bad was happening I would assume I was the only one who'd do something and to do whatever necessary. Of course in real life we never know how we're going to react. The first time I saw someone having a grand mal seizure (in a store I was working at) my brain froze. Anything I'd learned about helping people in the situation went out of my head. I stared on half in shock as my manager, a very capable woman, calmly addressed the situation and made sure the poor man didn't suffocate on his tongue. Now I'm older I hope I wouldn't fall apart if I found someone in need of rescue, but you can never tell how you'll react. I hope I'd do the right thing no matter what.

  • condolingas rice

    the line between a perpetrator and a bystander can be very blurry. When the opportunity to take action against a crime appears and one does not take action, he is aiding in the facilitation of a crime, and therefore a perpetrator

  • V123

    Most of the German population knew nothing of it, but had they, they could easily have banded together and demanded that the Holocaust be stopped. The Nazis would have been reluctant to exterminate their own “master race,” and by that point, the Allies would have heard news of it.


  • Cat

    Not to minimize the importance of the Shoah, but there are genocides that are even “better” examples of genocide. In Sudan, for example, the world at large knew about the genocide very soon after it started, and no large-scale effort has ever been made to help the sufferers. Anyone could have sent in an army to try to combat the janjaweed. No one did, even thoe we did that exact same thing when we saw just a glimpse of the horror of the Shoah.

  • Pegge Jameson

    What about the Seinfeld violation of the good Samaritan act? :P

  • KennedyC

    Where is the Gertrude Banizewski case? She beat, starved, and eventually killed a teenage girl named Sylvia while the neighborhood children watched and participated

  • Jerome

    I’d still put the hoocaust as #1, but the one about the 15year old girl was a serious source of disgust. It’s worth mentioning that in Texas when a former marine began executing people from the observation deck armed civilians pinned him so that police could get to him. It’s almost an argument for both sides of gun control, but none of them simply stood by.

  • Krusty the Punk

    Wow that was fucking hard to read…some tears were coming to my eyes on the last 2…but on a different note, why the fuck did you have to mention “Punk Rock” in #9 (especially considering, if they were into the Goth lifestyle, it was probably Goth Rock they were listening to)? I’m Punk and proud (well anarcho-punk/crusty) and I’m a staunch atheist, feminist, humanist, and most of the time a pacifist as well, as are a lot of us, so please, don’t degrade our culture by mentioning it in connection with some sick fucking murderers…moronic “Chaos Punx” and Mall “Punks” are already degrading us enough, thank you…and that may seem petty or whatever, and the atrocities mentioned here are horrific and tragic, but Punk is why I bother living life anyways

    • Krusty the Punk

      Don’t let any of what I said take away from the absolute horror every one of those stories invoked in me either

  • Krusty the Punk

    If I had been present for #2 I would have grabbed something and started killing the pieces of shit who were raping that poor girl. And maybe beaten up some of the trash that was filming it. Fucking disgusting.

    • Krusty the Punk

      In most situations I’m a pacifist, but sometimes it seems like violence is the only way to stop something…I don’t like it, but sometimes it happens that way

  • I think that one time I have been a bystander would be that one night around 3 in the morning, I was awaken by a woman whinning close to my window. As I sleep very deeply, I took several minutes to realise it was happening and even then I turned around in my bed putting a pillow on my head thinking “Shut up already!” But as she kept whinning, I finally got up, half asleep and peeked through the curtains of my windows. She was sitting on the sidewalk and a man was speaking quite loudly at her, but I hadn’t hear before I checked. I was drousy and looking and thinking “Will they finish their argument already and move on?” Eventualy, after a while she got up and they left. I went back to sleep. Now from times to time I still remember this and I wonder. What if it had gotten even worse? I’m eventually saying to myself “I would’ve called 911” but then why didn’t I call 911 back then BEFORE it could’ve got worse? Then I excuse myself, saying I was half asleep and grumpy. I still think I should be ashamed of myself, but I know that if something like that or even bigger happened again, half asleep or not, I’d at least call 911. I’m totally disgusted by people who don’t care in these situation.

  • Jules

    You missed out the torture and murder of 16 year old Junko Furuta, who went through 44 days of torture. It seems that the 4 boys who tortured and murdered her are now free.

    Here is the link :

  • Marlon

    this list is truly disturbing. a f’ing disgrace on all of us. we really are on the path to self destruction. i pray for all the victims on this list.

  • Arngrímur

    Yeah i think you could have replaced nr. 7 with the Sylvia Likens incident, since that was actually a dangerous animal and although the use of electricity wasn’t neccesary that accident still doesn’t top nr 8 imo.

  • lemurs

    the photography thing, many photographers beleive it best not to get involved with subjects, i heard a different account where he said he could have helped the child, or taken the picture, and so he took teh picture, to help bring the plight of the people to the attention of the western world. He did it for the greater good, which is his job.

    Now, if he actuallyt DID wait 20 minutes and leaeve her, then that’s bad, but I’d like to know where you got your facts from.

  • Thomas F.

    The horrible and senseless crime of Sylvia Likens should be posted here. It still brings tears to my eyes.

  • Josh C

    this article apalled me so much makes me disgusted to be a human being ive been in this situation where i was with my girlfriend at night and we heard some girl screaming for help you know what we did we got up of our asses and went and saw what was us turns out the girl had just gotten the shit beaten out of her by her boyfriend luckily we came and solved it but damn people just tend to have this heard mentality its downright despicable the richmond one almost made me tear on how shocking people could be like how the fuck do you not do anything this is why humanity will never last atleast call the damn police man im so furious now…great article by the way really makes me an inner cynic to humanities evils

  • jackdaniels63

    Update the list to include the multiple black men in Houston that passe around a young hispanic girl as a sex toy…..all should hang.

  • Cass

    Runes are part of the “Wicca lifestyle”? I didn’t know my religion was a “lifestyle”. Great list, but wow, that was just pathetic.

  • Eunice Quijano

    Hey i really love your website… but u did forget about the ARMENIAN Genocide…..some claim it never happend but i would like to know what’s the deal with it?????????

  • Beatrice

    Kevin Carter’s photograph

    Tiny, forlorn,forsaken Girlchild
    All alone in the African wild
    You so wanted to live
    Hard his heart unable to give
    How could he not heed
    Your dire and desperate need
    How could he stand looking at you
    Without a thing to do
    How could he watch
    Without a single touch

    How could you ignore my plight
    I was fighting for life with all my might
    Crawling in the dirt
    Tiny, forlorn, forsaken, hurt

  • alexis

    i think that number 9 is the most horrific :/ RIP all of the people who gave their lives to make this list. :(

  • Thomas Fish

    This particular list troubles me to no end. How can people be so cruel? How can one person be so evil? Rest in peace Shanda Sharer. Your suffering has ended. I wish there had been someone there to help you in your hour of need.

    • Tanno Gerritsen

      How cynical: the Allies blaming the local population for doing nothing during the Holocaust. Instead of bombing the railway tracks to the death camps, the Allied leaders were busy bombing German city centres full of women and children, incinerating them alive. The Allied leaders are the most guilty of all the bystanders.

  • Scarlett

    Stupidity, ignorance and hypocrisy are the 3 things humans do best. Disgusting.

  • Scarlett

    This list is disgusting. SO you’re saying not ONE of these people can make an anonymous phone call to help save a life? Noooo of course not, they’re much to busy trying to “not get involved”.

    Humans, the worst kinds of animals.

  • Scarlett

    Oh my god. That was just appalling. Over a hundred fucking people knew? The Human race is going to shit.

  • Les

    Why not list/admit that Ilan Halimi was killed by Muslims, who admitted they are barbarians and called themselves such, because he was Jewish?

  • claire

    i did not know about the Ilan Halimi. that is one of the worst modern stories of injustice i’ve ever heard and in his own country. i’m so heartbroken just hearing it. that poor man

  • carlos

    It’s calculated that today, the 2% of World population possess the 50% or World richness in the middle of a full financial crisis that in a big proportion have provoked themselves. But I haven’t heard nobody is doing or ever understanding nothing about to impede this road to perdition.

  • Luke-N

    For me Number 9 was just truly unbelievable, she was a beautiful 12 year old girl who looked like she had everything going for her and it’s horrifying the way her life had to end because of those sadistic and troubled teenagers.

  • pikachuFL

    IMO, #9 is not an example of the bystander effect. All of the girls in the attack were the perpetrators so they had a reason to not report the crime as it would implicate themselves. My understanding of the bystander effect is the bystander has nothing to personally lose or gain from the situation but chooses not to act anyway. If somebody had witnessed these girls attacking Shanda Sharer and not reported it, that would be an example of the bystander effect. As it was, the people these girls did tell about the attack implored them to turn themseves in.

  • billy williams

    Nice list,Although i think David Cash should be on it.

  • baliff

    thats a bitch move kevin carter

  • Alanna

    I have to say that the Good Samaritan is one of the most misunderstood parables in the world. First, it was a Priest, then a Levite who passed by. Secondly, this was 2000 years ago, where by Jewish law Priest’s could not defile themsevles with blood, or touch a dead body. Levite’s were extremely similar. The point of the story is not the Priest and the Levite ignoring the victim, as this would have been common, and accepted. It’s the hated Samaritan helping the Jew. When/if (whatever) Jesus told this story, the Priest and the Levite walking by a dying man wouldn’t have shocked the audience, but the Samaritan helping him would.

  • Kat

    A 2 year old girl was hit by vans twice and no one cared.

  • guest

    Bystanders typically point the finger away from themselves to make excuses for their lack of appropriate action…..Because they were not the perp, they do not feel they did wrong. This also stands true in bullying situations in schools and the workplace.

  • Psych 101

    In many of these cases there are a number of forces at work, not just the bystander effect. especially in the last one. In the case of the Germans it was the pressure from authority and fear of there own lives that caused these people or the “Nazi’s”. See the Stanford Prison Experiment by Phillip Zimbardo. Zimbardo showed that given a role of power or helplessness people are likely to adopt it, and behave in ways which they would never have thought they could or would have otherwise. another explanation is given by Stanley Milgram, he did many experiments about normal persons obedience to authority evan though they new they were harming another person.

  • jbjr

    Sad, scary, depressing.

  • Lori-Ann

    The abduction, torture, and murder of 2 year old James Patrick Bulgar by Robert Thompson and Jon Venables (both 10 years old at the time) ought to be on this list.

  • Reblogged this on Toilet Fodder and commented:
    It’s things like this which make me sad to be a part of the Human Race.

  • rxantos

    At least in numbers. Stalin beat Hitler holcaust 4 to one.

    24 million russians vs 6 million jews.

    You can also add the Japanese invasion of China. Killing and startving their citizens, making the Chinese women work as prostitutes. And using prisoners for biological experiments.

    In fact, I cannot say that a single side was good during WW2.

    The USA threw the second atom bomb as a mean of researching if an Uranium of a Plutonium nuke was more effective. And Americans citizens of Japanese origin where placed in concentration camps without they doing anything.

    And the catolic church condoned the killings from both sides.

    Not a single side was good. Had Hitler won, we would be praising his acomplishments and discussing about the attocities commited by the allies. History has and will always be written by the victor.

  • Rzzzz

    Don’t forget the holocaust happening right now that nobody cares about. The wholesale slaughter of millions of babies through abortion.

  • Kevin

    Giving the holocust as number one whilst completely ignoring the mass murders by Stalin is the typical racist slant the world takes on mass murder.
    40 million Russians is nowherer near as bad as the couple of million Jews killed.

  • Xing
  • Brandon

    I was going to question your choice for number 1 but then i remembered that questioning the Holohoax errrrrr Holocaust is considered hate speech and illegal in Canada. Remember the 6 Trillion.

    What about the First Holocaust though ?

    • Meghan

      Are you implying the Holocaust run by Hitler of Jewish people and other groups such as gays didn’t occur?

  • Tattoo Designs for Women Advice

    Its like you learn my mind! You seem to grasp so much about this, like you wrote the guide in it or something. I feel that you could do with some p.c. to power the message home a bit, but instead of that, that is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  • As I recall, the Genovese case has been fairly debunked.

  • music

    Terrific work! That is the kind of information that are meant to be shared around the net. Disgrace on the seek engines for now not positioning this submit higher! Come on over and seek advice from my website . Thank you =)

  • Il

    This is a fair list. Going from individual to group cases. But the list failed to mention the oldest and still going on case of the Palestinian people. For more than 64 years, the world community has been turning it’s back to the fact that Israel has invaded their country and deprived them from the least of human rights. The USA used more than 40 times a veto against UN resolutions condemning Israel. This act, described by many as organized state terrorism. This injustice still is going on, and the international community still doesn’t recognize the Palestinians rights! And does not condemn Israel for any of the atrocities it committed along all these years.

  • Children and Gardening

    Hi there very cool blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also?I’m satisfied to find numerous helpful information right here within the publish, we need work out extra strategies on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  • alcade

    I think #1 should include the pogroms and mass murders of the Communist and Socialist regimes as well. Some refer to this as the “wholecaust” because many more people were killed than in the German holocaust.

  • melina

    What people fail to realize, even most supposed christians, is that the explanation for the evil in the world and why nothing has been done about it is in the Bible. James 1:13 states ” “When under trial, let no one say: ‘I am being tried by God.’ For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.” That’s because the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one..the Bible identifies him at 1 Corinthians 4:4 4 among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through” and 1 John 5:19 which states ” 19 We know we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the [power of the] wicked one.” What most don’t know is that the entire reason for what’s going on lies in the book of Genesis that b rings out how Satan challenged God’s right to rule and have authority, he said man could rule themselves, and that is exactly the point that Satan is trying to prove today. Thats’ why people keep trying to form government after government without much success. A small part of the reason that it’s happening is that so in the future, when God destroys the wicked, no one can cry out that He never gave mankind the opportunity to try their form of government, one free from God and independent. But there’s also hope ” The upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.” Proverbs 2:21, 22.

    People always cry out and say “why doesn’t God do this for me, or that for me?” But they never turn around and do for God, he stated you can pray for anything and it will be given to you According to HIS will. But even now, people have a bad experience or two with religion, and then they just shoo it away. People will try to talk to them about it, and they don’t want to hear it. Let’s face it, to most of the world, the belief in God is a convenience. You don’t when things are good, and you turn to him when you’re in crisis. The bible also states that “unforeseen occurrences befall us all” so none of it’s fate, and God doesn’t save some and kill others, so there are so many false beliefs people have toward God and that is why so many are angry.

    But in the case of these people, that was wickedness within themselves, they sat back and did nothing, so you see they had the power to help, but didn’t. Thats’ true evil.

  • Reblogged this on nondescriptwords and commented:
    This was what was taught in class today. I didn’t even know it’ll make such an impact.

  • serbonkers


  • Elgado

    Where can i shere with my friends in facebook or twiter these big stories.

  • Babyduck

    Although these things are really really bad, the reason most people dont get involved is out of fear not out of being bad people, the are either scared of being hurt aswell or scared of being labled differently by the majority, which seems to be one of the biggest fears in the human race.
    I am refering more to the assults, What humans in general dont realise in these situations is that most people in the crowds are thinking exactly the same thing, and if just one person took that first step and stepped in or voiced their opinion the rest would follow.
    I to believe that people are mostly good and without knowing them personaly we dont know why they do the things they do, we are all born as innocent little babies and it comes down to nature and nurture as to the people we become, meaning our environment and our experiences. If you put the same people in all 10 situations and did nothing the first 9 times but you yourself stepped up the 10th time i best at least 50% of the same people would follow suit.

    Thats my opinion anyway,

  • Mcooper

    Jamie Bugler case was pretty bad …. this two 12 year olds took Jamie and wandered for hours thinking it was a game …. 30+ ppl saw them going through a field and even ran into policemen and no one asked 1 question at all especially when they were beating him up ( he was a toddler) …… eventually they killed him and left him on train tracks to conceal their crime

  • Jeanette

    After years of contemplation, questions….this is the reason. We need to accept the reality. We are the movable force, because He has given us free choice.

  • Liezel Rossouw

    What about that artist who starved a mongrel dog and called it art as people came to watch it stave and die. Got it on email and it shocked and disgusted me that nobody said a word, tried to help the dog.

  • Thomas

    Excellent list, but there is a major problem with it. It’s true that the New York Times article claiming 38 witnesses is, by far, an exaggeration; however, claiming 12 people saw the incident and didn’t do anything is also factually inaccurate.

    #) The incident happened over enough area that no one person would have seen the whole incident without following the couple.

    1) Testimony given at the trial showed that she died of asphyxiation due to the puncture wounds from the first stabbing, which allowed blood to enter her lungs. Many people have questioned whether she actually would have be capable of screaming after the first attack.

    2) The few that may have heard the stabbing and did nothing would have had their windows closed as the weather was cold that night. None of them probably realized the seriousness of what they heard.

    3) The Assistant District Attorney for the case stated ““we only found about half a dozen [witnesses] that saw what was going on, that we could use.” Of those, one had said they were “standing close together, not fighting or anything”. As was mentioned in the article, many people just thought it was a “drunken brawl or lovers’ spat”. Some also thought it was some drunk friends coming home from a bar. One, however, did see the stabbing and did nothing.

    4) A simple phone call to the police DID NOT suffice. A 15 year-old swore in an affidavit that his father made a phone call to the police and stated she was “beat up, but got up and was staggering around.” The police ignored him. Others may have called, but due to the screwed-up system they had back then, records are not clear on this. Thankfully, a clearer and more helpful 911 response center was set up because of this crime.

    #) No one saw the final attack and rape. The one person who became aware of it called police, who finally came and investigated.

    #) In the last paragraph of this list, the New York Times article is mentioned and it is pointed out that 38 is an exaggerated number. In fact, much of the article is exaggerated and unreliable. However, assuming (as this list does) that the article is reliable, the list clearly says: “There were approximately 12 people who claimed to have seen the first attack. Many of them later stated that they ‘just didn’t want to get involved.'” However, the article itself only uses the word ‘involved’ twice, in reference to one man (who eventually called police) and one couple.

    Although there may have been a small few who knew what happened and didn’t call police, it’s nowhere near as many as is stated in this list, the original article, or most pop culture articles.

    It’s also worth noting what happened to the perpetrator afterwards. Winston Moseley testified against himself at trial. The judge even said, “I don’t believe in capital punishment, but when I see this monster, I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the switch myself!” Unfortunately, the sentence of death was changed to life imprisonment on appeal. Moseley gave himself a self-inflicted injury, was transported to a hospital for surgery, beat the guard who was watching him senseless, raped a woman in front of her husband, and went on the run before being captured after a two-day manhunt. The only (tiny) upside to this story is that he’ll most likely never leave prison again (he’s been up for parole 15 times but has failed spectacularly to convince them he’s ready, even going so far as painting himself as the victim).

    • Thomas

      Sorry, about the number signs. I forgot to edit those.

  • Carol

    No where in the Bible does it say that God rides down on a thunderbolt to stop bad things from happening. Even the Jews suffered hundreds of years before being released from Egypt’s bondage. God gave mankind FREE WILL. It is our will to help each other, and our will to do harm to each other. There are always people who will do terrible things, and others who will turn a blind eye, and others like Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr who do their best to voice injustice and go against it.

    It is ignorant comments made by non-believers like you who make religion seem fickle. But if a religion, any religion, is just based on loving and caring each other, then what is wron gin faith?

  • Wynaut

    I may seem like an ass for saying this.

    But that “Blackened Oranges” part made me laugh pretty hard.

    – Pow

  • hay

    ermagerd mershed pertaters

  • Shaun

    Ermagerd gersburmps.

    • hay

      ermagerd mah freverit berks

      • Shaun

        Ermagerd thur amerzerng

        • TURN AROUND


          • ASDF


          • Shaun


  • Wynaut

    The first paragraph of the Shanda Sharer incident makes it seem as though it’s saying Punk rock, and being a lesbian drive people to stab others to death, that freaking absurd.

    – Pow