Who's Behind Listverse?
Jamie founded Listverse due to an insatiable desire to share fascinating, obscure, and bizarre facts. He has been a guest speaker on numerous national radio and television stations and is a five time published author.More About Us
10 Good Samaritans Whose Good Deeds Did Not Go Unpunished
We’ve all had a day where nothing is going right and the deck seems stacked against us. Maybe it’s a small inconvenience, like realizing that you left your wallet at home when you’re checking out at the grocery store. Maybe it’s something more severe, like being stranded on the highway because you ran out of gas.
If we’re fortunate, a Good Samaritan sees our predicament and comes to our aid. But sometimes, it doesn’t work out so well for the person who tries to help. As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.
10 Todd Motley
Todd Motley of Salisbury, North Carolina, was a cautious driver who didn’t normally pick up hitchhikers or anyone stranded on the side of the road. However, on the morning of January 3, 2016, he made an exception.
It was especially cold that morning. So when he saw a young woman flagging him down, he stopped to help her. The woman, 19-year-old Bianca Alejandre, told Motley that she had been on her way to see her daughter. But her car had broken down, and her cell phone battery was dead so she couldn’t call anyone.
Taking pity on the young mother, Motley offered her a ride. But when he turned around, there was a man holding a shotgun in his face. Motley offered the man his truck but instead was ordered to get in the back. As soon as the man took a step back from the truck, Motley ran for his life. He didn’t stop running until he was safe in his house, where he promptly called the police.
A short time later, police received a call from a resident in a nearby neighborhood who reported seeing a woman hiding behind vehicles. Deputies arrived and arrested Alejandre. Her accomplice, Juan Alonso, was taken into custody that evening after a man noticed him sleeping under his trailer.
Alejandre and Alonso were charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, second-degree kidnapping, and larceny of a motor vehicle. As of early 2016, they were both being held in jail. Motley’s truck was found and returned to him.
9 Unnamed BLM Employee
On December 7, 2015, 36-year-old Brandon Taylor was heading to Delta, Utah, when he flagged down a Bureau Of Land Management truck and said that his vehicle had broken down. The BLM employee told Taylor that the company only allowed staff in their trucks. But the truck driver offered to try to find someone else to help Taylor.
Taylor became enraged, produced a gun, and threatened to shoot if he did not get a ride. The BLM employee convinced Taylor to leave the gun in his vehicle and then allowed him in the truck. During the drive, Taylor was extremely agitated. He banged on the truck windows, eventually smashing one out.
Then he grabbed the BLM employee by the shirt, and the two men began scuffling. The BLM employee was able to get away, taking the keys with him. Taylor found another Good Samaritan to give him a ride.
The BLM employee called the police, who later apprehended Taylor. He was aggressive with the officers, telling them to shoot him. On the way to jail, Taylor stated that he was going to find and kill the BLM employee. Taylor was charged with criminal mischief, retaliation against a witness, and aggravated assault.
8 Kristen Alm And Carolyn Benes
On December 20, 2015, best friends Kristen Alm and Carolyn Benes of Saskatchewan, Canada, were going home from a girls’ night out when they saw an overturned SUV in a ditch. Fearing that someone could be seriously injured, they stopped to help. But they had no idea that the SUV’s occupants had just committed an armed robbery at a nearby home.
The women were pulled from their vehicle with a rifle pointed in their faces. Benes pleaded for her life, telling the assailants that she had children. As she was thrown to the ground, her head cracked on the pavement. Alm was also pushed to the ground and kicked repeatedly, resulting in broken ribs.
The assailants stole the women’s vehicle and sped off. Benes called 911. Alm had left her phone in the car, so police were able to track the vehicle. After a high-speed chase ensued for 130 kilometers (80 mi), the suspects abandoned the vehicle and fled. Four were arrested immediately, but the fifth one had to be tracked by police dogs.
The women were traumatized by the incident, saying that they no longer feel like helping anyone. But they hate that they feel that way.
7 Maria ‘Tonie’ Farrell
Maria “Tonie” Farrell of Orillia, Ontario, had just finished her shift at Tim Hortons when she heard a woman screaming behind a convenience store. As Farrell hurried over to help, the man who had assaulted the woman ran away. While Farrell was attending to the injured woman, Sergeant Russ Watson, a police officer, arrived on the scene.
Farrell tried to tell the officer which direction the assailant had gone. But Watson became belligerent, telling the 48-year-old grandmother to “shut the f—k up.” Then the officer karate-kicked Farrell, causing her to fall and hit her head on the pavement.
While she was down, the officer began stomping on her. Farrell was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car. She was taken to the hospital where she underwent surgery to repair her broken leg and crushed knee. In addition, she suffered injuries to her arms, spine, and head.
Officers arrived at the hospital and charged Farrell with assaulting a police officer. During the trial, Sergeant Watson testified that Farrell had assaulted him by grabbing the lapel of his jacket. But Farrell was found not guilty.
However, the province’s Special Investigations Unit decided that there were no grounds to file charges against the officer for his behavior. Farrell, who had to undergo several surgeries and was left crippled, has filed a $4 million lawsuit against the officer and the Ontario Provincial Police.
6 Michael Cade
On the afternoon of May 17, 2013, Michael Cade was at his local barbershop in Houston, Texas, when he heard gunshots and a woman screaming for help. Cade, a US Navy veteran and retired military police officer, ran outside to investigate.
He saw a woman being dragged into a truck by an armed man. Cade crouched down, ran behind the vehicle, and grabbed the gunman. As the two men fought, Cade was shot in the face.
Seeing that his friend had been shot and was bleeding, Henry McHenry, who owns the barbershop, ran over, kicked away the gun, and held the suspect down. Miraculously, Cade was able to walk to a nearby chair where he sat down and waited for an ambulance to arrive.
Cade needed several staples to close his head wound. He also suffered a broken shoulder. Fortunately, the bullet that hit his face was deflected, causing no permanent damage. The suspect, later identified as Truc Nguyen, was arrested. The woman he had tried to kidnap was his estranged wife.
5 Francisco Rodrigues De Lima
Sao Paulo Cathedral in Brazil is a magnificent historic landmark that attracts thousands of visitors every year. Unfortunately, on September 4, 2015, this beautiful building was marred by a tragic event. That afternoon, 49-year-old Luiz Antonio da Silva, used a gun to hold a woman hostage on the front steps of the church.
The relationship between the unidentified woman and da Silva is unclear. But witnesses reported that da Silva and the woman had been praying together inside the church before he forced her outside at gunpoint. He held her captive for several moments while bystanders looked on. Some even recorded the event.
When a homeless man, 61-year-old Francisco Rodrigues de Lima, saw what was happening, he leaped into action and charged da Silva. The two scuffled, allowing the woman to escape. The enraged gunman pointed his weapon at de Lima and fired several shots, hitting de Lima in the chest.
Police arrived and shot da Silva. He was arrested and taken to the hospital, where he was treated for his wounds. Unfortunately, de Lima died at the scene.
4 Peter Gold
On the morning of November 20, 2015, 25-year-old Peter Gold witnessed a man trying to force a woman into an SUV. Realizing that she needed help, Gold pulled his car over to offer assistance.
When he exited his vehicle, he was confronted by the assailant, who pointed a gun in his face and demanded money. Gold told the assailant that he didn’t have any money. The suspect became enraged and shot Gold in the stomach.
As Gold lay on the sidewalk bleeding from his wound, the assailant tried to shoot Gold a few more times. But the gun kept jamming. The gunman grabbed the woman’s purse and fled the scene.
Though the woman was not injured in the incident, Gold was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Louisiana’s Tulane Univerity, where Gold was a fourth-year medical student, offered a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the gunman.
Eventually, 21-year-old Euric Cain was arrested and charged with attempted aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, armed robbery, and attempted first-degree murder. During the investigation, police discovered that Cain had abducted another couple shortly after he fled the initial crime scene.
Cain forced the couple to drive to an abandoned school where he sexually assaulted both of them at gunpoint. Cain now faces additional rape charges for that incident.
His girlfriend, 17-year-old Nictoria Washington, was charged with being an accessory after the fact to attempted murder because she hid Cain at her home during the manhunt. As of early 2016, both are awaiting trial. Gold was released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
3 Jefferson Heavner
Jefferson Heavner, a 26-year-old resident of Catawba County, North Carolina, loved helping people. Every snowstorm, he bundled up, got in his vehicle, and went out to assist stranded motorists, a tradition started by his father. That’s exactly what he was doing in January 2016 when tragedy struck.
Marvin Jacob Lee, 27, had spun out of control, and his vehicle became stuck in the snow on the side of the road. Fellow motorists, including Heavner, went over to assist. They called police when they noticed that Lee appeared to be intoxicated.
Lee became belligerent, pulled out a gun, and opened fire. One of the bullets hit Heavner. As Heavner lay in the snow, Lee calmly walked up to Heavner and pumped several more bullets into him. Lee then ran to his vehicle, only coming out when deputies surrounded his car. Heavner died at the scene.
Lee has been charged with murder and is being held without bond as of early 2016.
2 Alison Wilson
On March 7, 2015, Alison Wilson and her boyfriend, Anthony Tomlinson, were in a taxi in Widnes, Cheshire, England, when they saw a man arguing with a woman who was holding a baby. Fearing for the woman’s safety, the couple had the taxi slow down.
Tomlinson rolled the window down and asked if everything was all right. Not wanting to escalate the situation, Wilson thought it would be better if she were the one who got out of the cab to see if everything was okay.
When Wilson exited the taxi, the argumentative man, later identified as 28-year-old Stephen Duggan, became more upset. Seeing what was going on, Tomlinson also got out of the cab. Duggan grabbed a wine bottle and hit Tomlinson in the head. Then Duggan took the broken wine bottle and stabbed Wilson in the neck, severing her jugular vein.
Wilson, a 36-year-old mother of two, was taken to the hospital but died of her injuries six days later. Duggan was found guilty of murder and sentenced to serve a minimum of 22 years in prison.
1 Thomas Cottingham
Thomas Cottingham, 27, of Wilmington, Delaware, is not your typical Good Samaritan. In 2010, he was convicted of fracturing a man’s skull with a hatchet. However, when he saw a woman in serious trouble, the convicted felon knew that he had to help.
On September 14, 2015, Cottingham was in Rodney Square when he saw 25-year-old Calvin Hooker confront a young woman who was pushing a baby stroller. Hooker pulled out a knife and began chasing the woman. When Cottingham tried to intervene, he was stabbed in the back.
He was able to walk a few feet before collapsing. As Cottingham lay on the ground defenseless, Hooker stabbed Cottingham several more times before fleeing. Cottingham died at the hospital from his injuries.
Officers caught up to Hooker near a bus stop. He refused to drop his weapon, so police had to use their tasers. Hooker was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, aggravated menacing, and possession of a deadly weapon.
Meanwhile, Cottingham was hailed as a hero. A few days after his death, more than 100 people gathered at Rodney Square to pay tribute to the man who gave his life protecting a woman he didn’t know.