Once I stumbled and got to read this list from StumbleUpon.com, I find it funny. Check it out why.
In honor of the owner of the Segway dying in a Segway accident and a Green Party candidate getting killed by an SUV recently, here are the Top 10 most ironic deaths in recorded history. Sure, a lot of funny deaths in history are extremely tragic and unfortunate, but very few are actually “ironic.” Feel free to debate the irony.
1 – Owner of the Segway Company Dies in a Segway Accident
Jimi Heselden was the owner of the Segway company and an avid practitioner of the two-wheel motorized scooters the company produces. A multi-millionaire, he owned an estate in the countryside of England, and there would ride the rugged country version of the Segway. That particular contraption (as seen to your left) contained such luxuries as a mudguard and extra wide tires with deep treads for going off the road, cause there’s nothing like offroading in a scooter.
But one day (recently), while going “off-roading” on the rugged Segway, he literally went off the road and drove off a 80 foot cliff down to his death.
2 – Green Party Candidate is Killed by an SUV
Natasha Pettigrew was a Green party member and was set to be the party’s candidate for the US Senate. A successful, well-rounded politician, she also aspired to be an accomplished tri-athlete and she would train tirelessly in the early hours of the morning. Like any eco-friendly Green party candidate she rode her bike whenever she could.
While riding her bike one day she was hit and killed by a driver in an SUV. To add insult to injury, the driver thought she was a deer and just left her on the side of the road to die. She rode all the way home with a bike under her car. That’s right, she was driving an SUV big enough for her not to “notice” that she had an ENTIRE BICYCLE under her car. This is when cars get too big.
The police found the bicycle embedded in the undercarriage of the car and the Green Party found its latest political hopes destroyed in one stroke, and one completely unnecessarily long, loud car ride. She was killed in front of her father and half-brother, who survived the ordeal.
3 – Man Acquitted from Electric Chair Dies in Accidental Electrocution on Metal Toilet
In 1989, convicted murderer Michael Anderson was awaiting the electric chair for the charges bestowed on him.
The universe decided, then, that the US Criminal Justice system was being a little too slow for it, so as the man was on his metal toilet (a fate horrible enough in of itself) he tried to fix his television. And to prove exactly how great of a decision-maker he was, he decided to bite down on a wire of his television while sitting on this metal toilet. This electrocuted him, using the wet metal toilet as a conductor, and killed him with the voltage.
And the warden, witnesses and the press didn’t even have to show up!
Honorable mention to Laurence Baker, also a convicted murderer, who (while serving a life sentence at in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) was electrocuted by his home made headphones (“No, I swear these are legit”) while watching TV and sitting on a metal toilet.
So word to the wise, next time you’re at a metal toilet either in prison or in a beach bathroom, do NOT watch television and do NOT touch ANY wires. Ever.
4 – Man Drowns in Pool During a Life Guard Association Party
In 1985, the New Orleans lifeguards threw a big party to celebrate the fact that no one had drowned in any pool during the summer season (no, really). A clean, no-drowning record! A GREAT reason to celebrate!
“Hey Mark, guess what?”
“You’re never gonna- okay. Get this. No blood on our hands this summer.”
“What? Are you kidding me? We NEED to have a party”
But when all the excessive celebrations were over, Jerome Moody (not a lifeguard, but a guest at a party filled with lifeguards) was found drowned at the deep end of the department pool.
Mr. Moody was not a lifeguard, but he was at a party where 4 lifeguards were on duty and another 200 off-duty lifeguards were in attendance celebrating that an entire summer with no deaths… so… yeah.
5 – Psycho Body Double Killed In Shower
Myra Davis, whose professional acting name was Myra Jones, was involved in the production of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. She served as a stand-in for Janet Leigh the woman who (Spoiler Alert for anyone who was born less than five years ago) was killed in the famous shower scene to the horrific, screechy strings.
Years later, in 1988, she was raped and killed by a man who was so obsessed with Psycho’s famous shower scene that he wanted to re-enact it upon Janet Leigh’s body double.
Unfortunately for Myra Davis, the producers of the film had kept such a tight lip on how they shot the scene and which actresses they used that the information the killer gleaned over the years was skewed.
Davis never appeared in the shower scene.
It was another actress, Marli Renfro, who served as Leigh’s body double and subsequently the body that audiences and the killer saw stabbed over and over again on the big screen.
Not only was she killed in the same way someone was in the movie she was most famous for, but she wasn’t even IN the scene the killer was trying to emanate.
6 – Mel Ignatow
Mel Ignatow was tried and convicted for the murder of Brenda Sue Schafer in 1988 based on evidential photos that showed the woman being brutalized by an unidentified male. The moles on Ignatow’s body provided a match to the man in the picture and became concrete evidence that he killed this woman.
He brutally beat her to death while he bound her to a GLASS coffee table, bludgeoning her body until it was lifeless on that glass coffee table.
However, Ignatow got away with only ten years because of perjury and double jeopardy, whereas he would have served a life sentence otherwise.
Several years later, in a freak accident, he tripped and fell in his apartment… onto a glass coffee table. The coffee table’s glass cut and maimed him so bad, that he lost too much blood to do anything about his situation.
As he succumbed to the fatal cuts on his head and arms, his final thoughts must have been dominated by the fact that what killed him also killed his victim. The irony is, most likely, what killed him. I looked it up using “science.”
7 – Clement Vallandigham
Clement Vallandigham was a lawyer who represented a man charged with killing someone during a bar fight. Vallandigham’s approach was to convince the jury the dead man had shot himself as he drew his weapon from his pocket. As he faced the jury, Vallandigham re-created the situation exactly as it happened. And when I say exactly, I mean that he managed to also re-create the end result: a man shooting himself whilst drawing his pistol.
Vallandigham died from his injuries, but did manage to acquit his client on the grounds that a man can accidentally shot himself drawing a weapon from his pocket by showing the jury exactly how this was done.
Lawyer. Of. The. Century.
8 – Niagara Falls Jumper/Survivor Dies from 4-foot Fall
Bobby Leach was known for his daredevil antics. His most famous death-defying stunt was surviving going over the Niagara Falls in a barrel back in 1911 (as seen in the picture). That fall fractured his jaw and broke both knee-caps, but it did not kill him. It would define his life and he embarked on many publicity tours thereafter.
On one of such publicity tours, he walked down the street and slipped on an orange peel (some say banana peels, but that was before those were out of style to slip and die from).
The fall he suffered (probably about 4-6 feet vs. Niagara Falls’s 180 feet) was so hard that he broke his leg, which became infected with gangrene, and eventually amputated. He died from complications following the amputation.
9 – John Sedgwick
John Sedgwick was a major general for the Union Army in the Civil War who played key roles in such famed battles like the Battle of Antietam and the Battle of Gettysburg. By the time of his death, he was the most senior major general in the Army and worthy of great respect.
So at the Battle of Spotsylavania Court House, he stood proud at the front line directing the placement of the Union artillery. The Confederates were advancing, however, from 1,000 yards away causing his subordinates to dodge and run around, hesitant at standing in the open.
Incensed, Sedgwick declared he was ashamed of his men, that the enemy was too far to cause damage, and that “they couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”
Seconds later, he died after being struck by an enemy bullet below his left eye. Guess he was wrong.
10 – Writer of Most Optimistic Song Commits Suicide
Felix Powell was the force behind what was considered one of the most optimistic songs in history, “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile”. The song was known to have gotten thousands of soldiers throughout the horrors of World War I.
A song with a mass effect like that could easily garner great royalties, but Powell carried greater inner-burdens. He committed suicide while wearing his duty uniform, possibly too haunted by the war too see what was so upbeat about the song that got so many others through it.