Karl Marx said, “last words are for fools who haven’t said enough”. I opine differently. Some last words come from a place of wisdom. Some are yet outright tragic. This is a list of ten tragic last words of murder victims; victims of unlawful killings, done without justification or valid excuse and victims of unforeseen tragedies.
1. “If it disappears, this is what it looks like”
Call this foreboding or not, Cor Pan, the 19year old Dutch teen made a post on Facebook with the above words and picture just before boarding the Malaysia Airlines flight in 2014.
The plane carrying 277 passengers disappeared mysteriously. So far, only scraps have been found.
2. “Active Shooter”
Lance Corporal Squire Wells, a Marine aged 21, was one of the four Marines killed in a shootout with Muhammad Abdulazeez at a military facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He sent his girlfriend the text message and got the replies: “You are so weird”, “I love you” and “Hon, I need you to answer”. It wasn’t until later that the news got her horrified.
3. “I almost got kidnapped, OMFG”
14-year-old April Millsap was approached by a man whom she rebuffed and then sent a text message to her boyfriend. Near the village of Armada, Michigan, her body was found in a drainage ditch hours later. James Donald VanCallis, on the 24th of July 2014, was accused of her murder.
4. “Is everyone else alright?”
These are reported to be the last words of Robert F. Kennedy to his wife after he was shot. Seconds after this, he slipped into a coma and died in the early hours of the next day. Wikipedia, however, records his last words as “Don’t lift me” said as medical attendants made an attempt to lift him onto a stretcher. Robert at the time of his death had just won the 1968 California presidential primary elections.
5. “I Love U Guys”
In the morning of September 27, 2006, John Keyes sent a text to his 16-year-old daughter asking if she was okay. Her reply “I love you guys” ended up being her last words. Emily Keyes was slaughtered by Duane Morrison (aged 53) who stormed her school, Platte Canyon High School taking six girls hostage. Duane committed suicide as the Police saved the other girls.
6. “This dude is straight-up nuts”
Chris Kyle with more than 160 confirmed kills was the most lethal sniper in the history of America military. He was discharged honorably in 2009 but killed four years later by a former Marine, Eddie Ray Routh. Kyle sent this message to his friend, Chad Littlefield on his way to the crime scene.
7. “Mom, if I make it home, I need you. I’m scared”
Alesha Bell, a teenager from Warren, Ohio, sent this message to her mother and was found dead in a fire pit a while later. She was last reported to be on her way to go visit a relative. Several charges were laid on James E. Brooks, the man in whose home the fire pit was located, including gross abuse of her corpse and tampering with evidence.
8. “Ben, make sure you play ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’ in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.”
Taylor Branch chronicled these as the last words of Martin Luther King Jr. spoken to Ben Branch, a musician, who was scheduled to play at an event that same night. He was shot at 6:01 p.m., moments after, as he stepped out to the balcony. He is also reported to have said this to his wife, Coretta, after President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963: “This is what is going to happen to me also. I keep telling you, this is a sick society.”
9 “Lord take my soul, but the struggle continues…”
Kenule Beeson “Ken” Saro-Wiwa was a Nigerian writer, television producer, environmental activist, and winner of the Right Livelihood Award and the Goldman Environmental Prize. He was also one of the nine members of the “Ogoni Nine” and the then President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). He was executed along with eight of his comrades by General Sani Abacha and those were his last words.
Number 10 could be argued to be neither a murder nor tragic last words but well, I choose to list it.
10. “IT IS FINISHED”
Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the Christian faith was killed on a cross for the ‘salvation of mankind’. His last words which signified victory and utmost love for mankind were “It is finished”. Well, with this, this list is also finished!