Top 10 most famous death photos now that Osama bin Laden's won't be released
Update: The U.S. has decided not to release an Osama bin Laden death photo. For now, that means the image won't join the following list of the most iconic post-mortem shots of notorious dictators, revolutionaries and criminals. The roundup includes Mussolini, Rasputin and a faux Hitler mistaken for the real thing. Warning: The pics aren't for the squeamish — presumably like that bin Laden snap we won't be seeing soon.
10. Hitler's doppleganger CelebrityMorgue.com notes that the real Adolph Hitler committed suicide along with his mistress, Eva Braun, on April 22, 1945, after which their corpses were burned. The photo seen here features Gustav Weler, a Hitler body double who was executed by a gunshot to the forehead — allegedly because a Russian contingent mistook him for his boss.
9. Jesse James The Wild West outlaw was both famous and infamous in his day. But he didn't die at the hands of the law. In 1882, he was shot in the back of the head by reward-seeking Robert Ford while hanging a picture.
8. Che Guevera Although the Cuban revolutionary may be known to a generation primarily as T-shirt decor, he was an important part of the Cuban revolution. However, he was too restless to rest on this particular laurel, and his efforts to foment similar actions in Bolivia led to his capture and execution in 1967.
7. John Dillinger Not nearly as handsome as Johnny Depp, the latest Hollywood star to portray him, Dillinger was a Depression-era bank robber with a habit of leaving bodies behind. But the authorities got their vengeance in 1934 near Chicago's Biograph Theater, where he'd just seen the movie Manhattan Melodrama. It's a pretty entertaining flick — although not really worth dying for.
6. Benito Mussolini The Italian dictator and key Hitler ally tried to flee his home country in April 1945, as World War II was finally coming to a close. However, he and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were captured en route to Switzerland. After he was executed, his body, along with those of other fascist conspirators, was abused by crowds and then hung upside down from the roof of a gas station.
5. Ted Bundy The notorious serial killer and rapist was active in Colorado during the 1970s, with the murder of Snowmass nurse Caryn Campbell among his horrific acts. He subsequently escaped from Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen and continued his lethal actions; estimates put his victim total at thirty or more. He went to the electric chair in 1989.
4. Saddam Hussein The former strongman of Iraq may never have had weapons of mass destruction, but there's no denying he was a vicious leader apparently willing to gas his own people to achieve his political ends. After he was put to death in 2006, videos of his execution surfaced almost immediately. Not pretty viewing.
3. Joseph Stalin CelebrityMorgue.com shares a chilling quote attributed to the notoriously ruthless Soviet dictator, who died in 1953: "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic." Theories that Stalin's demise was caused by rat poison continue to circulate. But officially, he died of natural causes — unlike the millions of his fellow citizens who perished as a result of his policies.
2. Hermann Göring Göring was the senior commander of the Third Reich, and among the biggest targets of the Nuremberg Trials staged in the wake of World War II. The tribunal ultimately sentenced him to death by hanging, but he committed suicide in 1946, the day before he was scheduled to be fitted with a noose.
1. Grigori Rasputin The so-called "mad monk" of pre-revolutionary Russia, Rasputin, who died in 1916, has become a legendary figure in part because of his allegedly mystical skills, not to mention reports about how difficult he was to kill. Tales of varying believability claim that he initially survived poisoning, drowning and several should-have-been-fatal gunshots before finally succumbing.