Twitter users are joking that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos "drowned in the Amazon river," but these famous deaths are even stranger.
On Wednesday morning Twitter was taken over by the hashtag #RIPJeffBezos.
Along with heartfelt memorials to the Amazon CEO after he purportedly "drowned in the Amazon River," users included images of the mogul's famously bald head and references to his great achievements.
rest easy mr worldwide shipping on amazon #ripjeffbezos https://t.co/Ohikrc7QEV— g🕸 (@g🕸)1594180232.0
Of course most of those images were actually of various other bald celebrities and fictional characters, and Jeff Bezos—famous for accruing wealth in excess of 100 billion dollars—is alive and well, nowhere near the Amazon river. Bezos just happens to be the latest in a trend of fake celebrity death announcements that have taken over Twitter.
#ripjeffbezos rest in piece. heartbroken 💔 https://t.co/446SMqgkYc— gui (@gui)1594184184.0
Following Monday's viral trend of #RIPEllen and false reports that talk show icon Ellen Degeneres had taken her own life, Twitter users decided to redirect that energy at the world's richest man. But as silly as the concept is, there have been a number of famous deaths even more absurdly ironic than Amazon's CEO drowning in the Amazon River.
gone but never forgotten #ripjeffbezos https://t.co/ZhseGJSq3V— omar 🇸🇻 (@omar 🇸🇻)1594183876.0
Famous deaths like...
Jimi Heselden: The Owner of Segway Inc. Who Rode a Segway Off a Cliff
About as close as you can get to Jeff Bezos drowning in the Amazon is the tragic death of English businessman Jimi Heselden.
The wealthy inventor of an accordion-style flood barrier/defensive wall known as the Concertainer, Heselden founded his company HESCO Bastion Ltd. in 1989. 20 years later Heselden's company had earned him hundreds of millions of dollars, and he could afford to buy Segway Inc.—makers of the Segway personal transporter—in December of 2009.
Heselden was passionate about his business, and he believed in the products he sold—even riding a Segway along cliffside paths in Yorkshire to walk his dog...
A former coal miner, Heselden was known for his charitable concern for his fellow man, donating £23 million (around $35 million at the 2010 exchange rate) to the Leeds Community Foundation, which he set up to help his home town. Sadly, his passion for his companies' products, along with his considerate nature, would be his downfall...literally.
In September of 2010, just 10 months after purchasing Segway Inc. Hesleden was out for a walk with his dog, riding a Segway along a footpath above the River Wharfe. When Heselden saw another dog owner coming, he reportedly attempted to maneuver backward to make room for the other dog walker to pass along the narrow path.
In executing that maneuver, Heselden reportedly lost control of his Segway and plunged with the scooter off the cliff top, falling around 40 feet to his death at the age of 62.
Luis Jiménez: The Sculptor Crushed by His Own Demonic Creation
Blue Mustang—known to many Denver locals as Blucifer—is a terrifying 3-storey-tall horse scultpure that looms over the road leading to the Denver Airport. With veiny bright blue flesh and glowing red eyes, Blue Mustang rears back on its hind legs, its mouth open, its mane erect, its...other horse parts bulging.
If sculptor, Luis Jiménez, set out to create a monster that looked capable of immense evil, he certainly succeeded. While not necessarily a pale horse, Blue Mustang certainly looks like a promising candidate to ferry one of the four horsemen toward the end times. But if that day comes, Blue Mustang will already have a head start on the death and destruction, because it has already claimed the life of one Luis Jiménez.
In 2006, during the creation of Blue Mustang, the horse's massive head fell on Jiménez, severing a vital artery in his leg. Tragically, Jiménez, aged 65, did not survive the accident, and Blue Mustang was eventually completed by his staff and family.
Clement Vallandingham: The Lawyer Who Demonstrated How a Man Could Accidentally Shoot Himself (by Accidentally Shooting Himself)
Clement Vallandingham was not a good dude. An Ohio lawyer and legislator, Vallandingham was the leader of the anti-war Copperhead faction of the Democratic party during the Civil War.
At the time, the Democrats were America's Conservative "states' rights" party and Vallandingham's vocal opposition both to civil rights for Black Americans and to the war effort led to a general belief that his sympathies lay with the Confederacy. After giving a speech opposed to the war, Vallandingham was tried in military court for "publicly expressing ... sympathy for those in arms against the Government of the United States ... in its efforts to suppress an unlawful rebellion."
Vallandingham was exiled, first to the Confederacy and then to Canada, where he proceeded to prove his detractors right by plotting to overthrow the governments of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois in order to establish a "Northwestern Confederacy."
But whatever his moral and political failings, as a lawyer Vallandingham certainly knew how to make a point. In his final case as a defense attorney in an 1871 murder trial, Vallandingham argued that the supposed victim had not been murdered at all but rather had shot himself in the process of drawing his gun.
While walking through the demonstration of how this might have happened, Vallandingham, aged 50, succeeded beyond his intention, accidentally shooting himself in the gut with a pistol that he believed to be unloaded.
While the wound quickly became infected, killing Vallandingham the next day, the demonstration proved to be successful, and Vallandingham's client was acquitted.
Garry Hoy: The Lawyer Who Demonstrated Unbreakable Glass by Plowing Through a High-Rise Window
Garry Hoy provides another example of a lawyer making a dramatic demonstration to deadly effect—though this time it had nothing to do with a legal case.
A corporate Lawyer at the Toronto-based firm of Holden Day Wilson in 1993, Hoy wanted to prove to prospective interns that the glass panels of the Toronto-Dominion Centre's windows truly were "unbreakable." Hoy chose to make the point—as he had done before—by hurling himself against the window of a conference room on the building's 24th floor.
As with each time he'd done the stunt before, the glass held strong. The frame, however, was not quite as sturdy, and the entire window, along with 38-year-old Garry Hoy, plummeted to the street below. Hoy's death contributed to the closure of Holden Day Wilson three years later.
Sam Kinison: The Comedian Killed by a Drunk Driver...After Endorsing Drunk Driving
Sam Kinison was a comedian famous for his loud, unapologetic, and frequently offensive style. When he wasn't screaming misogynistic slurs about one of his ex-wives, or spreading homophobic myths about AIDS, he was proudly regaling his fans with tales of his debauched lifestyle—as he did on his 1988 album Have You Seen Me Lately.
On that album Kinison insisted of himself and people like him, "We've gotta drink and drive. They don't want to accept it ... Like we're all gonna ride the bus, 'give me a ****ing bus pass' ... We're not gonna ride the bus. We're gonna ****ing drink, and we're gonna drive, and we're gonna pull it off—because most of us do it every single ****ing night."
Four years later, Kinison was just 38 years old, newly married and reportedly in the process of sobering up. He was on his way to a sold out show in Nevada when a drunk 17-year-old driving a pickup truck struck Kinison's Pontiac Trans Am head on. Kinison died of his injuries on the scene.
So while we can stop mourning Jeff Bezos' tragic Amazon drowning, it's worth noting that stranger deaths have happened.
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