Break the Chain A Criminal Loses His Head

Created 3/31/2003 (3/31/2003) Stories of foolish criminals paying the consequences of their actions have been popular for generations. This story serves as a gruesome reminder that crime does not pay. But, is it real or just an urban legend illustrated with a bit of photographic trickery?

Warning: Graphic images follow

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Why you shouldn't run from the cops.

Subject: Fw: running from the Atlanta PD

Not for kids (or adults) or ones with weak stomachs

I KNOW HE WONT TRY THIS AGAIN!!!!! THAT'S FOR SURE!

This guy ran from the police, jumped off a building, and, well, you'll see.

How to get a head in business...
It's not worth losing your head over.

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Many people have expressed skepticism over this chain because of its similarities to several other "criminal gets what's coming to him" urban legends. After all, the photos almost look fake and there are frightfully few details given in the text. However, another version of this chain contains a more complete explanation:

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

A narcotics traffic stop on the Downtown Connector turned deadly Saturday afternoon when a man climbed over the interstate railing, fell about 35 feet and was decapitated on a wrought-iron fence, Atlanta police said.

Officers in a marked car stopped the man about 4:30 p.m., as he drove south on the interstate above Auburn Avenue. The man, who has not been identified, stopped his vehicle and tried to flee by climbing over the railing, Lt. Danny Agan said.

Police still are investigating whether the man jumped or fell off the raised interstate.

"This is a new one for me in 29 years," Agan said.

The decapitation shocked people who work in the neighborhood. Gary White, an income tax preparer, came out of his office when he heard the commotion. "It's surreal," White said.

Agan said narcotics officers had been trailing the man for much of the day.

Agan did not know if the officers who tried to arrest the man would be placed on administrative leave. "This is not something normally covered under the [standard operating procedure] of the department," he said.

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

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The text of the second version is taken from an article in the February 16, 2003 issue of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The event described took place on the afternoon of February 15. Unfortunately, since this letter has become popular, the paper has invoked its copyright and the article is no longer available on their web site for free.

The source of the photos in this chain letter is unknown, but we know they did not originate with the Journal-Constitution. Judging by composition and lighting, they were not taken by a professional photographer. Most likely, they were taken by a bystander who then decided to share the gruesome shots via e-mail. Nevertheless, emergency officials who were at the scene have confirmed that the photos are authentic. Break this chain.

What Do You Think?

Category: Picture Imperfect
References: Snopes.com

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