Thanks to the Internet and the ability that it offers the world to proliferate the worst images and videos imaginable, people are able to see some of the most heinous and strange things that have ever been created – or are they? There’s a whole world of secret footage and lost film that’s never been released to the public and likely never will be, either because it’s too traumatizing, or because there’s only one copy of the video and the owner is keeping it under wraps. Most tapes never released are spoken about in the same hushed tones as snuff films, but that’s not all that’s out there. Some of the lost videos that are included on this list are owned by the government, who has only released a portion of the footage, or they’re a part of a larger piece of work and the producers have decided to keep the juiciest pieces of tape on lockdown.
Most of the unseen footage that exists is made up of things that you wouldn’t want to see even if you could. Suicides, torture, rape, and murder aren’t exactly things that the regular viewer is clamoring to see on an everyday basis, so maybe it’s for the best if the world is never able to see the full week-long video that the Craigslist Killer filmed, or Armin Mewes’ attempt at cooking dinner. Judge for yourself while you read about these horrifying videos that exist somewhere, but that you’ll never see.
The Christine Chubbuck Suicide Video
Since the release of two films about Christine Chubbuck in 2016, gorehounds across the Internet have been trying to find footage of her 1974 on-air suicide. It was believed that the original footage of Chubbuck’s death had been destroyed, but in 2016, Mollie Nelson, the widow of Chubbuck’s old station manager, confirmed that a cassette of the suicide existed and had been left to her by her deceased husband.
Chubbuck’s suicide played out like a real-life version of Videodrome, with Chubbuck speaking into camera following a news report and saying: “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts and in living color, you are going to see another first – an attempted suicide.”
Then she pulls out a .38 caliber hand gun and shoots herself in the head.
Putting to rest the argument of whether snuff films exist or not is Daisy’s Destruction, a video filmed by pedophile named Peter Scully. The video documents the torture of a baby girl by a masked and naked woman. In a series of videos, the baby is tied upside down by its feet, whipped, and sexually assaulted.
Some heavily censored clips of the video were aired on a 20/20 special about the tapes, and while you could probably find a copy of the film online, you would be arrested if you bought it – and if you’re curious about seeing it, you should probably just turn yourself in right now.
The Armin Meiwes Tapes
You probably know Armin Mewes by his nickname of “The Rotenburg Cannibal.” In 2000, he posted an ad on a website called The Cannibal Cafe for a willing volunteer who would allow Mewes to kill and eat him. On March 9, 2001, Mewes and his victim, Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes, an engineer from Berlin, made a videotape where Mewes cuts off Brandes’s penis and the two men try to eat it. Finding the penis too chewy, Mewes took a break and read a Star Trek book while Brandes slowly bled to death in the bathtub.
According to officials who have seen the tape, after Brandes finally died, Mewes hung the corpse on a meat hook and ripped out chunks of meat from the body.
The Grizzly Man Tapes
Timothy Treadwell (otherwise known as the Grizzly Man) and his girlfriend were mauled and eaten by a grizzly bear in 2003 while filming footage meant to raise public awareness of the problems faced by bears in North America. Some of Treadwell’s footage was used in the Werner Herzog documentary Grizzly Man that used footage and audio from Treadwell’s tapes to form the story of his final days.
The full tapes are likely locked in a safe and will never be seen by anyone outside of Herzog and the film’s producers.
Colin Scott's Yellowstone Death Recording
In 2016, Colin Scott and his sister Sable were hiking in Yellowstone National Park, when Colin decided to test the waters in one of the park’s hot springs when he slipped and fell into the pool of boiling, acidic water. Rescue workers had to wait for a day to recover Colin’s body due to a lightening storm in the area, and by the time they got to the pool, there was nothing left to recover.
According to park spokeswoman Charissa Reid, the rescue efforts were halted “due to the extreme nature and futility of it all.”
“In very short order, there was a significant amount of dissolving,” said Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress.
Sable taped her brother with her cell phone as he tested the water and then fell inside; the video apparently also shows Sable’s failed attempts to save her brother. Park officials do not intend to release the video or give a detailed description of its contents.
The Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo Tapes
In 1991, in Ontario, Canada, Karla Homolka and her husband Paul Bernardo kidnapped 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy, kept her as a sex slave, and then two weeks later, murdered her. A year later they followed that up by abducting 15-year-old Kristen French and doing the same thing with her.
After Bernardo and Homolka were arrested, but prior to their videos being released, Homolka worked out a plea deal and only received a 12-year sentence for manslaughter despite filming herself and Bernardo raping French at knifepoint and assaulting Mahaffy. Bernardo is also seen urinating on French and attempting to defecate on her.
Sandy Hook Surveillance Video
While there is some surveillance footage from the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that’s been released by Connecticut’s state Department of Emergency Services, it’s very heavily redacted. The DoES dropped on-scene video footage, photographs, and previously sealed police reports, but rather than include all of the footage, they replaced quite a bit of footage wth a blue “CONTENT REDACTED” warning.
Obviously no one wants to see footage of children being slaughtered by a crazed gunman, but the heavy redaction of the video has probably led to the vast amount of conspiracy theories that surround the shooting.
The Navy Yard Shooting Video
In September 2013, Aaron Alexis slipped into the Washington Navy Yard in Washington DC and shot 15 people, fatally killing 12 people and injuring three others. While there is video available of Alexis entering the premises with a shot gun and making his way through the hallway of Building 197 towards his victims, the full video of Alexis’s shooting has never been released, but the FBI did put out a detailed breakdown of the events of the day.
The Final Moments of the Winnenden School Shooting
In 2009, 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer shot up the Winnenden secondary school in Winnenden, Baden-Württemberg, in southwestern Germany before making his way to a car dealership where he would engage in a final shootout. Over the course of his day, Kretschmer would claim 16 lives including his own.
Home video footage of Kretschmer’s final moments at the car dealership (where he reloads his weapon and shoots himself in the head) allegedly exists, but has never been shown to the public.
The 2010 Panama City School Board Shootings
At a school board meeting in Panama City, Florida, Clay Allen Duke, a disgruntled town member, stormed into the meeting and fired shots at six members of the board, missing every single one of them. Duke was then shot several times by Head of Safety and Security Mike Jones, a retired police officer, before shooting himself in the head.
While the meeting was filmed in full, only pieces of the video have been released on World’s Wildest Police Videos, and the final moments have never been aired.
The Columbine Basement Tapes
One of the largest pieces of the Columbine shooting mythos is the existence of the “basement tapes,” a series of home movies filmed by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold where the teenage killers call out the students whom they’ll soon be attempting to murder. Depending on your source, the basement tapes have either been destroyed, or they’ve been locked in an FBI bunker deep beneath the earth.
If the tapes had been destroyed, then there shouldn’t be any footage available for audiences to see, but not only does such footage exist, there’s also a transcript of the videos that details Harris and Klebold’s antics down to the minute.
The Guantanamo Bay Force-Feeding Videos
Some of the worst crimes that have ever been committed on video have been perpetrated by the American government. In 2014, a US federal judge ordered the US government to release public versions of 28 videos showing a Syrian detainee, Abu Wa’el Dhiab, forcibly removed from his cell and fed through a tube inserted through his nose into his stomach.
This is a good news/bad news scenario: it’s astounding that US citizens are finally going to get a glimpse into the horrors that are committed by the government in secret locations, but the fact that the government was only compelled to release “public versions” of the video means that viewers still won’t be getting the entire story.
Until the full videos do see the light of day, Yasiin Bey (the artist known as Mos Def) has filmed a very hard to watch recreation.
Brady Oestrike's DVR
Brady Oestrike (otherwise known as the Craigslist Killer) didn’t just kill three people that he met on Craigslist under the guise of meeting them for sex – he also kept one woman, the pregnant 18-year-old Brooke Slocum, in a dog kennel for over five days where he raped and tortured her before she died. Oestrike also filmed the entire thing, and the footage dumped out onto his DVR. After the video files were recovered, police say that Oestrike forced Slocum to give a statement saying that they were only role-playing so that she could have a “true abduction, kidnapping and ransom type of experience.”
The footage that has been publicly released from Oestrike’s home videos shows little more than empty rooms – but even without the rape and torture, they’re chilling visuals.
Leonard Lake and Charles Ng were two sick creeps who built themselves a rape and torture cabin where they would shackle women to a bed and force them to have sex, then perform menial tasks until they were finished with them. Afterwards, the women would be murdered and their bodies disposed of. Lake and Ng referred to this as “Operation Miranda,” and the women they kidnapped as “M Ladies.”
Lake filmed a manifesto as well as a series of home movies with some of the women who would end up being murdered, and while that footage exists, the actual rapes and murders have never been seen. One prevailing theory is that the footage was sold to snuff film purveyors overseas, or through black market truck stop magazines.
The Rurik Jutting iPhone Videos
In the 2016 court case of Rurik Jutting, a former British banker who murdered two Indonesian women while in Hong Kong in 2014, cell phone videos that he filmed of the women were shown to the jury. All in all, there were 43 videos from Jutting’s phone that made up three hours of the most frightening snuff film of all time.
The videos were filmed during a three-day period of torture before Jutting killed both women. None of these videos have been released to the public, and with any luck, they’ll never be shown to anyone.