5 Tragic Incidents That Took Place on Friday the 13th….Coincidence or Curse? – Top5s
Bizarre & Interesting

5 Tragic Incidents That Took Place on Friday the 13th….Coincidence or Curse?

13 Oct 2017

Friday the 13th is a day that many people believe to be unlucky or even cursed. Whether that’s the case or everything weird surrounding it is a pure coincidence is debatable, but one thing can’t be denied; there’s plenty of global and personal tragedies that have occurred on exactly that day.

Here we look at five tragic incidents that happened on Friday the 13th!

5Brutal Murder In New York

One of the most notorious murders recorded in New York’s history happened on Friday, March 13th, 1964, when a bar manager named Kitty Genovese was raped and stabbed by a complete stranger.

Winston Moseley was blamed for the attack, which lasted for more than thirty minutes and was reportedly witnessed by over 38 people….although inexplicably none of them called the police.

This case has been studied by psychologists, and was used as an example of the “bystander effect,” also known as “Kitty Genovese syndrome.” The bystander effect occurs when people decide not to act, due to their assumptions that somebody else will do something about the problem. This most often happens when there are many other people around the scene.

Further investigation though revealed that the number of witnesses thought to have observed the attack was grossly exaggerated, along with other false information about the case.

As it turns out, most people only saw snippets of the attack and underestimated the severity of the situation. There were also some people who did take action, but it was too late.


On Friday 13th of October 1972, the “Uruguayan Old Christians Club rugby” team were travelling on a plane to a match in Chile, but it quickly ended in disaster, due to a navigational error. Their plane was flying off-course and ended up crashing in an Andean, snow-capped mountain peak.

Only 27 of the 45 passengers survived the crash, and these were stranded in the freezing weather without suitable clothing and only a small amount of food. The situation got so desperate that they had no alternative but to eat parts from the bodies of their dead friends. An avalanche killed a further eight of the team and slowly the rest of them were succumbing to illness.

Incredibly two of the survivors attempted to hike out of the terrain, searching for help and somehow made it through.. and by the end of December rescue teams were sent in, and after spending 72 days in the freezing wilderness, 16 survivors were successfully rescued.

3Tupac Shakur

Tupac the American rapper and actor is one of the best selling music artists of all time, but his life was cut short at the age of just 25 when he was shot in a drive-by shooting.

On the night of September 7th, 1996, Shakur was travelling with his entourage to Club 662 after attending the Bruce Seldon vs Mike Tyson boxing match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Shakur was travelling in Death Row Records owners Suge Knight’s black BMW sedan. After stopping at a red light at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane; Shakur, who was standing up through the sunroof of the car, exchanged words with two women in the car to their left side. On their right side a white, late-model Cadillac pulled up, rolled down the window, and rapidly fired gunshots at Shakur.

He was hit four times, twice in the chest, once in the arm, and once in the thigh. One of the bullets went into Shakur’s right lung. Shakur was taken to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, and although he was seriously injured, he was expected to recover.

At the hospital, Shakur was sedated and put on life-support machines. Then unexpectedly he took a turn for the worse and on the afternoon of Friday, September 13th, 1996 he was pronounced dead.

2Catalina Affair

On Friday 13th June 1952 at the height of the Cold War, an unarmed Swedish Air Force Tp 79 military plane was shot down over international waters in the Baltic Sea.

The Swedish government stated that the aircraft was on a training flight and the eight people on board had been unnecessarily killed.

Three days after the initial incident, two Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina flying boats, known in Swedish service as Tp 47’s, were searching for the wreck when one of them was also shot down by the Soviets; on this occasion, the crew of five ditched and were rescued.

The Soviet Union declared that it was in no way involved in the shooting. However, this was later proven to be false after a life raft with embedded shrapnel was discovered near the wreckage site.

However, it wasn’t until 40 years later that both sides admitted they weren’t telling the truth. It turned out that the Swedish Tp 79 was in fact, a spy plane. After the admission, the Soviet Union also came clean and admitted to shooting the plane down.
This historic event has come to be known as the “Catalina Affair”.

On June 10, 2003, the remains of the downed Tp 79 were located by using sonar, and in 2004 after 52 years, the remains of the plane that had lain beneath the water since Friday 13th, 1952 were finally brought to the surface.

1Last Jump

Sam Patch was always pushing the limits and first came to prominence in October 1829 when he jumped off a raised platform into the Niagara River near the base of Niagra Falls and survived. He earned the nickname “The Yankee Leaper” and was America’s first daredevil.

In his early life Sam worked at a mill and would get a huge rush from jumping off the mill dams; he became so renowned for this stunt that people were willing to pay to watch him perform it.

As a daredevil, he took many risks, but perhaps his biggest was jumping from the 94 foot high falls into New York’s Genesee River, he first performed this stunt on November 6th, 1849 in front of a huge crowd and successfully completed the jump.

However the stunt did not raise the money Sam was expecting, so he decided to perform it again a week later, this time he increased the height to 125 feet.
As the spectators watched on excitedly, they were puzzled that this jump appeared different to the one a week earlier and Sam seemed to be descending in an unusual position; a loud impact was heard as Sam hit the water and he never resurfaced….His frozen body was found several months later.

Was Sam’s mistake making his fateful jump on Friday 13th?


Submitted by Sherman Cleveland