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TV's Most Shocking (and Disturbing) Deaths


There is nothing more satisfying than that one moment on your favorite show when your jaw drops and your heart seems to stop beating for a split second. You know what I mean -- that "oh my god" moment that makes us proud to be a fan of that particular television show....

Teri Bauer ('24')

Leslie Hope
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Over the years, 24 has been the king of shocking moments and the death of Jack Bauer's wife Teri (courtesy of CTU agent Nina Meyers) made fans realize that not a single soul is safe on this series. Here's a little tidbit: TPTB had not planned to kill this character, but after shooting the original scene, they realized that the fans needed to know how far the show would go in order to prove that nobody was indispensable.

Other shocking deaths include: David Palmer, Bill Buchanan, Michelle Dessler, Ryan Chappelle, Nina Meyers and countless others.

Shane Vendrell ('The Shield')

Walton Goggins
Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
Like 24, The Shield raised the bar when it came to that all-important shock factor. Several deaths over the course of the series had our jaws on the floor, but perhaps the biggest of them all took place in the series finale when Shane murdered his pregnant wife, young son and then took his own life.

Other shocking deaths include: Terry Crowley and Detective Curtis 'Lemonhead' Lemansky.

Ana-Lucia & Libby ('Lost')

Cynthia Watros
© ABC/Bob D'Amico
I remember when Lost was in its infancy, the producers stated that this series would have a high number of casualties. Although death on this show isn't completely unexpected, the way these characters meet their maker only reminds us of the genius minds behind this fantastic show. Desperate to get his son back, Michael was forced to murder Ana-Lucia and Libby because they happened to be in the way of getting to Ben.

Other shocking deaths include: Boone, Shannon, Eko, John Locke, and many others -- no, not those "Others."

Buffy Summers ('Buffy the Vampire Slayer')

Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz
Photo: © 20th Century Fox
When you're dealing with vampires, demons and the one girl in all the world known as the slayer, death was the name of the game in Sunnydale. However, killing the most important character on the show and even burying her (complete with a gravestone) seemed unconscionable. Fortunately, Willow was able to "spell" her back from the grave, but poor Buffy certainly wasn't happy to leave that beautiful afterlife behind.

Other shocking deaths include: Tara, Joyce, Spike and Angel.

Denny Duquette ('Grey's Anatomy')

Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Photo Credit: Randy Holmes © American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
It didn't take long for fans to fall madly in love with Denny Duquette, but it took Izzie just a little longer to admit her feelings for this heart patient. Imagine our surprise when Denny passed away soon after Izzie put her career on the line by practically stealing a heart for her fiance.

Lucy Knight ('ER')

Kellie Martin
Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images
Many of you ER fans are probably wondering why in the world I would choose Lucy for this list, right? Poor Lucy was the victim of a stabbing by a mental patient, but this was also one of the first shocking deaths of a main character over the course of the show's 15-year period.

Other shocking deaths include: Pratt, Romano, Gallant and many, many more.

Dr. Sara Tancredi ('Prison Break')

Sarah Wayne Callies
©Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeremy Cowart
After being tortured on a couple occasions, Michael's lady love was used to do Gretchen's bidding. However, when the plan didn't turn out as expected, evil Gretchen cut off Sara's head and sent it to Lincoln in a box. After almost an entire season thinking she was dead, thankfully Sara turned up alive and not quite so well after spending months enduring Gretchen's wrath.

Other shocking deaths include: Abruzzi, Whistler, Tweener, Haywire and Veronica.

Warrick Brown ('CSI')

Gary Dourdan
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
As soon as we learned that actor Gary Dourdan was leaving CSI, many wondered how TPTB would write off his character. Imagine our surprise when Warrick was shot to death -- by one of his colleagues. Warrick's death set the stage for some major changes on this successful series, including the exit of Gil Grissom.

Toni Marchette McKay ('Beverly Hills 90210')

Rebecca Gayheart
Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images
After the much-hyped upcoming exit of series star Luke Perry and rumors of a major death happening around the same time the actor was leaving the show, many fans believed Dylan McKay was not long for this world. Imagine our surprise when his new bride Toni became the victim of a hit on Dylan -- a hit put out by her own father! Perry did indeed exit the show after that episode, only to return several years later.

Other shocking deaths include: Scott Scanlon, Jack McKay (faked his death), Dr. Martin and Kelly's rapist (the shocking part was that she killed him).

Most Shocking Non-Death: Tony Soprano ('The Sopranos')

James Gandolfini
Photo: Barry Wetcher/HBO
When we learned that The Sopranos was coming to an end, I think many fans believed that Tony would finally get what was coming to him. As the final moments unfolded, a scene was set that cried violence. As it turned out, the Soprano family appeared to live happily ever after (which is shocking to say the least). The biggest surprise was that there was no big surprise.

Other shocking deaths include: Ralphie, Christopher, Bobbie and countless others -- and that is why we loved this show so very much.
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