Sep 16, 2022

11 People Discuss Folks Who Started Out Doing Good Things and Ended Up as Villains

Life can be funny, especially for people who are in the public eye.

They can start out doing great things and being looked upon fondly and then they change paths and go down a dark road…or maybe they were not great people all along but the public just had no idea about it.

Whatever the case, 11 people shared their feelings about well-known people who started out doing good things and ended up as villains in the public eye.

1. Jim Jones

“Jim Jones.

He originally stood up for civil rights when it was really unpopular. [He] was hospitalized and accidentally placed in the Black ward. When the doctors found out, they tried to move him, but he refused.

Then he became a cult leader and used his power and influence to end the lives of [almost] a thousand people.”

2. Fred Phelps

“Fred Phelps of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas started out as an attorney defending civil rights.”

 

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3. Henry Heimlich

“Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich maneuver, made up a bunch of untested uses for it (treating…drowning victims)…that he publicly talked up.

Later, he funded an experiment that involved injecting people with malaria to see if it would treat other conditions.”

 

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4. Benedict Arnold

“Almost d**d during the Revolutionary War, if I recall correctly, and if he had, he would have been remembered as a huge hero and a martyr.

Instead, he lived and changed sides, and is remembered only for his being a traitor.”

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5. Joe Paterno

“I immigrated to the US to go to college, and college football was a key part of my integration into American college culture and by extension into a fascinating part of American culture that doesn’t really exist in most other parts of the world.

JoePa was the shining beacon of what it meant to be a college coach when I was getting inducted into college football. And then…wow.”

6. Bill Cosby

“Bill Cosby was once nominated for a Noble Peace Prize.

Nelson Mandela used to watch The Cosby Show with his white jailers. It was a Black show, but white people related. It really did a lot for race relations, particularly in the US, but around the world.”

 

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7. Richard Nixon

“Won the 1972 election by a landslide, with only Massachusetts and DC voting for McGovern, on the back of a strong economy.

Two years later, resigns in disgrace over Watergate, in the midst of stagflation, and his reputation has never been rehabilitated.”

 

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8. Rudy Giuliani

“Dude was ‘America’s mayor’ just 20 years ago. A prosecutor who took down the mob then shepherded NY through 9/11.

Now, he’s just thought of as the increasingly unhinged Trump lackey that sweat hair dye in front of a landscaping company that should’ve been a hotel.”

 

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9. J.K. Rowling

“Wrote Harry Potter, and it was great and also an inspiration to many kids.

Now she’s fighting against LGBTQ rights.

Wasn’t including people who are different and not necessarily born into your world, like…the whole point of at least two of her books?”

 

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10. Kevin Spacey

“He was so f**king good in House of Cards.

Amazing actor. Sh**ty person.

Still pi**es me off.”

11. Chris Benoit

“This was terrible to see.

I was a huge pro wrestling fan back in the day. To my knowledge, Benoit was actually a great person until he suddenly wasn’t. That ‘suddenly wasn’t,’ though, carried a hell of a consequence. It’s actually kind of amazing how people with severe CTE act very similarly.

When your job is basically to pound your brain in every night, who knows what will happen? Just look at all the NFL guys who have similar issues, i.e. Steve McNair. I feel bad for everyone involved, which includes Benoit himself.

I don’t think he even had the ability to reason anymore. Steroids didn’t help, but I think they only expedited things.”

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