25 Interesting Scandals That Changed The World

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1 Tucker State Prison Farm

Tucker State Prison Farm

During the Tucker State Prison Farm scandal, it was revealed that inmates were routinely beaten, tortured with needles under their fingernails, and had their genitals crushed with pliers and electrocuted. Up to 200 inmates may have been murdered and buried around the prison.

2. Vioxx was a drug produced by Merck & Co which resulted in the death of approximately 60,000 people. The company allegedly was aware of the side effects and did not withdraw the drug from the market until the FDA caught on. The company still exists to this day and the incident was called the Vioxx scandal.

3. In 2013, during the horsemeat scandal, meat pie from Iceland was tested and was found to contain no meat.

4. In June of 1994, Time magazine became the subject of a media scandal when commentators found that its staff had used photo manipulation to darken a photo of O.J Simpson on their cover story, “An American Tragedy.” It was speculated it was to make him appear more menacing.

5. During the 2006 Duke rape scandal, 88 professors at Duke put out a newspaper advertisement condemning the alleged rapists and Duke’s culture of white male privilege before the trial had begun. The accused players were found not guilty and the 88 professors never apologized.

6 Dan Evans

Dan Evans

In 1972, there was a minor political scandal in Washington State when an assistant to then Governor Dan Evans posed as a college student to follow around his opponent during the campaign and report information back to the Governor. This assistant was Ted Bundy, the serial killer.

7. A Chinese food scandal resulted in some pork glowing blue in the darkness. The meat was soon dubbed “avatar-meat.” The Health Department experts said that the pork was contaminated with phosphorescent bacteria and that it was still safe to consume after cooking.

8. The 2008 Chinese milk scandal caused mistrust in local suppliers. It is estimated that up to 80% to 90% of infant formula along with other food materials and components were being adulterated with melamine which was purchased in Australia and destined for China.

9. The 1970’s children’s book “Masquerade” held a real-life treasure hunt for an 18-carat golden rabbit that ended when somebody cheated to find it. The “winner” sought knowledge of the whereabouts of the golden hare from an ex-girlfriend of the author and illustrator of the book.

10. The Denver Police Department (DPD) caused the largest police scandal in US history in the 1960s. Nearly 50 members of DPD were part of a robbery racket, stealing from dozens of businesses they were assigned to protect. It was not discovered until a safe fell out of a police cruiser.

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11 Astrid Lindgren

Astrid Lindgren

In 1976, a scandal arose in Sweden when author Astrid Lindgren’s marginal tax rate had risen to 102%. This coined the term “Pomperipossa effect”, from a story she published in Expressen on 3 March 1976, entitled “Pomperipossa in Monismania”, attacking the government and its taxation policies. She nevertheless supported the Social Democratic Party responsible for the tax rate her whole life.

12. The “False positives” scandal were a series of murders in Columbia committed by members of the military, who lured mentally impaired civilians to remote parts of the country with offers of work, killed them and presented them to authorities as guerrillas killed in battle, in order to receive promotions and other bonuses.

13. Mark Whitacre was the corporate whistleblower who exposed the lysine price-fixing scandal in the 1990s. Wherever he traveled, the FBI arranged to have the same green lamp with a bugging device set up in every hotel room where he stayed and met with fellow executives. Whitacre noted that if there had been any female executives at these meetings, they probably would have spotted the same lamp, but none of the male executives ever seemed to notice.

14. There was a scandal in China in 2004 when a soy sauce manufacturer was discovered to be using human hair in the production of the sauce.

15. The LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) Scandal, which “dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets”, may have cost governments and investors $176 billion. 

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16 Black Sox

Black Sox

During the Black Sox Scandal, 8 members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of intentionally losing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for money from the Jewish mob. The scandal led to the appointment of the first Commissioner of baseball.

17. Franklin D. Roosevelt as Assistant Secretary of the Navy signed off on what would be known as the Newport sex scandal. In an attempt to out gays in the Navy, sailors chosen for the sting operation were instructed by their superiors to engage in sex with targeted gay Naval personnel.

18. During James Monroe’s presidency, there was a small scandal when 1,200 bottles of Burgundy and Champagne were charged to an account that Congress had earmarked for furniture.

19. The Duplessis Orphans were children who were victimized in a mid-20th century scandal. The Quebec government and Roman Catholic Church falsely certified over approximately 20,000 orphans as mentally ill and committed them to mental institutions.

20. In the 1960’s Salad Oil Scandal, an exporter said he was shipping tankers full of salad oil, but inspectors only sampled the oil on top. In fact, beneath the top layer, it was water. Upon being discovered, it caused a notable market disruption in the mid-’60s, almost claiming American Express.

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

21 Microsoft


In the Microsoft Tunisia Scandal, MS bribed the Government of Tunisia in return for buying 12,000 licensed Microsoft software and turned around a government that was adopting open source practices for over 5 years.

22. In 1889, the Cleveland Street scandal exposed that a homosexual male brothel in London was frequented by prominent members of the Victorian aristocracy, like Lord Arthur Somerset, equerry to the Prince of Wales. Allegations were also made against Prince Albert Victor, 2nd-in-line to the throne.

23. The Susurluk scandal exposed the close relationship between the Turkish government, the armed forces, and organized crime. The scandal surfaced with a car-truck collision in 1996, near Susurluk. The victims included the deputy chief of the Istanbul Police Department, a Member of Parliament, and Abdullah Çatlı, the leader of the Grey Wolves (who was a contract killer on Interpol’s red list). The scandal triggered a chain of events which resulted in a political and social turmoil in all of Turkey.

24. In 1981, 1,000 people died in an epidemic that spread across Spain, which was blamed on poisoned olive oil. However, the likely culprit was toxic pesticides used on tomatoes instead.

25. The 1925 Chicago Cardinals–Milwaukee Badgers scandal was a scandal where the Cardinals hired high school players to play against the Badgers and help the Badgers win the NFL championship for the season.

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