A sad and premature goodbye to Josh Rahn

I’ve bumped this to the top so I could add the memorial details.

It is with a very heavy heart that I read tonight (update here) that Josh Rahn, who is standing next to me in the first photo below, was murdered today. That photo was taken three years ago in my daughter’s bedroom right after Howie injected blue ink into both of our eyes. Like one twin being the older brother because of a two minute difference, Josh was actually first because he was braver than I was and volunteered to be the alpha tester, and, as you can see in the photos that were taken at a later date, in time he also went much further than I have (so far). Of course there was much, much more to Josh than his body modification adventures, but in this realm that I knew him best he was very much a parallel traveler and friend that I could relate to, and even though he was cut down far too early, at age twenty one he had already gone place and explored experiences that most people never reach in a lifetime.

Update: Not that it makes a bit of difference to anyone’s feeling of loss, but this was not a “self-defense” killing as some have suggested — Josh was outnumbered and just trying to get away, and was fatally stabbed in the back. Making the event even more tragic, he leaves behind his best friend Tanky who was also the mother of their young son, Ogden. Memorial services will be held at 4 PM on April 22nd (Thursday) at Burkey and Driscoll Funeral Home.

Howie, Pauly Unstoppable, Josh Rahn, Me

Josh’s blue eyes in their latter stages


  1. piercerdan wrote:

    thats awful

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 1:13 am | Permalink
  2. piercednpainted wrote:

    that is so sad im sorry

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 6:57 am | Permalink
  3. sarah wrote:

    unless i am confused (very possible), he was acutally in someone else’s home, attacking them and attempting to rob them.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink
  4. sarah wrote:

    er, not speaking ill, just saying it sounds like it was self defense.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink
  5. Shannon wrote:

    Yes, it looks like he was killed in some scheme to rob a drug dealer… definitely a problematic idea. It does sound like his own mistakes made this happen — which in some ways makes it even sadder and more unfortunate and preventable.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 8:54 am | Permalink
  6. alicegory wrote:

    first of all, allow me to extend my condolences for the loss of a friend. Secondly, this relates to an idea my wife and I were discussing lately. One never knows what makes some people turn to crime or hurt other people, and very often it seems to be some internal pain that we cannot fathom. The life we lead, everyone of us, is so difficult, and filled with disappointments. Beyond all that, it will end in the mystery of death. I’m not saying that life isn’t beautiful, but it’s easy to see (at least to me) how people can become discouraged, and devalue both their own life and the lives of others. These people need our help and support, not condemnation. Sorry if I sound pretentious.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink
  7. Cid wrote:

    Very sad and unfortunate indeed.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Permalink
  8. Zade wrote:

    Josh was my good buddy since sixth grade i broke down just from hearing this today… i dont beleve that he was robbing them i think this is a cover up of them brutalizing my friend becuase i dosent take 2 men to over power someone when using a bat and a knife and stabbing someone in the back isnt self defence… RIP Josh Always been in my heart man

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink
  9. CutThroat wrote:

    Oh no!



    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink
  10. CutThroat wrote:

    Josh was a bold and fun loving mofo.
    The way he approached the few things I saw him deal with were inspiring.

    This is shaking me pretty hard. Hitting a little too close to home.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink
  11. I’ll get no fans saying this I’m sure, and I truly am sorry for those who knew him losing a friend that I am sure, based on the comments, was an otherwise wonderful person beyond the conditions of his death; but shouldn’t you change your post’s description regarding “murdered” and “in his home”? Based on your links he was not an innocent victim, and was in fact in someone else’s home, and that language is misleading and slightly inflammatory.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Permalink
  12. Shannon wrote:

    Zade, that wouldn’t surprise me at all, it seemed wrong to me…

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Permalink
  13. Steph wrote:

    Regardless of the circumstance(s) behind his death, its still a terrible loss to those who knew and loved him. My condolences Shannon, its such a bitter pill to swallow.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 9:28 am | Permalink
  14. jnanarishi wrote:

    The newspapers have published what the MURDERERS said happened. This was ruled a homicide by the coroner, but charges have not been filed because it is still under investigation, despite the fact that one individual confessed to stabbing him. Hummmm, confession, still investigating, I think your readers should suspend judgement until the truth really comes out.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Permalink
  15. Shannon wrote:

    For sure jnanarishi, I hope people keep that in mind. Unfortunately the full truth will probably never come out.

    It’s a sad loss either way.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Permalink
  16. nikk wrote:

    At least the guy who stabbed him is in custody, hopefully they can keep him there.

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 1:15 am | Permalink
  17. Zade wrote:

    Unfortunately my fucked up town of Hamburg does not have the murderer behind bars even though he should be… i know josh for years he was at my house every day from middle school through high school he was a brother to me and im sick because i feel i failed him as a friend for not being around as much recently, i honestly believe Chad miller and the other 2 ass holes set this up and josh had no idea what was going to happen. Who is to say these weapons weren’t in the house and josh didn’t use them to defend himself i mean with 2.5 pounds of weed there should be some kind of weapon and now it a big cover everyone’s ass game. Sorry but if you stab, Shoot, Hit, or do anything to someone while there back is turned it isn’t self defense they where leaving…

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 3:16 am | Permalink
  18. Janelle wrote:

    He left behind Tanky, Ogden, and his best friend Jason as well. Jason is really a wreck. He’s known Josh pretty much his whole life, and now he’s just gone. Josh did something stupid, yes, but I don’t think he deserved to die. It’s really a sad situation. :(

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 6:03 am | Permalink
  19. peteD3 wrote:

    I am very sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences to you and those who knew him.


    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink
  20. peteD3 wrote:

    Please dont take it upon yourself. when my friends have died i also felt the same way. but the the truth is they are their own people.

    i did not know your friend, but i doubt he would want you to blame yourself.

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
  21. brit wrote:

    I just found out today.. its really sad.. he didn’t deserve to die. I met him at shock one night and he was really nice. Tell Tanky I said I’m so sorry she has to be going threw this.

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
  22. I’m sorry that I offended anyone with my comment. It’s easier to be pass judgment about people you don’t know and when facts are fuzzy. It was inappropriate and insensitive for me to make any comment either way. I never knew him and have no right to say anything beyond “I’m very sorry for your loss”, which I truly am.

    Monday, April 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
  23. Peter wrote:

    Come on, Shannon. I have always considered you a very intelligent man. He was trying to get away and was outnumbered while in someone elses home trying to rob them? It is a tragic situation, but don’t make this kid out to be the victem.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 6:21 am | Permalink
  24. Elee jones wrote:

    My feelings.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
  25. Hannah Cherry wrote:

    Josh taught me how to breathe fire…weather he was killed because of the bad choices he made or not its still sad seeing someone you were once close with die. who knows what really happened, i just feel so shitty now because we have been on bad terms for some time…it seems so dumb now. anyways, I’ll miss you josh.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 8:13 am | Permalink
  26. SheriD wrote:

    It really is unfortunate, and I can completely empathize losing someone so abruptly and to such strange, uncharacteristic circumstances (such as the death of Andrew Niland last year following his disappearance). All my love and thoughts are with his family and friends. He’s resting well.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  27. skip wrote:

    I used to talk to Josh a lot in BME. He was a very nice guy tho i suspect a little dangerous. he loved getting into fights, he started stealing as a serious way of making money about 3-4 years ago, i suspect as much for the feeling of adventure as anything else. I remember commenting to him that getting a blue eye was probably not a good idea for someone who was starting on a career in crime.
    Its probably absurd to say he was set up and its certainly early to refer to the guy or guys who killed him as murderers, he knew the risks he was running.But im sad hes gone.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink
  28. MKUltra wrote:

    Reap what you sow. Anyone who breaks into my house is getting shot, straight up. No sympathy.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink
  29. Shannon wrote:

    Mkultra, going with the assumption that this is what happened, it’s completely beside the point. Just because someone made a mistake, be it crime or be it a car accident or be it lifestyle-related disease like cancer or AIDS, it doesn’t mean that it’s not sad and it doesn’t mean they’re not missed. I’m sure we all have friends who’ve made mistakes, and really, I’m sure we’ve all made them ourselves from time to time. It doesn’t mean that our sense of “he deserved to die” draconian justice suddenly makes the mourning end.

    Friday, April 23, 2010 at 6:00 am | Permalink
  30. Shannon wrote:

    BTW, I would be content to shoot a home intruder as well, but I would do so with a sense of great sadness, not a sense of “justice, fuck yeah!”

    A series of bad judgments leading to someone’s death is always wrong, and should always be seen as a terrible outcome, even if it was the “right” thing to do. Very terrible and very sad.

    Friday, April 23, 2010 at 6:03 am | Permalink
  31. Skip wrote:

    I met Josh in NYC once.. hard to believe this has happened… Seemed like a very nice guy in our brief meeting

    Friday, April 23, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink
  32. Skip wrote:

    I met Josh in NYC once.. a really nice guy in that brief meeting..

    Friday, April 23, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink
  33. skip wrote:

    just to clarify, i wrote number 27, but i did not write numbers 31 and 32. there must be two of us

    Friday, April 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink
  34. rest in peace kidda.

    Friday, April 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  35. Zade wrote:

    I also agree if someone was in my home i would have to DEFEND myself and family BUT shooting them in the back or in this case stabbing them in the back while they try to flee isn’t self defense. The guys that killed him weren’t innocent either they had a lot of drugs in that house and josh was doing all of this to help someone. Was a bad decision on his part i agree and the news articles make him to be something he wasn’t. I heard what the D.A said and it doesn’t make sense still but it makes more sense then the articles that have been posted. Either way no one will 100% know what happen and arguing over it wouldn’t be what josh would have wanted.

    Friday, April 23, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Permalink
  36. stephanie wrote:

    is there a way i can find the video of josh on the discovery channel and history channel or jus of him getting his eyes tattooed. on him.

    Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink
  37. Zade wrote:

    Stephanie: You tube has some of it i know he is on there getting his eyes done and there is a Face-book Rest In Peace Josh Rahn that has a lot of the things on it that he has done. I am going to be doing machining work as well in order to raise money for Ogden. I made most of joshes gauges and jewelry so i am going to be taking in ideas if anyone wants anything made. All money made from it will go directly to Ogden’s trust fund. I can make more then just jewelry so if you have an idea let me know and i can tell you what i can do.

    Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink
  38. mucus marcus wrote:

    ‘Miller, who was friends with the residents, was texting information to Rahn while he visited the residence Thursday night.’
    So, the police have seen these texts?

    And this right here, is bad journalism:
    ‘When the residents failed to leave the residence by Friday morning, Rahn decided to rob them anyway.’
    ‘decided to rob them anyway’? c’mon how ’bout an ‘allegedly’?

    fuck drugs.

    i’m sorry for this loss.

    Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Permalink
  39. starbadger wrote:

    rejoice – he did not die at 70 in an ICU – as will all-too-many-boomers who never lifted a candybar

    Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 6:46 am | Permalink
  40. jnanarishi wrote:

    Ok, here is what the police released. Josh did go into the house to “take money.” There is some speculation as to whether it was to “steal” or “get something he felt was owed to him or a friend.” Police – he entered the house with pepper spray and a stun gun. Two non-lethal methods of force. He waited for them (the drug dealers) to leave in order to avoid violence. When they didn’t, he entered believing they were asleep (agian to avoid violence). They were not asleep. A fight ensued. The person who stabbed him attacked with a baseball bat and a knife.

    Josh was very wrong to even attempt such an act. Poor judgement through and through. He was not violent and the person who “referenced” his propensity for fighting, I’m not sure who you knew, but it wasn’t Josh. He did engage in “toe to toe” but that is a mutually agreed upon fight. And, for his “supporting himself with crime” Again, I’m not sure what you are referencing, but given that he was struggling financially, looking for “real jobs” constantly and had worked in sales for a while, if he did earn money by crime, it was obviously not his first choice. Also, he was never committed of any such crime, so in America innocent until proven guilty still stands last time I heard.

    I ask you all this…Is there a difference between “who a person is” and “the choices that they make (behavior)?” I believe so. With that said, Josh made some bad choices. That doesn’t make him a bad person or erase the Indelible mark he left on so many peoples lives.

    Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Permalink
  41. Tim Luke wrote:

    Sorry to hear of your friends lost. Hope you all will remember him dearly, for all of his wrongs and rights.

    Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 7:04 am | Permalink
  42. donna wrote:

    sorry i am late in posting, i just found this site. i absolutely agree with zade. rip josh. i love and miss you.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. melanom's wildcat.de blog on Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 7:45 am

    […] ist. Was soll ich sagen ? Das Leben schreibt seine Geschichten auf billigem Papier….R.I.P.http://www.zentastic.com/blog/2010/04/16/a-sad-and-premature-goodbye-to-josh-rahn/ (Eintrag in Shannons Blog)http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=213482 (Artikel über den […]

  2. […] link you to Shannon’s blog to read more of his thoughts on Josh as I had never met him. He has appeared on Modblog before when Shannon first had his eyes tattooed […]

  3. […] post from Shannon, the guy who took the original pics of Josh’s eye above: A sad and premature goodbye to Josh Rahn. Josh’s memorial was a week later. He was only 21, with a baby and a fiance! Ugh. I […]

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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