Earlier this week on national TV, I heard a man unequivocally state “There has never been a documented case of anyone in the US giving poisoned candy to children on Halloween.”
How about Ronald Clark O’Bryan?
Isn’t Pasadena, Texas part of the USA?
Forty years ago this evening, the Pasadena father-of-two laced candy with cyanide and handed it to five children including his own 5-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.
The optician had taken out a life insurance policy on the children; prosecutors later argued he was trying to kill them simply to claim the $40,000 payout.
Only his son, Timothy, ate the candy, hidden in old style Pixy Stix which O'Bryan had opened and then re-sealed with staples. Timothy was killed in a crime that shocked and stunned the nation, changing Halloween forever. One other child was found holding the candy while he slept. He had been unable to remove the staples.
In his subsequent trial and ultimate death sentence, O'Bryan became known as the Candy Man. He was executed in 1984 after a judge refused his pleas for a final stay of execution.