The Man Who Killed Halloween

The Man Who Killed Halloween

There have been many Halloween candy scares over the years, and sometimes, those scares become real. In Deer Park, TX, on December 31st, 1974, Ronald "Candyman" O'Bryan poisoned his son by way of Halloween candy.

Photo: USA Today

Photo: USA Today

According to USA Today, “The Houston Chronicle revisits the story of the father of two, who on the rainy Halloween of 1974 left his horrifying mark on the area when he added cyanide to Pixy Stix candy and gave them to five kids, including his 8-year-old son Timothy and 5-year-old daughter Elizabeth.

The Chronicle reports O'Bryan prodded Timothy to eat his before bed and the boy was vomiting within minutes. He didn't make it to the hospital alive. O'Bryan's story that the candy came from a house they trick-or-treated at in Pasadena didn't hold up, especially as it was revealed that O'Bryan had taken out fresh life-insurance polices on his kids, unbeknownst to his wife.

"I found an adding machine tape," Harold Nassif, a former detective on the case, told ABC13 last year. "It had all of his bills written out next to the numbers. It came to almost the exact amount of what he stood to collect."

A previous Chronicle article notes O'Bryan's pocket knife was found to have bits of plastic and powdered candy on it; Nassif says O'Bryan hid the sticks up the sleeves of his raincoat as they trick-or-treated.

O'Bryan was convicted of murder by a jury in less than an hour and was executed in 1984 by lethal injection after years of appeals, including a letter asking for a stay of execution with the underlined sentence, "I do not want to die!"“