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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Remembering the Man Who Killed Halloween

It’s that time of the year again: Halloween Season. The day of trick or treating. That time to dress up in elaborate costumes and eat an exciting assortment of candy with family and friends. The anniversary of the “man who killed halloween”, also nicknamed “The Candy Man”. 

On Halloween night of 1974, Ronald Clark O’Bryan decided to take his eight-year-old son Timothy and his friends trick or treating in the neighborhood of Pasadena, Texas despite previous years with no interest in Halloween whatsoever. At one house, the children went up to the door and knocked, but no one responded. O’Bryan then came to the children and held up five giant Pixy Stix. He claimed that the neighbors were handing out expensive candy. The family then proceeded to continue trick or treating around their neighborhood. 

Before bed, O’Bryan told his son to choose one candy to eat. Timothy chose the Pixy Stix. Shortly after, Timothy began to complain of stomach pain, started vomiting violently, and suddenly went limp. Timothy was declared dead on the way to the hospital. During a police investigation, they found out that he consumed enough potassium cyanide to kill two to three grown men.

It was later revealed that O’Bryan tampered with the Pixy Stix by opening them, putting cyanide into the powdered candy, and resealing them. Fortunately, Timothy was the only child who consumed the pixy stix, and no other children were harmed.

Later it was discovered not only were his accounts of that night’s occurrences proven to be false, but also he had increased life insurance on each child significantly shortly before the date of that Halloween night. 

O’Bryan committed this horrible crime because he was having severe financial troubles and wanted life insurance money from his child’s death. Crystal Ponti from A&E Networks said that “his take home salary of $150 a week barely covered food and rent, and it was later discovered that he was more than $100,000 in debt”. O’Bryan thought that putting cyanide in Pixy Stix would make his son’s death appear random. 

Additional evidence was found that O’Bryan attempted to purchase cyanide shortly before Halloween that year from a store. Although O’Bryan maintained his innocence, he was eventually sentenced to death by lethal injection. Later on during his trial, they also found out that O’Bryan tried, without success, to poison his daughter for the same purpose.

The community was utterly in shock and no one expected this move from O’Bryan. A pastor described him as “a good, Christian man and an above-average father”, according to A&E Networks.

Today, O’Bryan is known as “The Candy Man” or “the man who killed Halloween”. His action caused a tremendous amount of fear amongst parents. He essentially ruined Halloween for a lot of families, and crushed the trust within the neighborhood and community. 

Because of this unfortunate case, many people are starting to become more vigilant of the candy received from trick or treating. Some families even stopped this tradition altogether.  

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