Halloween and Crime

Halloween Crime Bogey Man

Halloween Crime

We all like Halloween candy, costumes, and parties, especially the kids. But Criminals also seem to like October 31st as well. The crime rate goes up on All Hollows’ Eve, despite many police agencies taking proactive measures. According to one University professor who studied the numbers, violent crimes are at least double on Halloween compared to any other day of the year. The insurance company Travelers’ believes that property damage claims rise by at least 17 percent, and that is just reported damage. However you look at it, Halloween is a night for extra precautions during the festivities. But is it movie villain risky?

The answer is it is worse than movie villain risky. We may think of a deranged killer tracking teenagers down with a large bloody knife, a stranger hunting victims who have no idea what they are facing. Or maybe the deranged killer is poisoning Halloween candy and killing strangers by the dozens. The truth is, like so many other violent murders on all calendar dates, the Halloween killer is almost always known to the victims. And Halloween gives them cover, or an excuse, to act on their horrible desires. We will look at one such tragic murder.

The Candy Man

Pixy Stix - the murder weapon in the Candy Man Halloween Crime

Parents spend a great deal of time on Halloween examining the wrappers of candy their kids bring home. They are always on the look out for a tampered piece given out by that movie villain boogeyman. This fear stems from the 1974 Halloween death of Timothy O’Bryan in the Texas town of Deer Park. Timothy died from cyanide poisoning from eating a tainted “Pixi Stix” that his father said came home with the boy’s Halloween candy. The town went into panic mode, everyone wondering who would do such a thing. It had to be an evil movie villain-type mad man.

It turns out that the killer was Ronald Clark O’Bryan, Timothy’s own father. O’Bryan was arrested when physical and eye-witness evidence mounted against him. Although he maintained his innocence and basked in all the attention from the press, a jury took only 46 minutes to find the Optometrist guilty of killing his 8-year-old son. The “Candy Man,” as the press labeled O’Bryan, was heavily in debt. He had taken out massive life insurance policies on both of his children.

Although there had been rumors of drugs in kids’ Halloween candy before the Deer Park murder, the death of Timothy O’Bryan ensured worried parent would be checking candy wrappers every Halloween despite the utter lack of evidence that strangers tamper with candy. It can happen, but over all, you are safe. Unless your family member suddenly takes out a life insurance policy on you.

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