Urban legends of tainted Halloween candy have spread for decades. Every year, worried parents check their children’s candy one by one, take them to the police station to be scanned for metal, anything they can do to make sure it’s okay to eat. And it turns out, we have one man to thank for that fear.
It was a rainy Halloween in 1974 and 8 year old Timothy O’Bryan was trick or treating with his dad, Ronald O’Bryan, and some family friends. The big score that night was a two foot long pixie stick, and he couldn’t wait to try it. But within an hour of eating the candy, Timothy O’Bryan was dead.
Vice | The True Story of the Notorious Trick-or-Treat Murderer (Michael Segalov)
Fox News | Razor Blades and Poisoned Candy: A History of Americans Fearing Halloween (Courtney Moore)
Statesman | 35 Years Later, Memories of Notorious Halloween ‘Candyman’ Murder Remain Vivid (Eric Dexheimer)
Justia | O'BRYAN v. State