Halloween can be a great time for families to dress up in costumes, enjoy each other’s company and eat some sweets. For Houston-area man Ronald Clark O’Bryan, it was the perfect opportunity to kill his son for insurance money. O’Bryan was over $100,000 in debt and needed a way out, so he took out large life insurance policies on his kids, Timothy and Elizabeth. On Halloween of 1974, O’Bryan gave eight-year-old Timothy some candy laced with cyanide, and Timothy died. It’s believed that he may have also tried feeding the candy to Elizabeth and other kids to throw off suspicion, but no other child ate the lethal bonbons.
After a decade of living with what he’d done, O’Bryan was executed by lethal injection on March 31, 1984. His crime caused an uptick in Halloween candy caution in Texas and around the nation.
Below, check out O’Bryan’s court record and a video of Siouxie and the Banshees performing their 1986 track Candyman, written about O’Bryan.